EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA


February 24, 2013

Hyundai Santa Fe gets a larger identity

In the next week or two, Hyundai will mess with success. That success is the 2013 Santa Fe crossover wagon.

Introduced last summer, the 2013 version is an all-new, third-generation rendition of the capable, comfortable hauler. A lot of people like it.

“It’s the hottest car on the market right now,” said Michael Palmer, Hyundai sales manager at Salem Ford Hyundai, Salem, N.H.

He referred to demand versus availability. Hyundai, a Korea-based auto company, builds the Santa Fe in Georgia, where it is adding a third shift to produce more of the hot-selling wagons. Still, in Salem, N.H., Palmer must scramble to fill orders for customers looking for fully-loaded models that run above $35,000. The starting list price for Santa Fe is $25,295 for a front-wheel-drive model, with all-wheel-drive versions starting at $27,0454.

So far this year, across America the new Santa Fe is outselling its predecessor by about 25 percent. That’s a big jump.

But early in March Hyundai starts a second phase for the re-made Santa Fe. The company will begin selling an alternate version that differs in one significant way from the popular model people first saw last summer. That original, called the Santa Fe Sport, is a five-passenger crossover. The Santa Fe that arrives in a week or two seats seven people. It is nearly 10 inches longer than the Santa Fe Sport, making room for a third-row seat that turns the stretched version into an ultimate family shuttle.

The new, longer model starts at a list price of $30,945 when equipped with all-wheel drive. Factoring in such standard features as 18-inch alloy wheels, LED headlight accents, tire-pressure monitoring, Bluetooth hands-free phone link, driver selectable steering, seven air bags, sliding and reclining second-row seats with usefully split backs, fingertip controls on the steering wheel, cruise control and air conditioning, Hyundai calls Santa Fe the most affordable seven-seat crossover you can buy.

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