• Longer than the 5-passenger Santa Fe Sport, with room for up to 7.
  • Standard 290-horsepower 3.3-liter V6.
  • Replaces Veracruz in Hyundai's lineup.

Both versions of the new 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe appeared earlier this year at the New York Auto Show, but the 5-passenger Santa Fe Sport was the star there. Here at the LA Auto Show, it's the larger 6- and 7-passenger Santa Fe. The 2013 Santa Fe GLS and Limited are 8-1/2 inches longer than the Sport. Both offer 3-row seating and are powered by a standard direct-injection V6.

Until the 2013 model year, the Santa Fe was strictly a 5-passenger crossover. The Hyundai Veracruz was the automaker's 3-row crossover model. The new, larger 2013 Santa Fe GLS and Limited replace the outgoing Veracruz.

The GLS seats seven passengers across its three rows, while the Limited replaces the second-row bench with a pair of captain's chairs, providing room for six. Both models are powered by a 290-hp direct-injection V6--also found in the Hyundai Azera sedan. A 6-speed automatic is standard and all-wheel drive (AWD) is optional for both trims.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has not yet rated fuel economy for the crossover, but Hyundai estimates 18-mpg city and 25-mpg highway for front-wheel-drive models. With AWD, only highway economy drops by 1 mpg. That's an improvement compared with the Veracruz, which is rated at 17-mpg city and 22-mpg highway with front-wheel drive. The Santa Fe's 320-lb weight advantage over the outgoing Veracruz is certainly responsible for some of the improvement in fuel efficiency.

With an all-new exterior design, the 2013 Santa Fe features Hyundai's "fluidic sculpture" design language. But compared to the Santa Fe Sport, the design of the larger crossover is more restrained. The exception is a large hexagonal grille that gives the front fascia a bold look.

The Santa Fe gets a host of newly available equipment, including comfort and convenience features and the latest technology. Heated rear seats and steering wheel, a panoramic sunroof and sliding and reclining second-row seats are all available. An optional third-generation navigation and media system includes an 8-in display. Hyundai's Active Corner Control AWD works behind the scenes to provide power and braking to specific wheels, improving cornering and safety on a variety of surfaces.

Pricing for the 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe has not yet been announced. We expect more information before the new model arrives in dealerships early next year.

What it means to you: The 2013 Santa Fe is already available in 5-passenger Sport form. The larger 6- and 7-passenger versions, Santa Fe Limited and GLS, go on sale early next year.

See more LA Auto Show news.

author photo

Nick Palermo is an automotive writer and lifelong car nut. He follows new and late-model used vehicles for AutoTrader.com, writes about vintage cars for Hemmings Classic Wheels and blogs on all things automotive at LivingVroom. He lives in Atlanta with his wife and twins.

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