2013 Hyundai Santa Fe Long-Term Road Test


2013 Hyundai Santa Fe: Hauls Six Adults To Dodger Stadium

October 7, 2013

2013 Hyundai Santa Fe

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.

The couple in the third row even went so far to report that they were "comfortable." That's relative, of course, because although they had room for their knees and feet, the rearmost bench is mounted low, so adults don't really get any thigh support. We were only going 20 miles round trip, though, so it was tolerable.

I've told a positive story of our six-passenger Hyundai Santa's people-carrying abilities, but as Dan Edmunds noted during his trip to Oregon, there is a decline in ride comfort when you have more than two people on board. My drive was much shorter than Dan's, but there's no question that our crossover lost some of its customary compliance and grace with six on-board. This was especially noticeable over cracked pavement.

I noticed much the same effect later in the weekend when I loaded the Santa Fe up with a bunch of cargo (I maxed out its available space, yes, but was still under the payload limit). Once it was emptied of its load, the Hyundai did a better job of absorbing bumps and ruts.

Based on this experience, I'm still a fan of our Hyundai Santa Fe, but I probably wouldn't buy one of my own (at least not this 2013 model), because the main appeal of this vehicle (for me) is its ability to haul four or more passengers and lots of gear.

However, of the six people in the Dodger Stadium carpool, the one individual who was most interested in the Santa Fe didn't actually have kids. Upon hearing that our long-termer stickered around $38,970, he became even more enthusiastic.

"I'd like to buy one just like this," he said, "same equipment, color and everything. I like big cars." It bears mention that he rode shotgun for the entire trip, though.

Erin Riches, Deputy Editor @ 8,028 miles

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Edmunds Insurance Estimator

The Edmunds TCO® estimated monthly insurance payment for a 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe in NJ is:

$189 per month*
* Explanation
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