Hyundai Santa Fe Test Drives

tidestertidester Member Posts: 10,059
edited March 2014 in Hyundai
Test driven a Santa Fe? What were your impressions? Report them here!
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Comments

  • Karen_SKaren_S Member Posts: 5,092
    Coming soon to InsideLine Road Tests! Post your comments here.
  • danf1danf1 Member Posts: 935
    Why doesn't Scott tell us how he really feels about Hyundai?
  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,457
    Keep hitting "Next" at the bottom of the story to get to Scott's Second Opinion comments. Ouch. :sick:
  • arumagearumage Member Posts: 922
    Sounds like Scott may have had an '85 Excel and never got over it. :) That really wasn't an objective review by him at all. Scott also forgets to mention that the price of the Santa Fe is a few "clicks" lower (about $5000) than the Toyota and Honda competitors. :( Oh well. To each his or her own.
  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,457
    If you just want to jump straight to the Second Opinion page, here's the link:

    http://www.edmunds.com/insideline/do/Drives/FullTests/articleId=116262/pageId=10- 0448
  • danf1danf1 Member Posts: 935
    That's what I was refferring too.
  • jrock65jrock65 Member Posts: 1,371
    "As much as I like the way this SUV looks, both inside and out, its depth of engineering and level of refinement remain a few clicks behind the big boys."

    Please, pray tell, Mr. Oldham, what vehicles do you mean by "the big boys"?

    If you're referring to the CR-V and the RAV4, you've lost all credibility with me. The level of refinement in the 2007 Santa Fe clearly exceeds those vehicles. Not even close.

    It's fine not to like the Santa Fe, but come on, the interiors of the RAV4 and CR-V just aren't that great.
  • arumagearumage Member Posts: 922
    I wouldn't even compare it to the CR-V or the RAV4. It is bigger than them both. It's more the size of the Highlander, and while it is barely smaller than the Pilot, it is more fuel efficient and much better looking.
  • jpanozzo1jpanozzo1 Member Posts: 50
    There is an old story about a princess being unable to sleep on a pile of several mattresses because there was a pea hidden under the bottom mattress. Mr. Oldham & her would make a perfect match. He needs to reserve his road tests to the over $40,000 rigs to keep his hands and butt in cushy, well supported, and pampered comfort. We wouldn't want to see a blister down there would we?:P

    Joe in Texarkana
  • wolverinejoe80wolverinejoe80 Member Posts: 337
    he must have compared santa fe to fx45's, rx330's, new audi suv, and etc. LOL

    he lost all the credibility with those ignorant remarks.
  • briancambriancam Member Posts: 21
    Having a second opinion that doesn't just kiss up to everyone else is the whole point.

    Having that kind of honesty should increase our credibility not diminish it. What good would it do if every review we published had two second opinions that essentially said "I completely agree." THAT would be lame.
  • wolverinejoe80wolverinejoe80 Member Posts: 337
    "But let's get real, people. There still isn't a Hyundai around that's as well built or as rewarding to drive as the Toyota, the Honda or the Mazda it competes with. Not the Elantra, not the Sonata and not this Santa Fe."

    elantra is an old car, so it doesnt count.

    sonata is a great value at 18k which is leaps and bounds better than the previous version. so he must like mazda 6 better than sonata, but many of us don't think so. sure camry and accord is better, are they 5-6 grand better? no. sonata is legit competitor. and i've never heard any recalls for sonata yet. he must skipped reading about toyota's bad qualities lately.

    and santa fe? santa fe is "as well built or as rewarding to drive" then any competitors out there. i'm sure he didn't test drive it. if he did, he wouldn't say such an ignorant remarks. sure santa fe might not be your next SUV, but it is one of the strongest competitor out there. saying it's not "as well built or as rewarding to drive" then honda toyota is saying i'm a 'hyundai hater'.

    last time i checked the new santa fe owns crv, rav4, give the run for the money against pilot, and many people think it's better than the highlander.

    what more does he want?

    i really wish that he go back in time just 10 years ago, and how hyundai was like back then. we all should be praising hyundai.
  • wolverinejoe80wolverinejoe80 Member Posts: 337
    "Having a second opinion that doesn't just kiss up to everyone else is the whole point.

    Having that kind of honesty should increase our credibility not diminish it. What good would it do if every review we published had two second opinions that essentially said "I completely agree." THAT would be lame."

    nothing wrong with having a second opinion. but it's wrong to belittle a car company like hyundai. all they did was make nice cars after nice cars, with good values and long warranties.

    you don't have to like it, you don't have to buy it, but don't say things like it's not better than honyota. because all he is saying is "i'm a hater"

    santa fe may not be better than honda or toyota, but it's an equal competitor. it's apples to apples. 4 year old should know that.
  • jrock65jrock65 Member Posts: 1,371
    It's totally fine to have second opinions that don't agree or are negative about the vehicle.

    But all he does is make blanket statements like "It's not as refined as the big boys" and "No Hyundai is as good as a Honda or Toyota or Mazda." It would be nice to know exactly what vehicles he is comparing the Santa Fe to, and it what regards the Santa Fe doesn't measure up.
  • briancambriancam Member Posts: 21
    Hyundai is better now, no question. I'd even consider owning an Azera if it weren't for the awful seating position but Honda, Toyota, Nissan and even Mazda have all made steady improvements as well.

    I believe there aren't any Hyundais as well built or rewarding to drive as competing Hondas and Toyotas. HOWEVER, Hyundai offers a better value and in some cases better looking vehicles.

    Camrys and Accords or Highlander for that matter may not be $5,000 better but they are better.

    It's great that the new Santa Fe is better than the previous version but that line of reasoning is going to start wearing out very soon as many buyers will not recall the Excel :lemon: and simply expect the Sonata or Santa Fe to be as good as or better than the competition no matter what the price or warranty.
  • briancambriancam Member Posts: 21
    We should have mentioned in the article that the Santa Fe will be built in the US - Alabama. It's the second Hyundai to built in America.
  • choe13choe13 Member Posts: 348
    Not the sonata or Azera, but is definitely the "one"

    This cuv destroys its competition literallly

    I saw one today, and honestly i feel bad for toyota and the rav 4. Absolute no match but more expensive. This cuv will also cause problems for higher end suvs. It is quite as competent and looks better than all of them.(audi Q7 exterior seems dated comapred)

    I think also the santa fe will also re fan the flame for the sonata, azera, accent sales and make people respect the new upcoming hyundais.

    The redsox making the greatest comeback ever? i think Hyundai in the auto industry is second to that.
  • wolverinejoe80wolverinejoe80 Member Posts: 337
    you must never seen the new santa fe in person. it destroys highlander.
  • dbrosdbros Member Posts: 81
    I think Brian Moody did a very good review on this car, If you look at the review he is actually on the neutral side. You can't really get away from comparing competing vehicles if you are making a review and that's what he did! He praised the interior and exterior of the car and even tried to put down the interior quality of honda CRV and Toyota RAV 4! and I quote:

    "Now the Santa Fe's interior has vehicles like the Toyota RAV4 and Honda CR-V looking somewhat low-buck by comparison"

    Even with this developments that Hyundai did for this car you cannot give this car a 10 because it has not proven itself yet... It remains to be seen after 10 years!! :P Put it this way if somebody's gonna give you an engine for free but you have to choose between the two a Honda 3.5L V-6 VTEC engine and Hyundai 3.3L V-6 Lambda engine what are you gonna choose?! :confuse: A lot of people right now will go with Honda!! that's a no brainer!! :cry: :P

    If you are in the market for this kind of SUV I would rather prefer a Honda Pilot 2WD or AWD because of proven track record in reliability and quality and the actual prices in the market is a lot more cheaper than this car right now!! (Check prices and buying experiences forum)OR if you really like this vehicle wait until next year when the hype goes down.
  • briancambriancam Member Posts: 21
    Yes, in its styling but not road manners.
  • briancambriancam Member 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 Member 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 Member Posts: 11
    From the reviews I've read so far. I really think it must be those tires.
  • wolverinejoe80wolverinejoe80 Member Posts: 337
    felt much better than highlander to me.
  • dbrosdbros Member Posts: 81
    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 edmunds.com and replace the editors here. :P
  • rsm333rsm333 Member 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 Member 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 Member 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 Member 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 Member 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 Member 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.

    Mike
  • leeh2leeh2 Member 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 Member Posts: 85
    you can get it done much cheaper away from the dealer :P
  • lasberrylasberry Member 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 Member 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.

    Specs:

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

    JCS
  • thunderbirdthunderbird Member Posts: 26
    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 Member Posts: 279
    auto trans? 4 or 5 speed?
  • thunderbirdthunderbird Member Posts: 26
    auto trans
  • shc1shc1 Member 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.
  • sirvagabondsirvagabond Member Posts: 51
    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?
  • guestguest Member Posts: 770
    In the White Mountains of New Hampshire this vehicle had great difficulty making it to the top and the brakes overheat when descending. The noise on any road is incredibly loud. Take another look. This is so bad that we now rent a vehicle when traveling any distance.
  • rutan74rutan74 Member Posts: 20
    Tested the 2007 SE just this past friday and we decided to buy.

    On interstate, SE was incredibly quiet. We traded from a 2003 Honda Accord V6. Santa Fe's V6 has plenty of power and again we were surprised at the quietness of the car on the interstate. It also had/has a very nice car-like ride. Very smooth and does not feel like an SUV. I also like the dark blue-purpleish lighting for the dash. This is similar to the Jetta we test drove back in 2000. It appears to be easier on the eyes at night. At least it does that for us.

    Off the interstate, suspension is a bit tight and the bumps are more pronounced, but not by much.

    Overall, we were very pleased with how smooth the SF drove, and how quiet the cab was, even at 80mph. We were very impressed and decided to purchase(see my post on purchase details).

    Although only 2 days old, the SF is a winner in our books!

    jg
  • srdriversrdriver Member Posts: 48
    I am in the process of buying a 2007 Santa Fe Limited.

    The sales staff does not know much about the vehicle or it's options? Found virtually all the into about the vehicle on the internet including Edmunds and other sites.

    Sales staff does not have computer and were not aware of various and sundry things that they should have at their finger tips!

    Sales staff was not aware of TSBs, Campaigns,etc!

    G
  • blackexv6blackexv6 Member Posts: 503
    I also drove the '07 Santa FE SE on Friday. It was an AWD with the Premium & Touring package.

    This is a great vehicle. Very smooth, quiet on concrete highway, and handled road imperfections flawlessly. My test drive experience made me upset that we paid $35k for our Honda Odyssey. Our Ody is so noisy on the highway & the car is just not built as well (it seems) as the Hyundai SAnta Fe.

    After owning 3 Hondas with problems (some major) in the past 5 years it is time to look at other manufacturers. Bad transmissions, droning noises, rattle, creaks, rough riding, & excessive road noise made us think twice. Ruled out Toyota because of their obnoxius sales staff who think they are doing you a favor by selling you a Toyota.

    That being said, I am nervous about buying a Hyundai. Everyone I talked to says Hyundais are cheap cars & won't be worth much in a few years. Any comments or experiences on trade-in. Our Hondas always returned excellent trade-in values.
  • tenpin288tenpin288 Member Posts: 804
    That being said, I am nervous about buying a Hyundai. Everyone I talked to says Hyundais are cheap cars & won't be worth much in a few years. Any comments or experiences on trade-in. Our Hondas always returned excellent trade-in values

    I think we are starting to see an upturn in Hyundai's trade-in values. They are not at the level of Honda or Toyota yet, but they are definitely improving. We have 2 Hyundais we purchased new, a 2004 Sonata LX and a 2005 Tucson LX AWD. The Sonata we bought in March 2004 and paid $18700 for it. According to Edmunds, the retail value is $14200, private is $12900, and trade is $11400. The same values for the Tucson which we bought in November 2004 for $22500 are $18800, $17400, $15800. The interesting thing about those values is that Kelley Blue Book has both vehicles valued at $1000-$2000 higher in each value! :D

    As far as our experiences, these cars have been darn near flawless. We have only had to do regular maintenance on these vehicles (per the Hyundai manual, not the extra services the dealers always want to add on for their bottom line) and they are extremely well put together. No rattles, no loose parts, comfortable rides, and great value and content for the money. Ultimately, you need to make the choice that is right for you, but we made the choice to go with Hyundai and we have no regrets at all. Good Luck! ;)
  • rradinarradina Member Posts: 5
    Rating: :D

    I just purchased a 2007 SE. I was looking for a replacement for the Malibu Maxx that I leased two years ago. Since I was driving a Chevy, one of my chief considerations was price. I just didn't want to pay $30,000 for a new vehicle. I don't remember all the models I considered but aside from the "luxury" brands, the list of manufacturers was Suzuki, Chevy, Ford, Nissan, Toyota, Mitsubishi, Honda and Hyundai. Within each of those manufacturers I considered a dizzying array of cars and cross overs and SUVs. (Although off-topic, if you want a car, take a look at the new Nissan Altima. I love the car but I couldn't bring myself to pay $25,000 for a relatively spartan V6 model.)

    After returning to the Hyundai dealer four times, I finally decided I couldn't pass up the $23,000 price I worked for an SE w/no options. I drove the GLS with the 2.7 + 4spd auto and although no slouch, once I drove the 3.3, the 2.7 would have been impossible to accept.

    I found myself drawn to the value aspect of the vehicle. I really felt like I was getting a bargain. There were lots of standard features costing thousands more on other models. Although I would have been able to get an Equinox a bit cheaper than the Sante Fe, I found it hard to accept the Chevy's "low tech" push-rod V6. Don't get me wrong, Chevy's aren't bad vehicles. I've owned four in my 26 years of driving but they tend to start having issues around 85,000 miles. With three kids all getting to the "expensive years", this time I was in the market to purchase and "drive the wheels" off of a vehicle. I wanted something I could drive for perhaps 10 years. That's where the Hyundai warranty sold me. Although Chevy's now have a 5 year 100,000 warranty (impressive and kudos to The General for raising the purely American manufacturing bar), I currently only drive about 12,000 miles/year. My Chevy warranty would have run out at 60,000. That concerned me because it was before I usually start having trouble with GM products. When I added an extended warranty package to the Equinox, the price advantage faded. I also thought that the Santa Fe offered more features, had a quieter ride, more performance and better styling. The Equinox center console was a joke. It was like Homer Simpson's belly (you bang it from the side and it jiggles to a stop.)

    After having the car for two days, I feel like I stole a luxury SUV. Both my wife and I agree that until you get close enough to see the logo, the Santa Fe can be mistaken for other much more expensive SUVs. The highway ride is incredibly quiet. We also own a Toyota Sienna minivan and I had to pull the boys aside and tell them to stop telling mom how noisy the van is after riding in the Santa Fe.

    I cannot say enough about the 3.3 V6. It never feels strained and unless I floor it, one could be fooled into thinking they were driving an electric car. It really is that quiet unless you call upon all the horses.

    The 18" wheels on the SE do make the bumps in the subdivision noticeable but once on the freeway, it's incredibly quiet and smooth. I can't wait to take the family to my parents around Christmas. They live ~200 miles away and I think we'll all enjoy the ride. My only reservation will be the first hour of "buy American" indoctrination I'll receive from my rural parents who believe we should support our country. And they won't skip a beat when I tell them the car was made in Alabama and that even Chevys and Fords have a lot of foreign parts. Then I'll hear about where the profits go until I remind them that they own Chryslers.

    So far my only complaints are:

    1) It is impossible for an adult to retrieve items that fall between the cushions of the passenger seats. I have three boys and my middle son's Nintendo game cartridge slipped between the cushions. It took me about ten minutes to finally figure out that a sliver of a crack forms between the rear seat and the cargo compartment when you start to fold the seat forward. That crack is too small for an adult hand. Luckily the son that lost the cartridge was able to slip his hand into the crack and get his cartridge. I looked for a way to remove the cargo bin but I didn't feel like removing a half-dozen screws from my two-day-old vehicle.

    2) The entire engine is covered with a massive plastic shield. At first glance it looks cool but the more I stare at it the more I wonder why Hyundai felt it needed to hide the engine. After repeated views I then noticed the faux "manifold pipes" and felt like the designers were trying to appeal to idiots because only someone with total ignorance of what goes on under the hood would be fooled into thinking that what they are viewing has any functional purpose. I know I'm nit picking but I feel compelled to remove it just to get a peek. Is there a mess underneath or are the various components, pipes, wires and interconnects dressed and fastened neatly?
  • blackexv6blackexv6 Member Posts: 503
    Congrats on your purchase. Is your Santa Fe AWD or FWD?

    I am seriously considering this car now if the price comes in where I need it.

    Please post your gas mileage over in the Hyundai Santa Fe Owners: MPG-Real World Numbers forum when you run a few tanks.
  • rradinarradina Member Posts: 5
    It's a FWD. I live in St. Louis and we don't get enough snow to justify AWD. Even if we did, I didn't want to pay for it. Some test drive reviews felt the AWD handled a smidgen better perhaps due to all wheels providing power.

    So far the trip computer says 19mpg but only one day's commute is in that figure. So far most of the 200 miles on the car were spent puttering around on the week-end. I'm hoping my commute mileage drives that number to 20 or more.
  • edmac1edmac1 Member Posts: 36
    "The entire engine is covered with a massive plastic shield"

    I couldn't believe this goofy-looking thing when I first saw it. Could it possibly have any practical purpose? The oil filter is apparently on top somewhere because the instructions I saw say that the first thing you have to do is remove that cover by removing the six bolts with a 10-mm socket. If you do decide to take a look, let us know what's under there.
  • pelican19pelican19 Member Posts: 323
    Could it possibly have any practical purpose?

    Good question. The cx-7, Sedona, Entourage, Murano and RDX have similar covers just to name a few. ONLY the RDX ( the cowl houses a filter )seems have have some functionality other than giving the engine compartment a cleaner look.
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