Hyundai is a giant South Korean automobile manufacturer based in Seoul and it is the fourth largest such firm in the world. The company owns almost half of KIA Motor Company, as well, and has been in business for 45 years. In North America, Hyundai has designs on becoming the number three automaker in 2013.
This last week I had the pleasure of testing a new, 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport 2.0T, courtesy of Crossroads Hyundai in Loveland. Sales Manager Ryan Sackschewsky lined me up with a dealer plate and the keys and we were off! The Santa Fe is a midsize crossover that has been around since 2001, and was on the forefront of the crossover boom that started at that time. Styling of the 3rd generation Santa Fe is a hallmark of this latest model, introduced in September. Chrome abounds on the car, including a big grill, door handles, and dual exhaust finishers, and it was painted Moonstone silver metallic. The Santa Fe rides on attractive, 19”, ten-spoke Hyper Silver alloy wheels.
Speaking of abundance, inside the Santa Fe were both the Technology package and Premium Equipment package along with a panoramic sunroof. The packages allow the occupants to enjoy dual-zone climate control, rearview camera, 8” touch screen navigation, satellite radio, proximity keyless entry, premium 12 speaker Infinity 550-watt surround sound, heated seats (everywhere) and heated steering wheel. Of course the car is equipped with power locks/windows, tilt/telescope, USB/Ipod connections, and Bluetooth capability. This is an extremely luxurious vehicle, and lists for less than $36,000.
A nice feature also found inside the Santa Fe is a mammoth rear cargo area with 35.4 cubic feet. That expands to 71.5 with the 3-piece split rear seat folded down. That’s right; the rear, sliding bench seat is a 40/20/40 so that two skiers can ride along with their equipment in the middle.
Power for the Santa Fe is supplied by a turbocharged 2.0 liter, 200 horsepower, 4 cylinder engine with 264 horsepower, coupled to a 6-speed automatic transmission. The EPA mileage ratings are 19/city and 24/highway, and acceleration is reportedly zero to sixty in 9.1 seconds. The ride of the Hyundai is compliant and the handling is SUV-superb.
Interestingly, the Santa Fe Sport features both Hillstart Assist Control and Downhill Brake Control, items I would have loved to have on my rental car the last time I visited San Francisco. Such amenities are indicative of the value associated with this Hyundai Santa Fe Sport 2.0T, a car I would be willing to recommend to a prospective car shopper.