Friday, March 22, 2013

Car Review: 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe (Coronado to Julian to the Zoo and back again)

I was invited to Coronado to spend some time with the 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe. I know what you're thinking, "Isn't that the same vehicle you drove in Utah last year?" Sort of, but not really, is my answer. Last year I drove the 5 passenger Santa Fe Sport. This time it was the larger 7 passenger Santa Fe.
We took a vehicle walk around to learn about the key features of the vehicle!
The driver console is nicely laid out with all the controls easily within reach.
The center console has more than enough tech to satisfy anyone. The Limited version shown here has an 8 inch touchscreen for the navigation and a 12-speaker, 550-watt, Infinity Logic 7 surround sound audio system. The display is bright even in direct sunlight.

The Santa Fe has a third-generation display that uses a simpler user interface, enhanced voice recognition commands and improved navigation screens. Common tasks such as synching a phone are shown using pop-up messages. The voice recognition system is greatly improved and can understand addresses in one sentence. A feature that I really loved was that the screen even tells you what the posted speed limit is.
There is plenty of leg room for the front passenger.

Your standard ports in the center console. Perfect for plugging in your smartphone and for charging it as well. I'm on my iPhone a lot so this was great to charge it on the drive!
Good leg room in the second row as well.
A handy feature is the pull-up shades on the rear windows. Love this feature! Perfect for those of you with kids to provide extra shading!
In the rear there is a plug for your laptop or portable entertainment devices. Perfect for those of you with kids and wanting to keep them entertained! Or for those of you like myself that have lots and lots of tech with them at all times!
I remember my parents old Dodge Caravan and you had to lift out that third row if you didn't need it. Well those days are gone! The third row folds down easily into the floor cabin to increase your amount of storage space if you need it.
My driving partner James Hills of and I started the drive in a base model Sante Fe.

The 2013 Santa Fe GLS has a great starting point at $28,350 for FWD and $30,100 if you go for the AWD. If you add the Popular Package, adding the roof side rails, heated exterior mirrors, fog lights, power driver seat, heated front seats, leather wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, and more, you are only looking at spenging an extra $950.

Now, it was time to hit the road! The Santa Fe gripped the road really well through the twists and turns in the foothills on our way to Julian, CA!

The  3.3L GDI DOHC 24-valve V6 engine provided more than enough power to get through the San Diego freeways and into the foothills. The engine also provides a towing capacity of 5,000 pounds! Perfect if you have a boat or other weekend toys!

Such a great day for a drive in Southern California! The cabin is extremely quiet.
The Santa Fe gets great fuel economy. Take a look at the figures below:
  • FWD City: 18 mpg
  • FWD Highway: 25 mpg
  • FWD Combined: 21 mpg
  • AWD City: 18 mpg
  • AWD Highway: 24 mpg
  • AWD Combined: 20 mpg
Once we made our way to the historical town of Julian, we ended up at the The Julian Grille for lunch.

Here we switched vehicles and drove the Limited version back into Coronado.

The Limited edition starts at $33,100 for the FWD and a small jump to $34,850 for AWD. For an extra $4,700 you get 19-inch silver alloy wheels, an extremely useful power liftgate, push button start, leather seats, power front passenger seat, backup camera, dual zone temp control, 115-volt power outlet in the cargo area, and more. If you add the Tech Package (an 8-inch touchscreen for the navigation and a 12-speaker, 550-watt, Infinity Logic 7 surround sound audio system), for just about $2,900, which will bring the a fully loaded FWD to $36,000 and $37,750 for AWD.

Our fun adventure on the drive home was a visit to the World Famous San Diego Zoo. I haven't been here in years and while I wish I had more time to go and explore, I will definitely come back again soon!
James and I had a great day! We even got our faces painted to show how wild we were about the Hyundai Santa Fe!

So, if you are looking for a quality CUV for you and your family, look no further. With a great price for a base model or a fully loaded with all the bells and whistles model, the Santa Fe is perfect for you and your family or just you and your friends. You can take this vehicle anywhere from the grocery store, to a night out on the town, to a weekend with your friends or family!

To learn more about Hyundai, "like" their Facebook page, follow them on Twitter, and check out their blog!

*Disclosure: The lodgings and expenses were covered by Hyundai! All opinions are 100% mine! Pictures above provided by myself!*


  1. Nice review. Any pictures of the base model interior? Thanks

  2. I realized that I didn't take any pictures of the base model interior but I see what I can do =)

  3. What a wild weekend! Love how you guys are literally "wild" about the Santa Fe.

  4. It was the least we could do to show our appreciation for a great weekend!

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