There is lots to like about the 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe. It was a good midsize SUV 10 years ago when we were shopping for a new family vehicle and they have done a great job keeping up with the trends and technology of today while keeping the price below $40,000. In all honesty, the heated steering wheel won me over, not to mention the INSANE cargo space.
While our family would probably do better in the longer 7-seater version, our family did pretty good in the 5-seater. It is a spacious sporty vehicle that fit my two gangly school-agers plus a car seat with no complaining apart from the fact that they found the rear windows to be small. Our version also had cloth seats and I think families need leather. It isn’t a luxury….it makes cleaning mess MUCH simpler. It really should be standard in all vehicles.
Apart from the giant, awesome cargo space that can fit TWO dogs happily or multiple school bags, trumpets, groceries, you name it, the Santa Fe pleases with many small things. I love the front dash, the little spot to put your phone or iPod is really nice. There is also storage UNDER the cargo space. The controls are all very intuitive and easy to figure out. The only thing that threw not only me but my son was where the gas cap release was. The door was not my first guess…but really, that is me and not the cars fault.
I will admit to be getting a bit spoiled by some of the types of vehicles I have tried out and found the fact this model was started with a (gasp) KEY to be disappointing. The start button is an option, but again, with the way car technology is developing, I think it should be a standard feature. The base model does come with many great features including power windows, ac, cruise control, adjustable steering wheel, hands free audio and phone controls with satellite radio, USB and auxiliary ports, Bluetooth and six speakers.
For a family car, comfort is not the only feature you look for. You want safety. The Santa Fe Sport version earned the IIHS (USA) Top Safety Pick for 2013. I love anything with rear cameras and sensors. I can’t say much about the engine, I am not an expert in this area, but I will admit to finding it to be a bit noisier than others and actually found the car to rattle a bit too. However, again for the price range, Hyundai is giving you a really smart looking, fun AND practical sport utility vehicle. I can’t really find anything to complain about.