Behind the Wheels of 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe XL


2013 Hyundai Santa Fe XL came along as a stroke of luck for test driving purposes and I was thrilled to get behind its wheels, that too for a week!

2013 Hyundai Santa Fe XL review

 Falling in love was very easy with the Santa Fe XL due to its agility in movement. The steering was sharp and the suspension it offered was really commendable as it provided a good balance between the ride and the handling of the vehicle.

 I am always paranoid about parking larger vehicles in tight parking spots. I worry constantly that I might hit a curb or trespass on the next parking space due to the wide berth of the vehicle I am in. But Santa Fe proved to be comparatively better than I thought. As long as I adjust my mirrors to get the best possible visual of my blind spots as I normally do, parking Santa Fe turned out to be easy in spite of its size.

Smooth maneuvering was part of the package of this Canadian Utility vehicle of the year due to its amazing design and sleek shape. 

 Hyundai Inside


I felt at home with Santa Fe’s quiet interior in a matter of few hours of driving it and some of the features (out of many) that attracted my attention immediately are as follows:


1.  Back up sensors (your best friend for ‘reverse/back parking situations- my favorite pet peeves )

 2.  Satellite Radio (Awesome! So many radio stations! Loved it)

 3.  Heated Steering wheel (Excellent feature for this price tag but didn’t use this that much since the weather didn’t warrant it. Not that I am complaining or anything)

 4.  Another feature of the steering wheel was the three levels of operating modes that you could play with while on the road- Comfort, Normal and Sport. This is a feature you could certainly live without but it’s nice to try out different levels of driving and enjoying while you are at it.

 5.  Power driver seat and automatic climate control.

 6.  Heated first and second row seats. (Again, didn’t get to use it that much. But I can tell this will greatly help during our travels in deep winter weathers)

 7.  Bluetooth (of course!)

 8.  Rear Door blinds/sunshades! It came really handy when the sun was strong in my baby girls’ side and all I needed to do to protect her from the sunlight was to lift up the shade and tada! Problem solved!

2013 Hyundai Santa Fe Review

I thought of it as pretty awesome since it neatly eliminated the task of buying separate shades which could pose serious hazards of its own in an accident.


 I was very surprised at the spaciousness that the Santa Fe offered in the front seats, middle part and in the back. I was truly blown away by the leg room in the midsection which smartly met my toddler’s needs of having a space of his own for his one -man soccer matches among other things that unfailingly takes place during those awfully long trips.


 There were cup holders and pouches to store things (even in the third row) and it was positioned to be easily accessible depending on where you are seated. I know no spilled juice accidents or snacks gone disarray are gonna happen with Santa Fe while my kids are in the car!  I so don’t want to clean up the mess after them this time.

 The climate control knobs were placed judiciously in the midsection and even in the rear highlighting enhanced convenience. I also loved the stylish design of the chrome wheels and the excellent power tailgate.

 Hyundai Groceries

More Specs of the Santa Fe XL- specific to the one I test-drove


Model Tested: Premium AWD

MSRP: $34,999

Engine: 3.3L GDI V6

HP: 290@6,400 rpm (  Allows Santa Fe XL to tow up to 5,000 pounds/2,268 kgms. Great to tow your camper, trailer etc)

Torque (lb-ft)- 252@5,200 rpm

Fuel Consumption (City/Hwy/Comb)- 11.7/8.0/10.0

Seven Passenger Seats (third row folds down for a HUGE trunk space)

 Ford Explorer, Nissan Pathfinder and Toyota Highlander are considered as the primary competitors of Santa Fe XL.


The fuel economy of Santa Fe is best in its class, thanks to its ‘Active Eco technology’. Usually most of the crossovers out there are cursed with the exorbitant amount of gas that they need, rightfully due to their larger size. By far, Santa Fe XL is free from that and is considered as impressively fuel efficient.

 Now, since all is said that is there to say about this amazingly stylish and incredibly fuel smart crossover, there is really no reason for you not to consider buying the Hyundai Santa Fe as your next family vehicle, is there? 


****Disclosure: This vehicle was provided to me for free for test driving for a week. All opinions expressed here are my own and they are honest*****


  1. We have owned an SUV before and loved it. However, the Hyundai Santa Fe looks a bit more luxurious and spacious. Your review of this vehicle is detailed and makes me want to buy one. Job well done.

  2. Sante Fe’s are really nice!.. My grandma used to have one.. it drove smooth and there was lots of room.. I have a Honda Pilot.. I love it as well..

  3. I recently test drove a Kia. I didn’t purchase it but it was nice to check out the features and benefits of multiple cars before making a final purchase. Since I have not made my final decision I think I will go test drive a Santa Fe after reading your review. Thanks

  4. These reviews always make we want to go out and get a new car! This one seems to have a lot of features for the price too.

  5. I am so jealous that you got to test drive the Hyundai Santa Fe! It looks like it would make a great family vehicle!

  6. Looks like a great car. I love the back up sensors. I have them in my car and they have protected me several times from backing up in to something I could not see. Also love the heated seats!

  7. I love the ammenties, especially the rear door blinds. I know it sounds silly, but it does help keep the car cooler in the summer months. I have never driven or ridden in in the Santa Fe… perhaps I’ll give one a spin.

  8. Such a great car, also the specifications are really awesome. Its really
    a good idea to have such a lovely car like the 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe XL.
    I really love this car and hoping that I could have one of this in the near future.

  9. I LOVE my Santa Fe! We’re not in the market now but I would definitely consider another one. We’ve had ours for 2½ years now and haven’t had any problems at all.

  10. Living in Florida, that Sunshade accessory is pretty warranted. Well, lately with all the rain you couldn’t tell. haha

  11. You have provided a very thorough review. This is the first time I’ve seen this car and I feel like I got some great information about it already. Thanks for posting!

  12. Sounds like a nice little SUV. I like all the extras like powered stuff and tech. Our cars are at least 12-23 years old so they don’t have much or anything at all as far as the neat power/tech options. I’d love to have a newer car, but I am not working because of back problems and my fiancee just went back to work today after being off for 4 months for medical reasons which they are still trying to figure out.

  13. This is one car i desire. its been a logn time since i had a car like this but it being so expensive i can only think of leasing it for a while and giving it back i loved the features no doubt and the review is exceptionally great

  14. I have never owned a Hyundai but have heard good things about them. It looks really nice a small SUV style sort of. Its really nice

  15. love the cargo area that it has.. great gas mileage is a must.. oh n not too mention u can get a tax credit for buying one..

  16. Wow, this has all the features I want: Back up sensors, climate control, heated first and second row seats and so many more. I’m in love.

  17. Great review on a great car! I love it. Will be buying a second vehicle this February after tax refund arrives. Would love this vehicle but as being a sahm this isn’t in our funds to get this, but it was fun to dream while reading this post.

  18. I hear these are great cars. I love my Toyota 4Runner, but I have to admit, I’d love the better fuel economy of the Hyundai Santa Fe.

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