Hyundai Santa Fe 2.2 CRDi Premium SE 4WD
Week ending April 25
Driven this week 200 miles
At least two of our long termers are equipped with an auto hold function for their gearboxes - the Hyundai Santa Fe and VW Golf.
I’ve driven both recently, and have come away from each wondering why this isn’t fast becoming a standard feature on new cars.
With a conventional manual gearbox, when you pull up to a set of lights and come to a stop, the theory is that you put the ‘box in neutral and stick the handbrake on. Mind you, the reality of my 50-mile commute is that I am frequently stuck behind motorists who seem blissfully unaware of the handbrake in their manual car, or the fact their auto ‘box has a gear position marked ‘P’. Keeping a foot firmly planted on the brake pedal seems to be the norm, now.
Auto hold removes the need to faff with a handbrake or gear lever. Take our Santa Fe, for example. You can pull up to a set of lights, depress the brake slightly harder and for longer than usual, and the car will hold itself, removing the need to slot the lever all the way up to the Park setting.
In heavy stop-start traffic, the elimination of frequent pushes and pulls on the gear selector makes jams far less tiring.
By Ed Callow
Week ending April 18
Driven this week 1176 miles
The Santa Fe has been mysteriously misbehaving over the past week, with a rear nearside passenger door that refused to open, from both the inside and outside.
No matter how much I locked and unlocked it, swore and pulled on the handle, it just wouldn't budge. The child locks have never been used, the rear window lock-out switch didn't have any effect, and the offside door was working just fine.
Testing my patience, I threatened the car with a trip to the dealer, and - what do you know - the next day the door had curiously returned to working perfectly.
This was particularly welcome as I was off over the Easter break to the West Country to see friends and family where the generous rear legroom would be put to the test. I didn’t like the idea of having to get everyone in through the offside door by walking in the road.
Here's hoping that the Hyundai will behave itself and won't require any more threats of a trip back to the dealer.
By Will Williams
Week ending April 11
Driven this week 674 miles
The Santa Fe's windscreen has been changed by Autoglass - thankfully, sooner than the originally-quoted three to four weeks, as the screen was out of stock and had to be ordered in.
A friendly chap came out to my home address to carry out the work, as it was going to be carried out over a weekend. The car was the first of the new shape Santa Fe model that he has had to work on, but you would never have been able to tell - the work was so professionally carried out, with every step of the process explained to me. The only small disappointment is that the noise that first occurred at the same time as the crack spreading remains.
I had presumed that the noise was due to the crack and the screen flexing slightly, but it seems that was just a coincidence. It’s best described as an irritating combination of a knock and a click whenever you encounter a bump (in other words, most of the time in the UK). I'll have to get my dealer to take a look, as I'm not sure I can cope with the ‘knick’ sound until the car’s next service is due (at 20,000 miles).
Oh, and if you do buy a Sante Fe, just make sure that windscreen replacement is covered as part of your insurance policy. Without it, it would cost a frankly astonishing £1040.
By Will Williams