Edmunds tests hundreds of vehicles a year. Cars, trucks, SUVs, we run them all, and the numbers always tell a story. With that in mind we present "Edmunds Track Tested," a quick rundown of all the data we collect at the track, along with comments direct from the test drivers. Enjoy.
When it comes to three-row SUVs, we really can't expect too much in the way of performance. More important to those shopping this segment are ride, cargo capacity and fuel economy. In this regard, the 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe returns an EPA-estimated 20 mpg combined, which is typical for V6-powered all-wheel-drive SUVs in this class. In its five-plus months in our fleet, we've confirmed this with an average of 19.5 mpg.
What happens, though, when you use that stout 290-horsepower 3.3-liter V6 for more than just shuttling the kids to school? And does the all-wheel drive give our Santa Fe a decent level of surefootedness as well?
We took it to the track to get a definitive answer.
Vehicle: 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe
Driver: Mike Monticello
Price: $28,350 (base)
Drive Type: Front engine, all-wheel drive
Transmission Type: Six-speed automatic
Engine Type: V6
Displacement (cc/cu-in): 3,342/203.9
Horsepower (hp @ rpm): 290 @ 6,400
Torque (lb-ft @ rpm): 252 @ 5,200
Brake Type (front): 12.6-inch ventilated discs with single-piston sliding calipers
Brake Type (rear): 11.9-inch solid discs with single-piston sliding calipers
Suspension Type (front): MacPherson strut, twin-tube dampers, stabilizer bar
Suspension Type (rear): Multilink, stabilizer bar
Tire Size (front): P235/55R19 101H M+S
Tire Size (rear): P235/55R19 101H M+S
Tire Brand: Kumho
Tire Model: City Venture Premium
Tire Type: All-season
As Tested Curb Weight (lb): 4,297
0-30 (sec): 3.0 (3.1 w/ TC on)
0-45 (sec): 5.2 (5.3 w/ TC on)
0-60 (sec): 7.7 (7.9 w/ TC on)
0-60 with 1-ft Rollout (sec): 7.5 (7.5 w/ TC on)
0-75 (sec): 11.8 (11.9 w/ TC on)
1/4-Mile (sec @ mph): 15.9 @ 88.5 (15.9 @ 88.5 w/ TC on)
30-0 (ft): 31
60-0 (ft): 125
Slalom (mph): 58.6 (58.2 w/ ESC on)
Skid Pad Lateral Acceleration (g): 0.75 (0.72 w/ ESC on)
RPM @ 70 mph: 1,950
Acceleration: Strong, smooth V6 here. Even with the all-wheel drive, we could get a touch of front wheelspin when using brake/throttle overlap at launch. Revs hard all the way to the automatic's shift point. Shifts are smooth but slow. Third gear feels tall. Manual shifting is via the console lever (pull back for downshifts). Does not hold gears in manual mode, and does not blip the throttle on downshifts.
Braking: The pedal was reasonably firm, though travel was long. Strong brake odor by the fourth stop. Lots of nosedive but the Santa Fe tracked straight. The first stop was shortest at 125 feet, with the fifth stop (out of seven) longest at 133 feet.
Slalom: This new three-row Santa Fe is big and soft. The steering is reasonably precise, but we couldn't go too far toward exploring its limits due to the overly active stability control system. Lots of body roll and low-grip tires.
Skid pad: The stability control system adds healthy doses of brakes at varying wheels. Between this and some drop-throttle from us, we could tell the Santa Fe actually has a playful chassis. It was a bit of a bucking-bronc affair as it transitioned back and forth between oversteer and understeer. Was kinda fun to experience. With ESC turned off, and therefore without the addition of brakes, it was harder to induce oversteer with just purely drop-throttle.
The manufacturer provided Edmunds this vehicle for the purposes of evaluation.