The all-new 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe has already set in motion a new movement by Hyundai to attract buyers seeking an affordable crossover utility vehicle with room for 5 and several highly sought after amenities wrapped in a good looking versatile package. With the introduction of the new Santa Fe GLS and Limited trims with third row seating, the crossover segment has a much larger reach for Hyundai proving to set the bar just a bit higher when you factor in the over-all value.
The newest Hyundai Santa Fe gets a complete redesign for the 2013 model year introduced last year (2012). Since the conception of the new Santa Fe Sport model Hyundai promised a new trim level to offer third row seating, which is an adored feature for many who are shopping crossovers and have the need to transport 6 or 7 passengers. The two trim levels offered for a 3-row Santa Fe is the GLS and Limited. My 2013 Santa Fe Limited featured a 6 passenger seating setup where the 2nd row has captain chairs and the rear a two-seater 50/50 split-folding bench. Both 3-row capacity Hyundai Santa Fe trims are equipped with a new 3.3-liter DOHC V6 engine producing 290 horsepower at 6,400 rpm and 252 ft-lbs. of torque at 5,200 rpm.
The new powertrain on the Santa Fe Limited mates the V6 engine to a 6-speed automatic transmission with either front wheel drive or an advanced all-wheel-drive system. All trim levels for the new Santa Fe can be equipped with an optional all-wheel-drive system. My front-wheel-drive Santa Fe Limited test vehicle has a respectable amount of power for what is considered to be an extended wheelbase over the base Sport and Sport 2.0 Turbo trim level’s standard 5-passenger setup. Power delivery, though, is somewhat unpredictable due to a lofty rpm where the torque peaks.
The 3.3-liter V6 in the Hyundai Santa Fe Limited coupled with the transmission’s initial eco-mapping is like a virtual on-off switch at times. Basically, pressing the throttle through mid-range does not give you enough over-taking power on the highway. Subsequently, you are required to press the pedal nearly to the floor for a substantial downshift to take place and for the engine to really turn over to generate passing power. Unfortunately, this shortcoming tends to develop a bit too much of an abrupt power surge to the front wheels to either break them loose activating traction control or at least accentuate your senses to counteract a rash of mild torque steer. You can say the V6 engine and 6-speed transmission may need new ECU programming to give the Santa Fe Limited a better communicating mid-range power output, especially considering the V6 engine is capable of a decent 290 horsepower and 252 ft-lbs. of torque.
Looking past the unpredictable power delivery, the new 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe …read more