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11 of 13 people found this review helpful
Second Hyundai (first was 1986)
By aaidi on
Vehicle
2013 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport 2.0T 4dr SUV (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A)
Review
I come from a family very loyal to Toyotas and Hondas, but even I have to agree that today the South Koreans easily win on styling and features, and are barely a notch below the two Japanese heavyweights in terms of reliability. I purchased my Santa Fe 2.0T FWD about a month ago after extensive research. Very pleased with the purchase overall. Can't beat the value and it is true that this thing looks, feels, and drives like a European car. No surprise -- the chief design engineer was hired away from BMW and formerly designed the X5. I do mostly city driving on it and still have my second car, but so far so good. Gas mileage at 20mpg is terrible considering I don't drive aggressively.
Favorite Features
This is just a beautiful vehicle - built to be several notches more attractive than its predecessor - inside and out. The instrumentation is intuitive and easy to use, and high-quality material is used on the dash. Everything feels good to the touch and is easy on the eyes. I've never seen the inside of the Azera, but I understand much of the interior was inspired from the Azera. There is lots and lots of room. I am 5'11", and put a friend that's 6'6" in the passenger seat and another friend that's 6'2" in the back and we were all quite comfortable. Nobody felt crammed. The back seats actually recline. All seats are heated (I got the leather package). Keyless entry/ignition is smart.
Suggested Improvements
So far, the minor annoyances I can point out are as follows: <> Seats are quite firm. Long rides can get uncomfortable (disclaimer: I have prior failed back surgery) <> I can never find a good position to rest either of my elbows while steering. The window sill to the left is too thin (unless the window is down) and the center console is too low and far away. Shoulders can get tired on long drives or when stuck in traffic. <> Gas mileage is way worse than expected - at least in the city <> Leg space design could have been better for taller drivers - I'm just under 6' tall and my left leg stays bent and keeps bumping the door. <> The 264 HP are most noticeable at lower speeds (below 40mph)
Recommend (11) (2)
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By juscruisin
on 01/15/13 11:45 AM (PST)

City driving is estimated to be 20MPG, which you say is what you're getting. You also said you do mostly city driving. I don't quite understand how this is terrible.

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By aaidi
on 02/16/13 06:37 AM (PST)

Update 2/16/2013: @juscruisin, my comments about disappointing mpg are simple: unless you drive aggressively, this thing feels like a four cyclinder. Torque and horsepower are simply not there unless and should not be this taxing unless you're really stepping on the gas. A V6 would have been a a much better engine choice for the mpg trade-off. BTW, it turns out I'm actually getting 18mpg (not 20). This car has the worst blind spots of any passenger/family vehicle I have ever driven. Agree rear camera should be standard, but it only helps for parking (not changing lanes). Finding more annoyances and lack of attention to detail. For example: <> Bluetooth unit in my car was faulty - radio needs to be replaced; <> windshield wiper intermittent setting functions backwards vs. delay timer diagram on switch; <> window lock toggle button on driver door does not actually lock any of the windows; driver seat does not adjust intuitively in the same direction as you would expect when you move the power seat levers (movement is there - just not what/how you would expect) I've gotten a lot of complements on the looks and spaciousness of this vehicle. My overall rating and value assessment on it are the same, and I really do enjoy driving it. In retrospect, I probably would have waited at least 1 year to let any design flaws be worked out of such a dramatically redesigned vehicle's first year in production. If you're planning to buy this year, I could suggest you also have a good look at the Ford Escape or Honda CRV.

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