2013 Hyundai Santa Fe Long-Term Road Test

Comfort


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2013 Hyundai Santa Fe: Poor Ride Quality

March 10, 2014

2013 Hyundai Santa Fe

I hadn't driven our long-term 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe until somewhat recently, when I took it on a trip from Los Angeles to Sonoma and back.

Now, Dan Edmunds took it on a road trip with the family last year and heard (and felt) some complaints about the crossover's ride quality.

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2013 Hyundai Santa Fe: Heated Steering Wheel

March 3, 2014

2013 Hyundai Santa Fe

Ever take a pair of jeans out of the wash and discover a five-dollar bill in the pocket you forgot about? That's how I felt when I discovered the button in our long-term 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe you see above.

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2013 Hyundai Santa Fe: Pretty Effortless for Commuting

January 21, 2014

2013 Hyundai Santa Fe

I don't often seek out our long-term 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe, because it has more space and seating capacity than I can regularly use. Recently, though, I spent an evening and a morning with our six-passenger Limited model. It was an unremarkable but pleasant experience.

The Santa Fe's strong V6 engine accounts for much of the pleasantness.

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2013 Hyundai Santa Fe: Easy Entry Through Overlapping Doors

November 6, 2013

2013 Hyundai Santa Fe

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.

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2013 Hyundai Santa Fe: Third-Row Ventilation Controls

October 16, 2013

2013 Hyundai Santa Fe

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.

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2013 Hyundai Santa Fe: Driver's Seating Position

October 11, 2013

2013 Hyundai Santa Fe

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.

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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.

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2013 Hyundai Santa Fe Limited AWD: A Minivan Alternative

August 30, 2013

2013 Hyundai Santa Fe Limited AWD

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.

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2013 Hyundai Santa Fe: Uncomfortable Ride With Passengers

August 14, 2013

2013 Hyundai Santa Fe

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.

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2013 Hyundai Santa Fe: Big Bear Lake Learnings

August 5, 2013

2013 Hyundai Santa Fe

The drive to Big Bear Lake from Oldham HQ isn't very far. It's about 120 miles, split evenly between L.A.'s freeway system and the two-lane mountain pass that is California State Routes 330 and 18.

Still, I learned a lot about the Hyundai Santa Fe during that late night drive.

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2013 Hyundai Santa Fe: Quiet Ride

July 29, 2013

Hyundai Santa Fe

Our long-term 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe offers a nicely insulated cabin that keeps most road and wind noise from interfering with your conversations/music/podcasts/singing or whatever you do in your car for entertainment.

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Hyundai Santa Fe: Seats Six

July 26, 2013

Hyundai Santa Fe

Our long-term 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe has captain's chairs for its second row. So, despite being a large SUV/crossover thingy, it only seats six instead of seven.

If you are going out somewhere with five adults, someone gets relegated to the third row, which Phil Reed already reviewed here.

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2013 Hyundai Santa Fe: Third Row Seats

July 22, 2013

2014 Kia Forte

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.

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