The wraps came off of a larger, seven-passenger version of the Hyundai Santa Fe at the New York International Auto Show that's planned to go on sale in January 2013. Now split into two models, the longer version takes over the Santa Fe name, while the original version is now known as the Santa Fe Sport.
With a wheelbase nearly four inches longer than the original, the 2013 Santa Fe is eight inches longer overall and slightly wider and taller than the Santa Fe Sport (or the outgoing model).
The seating configuration in the Santa Fe Sport carries over from the previous model, with two rows and room for five. The longer Santa Fe gets a third row and can seat up to seven.
Dimensions aren't the only differences between the two models. The Santa Fe Sport is powered exclusively by four-cylinder engines, including a 2.4-liter that makes an estimated 190 horsepower and 181 pound-feet of torque, and Hyundai's 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4 tuned to make 264 hp and 269 lb-ft of torque. The base engine is expected to make an EPA rating of 33 miles per gallon Highway, which would make the Santa Fe Sport the most fuel efficient of any crossover or SUV equipped with an automatic transmission.
The big Santa Fe gets a 3.3-liter V6 that makes 290 hp, the same power plant used in the all-new Azera. EPA Highway fuel economy for the larger engine is expected to be 31 mpg.
The only transmission option with all three engines is a 6-speed automatic. Front-wheel drive is standard, and all-wheel drive with torque vectoring is optional. While the designs of the 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe and Santa Fe Sport are similar, there are subtle differences. The larger Santa Fe gets a different grille design, side window shape, side character lines and dual exhaust tips.
Both models were penned using Hyundai's Storm Edge design concept, which, according to Hyundai, aims to capture the strong and dynamic images created by nature during the formation of a storm.
The Santa Fe Sport is intended to compete with the Honda CR-V, Toyota RAV4, Chevrolet Equinox, and Buick Encore.
The larger Santa Fe will compete against the Ford Explorer, Honda Pilot and Nissan Pathfinder, and possibly the Ford Flex and Mazda CX-9.
The Santa Fe Sport goes on sale late summer 2012. The long-wheelbase Santa Fe is expected to hit dealerships January 2013. Pricing has not been announced, but we anticipate the Santa Fe Sport to come in at around $25,000, and the larger Santa Fe to start at around $30,000.