?Hyundai?s 2013 Santa Fe Sport: A Rocky Mountain High”
Park City, Utah – Hyundai Motor America recently staged a major product launch program for their all-new 2013 Santa Fe Sport at an elevation of more than 8,200 feet. Most auto manufacturers would shy away from introducing a new vehicle at such an altitude because of the thin air and generally diminished performance capability. Not Hyundai though, since their confidence level in their new 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cyliunder vehicle was as high as the Rockies.
The all-new third generation Hyundai Santa Fe creates a new image on the family-oriented CUV scene with a unique two-wheelbase strategy, a progressive design execution that reflects Hyundai?s ?fluidic precision sculpture? styling, varied efficient power? sources and significantly upscale amenities and technological features. The Santa Fe will come in two formats: the 5-passenger Santa Fe Sport; and a longer wheelbase (plus 3.9-inches), three-row, seven passenger Santa Fe model due to bow later this year, which will replace the Veracruz.
Based on an all-new crossover architecture, both Santa Fe versions will deliver an appropriate relative sized vehicle to choose from, along with elevated levels of flexibility and functionality. The Santa Fe Sport will feature a two four-cylinder engine lineup: a 2.4-liter Theta II GDI, 190 horsepower engine that boasts the highest highway fuel economy of any CUV/SUV equipped with an automatic transmission (an EPA estimated 33 mpg);? and a high-output Theta II 2.0-liter turbocharged GDI with 264 horsepower capable of an estimated 31-mpg on the highway for a FWD/automatic transmission model. The LWB example of the Santa Fe will be powered by a Lambda II 3.3-liter GDI, 290 horsepower V6 engine – the only midsize CUV with a standard direct injection V6 engine.
Four models of the Santa Fe will be offered: the base 2.4-liter, 4-cylinder Santa Fe Sport; and the 2.0T 4-cylinder Santa Fe Sport. The LWB 3.3-liter Santa Fe?will come in two levels of trim: the GLS Santa Fe; and the Santa Fe Limited.
In terms of the Santa Fe Sport?s appearance, the ?Fluidic Sculpture? design language displays a futuristic image through a new styling concept referred to as Storm Edge, which seems to capture powerful and dynamic essence created by Mother Nature during the formation of a storm. The vehicle?s lines suggest smooth and constant forward motion even when at a standstill. Up front is a three-bar hexagonal chrome grille and LED headlamp accents. The profile?exhibits a low stance, rising beltline from front to rear and a roof mounted rear spoiler. The rear finishes off with wraparound taillights and twin-tip chrome exhaust. Other upscale styling elements include chrome door handle accents and body-color mirrors, as well as 19-inch alloy wheels. The Santa Fe Sport and longer Santa Fe are differentiated by the side view daylight opening (window shape). The latter Santa Fe features a shape that emphasizes the increase in passenger and cargo room behind the second row seating, with its own bodyside character lines from the ?B? pillar back. The grille design also differs as do the exhaust tips. The Santa Fe rolls on 18-inch wheels and comes with a flush -mounted tow hitch design. There are nine exterior colors available.
The interior of both Hyundai Santa Fe models mirrors the same flowing styling as the exterior. Impressive features include: heated front and rear seats, a 40/20/40 reclining/folding/sliding second row seat, innovative rear under-floor storage, a cooled glove box, heated steering wheel, rear side window sunshades, electroluminiscent gauge ckuster with color LCD Trip Computer, Proximity key with push-button start feature, YES Essentials fabric treatment for cloth seats that provides soil-resistant, anti-odor and anti-static properties – great for accident prone family members. A huge Panoramic sunroof is an available option for added interior light and a feeling of spaciousness. There are four interior colors available with varying trim accents.
Technology abounds with such offerings as: an optimal AWD system in the form of the Dynamax by Magna Powertrain, which is a fully-active AWD coupling with an electro-hydraulic torque control via a multi-plate clutch; Active Cornering Control that provides optimal torque distribution, delivering a higher level of safety through improved lateral stability in curves; best-in-class braking performance; Driver Selectable Steering Mode with three different steering calibrations – Normal, Sport and Comfort; Hillstart Assist; Downhill Brake Control; Brake Assist; Traction Control System; 7 standard airbags; Rollover sensors; ESC and ABS. There?s also an Active ECO system.
Available entertainment and connectivity are not forgotten either with the following: Base audio with Bluetooth wireless streaming, a 4.3 Touchscreen Color Audio with rearview camera, an 8-inch Touchscreen Navigation with rearview camera, HD radio technology and song tagging, 12-speaker Infinity?Logic 7 Surround Sound (550-watt) Audio and Hyundai Blue Link Telematics. Option packages include: a Popular Equipmet Package, a Leather & Premium Equipment Package and a Technology Package.
Pricing will range from $24,450 fro a base Hyundai Santa Fe Sport 2.4-liter FWD to $34,800 for a Hyundai Santa Fe Sport 2.0T AWD Technology. Add $825 for Destination charge. LWB Santa Fe pricing has yet to be announced.
The 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport managed to shed 266 pounds from the current model and the Santa Fe has dropped 397 pounds from that of ther Veracruz that it replaces.
My driving partner and I piloted a Hyundai Santa Fe Sport AWD 2.0T with an exterior finhed in Cabo Bronze with a Beige interior. The base sticker read $29,450 while the final Monroney totaled $35,925. After adding the Leather & Premium Equipment Package, Technology Package, maual rear side window sunshades, carpeted floor mats, cargo net and cover and Inland Freight and Handling charge.
SUMMARY: ?The 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport 2.0T AWD performed flawlessly on a round trip from the Montage Resort and Spa and back, with a lunch stop and tour of Robert Redford?s Sundance resort midway, and a Utah Forestry division road thrown in to demonstrate the AWD capability.
The 2.0-liter turbocharged GDI? four-banger never missed a beat and didn?t even breathe hard, despite the high elevation. The ride quality was smooth and comfortable and the handling characteristics delivered a sporty feedback with an on-center feel.
The Hyundai Santa Fe Sport delivers extremely good looks, a high level of operational efficiency, great versatility and functionality, confidence-building safety features and outstanding value in an exceptional CUV. Given the various build combinations, there?s literally a Santa Fe Sport or Santa Fe to suit nearly everyone?s needs and taste. Add what Hyundai claims to be America?s best warranty, and the Santa Fe lineup becomes an even more attractive proposition.
SPECIFICATIONS: Hyundai Santa Fe Sport 2.0T AWD -?13
|Price as Tested:||$35,925|
|Engine Type and Size:||2.0-liter, DOHC, 16-valve, turbocharged inline 4-cylinder with GDI|
|Horsepower (bhp):||264 @ 6,000 rpm|
|Torque (ft./ lbs.):||260 @ 1,750-3,000 rpm|
|Transmission:||Electronically controlled 6-speed automatic|
|Drive Train:||Transversely mounted front engine / DYNAMAX AWD System|
|Suspension:||Front – MacPherson strut with twin-tube, gas-filled dampers and 26-mm stabilizer bar. Rear – Mult-link with gas shock absorbers and 19-mm stabilizer bar|
|Brakes:||Power-assisted four-wheel discs (ventilated front) with 4-wheel, 4-channel, 4-sensor ABS, EBD and Brake Assist|
|Tires:||Continental Cross Contact – Cross LX Sport 235/55 R19 101 H mounted on 5-double-spoke alloy wheels|
|Length Overall:||184.6 inches|
|Curb Weight:||3,706 lbs|
|Fuel Capacity:||17.4 gallons|
|EPA Mileage Estimates:||22 mpg city / 27 mpg highway|
|0 – 60 mph:||Not tested|