November 27, 2013
Not too long ago I noted that our 2014 Hyundai Santa Fe may be a sizable crossover, but with the third-row seats up it doesn't leave much space for cargo.
I found out just how much recently when it came time to haul four passengers and their related suitcases for an out-of-town trip. With only four aboard I had the leeway to fold one of the third-row seats. That opened up a good chunk of space for some of the bulkier items. After that I was able to squeeze in three carry-on size suitcases in various states of fullness, although one sat on top which partially obstructed the rearward view.
November 22, 2013
As far as issues with cars/trucks go, this is a minor one. But every time I try to open the glovebox in our long-term 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe Limited AWD to grab the fuel log, I press what looks to be the "open" button, the one with the key slot, but nothing happens.
November 20, 2013
A couple of weeks ago I noted that our 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe's passenger side door was sticky. I looked at the sill in the dimly lit parking garage, and didn't notice anything amiss.
November 18, 2013
We blew past the 10K mark in our 2014 Hyundai Santa Fe recently. Seems like we got it just yesterday. Actually, it's been four months, but that's still a pretty quick run to 10,000 miles.
November 6, 2013
I'm not aware of an agreed-upon term for the door design employed by the 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe. And even if there was one I think some explanation would still be necessary.
You could call them any number of things: overlapping doors, rockerless doors, narrow-sill doors. These terms all apply, but what do they mean?
Most doors are cut into the body. By that I mean the opening doesn't go all the way to the bottom. There's a visible cut-line with a rocker panel just below. The doors open to reveal a full-width sill.
The Santa Fe doesn't have any of that. It's got rockerless narrow-sill overlapping doors that offer many practical advantages.
November 5, 2013
We drove our long-term 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe SUV 1,805 miles since its last fill up at the end of September. Its lifetime average has increased to 20 mpg, or 0.2 mpg better than we achieved in October.
October 29, 2013
One of the doors on our 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe has gotten oddly sticky. Every time I open the door, it sounds like the door's lower rubber trim is peeling away from the doorsill.
October 28, 2013
Cabin stink seems to be contagious. Last week Managing Editor Donna DeRosa noted that our long-term 2013 Cadillac ATS was blowing stinky air, and now our 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe smells a little offensive.
October 25, 2013
I've had our 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe in my possession for approximately 48 hours, which means a couple of round trips to the office, and a few other minor errands. The onboard computer was cleared when I took the Santa Fe, so the current calculations are all mine.
October 16, 2013
They're simple, but our 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe has ventilation controls in its third row. Mode, fan speed and temperature can be adjusted all the way in the back. Nice.
October 11, 2013
I'm a big fan of our long-term 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe, but every time I take the wheel I'm surprised at how long it takes me to get truly comfortable in the driver's seat.
October 10, 2013
The Nissan Versa in front of me on the exit ramp stopped short, and I stood on the 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe's brake pedal.
"Yes!" I thought as the SUV immediately responded to my abrupt request to save its front end.
October 7, 2013
Three-row seating is a major reason you might want to buy a generously sized crossover like our long-term 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe. On the last Friday in September, I maxed out the Santa Fe's passenger capacity, as six adults climbed aboard for a trip to Game 1 of the Dodgers-Rockies series. It was the last regular-season series of the year and my first time seeing Kershaw pitch in person. I was tapping my foot with impatience waiting for our entire crew to assemble.
Loading up the Santa Fe was no problem at all once everyone arrived. Access to the third row is good when you slide the second-row captain's chairs in our Limited model forward. There's also plenty of legroom in the third row, even when the second-row passengers scoot their seats back on the adjustable tracks.
October 3, 2013
We drove the Santa Fe 2,236 miles since its last fill up at the end of August (on the 26th). Its lifetime average of 19.8 mpg is .4 mpg better than we did in September (19.4 mpg). The EPA estimates the Santa Fe's combined fuel economy at 20 mpg.
October 2, 2013
I really like using the navigation system in our 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe. As Brent Romans has written, there's nothing groundbreaking about this touchscreen interface, but its menus are straightforward and its processing times are quick.
However, I've already had the system freeze up on me on two occasions over the last month.
September 27, 2013
When it comes to mid-size crossovers and SUVs, an optional third row of seats is crucial to success. Anyone with more than two kids wants the extra row, so now we have vehicles like the Santa Fe which offer both two- and three-row versions.
September 24, 2013
I've found our long-term 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe shockingly enjoyable to drive. On the whole, I think it drives better than any other car in the Hyundai lineup. But I was annoyed by the navigation system, which prompted me to let it direct us to one of our last four destinations (including one redacted location) at every startup.
I can see how this would be a handy feature on a long road trip, where you're likely to be using the nav system's guidance almost constantly. But around greater Los Angeles, the prompt, which supersedes whatever other interaction you may be having with the touchscreen (save for the rear-view camera display) for about 5 seconds, it's a bit excessive.
Fortunately, my better half had the presence of mind to look for a way to turn this feature off.
September 23, 2013
Recently, I bought a new mirror for the new old house I'm renovating. The mirror is not very wide (just under 31 inches), but it's quite long (just over 77 inches), so it would have been too long to fit in something like our Chevy Silverado. Good thing I had our long-term 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe and its 80-cubic-foot cargo capacity at my disposal.
September 18, 2013
I don't do much night driving anymore, especially during daylight savings. So when I took our 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe out after dark, at first I wasn't sure if the headlights were the issue, or if it was my middle-aged eyes.
September 13, 2013
If I were shopping for a new three-row family hauler, the 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe is one I'd consider.
September 10, 2013
One of the design aspects I like about our 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe is the large size of the side mirrors. (Yeah, I know, insert your "bigger is better" joke here.) It seems like many automakers go with smaller mirrors these days (whether for wind resistance or styling). But the Santa Fe's are larger than the norm, and that in turn gives you a wider and more detailed view of what's behind you.
September 4, 2013
We added about 3,200 miles to our 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe Limited during August. Much of that mileage came from Dan Edmunds' family road trip from California to Oregon.
For the month, we averaged 20.9 mpg. That's pretty much right on with the EPA's 20 mpg estimate for combined driving. We also saw our best range from a tank so far: 424 miles.
September 3, 2013
It seems like we're often grumbling about the various touchscreen interfaces found in the newest long-term test cars. Well, I'm happy to report that, in contrast, the interface in our 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe actually works quite well.
August 30, 2013
A lot of American families desire the versatility of a minivan but not the stigma that typically comes along it. A common solution for some people is a three-row crossover SUV.
Ah, but which one? Well, the new 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe could be an appealing choice.
August 28, 2013
Unlike my semi-esteemed Edmunds colleague, Dan Frio, I haven't found the 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe's 3.3-liter V6 to be overly raspy. In fact, I think it's pretty smooth and its 290 horsepower does a decent job of moving this heavy rig down the road.
And there's an aspect of the six-speed automatic transmission that I recently noticed is a refreshing change from the norm.
August 27, 2013
Regular followers of our long-term update pages may remember past stories of the Wall of Death, a particularly steep climb near my dad's place on the Oregon coast. It leads up to the top of "The Dog," a nearby summit that provides a spectacular 360-degree view of the coastline and the inland countryside behind this initial ridge of coastal mountains.
The place names are my father's own personal joke. You'd have to know his sense of humor to understand that the climb up this abandoned caterpillar track is not really a Jackass stunt of Steve-O proportions. It is, however, steep and covered with leaf litter and ball bearing-sized pebbles that make it quite hard to walk down without landing on your keester more than once.
Two-wheel drive is no good here. All four wheels need to participate. Good thing our 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe is the all-wheel-drive model.
The Dog is so named because, well, it looks like one.
August 26, 2013
OK, so the fact that the 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe swallows suitcases and large boxes isn't particularly noteworthy. Check the stat sheet: there's 41 cubic feet behind the second-row seats. That was enough to handle airport shuttle services for two passengers (plus driver), three large suitcases, a few smaller bags, and a box of stuff that, frankly, should never have been allowed through customs.
A couple of downsides: that additional weight only served to highlight the Santa Fe's upset over bumpier road rash. Pretty sure we hit the bumpstops over one particular uneven freeway surface enough that everyone let out one of those seasick groans in unison.
August 23, 2013
We were somewhere around Cabazon, in the middle of the desert, when our 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe turned over 5,000 miles. With just under two months in the long-term fleet, our six-passenger SUV won't have any problem accruing 20,000 miles in a year. Granted, editor and chief vehicle disciplinarian Dan Edmunds put on most of those miles during an Oregon road trip, but that's likely the beginning of the Santa Fe's service as an interstate adventurer.
I sampled about 300 miles last weekend. I liked the Santa Fe more after this recent seat time than when I first drove it at a Hyundai event a few months ago. During those events, you're lucky to get 100 miles behind the wheel while taking mental snapshots, speaking with engineers and digesting a spreadsheet of specs. But a good handful of long drives and around-town daily uses create a better picture.
August 22, 2013
Our Hyundai Santa Fe's navigation system got under my skin in the first part of my Oregon vacation because it tried to route me on dirt roads across private land with locked gates and "Keep Out" signs.
But the dirt roads weren't the problem because I had designs on a little back country off-road travel while I was up there. A few days later dad and I found ourselves heading out on some Forest Service fire and logging roads to visit Snow Camp lookout and Game Lake near the Kalmiopsis Wilderness in southern Oregon.
The dirt road wasn't hard to follow at first, but soon enough unmarked spurs and branches went off in numerous directions. The rule of thumb in such cases is to stay on the biggest one, but there was a time or two where that was a coin toss.
This is where the Santa Fe's navigation system was a real help. It had the area's major national forest roads in its database, with the main ones labeled with their forest service designations. We felt comfortable pressing on into unfamiliar territory because the moving map could always guide us back out the way we came.
I'm usually good at using landmarks instead, but heavy morning fog and dense trees made that a bit tough. For its part the Google Maps app on my smartphone was worthless out here in the land of "No Service."
After a couple of hours we rolled up to the fork in the road we were expecting. A much narrower track went on up to Snow Camp Lookout while the main "road" continued on to Game Lake. We decided to take the side road up to the lookout first.
August 14, 2013
The complaints started within the first 50 miles of home and I've been hearing them (and echoing them) all the way to Oregon and back. Our 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe has a habit of bobbing on its rear suspension and hammering at our backsides over swales and waves in the highway. It's bottoming out over pavement features it should absorb, and we're not even full.
This is hard for me to say because I probably know the guys who tuned the suspension. But there simply isn't enough rear suspension "bump" travel, the rear coil springs are too soft and the polyurethane bump stops come in too late and too abruptly. The as-loaded bump-stop photo above was taken with my weight out of the car, too.
Our Santa Fe is the long-wheelbase 3-row 6-passenger version, the one that should have some carrying capacity. But on this trip it's doing far worse than our long-term 2012 Honda CR-V on the same northern California and southern Oregon roads. And the CR-V also excelled when I drove it at speed over much larger swales and deeper dips on uneven dirt roads in Nevada with heavier passengers on board, to boot.
The Honda CR-V was comparatively unfazed when fully loaded, even with an added burden of a rooftop cargo box, but here in the partially-loaded Santa Fe I find myself yelling "bump!" so my passengers can brace themselves. They've replied with a chorus of "Ow!" on more than one occasion.