Angelenos in need of a full-sized sport utility vehicle with excellent fuel economy for its class and a competitive price should check out the all-new 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe. On August 27, Hyundai Motor America announced that the Santa Fe crossover utility vehicle (CUV) had been named one of the top 10 new models for 2013 by Total Car Score. The vehicle was named ninth out of more than 30 new models hitting dealerships this fall.
Total Car Score is a prominent automotive and research comparison website. Editor-in-Chief Karl Brauer noted, “A huge slice of the public has held off on replacing their vehicles because of economic uncertainty. That means an unprecedented level of pent-up demand. This will eventually lead to a flurry of sales as consumers replace their worn-out cars with new ones. Automakers like Ford are well aware of this situation, and know the rising pressure on consumers will inevitably break loose with a flurry of buying activity. When this happens, every carmaker wants to be positioned to capture new vehicle shoppers with enticing cars, trucks and SUVs.”
Hyundai notes that the 2013 Santa Fe is the final piece in Hyundai’s “7/11 product initiative” (seven new or redesigned models in 11 months in the 2012 calendar year). It is also revolutionizing the CUV market through a combination of impressive fuel economy, “Fluidic Sculpture” design and cutting-edge technology. “We’re excited that Total Car Score recognizes the industry-leading capabilities the Santa Fe family is bringing to the 2013 vehicle landscape,” noted Scott Margason, director, Product Planning, Hyundai Motor America. “Offering buyers the best in functionality, comfort and styling, there really is no better way to conclude our ‘7/11 product initiative’ than with a true game-changer.”
The all-new 2013 Santa Fe crossover utility vehicle (CUV) comes in two flavors: the Santa Fe Sport and its new big brother, the longer wheelbase, three-row, seven-passenger 2013 Santa Fe. Both are designed for today’s family, with flexible seating and cargo areas; in addition, both sport Hyundai’s visually impressive “Fluidic Sculpture” exterior design. Both offer excellent performance due to efficient power plants and weight reduction. The 2013 model weighs 266 pounds less than the 2012 model. The all-new 2013 five-passenger Santa Fe Sport will appear at LA dealerships this month. Those interested in the larger model will have to wait until January 2013.
The Santa Fe Sport is powered by a four cylinder Theta II 2.4-liter Gasoline Direct Injection (GDI) engine, which puts out 190 horsepower with improved fuel economy and acceleration. It is rated at 22 MPG city and 33 MPG highway. A turbo version of the Theta II 2.4 liter is also available. It churns out 264 HP with only a slight mileage hit (21 MPG city and 31 MPG highway). The brawnier Santa Fe has a Lambda II 3.3literGDI V6 under the hood. EPA mileage is 19 MPG city and 26 MPG highway—not bad for a large vehicle that pushes a lot of air. All the engines are mated to Hyundai’s six-speed automatic transmission with SHIFTRONIC® manual control. According to Hyundai, this transmission offers smooth shifts and a wide ratio spread that suits the engine’s characteristics. An automatic transmission warmer is included to keep the transmission oil at its optimal temperature, which improves real-world fuel economy.
In essence, one has the choice of a sportier vehicle with better fuel economy or a larger capacity vehicle with a thirstier engine. Hyundai notes that the three-row Santa Fe increases second-row legroom by 1.9 inches and cargo capacity 5.6 cubic feet; in addition, it houses second-row HVAC controls and vents to increase family comfort, while also offering a standard 50:50 split folding third-row bench seat with 31.5 inches of legroom.
An available option for both Santa Fes is Active Cornering Control All-Wheel-Drive (ACC AWD) system that cooperatively controls engine torque and braking in conjunction with the Vehicle Stability Management System. Hyundai notes that this system can anticipate traction requirements and deliver additional stability through braking via continuous monitoring of driving conditions compared with other AWD systems, which can only react to conditions after they occur. All AWD Santa Fes access an intelligent control unit that continuously analyzes data from the vehicle controller, and through a multi-clutch plate distributes torque to any single wheel at a time. The coupling system is fully controllable via an electro-hydraulic actuation system. Braking force can also be sent to any single wheel at a time via the software. These processes are known as torque vectoring and torque braking. All this analysis is completely transparent to the driver.
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