You don’t need four children or even three to enjoy the advantages of a stretched, maxi-seat crossover wagon. I found a six-seat Hyundai Santa Fe the perfect transporter for just two.
That’s because John Wilson, my 8-year-old grandson, who lives in Methuen, likes a whole row for himself. He took the far-back seat of the Santa Fe I evaluated last week. Those two seats in the third row fold open individually to provide seating and drop flat to expand the rear cargo floor. For John, the rear seating space supplied a private enclosure for his antics.
Since John’s antics can annoy his 13-year-old sister, Madeleine Zygmont, she was equally happy to ride alone in the middle row of the three-row Santa Fe, well separated from her third-grade brother.
Come to think of it, as the Santa Fe’s driver up in the first row of seats, I was happy to have John far in the back too, for the same reason as Madeleine.
Families are finding all sorts of reasons to like the new, expanded version of the 2013 Santa Fe, reported Michael Palmer, Hyundai sales manager at Salem Ford Hyundai. The Salem, N.H., dealership started selling the model in April, when the first samples arrived from Hyundai’s factory in West Point, Ga., (one of two vehicle-assembly plants operated in the U.S. by Korea-based Hyundai). In the two months since then, the popularity for the longer version of the Santa Fe has surged, said Palmer.
Salem Ford Hyundai now sells about as many stretched Santa Fe models as its does standard-size versions, which have been available for nearly a year.
The standard-size model is called the Santa Fe Sport, distinguishing it from the longer, extra-seat version, which is called simply the Santa Fe. Hyundai launched the new, advanced generation of the Santa Fe Sport last August. It quickly grew in popularity until car buyers became so anxious to get one that the Georgia plant couldn’t keep up. Since the new, long version joined the family two months ago, customers have only increased.