If you liked the new Hyundai Santa Fe Sport, but felt that it was just a little too small for your family needs, then take another look. The new long wheelbase (LWB) Santa Fe with three rows of seating and room for seven is now available and it is a honey of an SUV.
The Santa Fe Sport went on sale last year with a bold design, high-output powertrains with Gasoline Direct Injection (GDI) and a host of features to please consumers who wanted functionality, versatility and comfort. The latest third-generation Santa Fe (LWB) raises the bar even higher, with impressive performance, attractive styling, a high-quality interior and a laundry list of standard features.
Hyundai engineers designed the Santa Fe Sport and the larger three-row Santa Fe together, with the side window shape of the larger vehicle differentiating the two, denoting the increased passenger and cargo room behind the third-row seat. The Santa Fe also got its own body side character lines from the B-pillar back, a unique grille design, 18-inch Euroflange alloy wheels, chrome-tipped dual exhaust and a flushmounted tow hitch design.
The smaller Santa Fe Sport is offered in Base and 2.0T trims. Standard features on the Base include 17-inch alloy wheels, full power accessories, air-conditioning, a tiltand- telescoping steering wheel, Bluetooth, Hyundai’s Blue Link telematics system and a six-speaker audio system. The 2.0T adds a turbocharged engine, 19-inch wheels, keylessignition/entry, heated front seats and an eight-way power-adjustable driver seat.
The larger Santa Fe (LWB) model is offered in GLS and Limited trims. The GLS has much the same base equipment as the Base Sport, but gets more power with a V-6 engine. It also gains 18-inch wheels and sliding second- and third row seats for ease of access.
The Limited model replaces the secondrow bench seat with captain’s chairs, reducing the seating capacity to six; includes the Sport 2.0T features and adds a power liftgate, dual-zone automatic climate control, leather upholstery, heated second-row seats and a power passenger seat. Additional major options for the bigger Santa Fe include a navigation system, panoramic sunroof and a premium sound system.
For power, the Santa Fe Sport comes with either a 2.4-liter four-cylinder (190 hp and 181 pound-feet of torque) or (in the 2.0T) a more powerful, turbocharged 2.0- liter four (264 hp and 269 pound-feet). The larger Santa Fe has a 3.3-liter V-6 (290 hp and 252 pound-feet) and can tow as much as 5,000 pounds. A six-speed automatic transmission is standard across the line and all Santa Fe models have front-wheel drive as standard; all-wheel drive is optional.
Pricing on the 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport and Santa Fe models ranges from $24,700 to $34,850.
Ron Beasley is the automotive editor for Miami’s Community Newspapers. He may be contacted by calling 305-662-2277, ext. 261, or by addressing email correspondence to LetsTalkCars@aol.com