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.
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.
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.
It’s easy to tell the Santa Fe Sport and the Santa Fe apart. Hyundai engineers and designers created the two impressive models together, with the vehicle’s side opening as the distinguishing feature. Meanwhile, the bigger Hyundai Santa Fe is crafted with an increased cargo room and passenger space next to the third-row seat. Moreover, Hyundai Santa Fe has its unique exterior character lines from the grille design, B-pillar rear, 18-inch Euroflange alloy wheels, a flush-mounted tow hitch structure, and chrome-tipped dual exhaust.
Both manufactured for passenger comfort and convenience, the Santa Fe models are designed with the same streamlined interior. While passengers are pampered with the heated and comfy rear seats and the standard folding rear seat back, the driver also gets comfortable with the eight-way power seat with impressive lumbar support. The 2013 model is also equipped with the 'YES Essentials', a revolutionary seat fabric treatment that gives anti-odor and soil-resistant properties that maintain durability and livability.
Exceptional attention and care also goes into other details of the car’s interior, including rear side window sunshades and a panoramic sunroof that welcomes into the cabin more natural light. There is also a push-button starter that is paired with a proximity key, along with an Electroluminescent Gauge Cluster with full-color LCD computer and a steering wheel that’s heated for comfort.
The Hyundai Santa Fe prioritizes comfort above all thus expanding the vehicle’s second-row legroom by as much as 1.9 inches and cargo capacity to as much as 5.5 cubic feet. It also comes with rear-passenger HVAC controls, while also providing a 50:50 split folding on the third-row bench seat with a wide legroom of 31.5 inches. Captain’s chairs are also available on the second row of the three-row Santa Fe.