2013 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport AWD

By ALAN GELL Modified: February 11, 2013 at 11:33 am •  Published: February 9, 2013
I was excited to learn I would have a new Hyundai Santa Fe for a week-long test-drive. This was the new Sport model and included All-Wheel-Drive. This vehicle may not be the most economical SUV on the road, but it certainly is one of the most capable. It certainly is winning awards. Weather in January can range from the sublime to the supreme, hot to cold, and sunny to ice storms. I was happy with All-Wheel-Drive, just 'in case.'

Hyundai has been making major advances into the North American automotive marketplace. When it was first introduced back in 2001, the Santa Fe was a terrific new-comer. It was a midsize SUV that was just the right thing for families. But, as years pass by, changes must take place for a vehicle to stay competitive.

For 2013, Hyundai is making some major redesigns and packing a new turbocharged engine under the hood, making some dynamic changes in styling, and fixing the prices to be highly competitive. Not only that, but there are now two different Santa Fe choices – the Sport, which is designed for 5 people and the 'regular' Santa Fe, which is designed for 7 people. The Sport will be more competitive in the Compact CUV/SUV category. The regular Santa Fe will stay in the Midsize CUV/SUV category.

Just recently introduced is the new Sport model and that was the weekly test model. The exterior color was called Marlin Blue. The interior was a dark gray. The Santa Fe Sport is a new name as well as a fresher appearance and redesign. The look is more aggressive and aerodynamic. The body lines are up-swept. There is a rear spoiler that adds a sporty look.

The base engine is a 2.4-liter, four-cylinder that provides 190 horsepower. This is more powerful than last year's base engine. Also available is a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder that provides 264 horsepower. Fortunately, this turbocharged 2.0 was the engine in the test model and that allowed me to feel 'the pedal-to-the-metal' a little more of the time.

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