COSTA MESA, Calif., April 15, 2013 – The all-new 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport’s upscale and highly-functional interior was acknowledged by the editors of WardsAuto, which named it to this year’s Ward’s 10 Best Interiors list. This recognition follows the 2012 Accent and 2012 Azera being named to the list last year.

“The latest version of the Hyundai Santa Fe Sport is the essence of a midsize family CUV: well-crafted, tastefully appointed and affordable, despite a decidedly upscale look and feel,” said Tom Murphy, executive editor, WardsAuto. “Hyundai is consistently delivering excellent interiors that reinforce the brand’s ‘Fluidic Sculpture’ design language.”

WardsAuto editors have been studying the vehicles since February, selecting the 10 winners from a field of 46 vehicles with new or significantly refreshed interiors. The selection process mimics that of the Ward’s 10 Best Engines competition, in which editors rate vehicles based on their daily commutes in and around metro Detroit. Unlike 10 Best Engines, the interior competition has no price cap.

“The all-new Santa Fe Sport offers buyers a comfortable, functional and modern-looking interior,” said Christopher Chapman, chief designer, Hyundai Design North America. “Designed with families in mind, the interior features quality materials, intuitive controls and a spacious layout for the diverse needs of today’s active families.”

“The instrument panel is defined by its sculptural center vents from which the flowing form develops,” said Christopher Zarlenga, design manager of Santa Fe’s interior. “Color is also an important differentiator for the interior, emphasizing the wing shape outward from the center stack through the doors.”

During the selection process editors pay close attention to fit-and-finish, checking to see if seams are straight and match up cleanly on armrests and instrument panels. Editors climb in and out of back seats and third rows in larger CUVs and SUVs to check overall comfort levels, headroom and legroom. Another increasingly important category is driver information. Bluetooth® phone links are commonplace, so editors connect their smartphones and experiment with voice-activation systems.

Santa Fe Sport features a flowing interior look, designed for passenger functionality and comfort. From the heated rear seats and available eight-way power driver seat, to a standard 40:20:40 folding-rear seat back, the vehicle boasts flexibility and a comfortable cabin for all passengers. Also standard on all Santa Fe models with cloth seating is a YES Essentials® seat fabric treatment that provides soil-resistant, anti-odor and anti-static properties for added longevity and livability. Special care and attention went into other interior details, such as an optional panoramic sunroof, which allows more natural light into the cabin, and premium window switch trim. Available on 2.4-liter models and standard on Turbo models is a push-button starter with proximity key and an electrochromatic gauge cluster color LCD screen. A heated steering wheel and sliding second row seats are optional first-class touches on Santa Fe Sport.

The 2013 interior winners will be honored during the WardsAuto Interiors Conference on May 22 at The Henry hotel in Dearborn, Mich. An extensive package profiling the winners is available on WardsAuto.com and in the May issue of WardsAuto World magazine.