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2013 Hyundai Santa Fe Overview
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As part of Hyundai’s 7/11 product initiative, in which the carmaker redesigned or introduced seven vehicles in an 11-month period, the 2013 Santa Fe has been completely revamped. Gone are the previous generations’ GLS, GLS V6, Limited, Limited V6 and SE trims. The latest incarnation of the Santa Fe will be available as a two-row, 5-passenger Sport or 2.0T Sport, which will reach dealer showrooms in mid-to-late summer, or the three-row, 7-passenger LWB (long wheelbase) Santa Fe, which will eventually replace the Hyundai Veracruz and debut in early 2013. Each of the new trim levels will be available with front-wheel drive (FWD) or all-wheel drive (AWD).
Although each trim comes with a 6-speed automatic transmission with Shiftronic manual control, each is mated to a different engine. The Sport comes equipped with a 2.4-liter gasoline direct-injection (GDI) 4-cylinder, 16-valve DOHC engine that achieves 190 hp and 181 lb-ft of torque. The 2.0T Sport has a 2.0-liter turbocharged GDI 4-cylinder, 16-valve DOHC engine that reaches 264 hp and 269 lb-ft of torque. The LWB Santa Fe will have a 3.3-liter GDI 6-cylinder, 24-valve DOHC engine that maxes out at 252 lb-ft of torque and 290 hp, making it the only midsize crossover vehicle with a regular gas-powered V6 engine. The Santa Fe’s engine block is all aluminum and features both dual continuously variable valve timing and a variable induction system to improve gas mileage and engine breathing.
Speaking of gas mileage, the Santa Fe Sport is estimated to get 23 mpg city/33 highway when configured with FWD and 20/29 when upgraded to AWD. The 2.0T Sport is expected to get 22/31 with FWD and 20/28 with AWD. The LWB Santa Fe is rated to achieve 19/26 in either configuration. As an interesting side note, the Sport trims of the 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe have a towing capacity of 3,500 pounds. The towing capacity for the LWB Santa Fe has not yet been released.
In addition to strengthening the powertrain, Hyundai has found several ways to lighten the 2013 Santa Fe. For example, the FWD Sport is a full 266 pounds lighter than the comparable 2012 version. The Santa Fe 2.0T is 300 pounds lighter than the 2012 GLS V6 it replaces. In addition to being lighter than the previous generations, the 2013 Santa Fes are lighter than their competition, too. The Sport weighs 318 pounds less than a comparably equipped Chevrolet Equinox and 539 pounds less than a similar Ford Edge.
As far as standard features, the Sport trims of the 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe come with dual power manual-folding outside mirrors, a rear spoiler, air conditioning, rear window defroster, tilt-and-telescopic steering wheel with mounted audio and cruise controls, cloth seating surfaces, power windows, power locks, power steering, multi-adjustable front bucket seats with driver’s seat lumbar support, an AM/FM/CD/XM/MP3 audio system with 6 speakers and an iPod/USB auxiliary jack, the BlueLink telematics system and 17-inch aluminum alloy wheels (19-inch wheels on the 2.0T trims) with all-season tires. Front foglights, heated exterior mirrors, roof rack side rails, push-button start, an 8-way power driver’s seat with power lumbar support and a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob are standard for 2.0T trims.
The LWB Santa Fes come with the same standard features as the 2.0T Sport trims with some minor additions. The LWB has a windshield wiper deicer, dual-zone front automatic climate controls, heated second-row seats, leather seating surfaces, a color display monitor for the audio system, a rear-view camera and 18- or 19-inch aluminum alloy wheels with all-season tires.
Options available for most trims of the 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe include a navigation system with 8-inch color display, a panoramic sunroof with tilt-and-slide glass and a heated steering wheel. There are also a number of packages available, including technology packages, leather & premium equipment packages and a popular equipment package.
For safety and security, the 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe has 7 airbags: driver and front passenger airbags, driver and front passenger seat-mounted side-impact airbags, roof-mounted side curtain airbags with rollover sensor and a driver's knee airbag. Each trim is also equipped with a 4-wheel, 4-channel, 4-sensor antilock disk braking system with electronic brakeforce distribution and brake assist, a traction control system, tire pressure monitoring system, energy-absorbing steering column and an antitheft system with remote keyless entry.
The 2013 revamp of the Santa Fe, along with several other models in its lineup, show that Hyundai isn’t messing around and plans to take the crossover SUV market by storm. By improving the engine makeup and making the vehicle lighter, the Santa Fe Sport trims will have more available horsepower than their competitors, such as the Ford Edge and Toyota RAV4, as well as higher fuel economy estimates and a better power-to-weight ratio. The LWB Santa Fe, in addition to having a powerful engine itself, will also have more legroom than the Chevrolet Traverse, Nissan Murano and Toyota Highlander. Once the new Santa Fes begin rolling off the production line in West Point, Georgia, expect to see many of them traveling on your city streets.
by Mark S. Baker
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