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Hyundai abandons Veracruz, upgrades Santa Fe

2013 Hyundai Santa Fe

2013 Hyundai Santa Fe Credit: Jose Moreno

Hyundai unveiled two different versions of the Santa Fe at the New York Auto Show this week. One is a two-row Sport model and the other a three-row family-minded model. These cars will effectively replace the outdated Veracruz, and bring all of Hyundai's cars in line with their current new fluid styling. 

While the Santa Fe hasn't been known to win any design or comfort awards, the all-new Sport looks to attract the new generation of younger families and couples, looking for the same functionality of a low cost utility vehicle, but who are turned off by the old-school soccer-mom styling. 

The Sport will offer buyers seating for five. The base model comes equipped with a direct-injection 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine with 190 horsepower and 181 pound-feet of torque. A turbo 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine is also available -- the turbo bumps up the car to 264 horsepower.

Both are matted to a six-speed automatic transmission, and either engine can be had with all-wheel drive. Hyundai also says it has managed to shed 266 pounds from the Santa Fe compared to the 2012 model.

For larger families who seek extra space, they may want to step up to the seven-passenger Santa Fe. The three-row model adds about four inches of additional wheelbase and a more powerful 3.3-liter direct-injection V6 with 290 horsepower. 

The new Santa Fe will be available sometime in November or December. No definitive word yet on pricing, but look for it to be in mid-$20,000 range. 

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