The Santa Fe was redesigned for the 2013 model year, and Hyundai’s popular midsize crossover SUV is now pulling double duty: The new vehicle is available with a longer wheelbase and a third row of seats, replacing the discontinued Veracruz.
The five-passenger version is now the Santa Fe Sport (pictured above), which gets by on a 2.4-liter four-banger that delivers 190 horsepower (hp) at 181 pound-feet (lb.-ft.) of torque, or the Santa Fe Sport 2.0T, which includes a turbocharged I-4 with 264 hp at 269 lb.-ft.
Despite the added power, the 2.0T only gives away a single mile per gallon. With front-wheel drive, the Sport and 2.0T earn 24 and 23 combined mpg, respectively.
Jilted Veracruz lovers can choose between the seven-passenger GLS or the six-passenger Limited, both of which run on a 3.3-liter, 290-hp V-6. The bigger vehicles’ fuel ratings are more traditional, notching 18 mpg in the city and, with four-wheel drive, 24 on the highway.
The exterior now follows Hyundai’s “Storm Edge” design concept. It’s distinctive, but more in keeping with recent model years than the Santa Fe of the early 2000s. The front grille and headlights have grown out and up, and the sheet metal forms a less boxy but not overtly curvaceous body.
The cabin was completely redesigned with upgraded materials and a new dash, console, instrument panel and gauge clusters. Each trim level is available with an optional navigation system and rearview camera on a 7-inch LCD display.
The base Sport comes with an impressive list of standard features, including power windows and mirrors, air conditioning, cruise control and 17-inch alloy wheels. An available option bundle adds heated front seats, a power driver’s seat and more.
Upgrading to the 2.0T includes the options listed above plus keyless ignition, 19-inch wheels and a racing-inspired instrument cluster. The GLS adds a sliding bench for the second row of seats and a 50/50 split third row. The top-of-the-line Limited features two captain’s seats in the second row and a number of luxuries, such as leather upholstery, a power liftgate and more.
The 2013 Santa Fe is available now. Prices range from $24,450 for the base Sport to $33,100 for the Limited.