Last post on Jul 05, 2011 at 10:21 AM
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Hyundai Santa Fe, SUV
#128 of 264 My new Santa Fe is a very pleasant surprise.
May 16, 2007 (10:08 pm)
A couple of weeks ago I made the decision to leave my job. Believe it or not, one of the toughest considerations was the fact that I'd have to return a 2-month-old Volvo XC90 AWD. (It was a company car that I got to order to my own specs.) Anyway, I decided to leave the job and return the car.
We were left with my wife's daily driver (2006 Mazda 3) and my weekend toy (2005 Corvette). It didn't take long to figure out that, although I'm keeping the Corvette, I definitely don't want it to be my daily driver. Not only that, we really wanted to have an SUV to replace the Volvo. No way were we going to buy anything nearly as expensive (or big) as the XC90; in fact, we set our sights on a Hyundai Tucson Limited AWD. We took one for a test drive and were quite impressed with it. Not only that, but the dealer had one that was equipped exactly the way we wanted it. It could have been so easy!
Just for the fun of it, I walked across the dealer's lot to their row of Santa Fes. Within a few minutes we were test driving a Limited AWD. As nice as the Tucson was (and it was very nice), the Santa Fe blew it away for just a few thousand dollars more. We left the dealership quite convinced that we'd end up with a Hyundai SUV - we just weren't sure which one.
Over the next week I did my due diligence by doing a lot of on-line research, kicking tires, and taking test drives. I drove the Chevy Equinox, Jeep Grand Cherokee, Honda CR-V, VW Rabbit, to name a few. My only hesitation with the Hyundais was their lack of available factory navigation systems.
In the end, it came down to the Santa Fe and the Grand Cherokee Limited. My wife and I both liked it with its V8 (we drove a 4.7 liter V8, not the Hemi) and luxury touches such as standard power passenger seat, power adjustable pedals, memory function for driver's seat, outside mirrors, pedals, and stereo, and available navigation. Still, something was missing in the Jeep. The interior was dull and dated with Chrysler's rather boring blue-green lighting. For such a large vehicle, I thought the rear seat accommodations would be generous but they're actually quite tight. Even though dealers are giving Grand Cherokees away (they're easy to buy at or slightly under invoice AND there's a $4500 rebate!), one without navigation would have still been $4000 more than a Santa Fe Limited AWD with Premium Package. Combine that with the Jeep's considerably worse gas mileage and higher insurance cost and it makes a solid case for buying a Santa Fe instead.
This past Friday our local Hyundai dealership notified me that they'd just received a Santa Fe that was configured exactly the way we wanted it - Limited AWD, Steel Gray/Black, Premium Package, carpeted mats. To top it off, it also contained the $20 "official" Hyundai first aid kit! We looked at it that night, then went across the street to test drive the Grand Cherokee. The next day (this past Saturday) we bought the Santa Fe and drove 'er home. We paid invoice + $0, less the $1000 rebate.
Though I've only put around 100 miles on it since picking it up, I'm very impressed with this car. It has a very high-quality feel to it and everything works perfectly. In fact, and this is a strong statement, my new Santa Fe is every bit as enjoyable to drive and feels every bit as high-quality as the $46,000 Volvo XC90 I just turned in! Two weeks ago I'd have never imagined making such a statement but today I make it without hesitation. The Santa Fe is truly impressive in both its design and its build quality. Interior materials choices seem to be excellent. The car provides excellent ride quality and it's tight as a drum. I'm especially impressed with how quiet it is inside, regardless of speed. Everything about it exudes a high-quality feel.
The Santa Fe is also much more comfortable than I expected it to be. Not only are the front seats great, but the back seats are, too. (Mine is a 5-passenger.) I'm 6' tall and with the driver's seat in my optimal driving position the rear compartment still has plenty of leg room - much more than the Jeep. Add to that the reclining back seats and you have a vehicle that can accommodate 5 adults in genuine comfort.
If I could make changes, they'd be few and minor:
Make navigation available. (Rumor has it that it will be a factory option on U.S. models for 2008; if so, hopefully the unit will retrofitable to 2007 models.)
Provide a dash or stalk-mounted switch to turn on all interior overhead lights at once. (Luckily, my just-built car has the front overhead lights that illuminate when the door is opened.)
Automatically turn on front overhead lights upon removing the key from the ignition.
Provide exterior repeater lights on the outside mirrors or front side fenders.
Illuminate the power mirror controls in the driver's door.
Do something with the rear bumper-mounted red light lenses! (Why not use them as rear fog lamps in U.S. models?)
Make the power passenger seat standard.
Provide an intermittent cycle for the rear window wiper.
Offer HID (xenon) headlamps.
Offer the upgraded audio system as a stand-alone option.
Provide back lit illumination for the overhead map light and sunroof control buttons.
That's pretty much it. Hyundai has clearly hit a home Run with the Santa Fe. I'm proud and feel very fortunate to own one.
#129 of 264 Re: My new Santa Fe is a very pleasant surprise. [mpuzach]
May 19, 2007 (5:49 am)
I feel the same about my Santa Fe. After 8000 miles, it's still as tight and quiet as when I first picked it up and is a joy to drive. By the way, my rear window wiper is intermittent. When I turn it on, it wipes about 5 times continuously, then automatically switches over to intermittent mode. Just the way you'd use it in the real world! The engineering in the vehicle is amazing.
2007 Santa Fe AWD Limited with Premium and Touring packages
Dark Cherry Red with beige leather interior
#130 of 264 Rear window wiper
May 19, 2007 (9:44 am)
By the way, my rear window wiper is intermittent. When I turn it on, it wipes about 5 times continuously, then automatically switches over to intermittent mode. Just the way you'd use it in the real world!
That's good to hear, Dave! I'll have to check mine out. Thanks for the info.
#131 of 264 Re: Map Light fix [pedro6]
May 19, 2007 (12:43 pm)
I have a 2007 Santa Fe Limited AWD. Same issue with the front map lights, they fail to go on when a door is opened.
Can you advise the number you called for Hyundai USA?
Lastly, does anyone find that the rear turn signals on the Limited are too dark? Motorists behind the Limited have a hard time seeing the turn signal when it is on, the entire light is red, not yeloow like other Santa Fe's.
#132 of 264 Re: Map Light fix [newyorkmba]
May 19, 2007 (1:31 pm)
Hyundai Consumer Affairs phone number is 800-633-5151 and e-mail is consumeraffairshmausa.com
I'm told mine will be replaced, but I need to set it up.
I agree about the rear turn signals. Yellow is much easier to see. I recall seeing a posting about an after-market kit that replaces the low red reflectors with working lights, but I don't recall if they were just brake lights or turn signals.
#133 of 264 Re: Map Light fix [newyorkmba]
May 19, 2007 (3:56 pm)
I also noticed that the small corner turn signals are barely noticeable during the day particularly if the sun is shinning directly behind the vehicle. Iím now in the habit of braking first then turning on the signals so that the car behind me backs off. I personally feel that itís an accident waiting to happen and a major design flaw on Hyundaiís part.
That being said, you can get the Euro taillights (yellow turn signals) at Korean Auto Imports but Iím not sure they are legal in the US/Canada because although there is a red lens around the outside of the taillights Iím not sure they light up at night.
#134 of 264 Map Light issue
May 21, 2007 (2:03 pm)
People in USA that have had modification done by dealer to turn map lites on and off with opening/closing of doors,PLEASE RESPOND!
Hyundai Corp. told me last week there is no such mod.out to do this,that it's all a rumor on webb.
If some one has had this actually done,please provide any info you may have.Such as mod.#,part#,something that we 1st gen.owners can provide dealer with.
If you don't have this,please provide dealership info that did work.
I have 14000 miles on my AWD Limited,and except for light issue,and recent false readings on my outside temp.display,really like my S.F.
#135 of 264 Re: Map Light issue [musky1gfm]
May 21, 2007 (2:33 pm)
Not a Rumor...
the phone and ext # at Hyundai usa is 800 633-5151 ext# 54204-Barbara . She has been a pleasure and contacts the dealers to get the parts ordered for you.
I have the parts on order and the then dealer called to confirm that I do not have a sunroof (different dome light) and they were ordering the kit Friday .YES IT IS IN THE USA west coast.
Dealer confirmed 1) new console, wire harness, and new dome light. The reps name is Barbara at HyundaiUSA. Parts were released at the end of last week from wjhat the dealer said and it is all being done at no chg. You are speaking to the wrong people or have old info. They gave me that line 2 weeks ago too!
There is also a TSB on the temp issue that is also listed here on the forums some time back. I had it done in march and there was a wire that had to be moved in the fuse box. My dealer knew nothing until i gave him the TSB...do a little hunting in here....you will find it
#136 of 264 Re: Map Light issue [gizzer777]
May 22, 2007 (9:43 am)
I called Hyundai's Consumer Affairs yesterday. The rep. was very nice and told me that she heard of people inquiring about the Map Light issue. She says there was no TSB and it was not a Hyundai fix. She suggested I just work with the dealer to get this fixed.
Would you be able to share the cost that your dealer is charging? I think based on cost, I will determine if I should continue pursuing this fix.
#137 of 264 Re: Map Light issue [ravenfan50]
May 22, 2007 (9:58 am)
Very strange...did you call the rep at ex 54204 and get a case #....barbara is her name?
I was told there was no charge for the fix (dealer confirmed this also). I will post when it is completed, hopefully next week. This is not a TSB but some type of field warranty fix. I wish they would get their story straight. I got the same type of mess until last friday
NOTE: the dealers knew NOTHING about this until I got it from consumer affairs....
The part # for the light kit in GREY with no sunroof is
00325-92800J4...dealer confirmed Warranty work (NO CHG) authorized by Hyundaiusa! it should be in this week...we shall see. Note there are different part numbers for the different trims!
There was a TSB for the temp indicator on the computer though