2013 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport Overview
For 2013, Hyundai gave an overdue refresh to the Santa Fe and in doing so, split the midsize crossover into two separate models. Where there was once just one Santa Fe, there are now two versions, one of which is the Santa Fe Sport which is covered here.
The Santa Fe Sport is the smaller of the two models, with two rows of seating (up to five passengers) and a pair of four cylinder engines. The Santa Fe nameplate now refers to a three-row variant (up to seven passengers) that comes with a V-6 and is covered separately on this site. Santa Fe Sport models are 8.5-inches shorter than the Santa Fe, a move that we like from Hyundai; it doesn’t make sense to try to cram three-rows of seats onto a chassis meant for two rows, and vice versa. Maybe more importantly, the Santa Fe Sport is also significantly lighter (266 pounds at least) which improves fuel economy and driving dynamics.
Much work has gone into updating the Santa Fe Sport’s exterior and it shows; styling takes on a similar slant to what can be seen on the Genesis Coupe with sharply angled headlamps and a hexagonal front grille. Behind that it’s all fluidic design with numerous creases running off the hood and down the sides of the Santa Fe Sport. 17-inch wheels are standard, while 19-inch wheels come with turbocharged models.
Under the hood, there is a pair of four-cylinder engine options. The base engine is a 190-horsepower, 2.4-liter four-cylinder with direct-injection, while the upgraded engine is a 264-horsepower, turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder borrowed from the Sonata Turbo. A six-speed automatic transmission is standard, as is drive-selectable steering which alters the steering response based on the driver’s desired mode. All-wheel drive is optional, and the Santa Fe Sport can tow up to 3,500 pounds with both engines.
Fuel economy ratings are competitive for the Santa Fe Sport’s class. The best fuel economy is achieved with the base engine, 22 mpg in the city and 33 mpg on the highway. Turbo models come in behind that with 21/31 mpg city/highway. Opting for all-wheel drive drops these figures slightly.
Inside, the cabin is filled with soft touch materials and higher trim levels even offer some faux wood trim pieces. Hyundai has really stepped up the quality of their interiors over the last several years and the Santa Fe Sport is no exception with a modern looking dash that has overlapping layers resulting in a sophisticated look. The standard features list is long; keyless entry, a 40/20/40 split folding rear seat, air conditioning, USB/iPod port, Bluetooth connectivity, and Hyundai’s BlueLink telematics system come on every model. There are also plenty of upscale options such as leather upholstery, heated front seats, a panoramic moonroof, dual-zone automatic climate control, and a navigation system with an 8-inch touchscreen.
Standard safety features include seven airbags, antilock brakes, and an electronic stability system.
The 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport is a great looking midsize crossover with plenty of standard features and over 30 mpg on the highway with both engines.