The 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport SUV offers a little something for everyone. Although it is placed in a competitive crossover category and may be overshadowed by others, this is definitely a vehicle worth giving a second look. A 2.4-liter four-cylinder and six-speed automatic transmission produce 190 horsepower and 181 pound-feet of torque. There is also a turbocharged version of this engine that boosts these figures to 264 horsepower and 269 pound-feet of torque respectively. What’s really exciting about this engine is that it returns an average of 23 mpg in the city and 31 mpg on the highway, which is pretty much unheard of in a sport utility vehicle. This is a vehicle that is a ton of fun to drive, and with a super small turning circle of 35.8 feet, it’s easy to maneuver too. This is not an SUV that will force you to give up those golden parking spaces because you can’t manage to squeeze into them. A four-wheel independent suspension ensures a smooth ride, but if you add on the 18-inch wheels, you can expect ride quality to be compromised a bit. Some consumers will be turned off by the fact that steering feels artificial and there is a significant amount of body roll, but at this price point, these flaws are easy to overlook.
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• Audio - Enjoy crisp sound with the Infinity Logic 7 audio system with 550 watts of power, 12 speakers and an available digital amp. There are also inputs, which allow you to connect your iPhone or MP3 player.
• Blue Link - This standard feature lets you use your smartphone to remotely start your vehicle, find a shortcut or gas station, learn about mechanical issues, etc.
• Rearview Camera - When you add this available feature, you get a view of what is behind you when you put the vehicle in reverse.
• Bluetooth - Easily receive, end and send calls with the tap of the button with Bluetooth wireless data link.
Crash and braking tests have not been done on the 2013 Santa Fe Sport yet, but with no significant changes from last year, there is no reason why it won’t score as well as its predecessor. The 2012 model was awarded a “Good” rating by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety in front, roof and side-impact crash tests. There are a ton of safety features to appreciate in this vehicle and the last starts with seven airbags, including one positioned at the driver’s knees to keep them from submarining under the dash. Other features worth mentioning include:
• Downhill brake control
• Hill start assist
• Vehicle stability management
• Electronic stability control
• Antilock brakes
• Traction control
• Emergency brakeforce distribution
• Child seat anchors
• Tire-pressure monitoring
• Front seatbelt pretensioners
• Emergency braking assist
• Rear door safety locks
The first thing you notice about the Santa Fe Sport is its chiseled body, which is complemented by a rear roof spoiler, fluidic sculpted headlamps, gorgeous wheels and body colored mirrors, door handles and bumpers. This is a simple yet attractive vehicle.
The styling of the interior is as nice as what you would find in vehicles much more expensive. It is simple yet classy, with controls that are easy to use and gauges that are simple to read. Although there is a lot of hard plastic, there is enough quality materials to offer balance. The driver seat is pretty high. So, although it does give you command of the road, some may also find it awkward. As for the rear seat, it is quite comfortable with plenty of legroom.
The 2013 Santa Fe Sport offers an impressive amount of cargo space. In fact, it almost competes with larger SUVs like Ford Explorer. Behind the rear seat, there is 32.4 cubic feet, but behind the front seat, there is 71.5 cubic feet.