Hyundai came out with the second generation of the Santa Fe a few years ago and it was okay. But recently, the Santa Fe is greeted with a 'Ho-Hum' by most interested buyers. Maybe that is going to change – soon.
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 the longer wheelbase version will come out in early 2013. 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 upswept. 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.
The interior has been redesigned and is quite attractive, comfortable, and well-appointed. The Hyundai design engineers have used a sufficient amount of high-quality leather, soft-touch materials, wood trim, and aluminum to make the Santa Fe's interior look and feel very upscale. It is obvious that a lot of attention was put in the details, such as the door trim, knobs, switches, and stitching. It is definitely much more upscale than the previous models.
Hyundai is definitely on a roll and the improvements in this new Santa Fe will continue to keep them moving forward. The style, pricing, and powertrain are all impressive. This third-generation has leap-frogged to the front of the line and sales will probably reflect that move. The Hyundai Santa Fe has recently been named as winner of the COMPACT SUV for 2012-2013 AUTOJUDGE AWARDS.