The competition was tough and the 60 something entries were all being kept clean and prepped for the 40-some automotive journalists. The unusual setting was the famed Knibbe Ranch in the historic Texas Hill Country near Bulverde. After all the testing, driving, politicking, and voting, the 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe was named as the overall winner as CUV OF TEXAS.
Hyundai has been making major advances into the North American automotive marketplace. When it was first introduced back in 2001, the Santa Fe was a terrific new-comer. It was a midsize SUV that was just the right thing for families. But, as years pass by, changes must take place for a vehicle to stay competitive.
Hyundai came out with the second generation of the Santa Fe a few years ago and it was okay. But recently, the Santa Fe is greeted with a 'Ho-Hum' by most interested buyers. Maybe that is going to change – soon. CUV's are different from the standard SUV's due to their being called Crossovers, and based on a car platform rather than a truck platform.
For 2013, Hyundai made some major redesigns and packed a new turbocharged engine under the hood, made some dynamic changes in styling, and fixed the prices to be highly competitive. Not only that, but there are now two different Santa Fe choices – the Sport, which is designed for 5 people and the 'regular' Santa Fe, which is designed for 7 people. The Sport is more competitive in the Compact CUV/SUV category. The regular Santa Fe will stay in the Midsize CUV/SUV category.
Hyundai is definitely on a roll and the improvements in this new Santa Fe will continue to keep them moving forward. The style, pricing, and powertrain are all impressive. This third-generation has leap-frogged to the front of the line and sales will probably reflect that move. The Hyundai Santa Fe was named as winner of the COMPACT SUV for the 2012-2013 AUTOJUDGE AWARDS, announced at the 2012 SEMA Show in Las Vegas. Now, the members of the Texas Auto Writers Association have placed their seal of approval on the Hyundai Santa Fe as well, by naming it the 2013 CUV OF TEXAS.
CUV CATEGORY WINNERS AT THE 2013 TEXAS TRUCK RODEO:
COMPACT CUV: 2013 Nissan Juke
MID-SIZE CUV: 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe Limited
FULL-SIZE CUV: 2014 Nissan Pathfinder SL
LUXURY CUV: 2014 Acura MDX