Behind the Wheel: 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe
The 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe enters a crowded segment filled with names that carry as much weight as the three-row crossovers themselves: the Honda Pilot, Toyota Highlander, Mazda CX-9, and Nissan Pathfinder all dot the three row crossover segment. Domestic offerings include the Chevrolet Traverse, and Ford Explorer as well. With so many family friendly options, Hyundai had to replace the good--if bland--Veracruz. Rather than continue on as the Korean automaker's large, three-row SUV, Hyundai decided to give the Veracruz its marching orders, and leveraged the more favorable Santa Fe nameplate. A smaller, five-passenger Santa Fe Sport now takes the place of the old Santa Fe (just add "Sport") and two SUVs--six and seven-passenger models--take on the Santa Fe nameplate. The 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe is powered by a 3.3-liter, 290-hp V-6 engine mated to a six-speed automatic transmission, while the Sport opts for a choice of two four-cylinder engines--one of which is turbocharged. The name is not all that's new to the Hyundai three-row family: Hyundai gave the 2013 Santa Fe fresh, modern styling and a premium feeling cabin. We got to spend the day with the 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe jutting in and around San Diego, CA, and developed a few impressions. Does Hyundai's family play stack up to the competition? You can read our first drive, to find out.
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