2013 Hyundai Santa Fe: Pretty Effortless for Commuting
January 21, 2014
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.
In most large crossovers and minivans, decisive maneuvers in expressway traffic are accompanied by at least a minor amount of drama: You wait for the transmission to downshift once or twice, and then you listen to the engine build up the requisite gusto to execute a passing maneuver.
But in the Santa Fe, I'm scarcely aware of this happening around me. Its direct-injected 3.3-liter V6 generates plenty of torque to satisfy my passing requests and general leadfootedness, and the transmission is quick to drop down a gear when needed. And this all goes down pretty quietly.
I also like the steering in our Hyundai Santa Fe. Not because it feels sporty, of course, but because it's precise and quick enough that you can guide the big crossover around turns and into parking spots with minimal effort.
Good visibility also helps out in these situations. I find our Santa Fe much easier to deal with in tight spots than our long-term 2012 Ford Explorer. And I think this has more to do with the Hyundai's better sightlines than any size difference (although the Ford was a few inches wider).
Erin Riches, Deputy Editor @ 13,480 miles