Last post on Dec 14, 2007 at 4:07 PM
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Hyundai Santa Fe, SUV
#1 of 80 Hyundai Santa Fe: Test Drive - what did you think?
Jul 29, 2006 (9:49 pm)
Test driven a Santa Fe? What were your impressions? Report them here!
#2 of 80 Test Drive in 2007 Santa Fe Limited AWD
Jul 28, 2006 (12:43 pm)
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.
#3 of 80 Re: Test Drive in 2007 Santa Fe Limited AWD [rsm333]
Jul 28, 2006 (3:14 pm)
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.
#4 of 80 Another test drive comment
Jul 28, 2006 (3:52 pm)
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.
#5 of 80 Re: Another test drive comment [jvenezia]
Jul 28, 2006 (6:14 pm)
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.
#6 of 80 Re: Another test drive comment [rsm333]
Jul 28, 2006 (7:37 pm)
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.
#7 of 80 My test drive
Aug 02, 2006 (1:40 pm)
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.
#8 of 80 Test Drove the new Santa Fe 3 weeks ago
Aug 02, 2006 (1:51 pm)
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
#9 of 80 road test of a new 06 santa fe
Aug 09, 2006 (4:12 pm)
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.
#10 of 80 Re: road test of a new 06 santa fe [thunderbird]
Aug 25, 2006 (2:13 pm)
auto trans? 4 or 5 speed?