It’s no secret that Americans have grown increasingly fonder of the Crossover Utility Vehicle, better known as the CUV, rather than the outdated Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV). Whether it’s the blurred line between SUV and Sedan, the surprising roominess, or the great gas mileage, the CUV is quite the crowd pleaser with most American drivers. Keeping up with popular demand and staying ahead of the curve, Hyundai has hopped onto the CUV band wagon with its newest addition to an already award-winning lineup, the 2013 Santa Fe 7-passenger CUV. Not to be confused with the 2013 Santa Fe Sport, which seats 5, the Santa Fe is roomier and seats 7. The Santa Fe is positioned to compete primarily against Honda’s Pilot, Toyota’s Highlander and Nissan’s Pathfinder, and secondarily against the Ford Explorer and Mazda CX-9. All the models are roughly the same size and have three rows of seats, which make them attractive for families.
Hyundai North America CEO John Krafcik stated not long ago to “expect a bit more maturity” from Hyundai’s swoopy themes, a notion that is very evident in the new 2013 Santa Fe. The new Santa Fe replaces the Vera Cruz, and is much more stylish and affordable as well. The interior has a modern look and feel, and is a pleasant place to be; it looks and feels more upscale than its pricing would otherwise indicate.
Hyundai has included a good amount of technology inside the 2013 Santa Fe as well, with BlueLink coming standard and a year’s worth of complimentary service. BlueLink includes voice text messaging, point-of-interest search capability and turn-by-turn navigation, plus extras like restaurant ratings and weather information. Users will also get monthly updates on the status of their vehicles. For added convenience, the system can remotely lock or unlock the car, remotely start its engine and alert the owner if the car’s alarm goes off. An eight-inch multifunction display in the middle of the dash is optional, which Hyundai boasts is the third generation of its user interface and includes voice activation.
Hyundai has taken the far-back seaters into consideration by giving them their own control panel for heating and ventilation, and going so far as to include a separate compressor for the third row. The Santa Fe also features well-placed vents for the way-back passengers, and built-in cubbies and cupholders. Second-row passengers also benefit with the Santa Fe with 1.9 inches of second-row legroom. Other desirable features include heated front and rear seats and steering wheel, and 12-speaker surround-sound audio system from Infinity that can be ordered on Limited models; Bluetooth connectivity joins the expected AM/FM/CD/HD/SiriusXM/MP3 capabilities as standard equipment across the board.
The 2013 Santa Fe is equipped with a standard 3.3-liter V6 engine and six-speed automatic transmission, which is impressive, offering up 290 horsepower and 252 pound-feet of torque. Fuel mileage on the Santa Fe is competitive for its segment, earning EPA-estimated ratings of 18 city, 25 highway and 21 combined. Hyundai also offers a button to put the Santa Fe in Eco Mode, which will improve fuel efficiency by around five percent. The impressive engine and fuel economy combine to give the Santa Fe impressive towing capabilities – it can tow up to 5,000 pounds.
Consumers have spoken, and the new CUV is here to stay. Those of you who fit into the “active lifestyle” category so coveted by every automaker should know that Hyundai has got a pretty appealing CUV for you to consider in the 2013 Santa Fe.
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