Hyundai Santa Fe
Hyundai’s second entry into Mudfest was the less-sporty Santa Fe, which seats up to seven depending on the configuration. The exterior styling of the Santa Fe is identical to the shorter Sport version, except for a differently-shaped rear that makes room for a third row of seats. Infotainment technology includes the same eight-inch touchscreen-based navigation system though, so we won't rehash it again.
Aside from its additional seating, the Santa Fe swaps the Sport’s 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine for a more conventional 3.3-liter V6 derived from the Hyundai Lambda architecture (the same one that birthed the 3.8-liter motor in 2013 Hyundai Genesis Coupe 3.8 Track: Telematics And Infotainment). The greater displacement gives the Santa Fe more power to move the vehicle's additional heft. A six-speed transmission mates with the V6 and drives all four wheels using the same Magna Dynamax AWD system as the Sport. The 4-high lock mode is available on the Santa Fe as well.
The Santa Fe's AWD system performs competently on pavement and dirt. We engaged 4-high lock mode on the dirt course and experienced no understeer at all. A weight difference is certainly noticeable after driving the Sport, but Hyundai's vanilla Santa Fe still rides comfortably.
I did spend some time in the Santa Fe's third row, since it was used as a shuttle for journalists between DirtFish and the hotel. Really, it's probably better-sized for kids. But it works for adults in a pinch, too.
|Vehicle||2013 Hyundai Santa Fe|
|Trim level||Limited AWD|
|Engine||3.3 L GDI V6|
|Transmission||Six-speed Automatic w/ Shiftronic|
|Drivetrain||Active On-Demand AWD w/ AWD Lock|
|Infotainment||Navigation System w/ Eight-inch Touchscreen|
|Notable features||Driver-selectable steering modes (DSSM)Downhill brake controlHill-start assist controlRear-view camera|
|Fuel economy||18 city, 24 highway, 20 combined MPG|