June 13, 2014
Last weekend, my family and I took a road trip to Laughlin, Nevada. I picked our long-term 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe for the trip, and thought this would be a great chance to get some unbiased opinions about the Santa Fe from non-car-biz people.
June 3, 2014
I bought a guitar and I blame our long-term 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe.
Okay, it was partially my fault. I wandered into Guitar Center, which was my first mistake. I know nothing about guitars, and I know even less about playing guitar. Fact is I'm tone deaf and my musical talent is limited to finger tapping on the steering wheel at red lights. After 44 years a man knows his limitations, and I have a better chance of playing shortstop for the New York Yankees than I have playing the intro to "Hot For Teacher."
But cool is cool, and guitars are cool. And I've always wanted one.
May 5, 2014
Our last morning in Joshua Tree National Park was mostly spent packing up. We made a trip to the local grocery store for supplies during our long weekend of camping, so we had some extra items in the back of our 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe on the return trip. Even with the additional cargo, there was plenty of room left for three passengers, and since packing up went so quickly, we had extra time to explore the park on the way home.
May 1, 2014
Inside Joshua Tree National Park, the long-term 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe spent considerable time being used for food storage and shade. On day two we were joined by two friends in a second car but to make things easier throughout the trip, I folded up two of the Santa Fe's seats and welcomed them to ride in back. Exploring and carrying five people in the Santa Fe was easy, even with the sixth seat folded down to make room for lunch.
April 30, 2014
I recently planned a weekend trip to Joshua Tree National Park with some friends and the long-term 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe. From the start, the Santa Fe was at the top of my list. It gobbles up cargo and it has the added benefit of all-wheel drive for any dirt roads we might come across. Last spring I went with this same group of friends to Yosemite in our long-term 2013 Ford Focus ST, but this year instead of renting a house, we were camping. A sporty hatchback wouldn't cut it.
January 15, 2014
The 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe has a lot of outlets. There are these two: a standard 115-volt AC outlet and a 12-volt DC outlet in the cargo area. But that's not all.
December 25, 2013
A set of snow tires isn't the sort of cargo one usually hauls to and fro, but I recently bought some for our 2013 Tesla Model S from Tirerack.com. Nobody was particularly fond of the idea of them stinking up the office until I got around to having them installed, so I loaded the humungous 245/35R21 Pirellis into our 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe for the 8-mile trip to our photo studio for temporary storage.
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.
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 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.
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 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.
August 1, 2013
Hauling two re-stuffed 1969 Camaro bucket seats isn't as easy as it looks. Car seats are big. Bigger than you'd think. They're also kind of cumbersome and difficult to handle.
Our long-term 2013 Santa Fe didn't even flinch. Once I folded Hyundai's third-row seat, the two black vinyl thrones fit perfectly in the crossover's cargo bay.
July 24, 2013
See that photo? That's one of our more pathetic Edmunds packing jobs, the test gear just thrown randomly into our latest long-termer, the new three-row 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe Limited AWD.
Chief Road Test Editor, Chris Walton, who isn't the least bit neurotic about test-gear loading, would've had a fit if he'd seen the haphazard mess before I pressed the power hatch button.
July 22, 2013
It's all too common to take a glance at the third row seats, shrug and say, "Well, it's just for kids." We didn't have any kids handy, so we decided to try out the Santa Fe's third row seat ourselves. My wife and I both slid between the second row captain's chairs and plopped down in the rear seats. We felt a little silly sitting in the back of a parked vehicle. But we did our best to evaluate what it would be like to sit there for kids, or even adults.
Our knees angled up, but not uncomfortably. The head room was sufficient even though the rear window was very close to the backs of our heads. For short hops this sitting position would be acceptable. For longer trips there were two things that would bother both kids and adults.
July 19, 2013
On most weekends, my 2011 Nissan Leaf SL keeps me tethered to my electric charger. But when I heard the 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe was available, and I would be one of the first drivers, I began thinking of all the places I wanted to explore. I drove down to San Diego and then visited a few new areas in Los Angeles racking up about 280 miles of driving. I even took advantage of the cavernous cargo area and hauled home an Eames chair and ottoman. Here are a few impressions of this impressive mid-sized SUV.