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2013 Hyundai Santa Fe Pros and Cons at TrueDelta: Owner Pros and Cons by HyundaiFanatic

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Reviewed: 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe

4dr SUV 290-horsepower 3.3L V6 6-speed shiftable automatic AWD

Why the 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe?

Exterior styling

Very stylish, nice lines, clean looking vehicle, especially for an CUV.

Interior styling

The other things I loved about this vehicle were: The separate HVAC (Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning) controls in the rear seating area; the power assisted lift gate; how the seats folded down and out of the way if you want to haul things; the navigation and stereo system; the panoramic sunroof; the sunshades on the rear windows; the room in the rear, especially between the 2nd & 3rd seats; the three different steering options; and how nice and comfortable the leather upholstery was.

Powertrain performance

Having owned an 09' Sonata Limited 3.3L V6 and seeing that the Santa Fe had the same engine (except this engine has GDI {Gas Direct Injection} instead of just fuel injection), I was a little concerned about whether it was going to have a good power to weight ratio. Now I'm not sure how much my Sonata weighed, but obviously the Santa Fe is a larger vehicle than the Sonata. Well, when I first punched this thing getting on the freeway with myself and my passenger/partner-for-the-day Eileen, I was shocked at how smooth and powerful it was. The other difference between the Santa Fe and the Sonata; the Sonata had a 5-speed automatic transmission, whereas the Santa Fe has a 6-speed automatic transmission.

Handling

I have driven other CUV's & SUV's & the Santa Fe handled more like a car than any CUV or SUV I've driven. The ride was smooth & the handling was excellent; I didn't get that huge, lumbering feeling you get when driving CUV's or SUV's of the same, larger, or even smaller size. The test drive was in the "canyon" roads of San Diego into the hills & mountains of Cuyamaca & Julian. On Highway 79 there was a portion of the drive that had more twists & curves so I really got a chance to see how the Santa Fe handled. The braking was excellent slowing into & negotiating the curves & the acceleration was smooth and even coming out of them. Negotiating the "S" portions of the road showed little body roll, especially for a vehicle of this size & height; I'm sure the AWD, suspension & sway bar set-up made this possible. Me

Brand reputation & image

This vehicle is another example of how and why Hyundai is progressively grabbing more of the market share of vehicles out there. If I had enough room in my driveway I would have purchases this vehicle; even though I'm not a fan of CUV's or SUV's; I was really that impressed with it...and of course, with the mile I had, as well as others put on it, they would have to sell it USED!!!

Why Not the 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe?

Brand reputation & image

There is nothing I DON'T like about this vehicle. What I least like is how people still have a stigma about the Hyundai brand when they've never taken the time to test drive one. Hyundai's have the best customer satisfaction as well as repeat customer "index" of all the brands out there and for good reason.

Conclusion

The first thing I learned was that this Santa Fe is the "big brother" to the Santa Fe Sport model; it's longer, has third row seating, more interior room and is considered a CUV (Crossover Utility Vehicle). Unlike the SUV (Sport Utility Vehicle), which is based on a "truck" platform, the CUV is based more on a "car/sedan" platform and this becomes obvious when driving it!

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Response from JohnBealing

7:49 pm April 17, 2017

Agree. I have the diesel 2.2 l model. It was because of the efficiency of this motor that I originally bought this model. On trips I consistently achieve 6.5 l/100 km. Since the motor is now "run-in", I get even better economy, with a recent 1000km trip giving me 6.2 l/100 km on the way from Nelson to Christchurch (NZ), and 6.1 on the return journey. Acceleration & econmy are streets ahead of my previous "other" two SUV's (Toyota Prado 3 litre diesel and the 3.1 litre diesel Isuzu Big Horn.

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