2013 Hyundai Santa Fe SUV Review, Ratings & Discussions | Edmunds.com
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2013 Hyundai Santa Fe SUV Review

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Review of the 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe

  • B Edmunds Rating
  • The redesigned 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe has what it takes to unseat the class-leading crossovers, with quality, power, comfort and style.

  • Safety | Reliability | Rating Details
  • Pros

    Spacious interior; Sport model's strong and relatively economical turbo engine; available third-row seating; lengthy warranty.

  • Cons

    Weak base engine with little fuel economy benefit; poor rearward visibility.

  • What's New for 2013

    The Hyundai Santa Fe has been redesigned for 2013, with both a seven-passenger, long-wheelbase model and a five-passenger Sport version.

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Our was a lemon, manufacturer

by on
Vehicle: 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport 2.0T 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A)

The problems with our 2013 Santa Fe Limited (2.0L AWD) began last July when the engine died (rattling noise in cylinders). Shop foreman requested full engine block replacement, but Manufacturing Company only approved short block. Car was returned 30 days later (no rental given) and continued to have problems. 5 months later, we are back at the shop, having the engine replaced again. Dealership is working with us on a replacement vehicle deal, for which we are thankful, but the Manufacturer has shown no compassion. We will be going to court to reclaim lost time with the car over payments and insurance costs.



3 of 3 people found this review helpful

Maybe i got a lemon

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Vehicle: 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport 2.0T 4dr SUV AWD w/Saddle Interior (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A)

It was a great car, until it hit 2 years old, and 30,000 KM (~18,000 miles). A piston broke in the engine, and the engine completely failed. What is worse, is the Warranty department balked on replacing the engine as per the service managers request. Eventually they agreed to a short block replacement and a few peripherals. Even that took nearly 2 weeks for approval, and I have little confidence this will be a long term fix. No rental car offered, and no explanation or apology. Still waiting for car to be fixed, as parts have to be shipped in. Not impressed. It is my second Hyundai, and now my last.



2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Great car, few problems with

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Vehicle: 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe Limited 4dr SUV w/Saddle Interior (3.3L 6cyl 6A)

Bought this version in August of 2013. The dealer had put almost 500 miles on it when I bought it. No problems until it rained hard. There is a loud rain noise near the rear on the driver's side. Dealer says they can't figure it out, although it persists. A similar noise has started when the wind is blowing hard. About two months ago I noted that the leather on the driver's side seat is wearing thin on the edge. Don't know if this is unique to the saddle leather or not. Awaiting dealer comments. Rides well, otherwise very quiet, good pick up, great sound system with the upgrade and navigation. Navigation maps are already out of date for where I live and it costs $250 to upgrade.



2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Still in love 2 years

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Vehicle: 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport 4dr SUV (2.4L 4cyl 6A)

I bought my 2013 Santa Fe Sport in August of 2012. I was the second person in Kentucky to own this model. Anyway, I've hard my Santa Fe for nearly two years now and I still love it! I have taken my car to Florida on three trips (1400 miles round trip), I do a lot of driving in town, and take weekend trips in it. I haven't had a single problem with my car and now have over 25,000 miles on the odometer. The interior still looks like new, the paint still looks new, and the cabin is extremely quiet, even at high rates of speed. If I had it to do over, I would definitely buy this Santa Fe Sport again.



3 of 3 people found this review helpful

Absolute best bang for your

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Vehicle: 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe GLS 4dr SUV AWD (3.3L 6cyl 6A)

I literally test drove every mid-size SUV imaginable in my quest to buy my next vehicle. Coming from a Honda CR-V, I needed more interior space to cart around my large friends (All are well above 6ft tall) and my two large dogs, along with their crates. The Santa Fe was an option I was unwilling to consider, until I drove one. The ride is beautiful, and comfort mode steering helps tremendously. My small frame is a bit overwhelmed by the large seats, but the power seats and lumbar support make it more than comfortable. The options I have: heated steering wheel, front and rear seats, back up cam, navigation, Bluelink and leather seats for less money than a mid range Honda. #hyundaifamily



12 of 12 people found this review helpful

Engine knock and random codes

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Vehicle: 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport 2.0T 4dr SUV (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A)

Bought 2013 in January 2014. One week later heard knocking in the engine, took it to dealer was told that the GDI engines make this noise, normal. 2 weeks later took it back as knocking is not normal and there has been numerous reported engine failures with same noise, vehicle throws random emission codes which there is a tsb for but not all dealers know this so I have to put up with a defective SF. I loved it at first but that ended within 3 weeks. I think the 6 cylinders are more reliable than the 4's.



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Full 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe Review

What's New for 2013

The Hyundai Santa Fe has been redesigned for 2013, with both a seven-passenger, long-wheelbase model and a five-passenger Sport version.

Introduction

If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Whether it's a friendly Nigerian prince offering you the deal of a lifetime, a free Apple iPad or a delicious zero-calorie dessert, these opportunities are illusions. But if someone tells you about a crossover utility that offers a decent amount of luxury, tons of features, surprising amounts of performance, and also does so without breaking the bank, you can actually take them at their word. Well, if they're talking about the 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe, that is.

Capping off what has been an epic march up the rankings for Hyundai, the redesigned 2013 Santa Fe adopts the company's "fluidic sculpture" design with favorable results. For the first time, Hyundai is also offering two models of this crossover. The Santa Fe GLS and Limited now feature a third row of seats, increasing the passenger count to seven (or six in the case of the Limited) and effectively replacing the outgoing Hyundai Veracruz. But if you see little need for that sort of capacity, you're in luck, as Hyundai also offers the slightly shorter, five-passenger Santa Fe Sport with two rows of seats.

Under the hood, Santa Fe Sport buyers have the choice of either a 2.4-liter four-cylinder or a more powerful, turbocharged 2.0-liter four. Given the choice between a marginal gain in fuel economy versus a significant boost in output, the turbo is our engine of choice. The three-row Santa Fe models come standard with a 3.3-liter V6.

Whichever version you choose, you'll no doubt appreciate the cabin's clean and modern design, intuitive controls and extensive number of standard and optional features. Furthermore, passengers in the first two rows will enjoy spacious accommodations that are suitable for taller adults.

There are some very desirable choices for a crossover SUV this year. The Chevrolet Equinox, Ford Escape and Honda CR-V are all excellent choices for a five-passenger model, while the slightly bigger Kia Sorento is a standout for seven-passenger seating. If you can spend a bit more and want more room, the slightly larger Nissan Pathfinder is worth a look. Overall, though, the Santa Fe is a top-tier choice in any of its available seating and trim configurations.

In the case of the 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe, you really can believe the hype.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe is a six- or seven-passenger SUV that is available in GLS and Limited trim levels. The smaller Santa Fe Sport seats five and is offered in base and 2.0T trims.

Standard features on the base Sport model include 17-inch alloy wheels, a rear spoiler, cruise control, a trip computer, full power accessories, air-conditioning, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, cloth upholstery, 40/20/40 split-folding rear seats, Bluetooth phone connectivity, Hyundai's Blue Link telematics system and a six-speaker audio system with CD player, satellite radio and USB/iPod integration.

To this, the optional Popular Equipment package can be added, which includes automatic headlights, foglights, heated mirrors, roof rack rails, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, heated front seats and an eight-way power-adjustable driver seat (with power lumbar support).

The Sport 2.0T adds all of the above, along with a more powerful turbocharged engine, 19-inch wheels, an upgraded gauge cluster and information display and keyless ignition/entry.

The Santa Fe GLS is similar in feature content to the base Sport model, but gains a longer wheelbase, a V6 engine and 50/50 split-folding third-row seats. Also added are 18-inch wheels, foglights and a sliding feature for the second-row bench seat.

The range-topping Limited essentially includes all off the 2.0T and GLS features, but seating is reduced to six, as the second-row seats are replaced with two captain's chairs. Other additions include a power liftgate, windshield wiper de-icers, dual-zone automatic climate control, leather upholstery, heated second-row seats, driver seat memory functions, a power passenger seat, upgraded interior trim elements, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a 4.3-inch touchscreen audio display and a rearview camera.

Some features are offered as options on supporting trims as part of bundled packages. Most notably, a navigation system is offered on all trims and is also paired with an 8-inch touchscreen display, a rearview camera and a premium sound system (a Dimension system for the Sport and GLS or a 12-speaker surround-sound Infinity system for the Sport 2.0T and Limited). A panoramic sunroof is available on all but the GLS. All trims can be optioned with a heated steering wheel. Finally, a blind-spot monitoring system is only available on the Limited.

Powertrains and Performance

Powering the base 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport is a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 190 horsepower and 181 pound-feet of torque. As with all other Santa Fe models, front-wheel drive is standard, while all-wheel drive is optional. The only available transmission is a six-speed automatic. Fuel economy estimates are quite good, with an EPA-rated 21 mpg city/29 mpg highway and 24 mpg in combined driving for the front-drive and 20/26/22 mpg for the AWD.

The Santa Fe Sport 2.0T receives a turbocharged 2.0-liter engine that increases output to 264 hp and 269 lb-ft of torque. Fuel economy drops only slightly; the EPA estimates 20/27/23 mpg for the front-drive and 19/24/21 mpg for the AWD. In Edmunds performance testing, an AWD 2.0T Santa Fe accelerated from a standstill to 60 mph in 8.1 seconds, which is on the quick side for this class of crossover.

The larger GLS and Limited models benefit from a 3.3-liter V6 that produces 290 hp and 252 lb-ft of torque. EPA estimates are 18/25/21 with front-drive and 18/24/20 with AWD. In Edmunds testing, an AWD Santa Fe Limited went from zero to 60 mph in 7.7 seconds, a good time for a seven-passenger vehicle.

Properly equipped, the V6 Santa Fe models can tow up to 5,000 pounds, while the Sport 2.0T tops out at 3,500.

Safety

Standard safety features for all 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe models include antilock disc brakes, traction and stability control, front-seat side airbags, side curtain airbags, front-seat active head restraints, and hill hold and descent control. Also standard is Blue Link, Hyundai's emergency telematics system that provides services such as remote access, emergency assistance, theft recovery and geo-fencing.

In government crash testing, the Santa Fe Sport earned a top five-star rating for overall crash protection, with five stars for total frontal-impact safety and five stars for side-impact safety. Top scores have also been awarded by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, which gave the Santa Fe a top "Good" rating in moderate-overlap frontal-offset, side-impact and roof-strength tests.

In Edmunds brake testing, a Santa Fe 2.0T AWD came to a stop from 60 mph in a class-average 127 feet. The heavier Santa Fe Limited actually stopped a bit shorter in 125 feet.

Interior Design and Special Features

Among the numerous competing crossover SUVs in its class, the 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe has one of the nicer cabins of the bunch. This is thanks in no small part to its quality of materials, thoughtful placement of controls and overall spaciousness. As we've come to expect from Hyundai, the Santa Fe's cockpit could serve as a benchmark for elegant simplicity in the segment. Switchgear is well organized and legible, while the touchscreen menus and functions are as intuitive as it gets. Build quality in our test car, however, was mediocre.

The front seats are pretty comfortable for longer drives, with enough adjustments to accommodate drivers of all sizes. Second-row passengers will also find the quarters to their liking, with a wide range of recline angle and plenty of head- and legroom for the average adult, even with the optional panoramic sunroof. The longer-wheelbase Santa Fe further enhances second-row comfort with a bit more legroom and a spacious 31.5 inches of legroom for those in the third row, which is competitive with the third-row accommodations in the larger Nissan Pathfinder. Headroom in the Santa Fe's third row is a little pinched, but nonetheless acceptable.

Its ability to haul gear also is an important asset in the Santa Fe Sport, as it boasts a healthy 35.4 cubic feet of cargo behind the second row of seats, while the seven-passenger Santa Fe can hold up to 41 cubes. Bulky items are also loaded with ease, as the second-row seats fold flat to accept 71.5 cubes, putting the two-row Sport right up there with the Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4. The larger Santa Fe can hold up to 80 cubic feet, but if all the seats are in use, you only have 13.5 cubic feet behind the third row.

Driving Impressions

On either side of the driving spectrum, the 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe has the potential to impress. As a leisurely commuter and kid shuttle, the ride is luxuriously compliant and the cabin remains whisper-quiet, even at highway speeds. On winding mountain passes, the Santa Fe feels fairly light and sporty for this class of car. There are a couple demerits, however. The steering has a tendency to wander on the highway, and rear visibility is poor due to the Santa Fe's thick rear roof pillars.

We found the Santa Fe Sport's 2.0T engine equally impressive, with a smooth delivery of power that is on par with some V6 engines. As a result, this Santa Fe gets up to highway speeds with authority. Gearchanges can be a bit delayed, but they're so smooth that they'll likely go unnoticed.

With nearly 300 hp on tap, the V6-powered Santa Fe GLS and Limited accelerate with even more authority and minimize the frequent gearshifts that sometimes come with the four-cylinder models. Particularly when compared with the Santa Fe Sport's base 2.4-liter engine, the V6 makes for more relaxed highway travel and a quieter cabin.

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Talk About The 2013 Santa Fe

2013 Hyundai Santa Fe Discussions See all Started By

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