We were in the market to change our excellent VW Passat Highline Estate TDi 130 and had been looking at the Honda CRV range. We had also driven the VW Touareg.
A colleague - BMW owner, was also going through a similar evaluation for his new family car and encouraged me to check out the all new Hyundai Santa Fe.
I arrived at the dealership with an open mind and was really impressed with the exterior physical appearance and style. Then once I looked inside and felt the quality of the leather + the general fit and finish, I knew that this model deserved a test drive.
I was lucky enough to go out for a test drive with my family for over an hour. My wife and I both drove and took it down narrow uneven country lanes, fast A roads, sweeping B roads and town centre carparks and it performed faultlessly . The interior has a really nice quality feel and is light years apart from previous Hyundai offerings.
The roof mounted DVD player was a winner for the kids and to have 6 disc CD + Cassette, MP3 & radio is superb. We were also impressed with the Smartnav system which doesn't rely on a screen and routes you real time around accidents and traffic jams!
When we weighed everything up - drive, equipment levels and economy and then considered the 5 year manufacturers warranty + 3 RAC cover - it seemed that ownership costs should be fairly predictable!
Overall we were so impressed that we placed an order there and then and can't wait for it to arrive!
I took one of these for a brief test drive. I was astonished at the finish and how well it drove. The car handles well and the ride is good. Broken surfaces are rarely felt or heard. The ride is superior to a Pathfinder, Shogun and Land Cruiser but without the floatiness of the LC.
The plastic wood trim is a mistake – a carbon fibre effect would be less tacky. Equipment levels are good, the interior is extremely well screwed together and exterior shut lines are close and uniform. The doors don’t close with a German car thunk, but everything solid seems durable.
The auto box and diesel work perfectly and make driving the car a joy. The car is quite heavy for the 2.2 diesel and if you have 7 aboard then you’ll travel gently no matter how much exercise your give your right foot. It could do with a bit more grunt, but the power suffices.
My concern is that at this price xenon headlamps should be std and there is no rear “luggage” space cover for the 7 seater (all your belongings will be displayed to thieves). The audio system includes a cassette player! It would have been better to spend the cost of that putting in a bigger amp, better speakers, etc.
The other big worry is the depreciation and the badge. Hyundais lose value faster than John Prescott’s credibility, so the whole cost of ownership might be quite high compared with competitors. Am I bothered by the badge - no not really because the car is so good. Overall, test drive this car – you’ll be impressed.
First saw this car in the Telegraph and was impressed from the beginning. Have had a few test drives.
This car is lovely to drive. It is quite, refined and very smooth. The ride quality is far superior to my BMW 320d, which was a real surprise. Handling is also really very good. In short, I think it is a revelation.
Seats are comfortable. It is quite hushed at speed (I had read about wind noise). Even at illegal speeds, I thought it really quite quiet. Also, I think the quoted fuel economy is really very good.
Basically, it meets all my requirements. I have had estate car after estate car and am just plain bored. I wanted the flexibility of an MPV but something more interesting, better looking and more capable, like a 4x4 but without the punishing fuel economy of the mainstream versions.
OK, it's not a Volvo, but then the Volvo is really not worth £10,000 more. Nor is it as good looking for that matter. All the rest of its competition are either too small (Nissan, RAV-4, Honda, Freelander) etc too rugged and expensive to run (Mitsubishi, Nissan Pathfinder etc.) or too damned expensive (Volvo, BMW, VW Toaureg etc)
In short, it is just right. Having now got over my badge snobbery (I struggled a bit), I am now awaiting delivery of my 2.2 CDX+ 5 seat.
I have just taken this Santa Fe CDX+ 7 for a test drive. My first impression was that it is a well built car with a firm ride, excellent acceleration and good visibility due to its height.
A three-mile run up the motorway convinced me that it's a good car for distance, as it has cruise control, easily read instruments, and only a little wind noise.
You feel the height of the vehicle when you go around corners, but nothing you would not expect from its size.
When compared to a Nissan X-Trail, the Santa Fe wins hand down for a better quality feel.
I'm convinced it will turn out to be a good car. I'll let you know once I've bought one and done 100,000 miles.
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