Hyundai is optimistic that its redesigned 2013 Santa Fe crossover will tackle the brand's biggest weakness, which is attracting buyers who intend to use the vehicles to transport their families. The Santa Fe redesign presents an opportunity for Hyundai to boost its sales in the United States after most of its recent launches have been for lower volume products or variants of existing nameplates.
The current generation of the Santa Fe is the carmaker’s highest-volume crossover and its third best-selling vehicle overall. John Krafcik, chief executive of Hyundai Motor America, admitted last week that the largest gap in the carmaker’s growing lineup is in family vehicles. According to Krafcik, although American families want to buy Hyundais, the carmaker hasn't had many products in the crossover segment. Krafcik said the new Santa Fe is meant to fill that gap.
The 2013 Santa Fe is available in two sizes: a five-passenger Santa Fe Sport and a seven-passenger Santa Fe, which has a stretched wheelbase and increased overall length compared to the Dodge Caravan and Grand Caravan. The Santa Fe replaces the discontinued Veracruz crossover.
The Santa Fe Sport is targeted against crossovers like the Chevrolet Equinox and Ford Escape, while the long wheelbase Santa Fe is set to go up against the Toyota Highlander, Nissan Pathfinder and other larger crossovers. Interested buyers could now avail of the Santa Fe Sport, but they would have to wait until late December or early January for the long wheelbase version.
The 2013 Santa is characterized by a new sheet metal wrapping, marking an evolution of Hyundai's "fluidic sculpture" design language. Hyundai has suppressed the dramatic curves like those seen on the Sonata sedan. The new Santa Fe features sharper lines, straighter edges in sheet metal creases and smoother surface texturing compared to some of Hyundai's more dramatic recent designs.