2013 Hyundai Santa Fe V6

2013 Hyundai Santa Fe V6

2013 Hyundai Santa Fe V6

The Good:
– Great exterior styling
– Value-packed features
– Fairly comfortable ride
The Bad:
– Soft handling
– Most safety features optional
– No low-range gearing

The ubiquitous family sedan is increasingly under threat from the ever-popular crossover genre. And the latest Hyundai Santa Fe is a poster-child of this revolution. Previously just a cookie-cutter SUV, it’s transformed into an attractive wagon in its 2013 iteration.

The exterior styling is as resolved as it gets for a Hyundai, whose other designs have generally bordered on curvaceous overkill. In terms of size, the Santa Fe is a little longer than most other compact crossovers, but not long enough to be considered a midsizer. With 19-inch wheels, dual exhaust tips and judicious use of chrome in the top trim, it easily looks pricier than an Audi Q5 even.

2013 Hyundai Santa Fe V6 7

The interior is a detailed amalgam of shapes, which some may like and some may not. There’s generous amounts of soft-touch surfaces on the dash and doors, a welcome contrast to the hard-plastic cabins of its Japanese rivals. All armrests are padded as well, with leather upholstery that matches the seats in our top-spec test car.

Very spacious on the inside, the Santa Fe offers class-leading legroom for rear passengers, while headroom is not compromised by the panoramic glass roof. But then there’s those third-row seats thrown in there for the heck of it, very cramped and best used for kids under five. Drop down that split-folding bench, and boot space is massive.

In the top V6 version, there’s gadgets galore. There’s touchscreen navigation, rear camera, HID headlights, good dual-zone a/c, power-adjustable cooled front seats and even a Qiblah compass. Lesser trim levels still get rear a/c vents with third-row fan controls, panoramic roof, fog lamps and a decent CD/MP3 stereo with USB/AUX ports. Only the higher trim levels are blessed with stability control and side-curtain airbags though, in addition to the standard dual front airbags and ABS.

2013 Hyundai Santa Fe V6 4

We’ve driven both, the 174 hp 2.4-litre with 227 Nm of torque and the 266 hp 3.3-litre with 318 Nm, both mated to 6-speed automatics. The smaller inline-4 motor struggles to move the car, with a 0-100 kph time as high as 12.5 seconds in our February testing. We’d put down our money on the larger V6 motor, which managed the 0-100 kph run in 9.1 seconds, not particularly fast, but more than enough for the street. The V6 also burned 12.2 litres/100 km of petrol in our time, only a bit more than the 11.5 litres/100 km we got with the 4-banger.

On the road, the Santa Fe rides pretty smoothly, with no floatiness, and silent enough for a relaxing commute at 120 kph. In fact it’s smoother and quieter than both the Toyota RAV4 and the Honda CR-V in our measured tests.

But the Hyundai gives up some of its handling edge to keep that ride comfortable. Even with 235/55 tyres, it runs out of grip and understeers way too early. On sudden lane-changes, there’s sizeable body roll. And the steering offers limited feel, even if it has a gimmick to change the firmness at the press of a button. At least the stability control, available only on the V6, works well when it does lose grip, unlike the Renault Koleos that we spun into a wall last year. The ABS-assisted disc brakes work decently with linear pedal feel.

The Santa Fe is a crossover, but it’s got all-wheel-drive, a 50:50 4×4 lock and an “ESP off” button. With the right throttle inputs, it manages soft sand surprisingly well, although it’s best to avoid the steeper slopes due to the low front-end. There’s no low-range gearing either, but if you don’t know what that is, then stay off the loose stuff.

Hyundai’s march up the sales charts has been tremendous over the past few years, and the redesigned Santa Fe will only help towards that goal. Beyond the sporty-looking well-resolved styling, there isn’t even an ounce of sportiness to be found, and judging by sales figures, the kind of people who buy crossovers don’t really seem to mind. The Santa Fe gives them all they need in terms of value.

Price Range:
Dh 97,900-123,900

Current Model Introduced in:

Body Styles:
5-door wagon

3.3L 266 hp V6 / 318 Nm

6-speed automatic


Front: independent
Rear: independent

Front: discs
Rear: discs

Curb Weight:
1750 kg

4689 mm

2700 mm

Top Speed:
190 kph(limited)

Test Acceleration 0-100 kph:
9.1 sec.

Observed Test Fuel Economy:
12.2 litres/100km

What do you think?



  1. My only concern is why they won’t bring the extended version and sell that with the throw seater. it could easily be a much better volume seller ( and help get rid of that vacuum of removing the veracruz)

  2. Cheap Interior, Cheap Leather, Its a stupid car :S

    • How did you judge it as cheap interior? I bet you just watched the photos, I agree that it looks bland in black, but the two tone beige-brown interior looks amazing on it, go and check this car interior materials and compare it to Rav 4 for example, you will realize that the Rav is just a big joke of over priced crap, nothing padded or soft to touch in the Rav 4, in fact they added this checkered piece near the gear and the doors where i can file my nails !!!!

  3. Hi Mash,
    What is your opinion about Grand Santa Fe?

  4. I think that the older version had better interior quality materials.

  5. if its that good…………..y people are not buying this crap………i can find hyndai fanboys with toyotas and nissan………no real carfan wouls buy hyundais nd kias

    • Oh really, you need to have your eyes checked man, the roads are full of them, I just booked mine 2 weeks ago, still waiting, my friend who bought his car 3 months ago, waited for 45 days to get the car, they are working full capacity and not meeting the demand

    • samer…
      yup i have seen more rolls royce than hyundai-kia compained

    • @Samer: Hyundai and Kia are definitely on an amazing growth, and quickly becoming a popular brand. That said, I have seen the local dealer in the UAE, have multiple yards filled with their models, yet always seem to have a 2-3 week waiting period. Its just their way of ensuring that they create an illusion of higher demand while in reality they are more than capable of meeting existing demands.

      @nihal: I also feel the same as Samer, there are definitely alot of Kias and Hyundais on the road. Its not a rare sight to see 1 in 10 or 15 cars is a kia.

  6. Oh Samer,
    First of All, You cannot impose your opinion on anyone, I just read your comment and finally came to know that you just bought hyundai-kia and that is the reason your singing korean song alot. So its useless to say anything against hyundai :)..

    • It is not about Me buying hyundai, but it is also not logical for someone to come and say (i dont see Hyundais on road) are you kidding me, anyway, you just stay with your very nicely styled toyotas and keep ripped off by their service prices, they are very good value for money indeed, you buy a toyota, end up paying 200 K for the car, and then go sell it for 70 K, Yuppy I got very good resale value, I just lost 130 K, Im very smart !!!!!

    • @samer if its dat so can i sell a hyundai to u at atleast 50000dhs

  7. Aight man your smart lol 😀 now please smile, no need to get angry.. 😀

  8. Samer is right!! The cars are attractive looking, priced correctly and i can only c Kias and Hyundais on the roads these days

  9. I actually have test driven this vehicle and the handling is amazing loved the panoramic sunroof full marks to the overall design department as well would defenitely give Toyota and Nissan a run for their money

  10. Guys,
    If this means anything – I own a Hyundai Santa Fe which is nearly 7 years old. This car is value for money and had no major repairs outside of regular service.

    If you can live with a crappy dealership experience then there is nothing like it. By now I have either rented or test driven every model in the Hyundai line up and they are all amazing.

    Forget buying one, in Dubai its hard to even rent a Hyundai or Kia.

    Other Japanese manufacturers had their glory years in the past, now its time for the Koreans.

  11. @ Anil…. mine is just about less than a month old & working well, esp the design of d 2014 model gets heads turning in my direction as I roll down the road, with audi-styled looks…hope to sustain mine for 7 years as u did 🙂

  12. Dear all
    I love to drive manual gear car more than automatic because I feel I need to control the car while i’m driving instead the car controling me.
    but somehow in this country (UAE) none of the brand selling manual gear anymore. And the still available manual gear are old years cars.
    what is your opinion guys?

  13. HI all,

    i am about to buy a SUV, my wife likes the Santa fe cuz how it looks . i m comparing with Rav4 and Ford Edge. i see from the sepcs that the Santa FE is good but my worry is the resale value , u know how ppl here think. if it is not Toyota u fly a kite. i wish i can have more sincere advise. thank u all

  14. Assalamualaikum Mashfique,

    Which one is better Santa Fe or Ford Edge?

    Ford Edge has brilliant re-sale vale

  15. I bought 2013 santafe GLS, believe me I am struggling with this car, very bad suspension, very bumpy on small cracks roads. I went to service center but they said it is normal problems with santafe due to spring size. my advise dont buy this car (korean make)

  16. Hi All,
    Experiance from a 10 month SantaFe user

    I bought Hyundai SantaFe3.3 on Dec 2012 and so far 25000 Km has done, And i am happy with this car as it satisfies all my requirements,
    Fuel efficieny:95-Dhms- above 480Kms
    3rd Row – For Kids
    Interior – Excellent with many Features, Steering Wheel integrated with all features
    Exterior – As all you know
    Handling – good
    Drive Comfort – At the speed of 140Km also, car is smooth and less engine sound,
    Less sound from outside while driving and when car is on halt, you dont feel the engine is on.
    Breaks- ABS will help you to stop in emergencies (telling from my experiance)
    Initial Power – Poor (Once the car start moving, it will go fast).

    so for me, So far so good,
    All the best for the new buyers

    • Hi All,

      I will be moving to Dubai soon and looking the UEA market for a new car.

      How much should i pay for a new santa fe 3.3 in Dubai. What they normally offer in the deal like insurance, registration, etc…

      Thanks for reply!!!

    • Hi Sanju,
      Thanks for your feedback, I’m planning to buy a 3.3 Santa Fe within a month’s time, please advise me the overall performance and fuel efficiency.

      Thanks in advance,
      Haskar Ali

  17. Hello,

    Comparing a Pajero 3.8 & Santa Fe 3.3, both top ends, Which one would be a better option? Let me know to make the right choice, Thanks

  18. Very uncomfortable ride with the rear suspension of the Grand Santa Fe. Compare the position of the JOUNCE BUMPER of the Grand and Sport Santa Fe then you will see the problem: for a minimal load of 30 kgs for Grand Santa Fe, the jounce bumper touches the limit thereby creating a bobby or bumpy feel. This problem must be RECALLED! VERY POOR DESIGN!

  19. Using Grand Santa fe from November, drive almost 6000KM. And it is the worst Car. Uncomfortable and Too much outside noice. Bumby rides

    And Also the price is very high compare to US market and features of the car.

    I would say don’t go for it. I’m on the verge of selling it. Will go for Toyota Sequoia or Yukon

  20. Want to buy one car in 100000 aed . Which car shoul I buy.

  21. I’ve been using santa fe 3.3 for more than a year now and this is my honest feed back based on my experience. The car feels very wrong dynamically, there’s to much body roll and there ride is jittery even on slightly rough road. Fuel econmy is bad, i am always averaging above 14l/100km (i am not a racy driver). The brake doesn’t have a linear feel to it. Throttle response is very bad as well.. Better look for something else if your in the hunt for a 7 seater.

  22. its v nice car I love it

  23. Hi Guys,

    Reviewed Lots of comments, advantage and dis. advantage of Hyundai Santafe.

    What is your real opinion on Santefe 2014-2015 models which is running now. are they rectified the issue faced with existing customers or still the same?

    It looks good,Cost wise affordable, Fuel manageable, Korean Made, 7 Seating Option etc..

    All the big giants Car Manufacturer will have 5 yrs of warranty. As usual we all may look for new model after the mentioned year.
    is Santefe is ok to have if for 5 years time or not?
    Know that re-sale value is pretty much lower than Japanese Car, US, German etc..but i think Normal people may go for this by thinking of the maintenance charges for US, German Car.
    Even Japanese company Honda, their maintenance charges are very high compare to Mitsubishi, Toyota.

    So i wait for your true true Advise for this comment.

  24. I am the owner of a beautiful Santa Fe (model of 2014). My car is just 10 months old and I am extremely tired of dealing with absolutely incompetent people at the Al Quoz Service Center in Dubai. During the last 3 months I have had several issues: bad smell from the AC and wiper blades scratching the front window as the water splashes after they start moving. I even had to make several videos with my mobile to prove it, since they didn’t believe me. Yesterday i couldn’t switch on the engine, managed only after 5-6 attempts, don’t know the reason.So, i am extremely disappointed with the new Santa Fe and the Hyundai service…Appreciate any advice on how to talk to them. Thanks

  25. Hello SantaFe’s owners,
    My SantaFe is a 2014, 8 months old, 3.3l V6 model (10000 Km). I really like this car and enjoy driving it, my only real problem is the fuel consumption 16 l/100km combined, and up to 19l/100km city only (with AC on all the time) a full tank does between 260 and 340 km. I’ve measured the consumption using several methods. I went two times to service and they said they’ve checked and there’s no problem, and that consumption is normal for this big engine (3.3l).
    So please if some of you can give me the average consumption level on their 3.3l v6 SantaFe cars it would be great.

  26. Hi All,

    Can any one help me in deciding between Dodge Durango 4 X 4 V6,Santafe Grand AWD V6 or Yukon 2014 SLE (4X2. Any one having the experience of Doge durango ride quality and spare parts availablity in Saudi Arabia? Santafe Grand Ride quality? Any Honest feed bak please.

  27. I’ve got a santafe 2015, and to be honest I like this car so much .. it has all I need nothing less than what I want. Its fits me as a teenager and fits my family as well. The most feature I like about this car is its panaromic sunroof, its well-tinted and even if its opened while its sunny, it wouldnt get alot of sunlight inside the car. Im not the type of person who likes speed and drifting.
    If you’re married = get a santafe
    if youre not married = get a snatafe
    if you’ve got kids already = get a santafe
    santafe fits everyone because of its stylish exterior look and its interior as well.
    Im 100% sure it’ll fit you all.

    And ive read some comments about the santafe complaining about its effort. All I know is that The car will be perfect if the driver knows how to use it. :).

  28. I have a Santa Fe 3.3 V6 since 2013. It performs like a breeze even on low octane led gasoline, when fully depress the accelerator it kicks like a racing horse. Living in Baghdad with oven like summers and frequent traffic jams the A/C performs well (mine is non tinted windows) and very good on average speed. No maintenance hassle, only the regular normal oil/filter changes with the A/C filter and air filter changed once, knowing that we don’t have an official Hyundai dealer and maintenance center, all is done by regular repair shops.

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