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2013 Hyundai Santa Fe Review

Reviewed by Automotive on

The 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport is a compact SUV that is available in two trims: the Base model and the 2.0T. It is the product of a complete redesign, replacing an older model which has been popular for years. In doing so, Hyundai is hoping to capture a large number of midsize crossover buyers. They will be offering two versions: a seven-passenger model, known as the Santa Fe, and a smaller, five-passenger model, called the Santa Fe Sport.

The Santa Fe Sport offers exceptional performance, a handful of luxurious features, and an affordable price tag. Drivers will enjoy the luxury of tackling any type of road conditions effortlessly, while passengers will ride in style and comfort. A long list of safety and convenience features, combined with Hyundai’s solid reputation for reliability, make this a tough vehicle to pass up.

New For 2013

This is the first year the Santa Fe Sport is offered by Hyundai.


The 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport has a 185-inch length, 74-inch width, 66-inch height, seven-inch ground clearance, 106-inch wheelbase, and 3,500-pound curb weight. It is about eight inches shorter and 300 pounds lighter than the original Santa Fe. It has a futuristic design that is stylish and attractive, with a chrome trim on the grille and door handles that contributes to its sharp overall look.

A large chrome front grille and uniquely-styled dual headlights characterize the front-end of the Santa Fe Sport. From the side, its body style has a modern appearance with narrow windows and sleek, 17-inch alloy wheels. Optional features, such as a panoramic sunroof and 19-inch alloy wheels, give it a more luxurious look and feel.

Interior & Cargo

The interior of the 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport is constructed with high-quality materials, unlike other vehicles in the same class. While the original Sante Fe could seat seven people comfortably, the Santa Fe Sport can only accommodate five passengers. The standard cloth seating used by Hyundai is water-, odor-, and stain-resistant. For around $2,500 more, a leather package can be added. Either way, passengers get ample comfort and room to move around.

The interior features of the Santa Fe Sport are pretty nice. An optional touchscreen navigation system is the highlight. It is user-friendly and sophisticated, allowing drivers to travel more efficiently. Another nifty feature is the smartphone connectivity that enables drivers to stream music from Pandora and other applications. Finally, cargo room is spacious, with over 70 cubic feet to easily hold boxes, bikes, or groceries.


The 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport has four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes. There is also emergency brake assist and an Electronic Stability System (ESC) for improved handling. Driver and front passenger front and side-impact airbags are installed to enhance passenger safety. Overhead airbags protect occupants during a rollover or side collision. Knee airbags help protect the lower extremities of passengers. The top of the seats have height-adjustable head restraints. Seatbelts have pretentioners that automatically tighten to restrain passengers in the event of an accident. Rear seats have child seat anchors. A security system is on board, which detects unwanted vehicle intrusion.

Driving Experience

There are two engines available in the 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport. First is the base engine, a 2.4-liter, four-cylinder that spits out 190 horsepower (hp) and 181 lb-ft of torque. The other engine is a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder that pumps out 264 hp and 269 lb-ft of torque. Acceleration is good from a standstill, and then continues powerfully in the city and on the highway. It sprints from zero to 60 mph in an impressive seven seconds. Average fuel economy is 21/30 mpg city/highway. An Active Eco button, easily accessed on the steering wheel, is capable of improving fuel efficiency.

Thanks to a solidly built strut front suspension teamed with a multilink rear suspension, the Santa Fe Sport rides like a charm. Most notable is its ability to handle any road conditions with finesse. It glides over smooth surfaces and has excellent bump-absorption capabilities. A Driver Selectable Steering Mode, which can be easily activated with steering-wheel-mounted controls, helps drivers adjust to various driving conditions. Handling is impressive for an SUV, with minimal to no body roll. Braking is firm and smooth, while a Downhill Brake Control (DBC) feature makes descending steep hills easier.

Key Competitors For The 2013 Hyundai Santa-Fe

  • Buick Encore
  • Chevrolet Equinox
  • Dodge Journey
  • Honda CR-V
  • Ford Escape

See the New 2015 Santa Fe.

Front & Driver Side View