2013 Hyundai Santa Fe Launched in Malaysia, Priced From RM164k-189k
It’s been a bit of a wait, but it’s finally here; Hyundai-Sime Darby Motors (HSDM) has finally launched the all-new 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe here in Malaysia. The seven-seater Hyundai SUV comes to us in two engine specifications – a petrol Theta II 2.4 MPI, and a diesel R 2.2 CRDi, while each engine offers two variants in themselves, being a lower-spec Elegance version, and a high-spec Executive Plus.
Performance: 2.4 Theta II MPI and a 2.2 R CRDi
For power, you can have your 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe in either a petrol or diesel configuration. Both engines are mated with a six-speed automatic transmission with Hyundai’s Shiftronic manual control. Equally, there’s Hyundai’s familiar ECO function which modifies engine and transmission characteristics to improve fuel-efficiency.
2.4 THETA II: The petrol option sees the new Santa Fe powered by a familiar 2.4-litre Theta II MPI engine, which makes 173HP at 6,000RPM, and 227Nm of torque at 3,750RPM.
2.2 R CRDi: The more powerful option between the two, the 2.2-litre R CRDi diesel engine makes 194HP at 3,800RPM and 436Nm of torque at a low 1,800RPM to 2,500RPM.
FLEX STEER: New to the SUV experience is the 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe’s ‘Flex Steer’ system, which enables drivers to choose between three different driving modes from the MDPS (Motor Driven Power Steering) unit; Comfort, Normal and Sport.
Depending on your mode preference, the system adapts the steering’s weight to match; Sports mode induces a firm and heavy steering, while Comfort mode differs by making the steering wheel light enough to control with just one finger.
4WD FOR ALL: On hand to improve the new Hyundai Santa Fe’s driving versatility is a 4WD system with a lock switch; to lock the 4WD system for a 50/50 power distribution between the front and rear wheels. The Active On-Demand 4WD Lock system splits the power distribution equally at speeds below 40km/h, and then switches to an Auto 4WD configurations at speeds above 40km/h.
Exterior Styling: The Storm Edge Design Concept
The 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe maintains the Korean carmaker’s ‘Fluidic Sculpture’ design, embodied in a new concept called ‘Storm Edge’; as Hyundai explains, “the strong and dynamic image created by nature during the formation of a storm”… whatever that means.
At the front, there’s a new front grille design which is bold and quite masculine, while HID Xenon headlights “infuse a hi-tech look”. All the necessary treatments are there, with the new Santa Fe showing off LED side repeaters, gloss black finishing on the door frames and pillars, fog lamps, and then some.
At the back, there’s a twin-muffler with double exhaust tips to further enhance the muscular appeal of the new 2013 Santa Fe, not forgetting a “diffuser-style moulding beneath the bumper” – again from Hyundai, and an LED rear spoiler.
Surrounding the wide panoramic roof is a roof rack which further improves the dynamic nature of this SUV.
Interior Design: Creature comforts to complement the SUV experience
The overall look and feel of the Santa Fe’s cabin is as seen before with most modern Hyundai vehicles. The supervision cluster features a 4.2-inch TFT LCD screen which showcases a variety of driving and vehicle information; opens doors, driving modes, trip computers.
EQUIPMENT: To the center console, and we have Hyundai’s LCD touchscreen multi-display unit. The screen allows control of the audio system – USB, Aux, MP3 through a six-speaker system (virtual surround) –, satellite navigation, reverse camera and car controls.
The new Santa Fe also comes with a Smart Key & Engine Start/Stop button, Cruise Control, Rain Sensors, Dual Full-Auto Air Conditioner, and an Electronic Parking Brake system.
As offered in the new Sonata, the 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe also has a Blackbox system (previously known as the Lukas Blackbox). The Safe Drive Recorder is located on the front windshield just behind the rear view mirror.
COMFORT AND CONVENIENCE: The new Hyundai Santa Fe comes loaded with creature comforts that exemplify premium SUV quality. For starters, there’s a 12-way power adjustable driver’s seat, steering wheel audio remote controls, wide panoramic sunroof and brown leather seats – should you so wish to have them.
CARGO AREA: The seven-seater Hyundai Santa Fe offers a large cargo area when reduced to a five-seater arrangement or less. With the rear-most seats lowered, the total cargo space of 585-litres can be utilised; 534-litres of luggage room, 48-litres of under-tray space, and 3-litres of luggage center box space.
NOISE VIBRATION AND HARSHNESS: For improved ride comfort, the new Santa Fe is designed from the ground up to keep its NVH (Noise, Vibration and Harshness) levels down to a bare minimum. Various critical points in the Santa Fe are insulated from within, the windshield is made of a wind-sealed sound-proof glass, the front door windows are thicker, pillars are filled with composite foam padding, and so much more, just to ensure superb comfort levels.
Safety: The usual suspects
The 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe gets the usual list of modern safety features thrown in to the mix. This includes an ESP (Electronic Stability Programme) which gathers information from Yaw sensors to steering angle sensors to control the optimal amount of braking performance. There is also Hyundai’s VSM (Vehicle Stability Management), which prevent asymmetrical braking forces by applying the braking force to each wheel individually, to prevent over and understeer, and potential skidding situations under hard braking.
The list of safety features stretches into HAC (Hillstart Assist Control), TCS (Traction Control System), DBC (Downhill Brake Control) and BAS (Brake Assist System).
The Hyundai Santa Fe does however run low on airbags, offering only two airbags (driver and front passenger).
The new 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe is now available at showrooms nationwide in four variants; Theta II 2.4 MPI Elegance (RM163,888), Theta II 2.4 MPI Executive Plus (RM177,888), R 2.2 CDRi Elegance (RM176,888) and R CRDi Executive Plus (RM189,888). All prices are OTR with Insurance.
Overall, the new 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe is an impressive take on a modern SUV, and offers a good amount of safety, equipment, driving dynamics and versatility. It does however face stiff competition in the form of the recently launched Next-Gen 2013 Kia Sorento. The Sorento appears more affordable, and offers more equipment as standard, but the Hyundai Santa Fe does have a very powerful and fuel efficient 2.2-litre R CRDi diesel engine which tips the scale heavily in its favour.
SPECS: 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe
Price: RM163,888 to RM189,888
Engine: 2.4-litre Theta II MPI (petrol), 2.2-litre R CRDi (diesel)
Transmission: Six-speed automatic
Power: 173HP, 227Nm of torque (2.4-litre petrol) / 194HP, 436Nm of torque (2.2-litre diesel)
Key features: Large cargo area, good styling, high comfort levels, impressive power