Last August, I was introduced to the new Hyundai Santa Fe Sport in Park City and fell in love driving through the mountains of Utah. Just last month, Hyundai introduced the three-row Santa Fe and invited me to Coronado, California to test drive it all over the San Diego area.
I’m trying to figure out a way to convince Hyundai to send one to my house. This is a car I would love to own.
When I test drive a new car, I look at everything through Mom Eyes. How would my kids fit in the car? Is there enough storage space? Are there features that make my life as Mom easier (especially when the back is filled with kids)? How does it feel to drive? Are the controls easy to manage (and intuitive to figure out)?
The thing I love best about the new 6-7 passenger Santa Fe is that it truly is a family-friendly car that addresses the features that moms are looking for.
Tons of family-friendly features: Not only is there a great amount of legroom in the new 3-row Santa Fe, but it includes family friendly features like second row reclining and heated seats, independent AC/heat compressor in the back, and rear sunshades (all features that my bigger kids would really appreciate!).
The Santa Fe was equally comfortable on the San Diego freeways and the windy hills of Southern California. Honestly, I was nervous to drive around San Diego (I’m not crazy about city driving, and I particularly don’t love cities that I’m unfamiliar with) but Hyundai provided us with very detailed route instructions, even warning us about when to watch out for dips in the road. Even if we hadn’t had a detailed map and a passenger-seat-live-navigator, the navigation system on board is easy to use and would have gotten us to our destinations just fine.
Also on the front console, the Santa Fe has a very handy back up camera (no more wondering if the kids have left anything behind the car).
Gotta love the leg room!
When my kids were tiny and riding in car seats, I wasn’t very concerned about leg room, but now that my kids are older (and three of them are almost as tall as I am!) leg room is one of the most important features in a car. Whether we’re driving down to Florida for vacation with the grandparents or driving across town to go to church, adequate leg room equals happiness. I took a turn being a back seat driver on our Santa Fe road trip just so I could experience riding like the kids, and I was plenty comfortable. I even snapped an Instagram picture of me sitting in the 2nd row, showing my knees not even touching the seat in front of me.
The three-row Santa Fe increases second-row legroom by 1.9 inches and cargo capacity 5.5 cubic feet and features standard rear-passenger HVAC controls and vents to increase family comfort, while also offering a standard 50:50 split folding third-row bench seat with 31.5 inches of legroom. Second row captain’s chairs are also available on the three-row Santa Fe.
Another thing I loved learning about the Santa Fe? Premium gasoline is not needed – regular unleaded gas is perfectly fine (we all need some savings when it comes to gas these days!).
Highlights of the 2013 Three-row SANTA FE
• Lambda II 3.3-liter GDI V6 engine with 290 horsepower
• Standard direct injection V6 engine (only midsize CUV with standard injection V6)
• Tow rated up to 5,000 pounds
• Active Cornering Control AWD system
• Driver Selectable Steering Mode (DSSM)
• All-new crossover architecture developed for families
• Fluidic Sculpture exterior design
• Hyundai designed and engineered six-speed automatic transmission
• Seven standard airbags (includes driver’s knee airbag)
• Panoramic sunroof
• Heated rear seats and heated steering wheel
• Power driver and front passenger seats
• Seven passenger seating with 40:20:40 split folding second row bench seat or six passenger seating with second row captain’s chairs
• Sliding and reclining second row seating with cargo area release and 50:50 flat folding third row seats
• Standard Blue Link® – safety, service and infotainment telematics system
• Third generation navigation and audio multimedia systems with an available eight-inch display
• Power liftgate
Hyundai Blue Link: Blue Link combines safety, service and infotainment features to simplify owners’ lives and reduce distracted driving. Blue Link brings seamless connectivity directly into the car with technology like voice text messaging, POI web search download, turn-by-turn navigation, and monthly vehicle reporting. Hyundai Blue Link telematics is standard on all Santa Fe models with up to a one-year complimentary trial period.
And if all those features aren’t impressive enough, check out how easy it was to pile a group of bloggers in the back of the Santa Fe. Luggage? Groceries? No problem!
What features of the new Santa Fe are most exciting to you?
Disclosure: Hyundai paid for my travel, accommodations and activities during this event. All opinions in this post are my own. Photos and information about the 2013 Santa Fe are courtesy of Hyundai.
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