Get ready for the battle of the crossovers.
Hyundai unveiled a complete redesign of its Santa Fe sport-utility at the New York International Auto Show. The mid-sized crossover now follows the sleeker “fluidic sculpture” styling the brand has used to turn its Elantra and Sonata sedans into bestsellers.
The South Korean automaker is growing the Santa Fe a bit.
One version will be longer. Hyundai will sell a three-row, seven-passenger model for the first time. But the overall dimensions of the standard 2013 Santa Fe will be about the same as the previous generation, although Hyundai has taken about 100 lbs. out of the vehicle in a move that improves fuel economy.
It will enter the market at a time of keen competition in the small to mid-sized crossover and sport-utility vehicle market. Honda has a newly redesigned CR-V that has started the year with strong sales. Ford will be coming out with a new version of its bestselling Escape crossover this summer. Subaru is about to launch its XV Crosstrek. On the luxury side, Acura plans a new RDX and BMW has a new X-3 in the market that has received good reviews from auto critics and is selling well.