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2013 Hyundai Santa Fe

$10,757 — $19,061 USED
Sport Utility
5-7 Seats
20-24 MPG
(Combined)
Key specs of the base trim
 — 
Compare 4 trims

Overview

Is this the car for you?

The Good

  • Interior quality
  • Optional captain's chairs (Santa Fe)
  • Driver-selectable steering modes
  • Available power liftgate
  • Massive optional panoramic sunroof
  • Third row air controls

The Bad

  • Lacks blind spot monitors
  • No power-seat memory function
2013 Hyundai Santa Fe exterior side view

What to Know

about the 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe
  • Seven-seat Santa Fe replaces Veracruz
  • Five-seater renamed Santa Fe Sport
  • FWD or AWD
  • Four-cylinder or V-6 engine
  • Six-speed automatic

Our Take

from the Cars.com expert editorial team

Cars.com Editor-in-Chief Patrick Olsen says that compared with the three-row SUV it replaces — the Veracruz — the spacious 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe is a considerable upgrade, but there's still room for improvement.

by Kristin Varela -

It's quite rare that a car fills the stringent requirements of each of my daily roles, but with just a couple of oversights, the 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe Limited comes close to being a perfect fit.

For 2013, the Santa Fe is actually two vehicles: the Hyundai Santa Fe Sport — which is a redesign of the five-seat Santa Fe that helped propel Hyundai's rise in the U.S. — and a larger, three-row, seven-seat SUV version called simply the Santa Fe that replaces the 2012 Hyundai Veracruz. We cover the smaller Sport separately (see the review); here we tackle the three-row Santa Fe. (Compare the two here.)

Similar vehicles worth researching if you're in the market for a three-row crossover are the Dodge Journey, Kia Sorento and Mazda CX-9. See them compared side-by-side here.

EXTERIOR
The exterior of the Santa Fe Limited manages to look fluid, sleek, modern and sporty all at once. Its slightly sloping, angled rear roofline leads to an angled rear window, as well, which intentionally brings attention to the greater passenger-hauling capability of the longer Santa Fe.

This smaller, angled rear window, while looking sharp, could cause some slight visibility problems for the driver.

FAMILY-FRIENDLY FEATURES
In this class of price-conscious three-row crossovers, it's quite tricky to find one with captain's chairs in the second row. The Santa Fe has them in its higher, Limited trim level, which reduces the total seat count to six. The lower 
Hyund...

by Kristin Varela -

It's quite rare that a car fills the stringent requirements of each of my daily roles, but with just a couple of oversights, the 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe Limited comes close to being a perfect fit.

For 2013, the Santa Fe is actually two vehicles: the Hyundai Santa Fe Sport — which is a redesign of the five-seat Santa Fe that helped propel Hyundai's rise in the U.S. — and a larger, three-row, seven-seat SUV version called simply the Santa Fe that replaces the 2012 Hyundai Veracruz. We cover the smaller Sport separately (see the review); here we tackle the three-row Santa Fe. (Compare the two here.)

Similar vehicles worth researching if you're in the market for a three-row crossover are the Dodge Journey, Kia Sorento and Mazda CX-9. See them compared side-by-side here.

EXTERIOR
The exterior of the Santa Fe Limited manages to look fluid, sleek, modern and sporty all at once. Its slightly sloping, angled rear roofline leads to an angled rear window, as well, which intentionally brings attention to the greater passenger-hauling capability of the longer Santa Fe.

This smaller, angled rear window, while looking sharp, could cause some slight visibility problems for the driver.

FAMILY-FRIENDLY FEATURES
In this class of price-conscious three-row crossovers, it's quite tricky to find one with captain's chairs in the second row. The Santa Fe has them in its higher, Limited trim level, which reduces the total seat count to six. The lower 
Hyundai Santa Fe GLS trim has the usual bench seat for three. My family is in the market for a three-row crossover, and I won't even look at something without captain's chairs. I have one (sometimes two) kids still in booster seats, which generally get installed in the outboard positions of the second row, depending upon the dimensions of the car and the seats. I don't care how easy a car manufacturer claims it is to flip, flop, fold or slide the second-row bench to get to the third row; nothing is as easy for kids as simply slipping through a passageway between captain's chairs.

The captain's chairs in the Santa Fe Limited have the added benefit of also folding and/or sliding, customizing the interior of the car with additional legroom in either the second or third row, depending where you need it.

The Limited version I drove had standard heated leather seats for the driver and passenger as well as in the second row. An additional $2,900 Technology Package pushed the luxury quotient much higher than I was anticipating with a massive panoramic moonroof (it's so impressive even an adult would ride in the "way back" just for the wide-open sky view), a heated steering wheel and rear side window sunshades.

The third-row passengers have control over their own heat and air conditioning, with the ability to turn their air on or off, adjust the direction of airflow toward their feet or heads, adjust the speed of their airflow, and control the temperature. This is a feature I haven't seen in any other car in the class; most three-row crossovers are lucky to have an air vent back there.

The third row is split 50/50 and folds flat via pull tabs on the back of the seats, giving you the ability to increase cargo space when you need to switch from a normal grocery run to a Costco run. Pulling a release lever in the cargo area instantly folds the second row seats, as well, increasing cargo space even further. There's also a standard home, 115-volt power outlet in the cargo area. While I love the idea of being able to plug a slew of electronics into the car, this feature would be more useful in the main passenger compartment than in the cargo area.

The Hyundai Santa Fe Limited I drove came with a standard keyless entry and proximity key with push-button start, a power liftgate, a backup camera and power-adjustable driver and passenger seats.

Now onto one of those blatant oversights I mentioned earlier: There's no memory function for the multi-adjustable power driver's seat. In my family, I tend to drive the kids around all day and my husband (who is nearly a foot taller than me) often switches into the driver's seat for evening hauls home from the dance studio or piano lessons. The next morning when I get back in, I have to start over from scratch to find the perfect position in the eight-way adjustable seat, not to mention adjust the side mirrors, as well. This is just plain annoying; I'd much rather just push a button and have the car "remember" me and move around to custom-fit my 5-foot, 3-inch frame. Or better yet, it should remember my settings based on the key I use.

IT'S THE LITTLE THINGS THAT COUNT
Storage Compartments (Puny, Fair, Ample, Galore): Ample
Cargo/Trunk Space (Puny, Fair, Ample, Galore): Ample

SENSE AND STYLE
Family Friendly (Not Really, Fair, Great, Excellent): Excellent
Fun-Factor (None, Some, Good Times, Groove-On): Good Times

BEHIND THE WHEEL
I've become increasingly aware recently of the difficulty in finding a seven-passenger vehicle I like both as a driver and as a passenger. As a driver, I prefer a slightly tighter, more car-like feel, with enough steering feedback to feel connected to the road and enough give to the suspension to not have my brains jiggled about driving to and from school each day. As a passenger, however, I want to feel like I'm being chauffeured around, surrounded by softness and luxury.The Santa Fe Limited fits the bill thanks to a comfortable suspension and standard driver-selectable steering modes. The driver can select among Comfort, Normal and Sport modes via the press of a button on the steering wheel, creating a softer or firmer feel to the steering feedback. I prefer to go through the day in Sport mode, as that feels most familiar to me given my current personal car is a small sedan. My husband chose the Comfort mode, which seemed to be very forgiving, smoothing out any herks or jerks passengers may feel from a more heavy-handed driver.

The Santa Fe Limited's 3.3-liter V-6 engine with optional all-wheel drive has plenty of get up and go on both city streets and highways. Braking is smooth, with an acceptably linear feel through the entire braking cycle, and there is little to no tilt or roll in the corners.

The AWD Hyundai Santa Fe gets an EPA-estimated 18/24/20 mpg city/highway/combined. The standard FWD gets an estimated 18/25/21 mpg.

SAFETY
The 2013 
Hyundai Santa Fe is a Top Safety Pick, having received top crash scores of Good in all tests conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

The Hyundai Santa Fe comes with seven standard airbags: driver and front passenger, driver and front passenger seat-mounted side-impact airbags, side curtain airbags, and a driver knee airbag.

As has been required since the 2012 model year, the Santa Fe has standard antilock brakes, electronic stability control and traction control.

The second-row captain's chairs in the Santa Fe Limited are a dream for families with kids of booster-seat age. They recline quite a bit, allowing parents to take the edge off for kids who still nap in the car (slumping over the seat belt just can't be comfortable or safe). This also allows for a more custom fit with different car seats or booster seats that have slightly different angles to their backs.

The seat belt buckles in the captain's chairs are on stable bases, making them easy for kids with small hands and limited dexterity to buckle independently. The belt buckles in the third row are on more floppy nylon bases, but as you'd generally put bigger kids in the "way back," that shouldn't be a problem.

The other oversight is the lack of blind spot monitors in the Santa Fe Limited, as is true on Hyundai's entire 2013 product line. Other car manufacturers have taken to installing these as either standard or optional equipment, even on budget-priced cars like the $20,000 Dodge Dart — so much so that I've grown to appreciate and even rely on them in all the highway driving my family and I do. While Hyundai representatives can't comment upon future product development, we know that the 2014 Hyundai Equus will have blind spot monitors, so I'm crossing my fingers they start to find their way into Hyundai's other vehicles, as well.

See all the standard safety features listed here.

IN THE MARKET
In the past years, crossovers have become increasingly powerful players in the market. With the Santa Fe Limited topping out close to $40,000, it may not seem like a base-price budget- or entry-level option. However, compared side by side with similarly equipped models, the Santa Fe Limited offers more features, higher-quality fit and finish, and of course Hyundai's legendary 10-year, 100,000-mile powertrain warranty — which may be difficult for savvy, value-conscious shoppers to resist.

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Consumer Reviews

What drivers are saying

4.7
106 reviews — Read All reviews
Exterior Styling
(4.8)
Performance
(4.5)
Interior Design
(4.7)
Comfort
(4.7)
Reliability
(4.6)
Value For The Money
(4.6)

Read reviews that mention:

(5.0)

Friendly, Helpful, Hard working people there

by Kelli from Honolulu, HI on November 2, 2018

Great Family Car, sales department, service department, parts department everyone at Tony Hyundai Waipio and Honolulu so friendly, helpful and understandable, always like going to service my car at ... Read full review

(5.0)

Fun vehicle for the family

by wck2018 on September 22, 2018

This car works for a full family but at the same time its powerful and fun to drive, we love it. It is also the quietest in the cab that we have experienced. Read full review

Safety

Recalls and crash tests

Recalls

The 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe currently has 3 recalls


Crash and Rollover Test Ratings

Based on 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport

IIHS rates vehicles good, acceptable, marginal, or poor.

Head Restraints and Seats

Dynamic Rating
good
Overall Rear
good
Seat Head/Restraint Geometry
good

Moderate overlap front

Chest
good
Head/Neck
good
Left Leg/Foot
good
Overall Front
good
Restraints
good
Right Leg/Foot
good
Structure/safety cage
good

Other

Roof Strength
good

Side

Driver Head Protection
good
Driver Head and Neck
good
Driver Pelvis/Leg
good
Driver Torso
good
Overall Side
good
Rear Passenger Head Protection
good
Rear Passenger Head and Neck
good
Rear Passenger Pelvis/Leg
good
Rear Passenger Torso
good
Structure/safety cage
good
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) is a nonprofit research and communications organization funded by auto insurers.

Warranty

New car and certified pre-owned programs by Hyundai

New Car Program Benefits

  • Bumper-to-Bumper

    60 months / 60,000 miles

  • Powertrain

    120 months / 100,000 miles

  • Roadside Assistance

    60 months / unlimited distance

Certified Pre-Owned Program Benefits

  • Maximum Age/Mileage

    Newer than 5 model years/less than 60,000 miles

  • Basic Warranty Terms

    5 years/60,000 miles (from remainder of original)

  • Powertrain

    10 years/100,000 miles and 10 years/100,000 miles for hybrid/electric vechicle batteries.

  • Dealer Certification Required

    150-point inspection

  • Roadside Assistance

    Yes

  • View All CPO Program Details

Latest 2013 Santa Fe Stories

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Cars.com Car Seat Check

Certified child passenger safety technicians conduct hands-on tests of a car’s Latch system and check the vehicle’s ability to accommodate different types of car seats. The Santa Fe received the following grades on a scale of A-F.*

Third-row access

B

Infant seat

A

Booster

(second row)

B

Booster

(third row)

B

Latch or Latch system

A

Forward-facing convertible

(third row)

A

Forward-facing convertible

(second row)

A

Rear-facing convertible

A
* This score may not apply to all trims, especially for vehicles with multiple body styles that affect the space and design of the seating.

Warranty FAQs

What is a Bumper-to-Bumper warranty?

Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance like fluid top offs and oil changes, but a few brands have separate free-maintenance provisions, and those that do offer them is slowly rising. Bumper-to-bumper warranties typically expire faster than powertrain warranties.

What is a Powertrain warranty?

Don't be misled a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty doesn't promise a decade of free repairs for your car. It typically covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like the driveshaft and constant velocity joints. Some automakers also bundle seat belts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don't cover regular maintenance like engine tuneups and tire rotations.

What is included in Roadside Assistance?

Some automakers include roadside assistance with their bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranties, while others have separate policies. These programs cover anything from flat-tire changes and locksmith services to jump-starts and towing. Few reimburse incidental costs like motel rooms (if you have to wait for repairs).

What other services could be included in a warranty?

Some automakers include free scheduled maintenance for items such as oil changes, air filters and tire rotations. Some include consumables including brake pads and windshield wipers; others do not. They are typically for the first couple of years of ownership of a new car.

What does CPO mean?

A certified pre-owned or CPO car has been inspected to meet minimum quality standards and typically includes some type of warranty. While dealers and third parties certify cars, the gold standard is an automaker-certified vehicle that provides a factory-backed warranty, often extending the original coverage. Vehicles must be in excellent condition and have low miles and wear to be certified, which is why off-lease vehicles feed many CPO programs.

See also the latest CPO incentives by automaker