2013 Hyundai Santa Fe Limited FWD / AWD Review

Posted on Hyundai

Given its corporate penchant for Hispanic-style names, Hyundai’s passing up the opportunity to differentiate its two Santa Fe variants by appending a simple Grande to the larger of the two siblings is a little surprising. But Hyundai kept the simple Santa Fe moniker for the larger, three-row version while dubbing the smaller, two-row variant the Santa Fe Sport. Go figure.

The Sport’s engine choices are fours: a naturally aspirated 190-hp 2.4-liter and an optional 264-horse, 2.0-liter turbo. The larger, three-row Santa Fe tested here operates with a robust 3.3-liter V-6 rated at 290 horsepower and 252 lb-ft of torque. This is essentially the same engine that made its debut in Hyundai’s 2013 Azera sedan, but because the Santa Fe is rated for heavier-duty cycles, such as 5000-pound towing, the powertrain engineers prescribed new piston rings, a three-stage intake manifold, a variable-output oil pump, and chromium nitrate electro-coating for the cams, rocker arms, and tappets to enhance heat resistance and reduce friction. The V-6 is teamed with a six-speed automatic transmission.

Respectable Propulsion

Those enhancements make sense. Leaving aside its towing capabilities and load capacity (gross vehicle weight ratings of 5512 pounds with front drive and 5622 with AWD), the V-6 has to propel more mass than does the sedan. Our test subjects weighed well north of two tons: 4161 pounds with front drive and 157 pounds heavier with all-wheel drive. The Azera tips the scales at about 3700 pounds, depending on equipment. Complete review on www.caranddriver.com, by TONY SWAN

This review is about 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe Limited FWD / AWD Review.