The Hyundai Sante Fe entered its third generation for the 2013 model year, and boy was it a big change over the outgoing model. For starters, the crossover features a much larger grille with horizontal slats to go with larger and sportier headlight units. The side profile has also been reworked, bringing more dominating body lines and a much cleaner look. The rear quarter glass now swoops upward and comes to a sharp point near the roof. In the rear, the hatch wraps around the rear quarters more, and the rear glass is much wider than before. The taillights now take on a taller shape and new lens layout. The rear fascia has also been adjusted to give the car a more interesting rear end. Inside, the new Santa Fe could be optioned with a panoramic sunroof and premium window switch trim. Models with three-row seating now have increase legroom for the rear bench and cargo room has been increased by 5.6 cubic feet. Under the hood, you’ll find a range of 2.0-liter or 2.4-liter four-cylinder engines and is available in front- or all-wheel drive.

With a selling price in the range of $24,450 up to $29,450, the Santa Fe came to the market ready to compete against the likes of models like the Nissan Murano and the Ford Flex, but it still has a huge disadvantage: most competing models have V-6 engines available, where the new Santa Fe came with nothing bigger than a 2.4-liter four-cylinder. So, do the exterior and interior enhancements bring enough to encourage buyers to spring for the Santa Fe over other competing models? Check out the full review below to find out.

Hit the jump to read more about the 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe.

Exterior and Interior

2013 Hyundai Santa Fe High Resolution Exterior
- image 447281

Just like all of the other Hyundai models recently launched, the new Santa Fe is defined by the company’s latest ’Fluidic Sculpture" design language combined with a new design concept called Storm Edge, which captures the strong and dynamic images created by nature during the formation of a storm.

The new Santa Fe features a three-bar hexagonal front grille, LED accents, a low stance, rising beltline, black trimmed optional roof rails, and wraparound taillights. Hyundai is offering a chrome grille and door handle accents, bodycolor mirrors, rear spoiler, aggressive exhaust outlets, a lower bumper, wheel arches, and door trim in contrasting paints as part of the standard equipment package.

2013 Hyundai Santa Fe High Resolution Interior
- image 447288

The interior gets heated rear seats, eight-way power driver seat, and a YES Essentials seat fabric treatment that provides soil-resistant, anti-odor and anti-static properties for added longevity and livability. The new Santa Fe also features an optional panoramic sunroof, which allows more natural light into the cabin, and premium window switch trim. Models will come in a three-row configuration with increased legroom (by 1.9 inches) and increased cargo capacity (by 5.6 cubic feet).

Hyundai Blue Link

2013 Hyundai Santa Fe Exterior AutoShow
- image 447296

Blue Link is offered in three packages: Assurance, Essentials and Guidance.

Blue Link Assurance package:

  • Automatic Collision Notification (ACN) and Assistance
  • SOS Emergency Assistance
  • Enhanced Roadside Assistance

Blue Link Essentials package:


  • Remote Door Lock/Unlock
  • Remote Horn and Lights
  • Panic Notification
  • Remote Engine Start
  • Alarm Notification
  • Quick Tips
  • Location Sharing
  • Voice Text Messaging

Vehicle Diagnostics:

  • Automated Diagnostic Trouble Code
  • Maintenance Alert
  • Recall Advisor
  • Web Vehicle Diagnostics
  • Service Link


  • Stolen Vehicle Recovery
  • Stolen Vehicle Slowdown
  • Vehicle Immobilization
  • Valet Alert
  • Geofence
  • Speed Alert
  • Curfew Alert

Blue Link Guidance package:

  • Turn-by-Turn Navigation Service
  • POI Search by advanced voice recognition system
  • POI Web Search and Download
  • Daily Route Guidance with Traffic Condition
  • Traffic
  • Gas Station Locations and Gas Prices
  • Eco-Coach
  • Restaurant Ratings
  • Weather


2013 Hyundai Santa Fe High Resolution Drivetrain
- image 447264

The 2013 Santa Fe will be offered with a choice of either a 2.4-liter Gasoline Direct Engine (GDI) engine or a turbocharged 2.0-liter GDI engine - both previously used in the Sonata. The 2.4 liter engine delivers a total of 190 HP and lb-ft of torque. This engine has an estimated fuel economy of 23 city and 33 highway.

The 2.0 liter turbocharged engine delivers 264 HP and 269 lb-ft of torque. Hyundai’s 2.0-liter Theta turbocharged engine features a twin-scroll turbocharger that when combined with the GDI system, results in instantaneous power delivery.

The top version, the LWB Santa Fe, is powered by a 3.3-liter V6 engine with an output of 290 HP that is combined with a six-speed automatic transmission with SHIFTRONIC manual control.


Model Engine Transmission Drivetrain MSRP
Sport 2.4 liter 4-cylinder 6-Speed Automatic with SHIFTRONIC Front-Wheel-Drive $24,450
Sport 2.4 liter 4-cylinder 6-Speed Automatic with SHIFTRONIC All-Wheel-Drive $26,200
Sport 2.0T 2.0 liter Turbo 4-cylinder 6-Speed Automatic with SHIFTRONIC Front-Wheel-Drive $27,700
Sport 2.0T 2.0 liter Turbo 4-cylinder 6-Speed Automatic with SHIFTRONIC All-Wheel-Drive $29,450
Sport 2.0T - Saddle Interior 2.0 liter Turbo 4-cylinder 6-Speed Automatic with SHIFTRONIC Front-Wheel-Drive $27,700
Sport 2.0T - Saddle Interior 2.0 liter Turbo 4-cylinder 6-Speed Automatic with SHIFTRONIC All-Wheel-Drive $29,450


2013 Hyundai Santa Fe High Resolution Exterior
- image 447283

The list of competitors for the 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe is long and includes models like the Ford Edge, the Kia Sorento, and the Toyota RAV4.

2013 Santa Fe Sport (est.)
Engine 2.0-liter turbo GDI I4 3.5-liter V6 3.0-liter GDI V6 2.0-liter GDI turbo I4 3.5-liter V6
Horsepower 264 269 264 240 276
Specific output (HP/Liter) 132 78 88 120 80
Torque 269 246 222 270 248
Transmission 6-speed 5-speed 6-speed 6-speed 6-speed
Curb weight 3,602 3,529 3,825 3,998 3,781
Weight-to-power ratio 13.64 13.11 14.48 16.65 13.69
Fuel economy 22/31/25 19/27/22 17/24/20 21/30/24 20/26/22
2013 Hyundai Santa Fe High Resolution Exterior
- image 447285
  • Leave it
    Alina Moore
    Alina Moore
    Alina Joined the team in the early 2000s as one of the outlets very first experts, and she’s been with ever since. Over the years, she’s served various roles, but today she’s is relied on heavily to verify automotive facts, assist with formatting, and discover new and engaging topics.  Read full bio
    About the author
    What do you think?
    Show Comments


      (119) posted on 10.28.2012

    Not bad. This is a big improvement over the current sante fe. I think hyundai is coming a long way with their cars.

      (1332) posted on 08.30.2012

    Hyundai Santa Fe can really compete in the market because of its good specs and concept. As you can see, both interior and exterior designs are good.

      (647) posted on 08.14.2012

    2013 would be quite far for those who love this car on the first look. It really looks great for an SUV because it is the only model that will be released by Hyundai with a very good looks.

      (596) posted on 08.13.2012

    Great SUV. This one I think could become one of the best sellers upon launching. The color and styles are very good.

      (762) posted on 07.3.2012

    Although it has simple parts, it’s stylish in its own way.

      (402) posted on 06.29.2012

    It’s one minimalist but innovative vehicle.

      (372) posted on 06.5.2012

    I also think that the previous Santa Fe was received better.

      (630) posted on 05.31.2012

    If based on the performance, this Cabrera surely wins, but if based on the appearance, I prefer the Aventador. This looks at a down grade from Lamborghini. It doesn’t look like it’s for a future line-up.

      (501) posted on 05.29.2012

    Don’t you think it would look better if its paint job has a matte finish instead of a glossy one?

      (676) posted on 05.24.2012

    Hyundai must be proud that Santa Fe is a huge success on its first launch. Now on the 3rd generation of the Santa Fe, there could be a repeat of the success. 

      (4) posted on 05.14.2012

    2013 Hyundai Santa Fe looks quite alluring and offers extra luxury and style. Santa Fe has fastidious exteriors as well sophisticated interiors. The car has nice curves with good look grills on the front. All the new added features ads to the splendor and comfort of the car.

      (619) posted on 04.19.2012

    It’s probably best this way; the engine is only suited to its figure and capacity.

      (528) posted on 04.16.2012

    It has a mysterious feel to me probably because of its glowing aura. I hope I can see it run so I can judge it better.

      (570) posted on 04.16.2012

    From the moment that I saw it, I knew it has a different appeal, but I still didn’t like it.

      (444) posted on 04.13.2012

    It is subtly amazing! I didn’t expect this to captivate me, but yeah, it did!

      (595) posted on 04.12.2012

    It actually stunned quite a number of people upon its unveiling. What was perceived to be minimal turned out to be dynamic.

      (459) posted on 04.11.2012

    It seems like Hyundai worked on this really hard; the upgrades are evident on itself. I must say every aspect has been truly enhanced.

      (32) posted on 04.6.2012

    Why does hyundai want to tweak older cars?Why not make new ones...what happened to the damn designers in hyundai

      (580) posted on 03.30.2012

    Why is Hyundai recycling old ideas? Was this such a success that they can’t get over it?

      (399) posted on 03.27.2012

    I haven’t witnessed how this has evolved. I think that its dynamics is only fitted for its built.

    Car Finder: