The Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC) today announced that the Hyundai Santa Fe 2.0T SUV has been named 2013 Canadian Utility Vehicle of the Year during a press conference at the Canadian International Auto Show in Toronto. Over 70 of Canada’s top automotive journalists chose the Santa Fe over its primary rival, the Ford Escape. Following victories in 2009 with the Genesis luxury sedan and 2012 with the Elantra compact sedan, Hyundai has now won Canada’s top car award on three separate occasions. The Santa Fe’s win marks the company’s first Canadian Utility Vehicle of the Year title. “The Santa Fe perfectly encapsulates Hyundai’s ‘Modern Premium’ approach to automotive design. Like all Hyundai models, it offers eye-catching style, advanced technologies, and the premium amenities that customers want for an accessible price,” said Steve Kelleher, President and CEO of Hyundai Auto Canada Corp. “To succeed in the fiercely competitive compact utility vehicle segment, a product has to exceed customers’ expectations. The Santa Fe does just this thanks to the most recent evolution of our ‘Fluidic Sculpture’ design philosophy and packaging our competitors simply can’t match. I’m honoured that AJAC has recognized the tireless efforts of our engineers and designers around the world with Canada’s most important automotive honour.” The third-generation Santa Fe is powered by a pair of four-cylinder GDI engines, including a turbocharged 2.0-litre developing 264 horsepower and 269 lb-ft of torque. Santa Fe’s spacious cabin offers comfortable seating for five passengers and unique premium features such as a panoramic sunroof, an 8-inch touch-screen navigation system, an Infinity® premium audio system, a heated steering wheel, heated front and rear seats, rear door blinds, and more. Santa Fe also includes Hyundai’s Driver Selectable Steering Mode (DSSM) system. The DSSM system offers three driver-selectable operating modes (Comfort, Normal, and Sport) so the vehicle’s steering response can be adjusted at any time to suit driver preferences and road conditions. For customers requiring three-row seating, the Santa Fe XL has been extended by 215 millimetres to provide space for up to seven passengers. The Santa Fe XL will arrive in Hyundai dealerships this spring. Propelled by a 290 horsepower 3.3-litre GDI V6, the Santa Fe XL will be perfect for carrying the family and all their toys on the weekend run to the cottage. Santa Fe posted total sales of 23,394 units in 2012 following all-time monthly sales records in November and December.