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Hyundai Santa Fe Test Drives

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


  • Karen_SKaren_S Posts: 5,092
    Coming soon to InsideLine Road Tests! Post your comments here.
  • danf1danf1 Posts: 935
    Why doesn't Scott tell us how he really feels about Hyundai?
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    Keep hitting "Next" at the bottom of the story to get to Scott's Second Opinion comments. Ouch. :sick:
  • arumagearumage 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 Posts: 52,462
    If you just want to jump straight to the Second Opinion page, here's the link: 0448
  • danf1danf1 Posts: 935
    That's what I was refferring too.
  • jrock65jrock65 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 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 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
  • 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 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.
  • "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.
  • "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 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 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 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 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.
  • you must never seen the new santa fe in person. it destroys highlander.
  • dbrosdbros 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 Posts: 21
    Yes, in its styling but not road manners.
  • 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: 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 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.
This discussion has been closed.