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Hyundai Santa Fe Test Drives



  • briancambriancam Posts: 21
    Thank you. You're right, the Santa Fe has MUCH going for it but it isn't perfect. The competition is better in some areas, not as good in others.
  • choe13choe13 Posts: 348
    It is perfect for its price. Reason is you are getting a near luxury car for a ridiculous low price.

    I think this car delivers in what customer wants and needs way above expectations. I will admit higher mpg is what customers want, but other than that what can you fault this overachieving made suv??

    if you want regular fries and drink go buy anything else in its class, if you want to extra large it for the same price, you get the santa fe

    this cuv is going to sell fast in level how mini coopers will sell. I'm so astonished by its exterior, looks very futurist with complex array of lines yet it is magnificant on the eye

    I want one but already bought a sonata
  • bp25bp25 Posts: 11
    From the reviews I've read so far. I really think it must be those tires.
  • felt much better than highlander to me.
  • dbrosdbros Posts: 70
    It seems that you already driven the car, I don't know if you have expansive experience driving the other cars like Honda CRV, Pilot, Toyota RAV-4, Highlander, 4 Runner, and the other competition. :D

    My suggestion is make a review of your own and we will see how it holds up with this review! :confuse: :)

    If it holds up you might be hired by and replace the editors here. :P
  • rsm333rsm333 Posts: 29
    I have just had a test drive of the 2007 Hyundai Santa Fe and my impressions (totally subjective) are remarkably similar to those of the guy who did the test on Inside Line. The car I drove was a Limited 3.3 AWD. It is much quieter than my wife’s 2005 CRV EX or the Honda Pilot I tested, and it did not seem significantly different from the 2006 RAV4 V6. Handling seemed reasonable..turn-in was not great, but I suspect the crappy Bridgestone Duelers might account for a good deal of that. Road manners on the freeway seemed fine up to 90 mph (as fast as I felt I could go without panicking the sales person with me). I could tell where the front wheels were, and there was none of the “busyness” reported by the Edmonds Test Driver. The brakes felt mushy to me even without trying a panic stop. The car was not what I would call quick (the RAV 4 is quick) but it was entirely adequate. There is plenty of leg-room in the front and the back, and all the controls seemed to be in the right places. The new Santa Fe is a nice car.
    The choices I have in the $25-$26K range include the Pilot EX, the RAV4 Sport V6 and the SF. I like the size and the resale of the Pilot, but not the 16mpg. The Santa Fe is nice, but I now know that I will buy the RAV4 V6.
  • arumagearumage Posts: 922
    Being a Toyota owner myself, I am impressed with the look and V6 performance of the Rav4, but there is no comparison between the base models though. The 2.7L V6 wins hands-down against the 4-cyl. I also am not impressed with the size. It's just too small, and that stupid tire on the back drives me nuts. I guess it's a trademark of the vehicle, but in low speed (5mph) accidents with trucks and suvs cause twice as much damage because the spare time spreads out the impact (usually breaking the rear glass, etc.). The Santa Fe is about the smallest vehicle I am considering.
  • jveneziajvenezia Posts: 85
    I test drove a 3.3 liter Limited AWD Santa Fe last week for about 15 miles (20 minutes or so) over city streets and interstate highway. Here are my comments about it:
    1. It was lightly raining and as soon as I turned on the windshield wipers, a very noticeable rattle started up near the passenger wiper. It never went away, even when I stopped using the wipers.
    2. Additional rattle somewhere back aft — possibly in the "windowshade" luggage cover.
    3. Steering is way overboosted at speed. Center-road feel was numb on the interstate. I experienced what the previously mentioned reviewer did...the ride was busy at 70 mph and required constant attention due to the excessive amount of boost. It seemed like the speed-sensitive power steering was broken and was stuck on full-boost.
    4. The stock Limited audio system (the vehicle had no extra options beyond floor mats) was great, but the upgraded system would probably put it to shame.
    5. The dual climate control system was excellent. Unlike the Azera or Sonata, the fans did not drown out everything when at high speed. They were very quiet. Nice work.
    6. Road comfort and noise abatement were definitely lacking. I both heard and felt every road imperfection. I attribute that to improvement still needed with NVH and with the totally crappy Bridgestone Dueler II tires that were probably overinflated (a very typical problem with dealers and tire shops). The same thing happened with the Azera I test drove earlier. The Michelin tires were like loud balloons and they sounded like they were at least ten pounds overinflated.
    7. Outward visibility was excellent and I felt like I was sitting quite a ways above traffic. Getting in and out of both the front and back seats (this was a five-passenger vehicle) was relatively easy and the H-height (for hips) was neutral — meaning that I neither had to climb up nor squat down to sit in the seats.
    8. Driver seat comfort was fine. Side bolsters were lacking, but the leather was quite nice. The cloth seat material in the GLS and SE were sub-par, on the other hand, and look like they'll pill pretty soon. I'm 5'7" and of average build and I found no problem finding my ideal combination of adjustments to be very comfortable during my short drive.
    9. Tons of storage space in the back with the back seats down. The Santa Fe will definitely be a good replacement for my Windstar van for hauling stuff.
    10. Acceleration was somewhat pokey, as previously mentioned, but the brakes were fine. Since I need to tone down my own driving style, I can definitely live with that.

    Overall, I think it's a great vehicle, but the squeaks and rattles and NVH (noise-vibration-harshness) levels need another year to be tweaked. I'll wait until 2008. I have the same reservations about the Azera. It's very close, but not quite there yet. Just another year of patience.
  • rsm333rsm333 Posts: 29
    The one I drove today did not rattle or squeak, something that would have really put me off. Maybe I drove on smoother roads or I just got a good one, I don’t know. The transmission (in the full automatic mode) seemed to shift at about 3900 rpms, which I guess is why the thing seemed doggy. Perhaps it’s set up like this for good gas mileage. I agree that visibility is good. There are hardly any blind spots.
  • briancambriancam Posts: 21
    I agree. Most editors here feel the same way. But our sources say that Hyundai insisted the Santa Fe had 18 inch wheels - given that, they should have engineered the suspension to deliver a smooth ride even with the upgraded wheels and tires.

    It's interesting to note that the GLS has 16s, so they went up 2 for the Limited and SE.
  • mike_belknapmike_belknap Posts: 378
    Yeah, the SE I tested was utterly silent -- no squeaks or rattles whatsoever, and wind and road noise was very minimal or absent, depending on speed and road surface conditions. The engine gave a pleasant growl under hard acceleration but was otherwise ultimately hushed.

  • leeh2leeh2 Posts: 5
    Can you get a tow package with the 07 Santa Fe? Aslo the dealer says the cost to install a hitch is $650. WOW
  • subarufan1subarufan1 Posts: 85
    you can get it done much cheaper away from the dealer :P
  • lasberrylasberry Posts: 12
    I posted my comments in another forum but here's the synopsis. A pleasing vehicle that makes switching from a Geo Prism to an SUV a superb experience. No road, wind-rattling, braking, or whistling noise to speak of. Even my critical wife approved of it hands down. ;) I can't wait until model clearance in 2007. The SE is all mine. :blush:
  • jcspohrjcspohr Posts: 97
    Then test drove CRV, Element, Tucson, RAV4, Mazda 5, Matrix, and the winner is:

    Bought the 07 Santa Fe!

    $400 over invoice and received the $500 owner loyalty discount.


    2007 Santa Fe FWD Limited
    - Platinum Sage with Black/Gray interior
    - Premium Package
    - Carpeted Floor Mats
    - Cargo Cover

  • Since I haven't bought anything yet, I drove a 06 a couple of days ago and I noticed that when you take your foot off the gas, the vehicle doesn't coast, but slows down as if you are giving it a very slight brake. I mentioned this to the salesman( none of my other 2 cars do this) and his answer was that the engine is tight and will loosen in time. I don't believe him 'cause my other 2 cars didn't slow down in this way when new. Hoping someone can shed light on this , thanks.
  • nifty56nifty56 Posts: 279
    auto trans? 4 or 5 speed?
  • shc1shc1 Posts: 10
    In the last week I've tested the CR-V, the RAV4, Honda Pilot,Kia Sportage,Subaru Forrester, and the Santa Fe GLS 2.7. The dealer let me take the Santa Fe for the weekend, as I live way out in the boonies up a mountain and on a dirt road. The ride is a little rough where the pavement is lacking, but even the 2.7 made it up the mountain without straining. The pavement ride is very comfortable, no noise, very quiet cabin, good handling, but a little hesitant re power while passing. Likely if I stay with the Hyundai I will go with the SE 3.3 All in all very impressive, and I will make a decision as soon as I've been able to give the Subaru the same test.
    The others are no longer in the running.
  • Curious,
    regarding the 'rough ride' the SF is said to have when off the beaten trail an onto the dirt, could this be anything possibly remedied with better shocks?
This discussion has been closed.