We've seen images, and seen prototypes of the three-row 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe, which effectively replaces the three-row Veracruz, up-close for several months, starting around the same time as the introduction of the five-passenger Santa Fe Sport. But Hyundai revealed further details on its three-row model at the 2012 Los Angeles Auto Show that were not previously revealed.
We all knew the key dimensions such as wheelbase, overall length, and engine output and fuel economy, but one significant detail disclosed at the L.A. show was an impressive towing capacity of 5000 pounds. This tops the Santa Fe Sport's capacity of 3500 and matches that of the 2013 Nissan Pathfinder and Toyota Highlander, two models identified by Hyundai as key competitors.
Unlike the Santa Fe Sport, which comes with either a naturally aspirated 2.4-liter I-4 or a turbocharged 2.0-liter I-4, the sole powertrain option for the long-wheelbase Santa Fe is the 3.3-liter direct-injection V-6 shared with the Hyundai Azera and the just-shown 2014 Kia Sorento.
The 2013 Santa Fe rides on a 110.2-inch wheelbase, which is almost four inches longer than the 106.3-inch wheelbase of the Santa Fe Sport. Overall length is 193.1 inches, up 8.5 inches over the Sport's overall, and translates into an extra 38.6 cubic feet of passenger volume and 16.7 cubic feet of total interior volume - plus the choice of six or seven-passenger seating. Seven-passenger models feature a 40-20-40 folding second-row seat allowing for the pass-through of long, skinny items such as skis. The third-row seat features a 50-50 split folding design.
Like the Santa Fe Sport, the Santa Fe makes extensive use of high-strength steel for a light curb weight for its class. Also shared with the Sport is a driver-selectable steering mode, Active Cornering Control all-wheel drive, Hillstart Assist Control, Downhill Brake Control, and Vehicle Stability Management, which utilizes the vehicle's electronic stability control system and the electric power steering to counteract instability on split-traction (slippery/dry) surfaces.
The long-wheelbase 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe is scheduled to arrive in showrooms in early calendar 2013, with pricing details to come closer to its on-sale date.