We were part of the Hyundai Santa Fe test drive in Siargao earlier this year as well as the Hyundai Forum in South Korea a couple of months ago but never really got to drive the unit of our own.
So when the opportunity came that we can bring home and use the Santa Fe for an entire week, we took it for a spin — and as the odometer reading says, it was a full 900 kilometers (or thereabouts).
Having owned a Tucson since 2009, I’ve long been a fan of Hyundai’s line of cars — from the Santa Fe, Sonata and the Genesis Coupe.
The unit that we tested has been on the road for some time, clocking in a little over 19,000km by the time we returned the unit back. We reckon it’s been thru a lot of reviewers and long drives.
It’s a 2.2L 4-wheel drive that runs on diesel. It’s the first time we’ve driven a diesel-fueled SUV but from experience, it is still very powerful, has good acceleration and with comparable top speed. During our trip to Nuvali in Sta. Rosa, Laguna we were able to reach speeds of 160kmph without much effort. I think that’s one benefit of having a 4-wheel drive rather than a 2WD.
Here’s a YouTube video we created for the Santa Fe.
Based on the 7 days that we’ve been using the Santa Fe, we’d like to share the top features we really liked about it.
1) Push-to-Start. No more keys in the ignition, just step on the brakes and press the start button, and you’re good to go. You still have a wireless key for the door locks and the car can also detect if the key is nearby the vehicle when you start it (the Smart Key or Proximity Key has some sort of proximity sensor). And oh, there’s no hand-brakes or foot-brakes as well (it has an Electronic Parking Brake).
2) Panoramic Sunroof. The sunroof extends from the front seat all the way to the backseat giving you a panoramic view of the sky. You can either retract the ceiling to expose the glass roof or retract the whole glass roof entirely so you can peek out of the car.
3) Rear Video Camera and Back Sensor. For easier navigation when in reverse drive, a rear camera displays a wide view from the posterior of the vehicle and a back sensor when there’s low visibility.
4) Automatic Seat Adjustments & Reclining Back Seats. The driver’s seat automatically adjusts its position from the steering wheel when mounting or alighting the vehicle. The back seats can also recline if you need to get a comfortable nap while on the road.
5) Four-wheel Drive. The Tucson I was driving for the last 4 years was just a 2WD so moving to a 4WD SUV is a huge difference in terms of power, grip and, of course, the obvious off-road advantage.
The re-designed body of the Santa Fe makes it look like a cross between the new Tucson and the more elegant Sonata, especially with the sunroof. It feels smaller though and a little lower, considering it came with a 19-inch wheels.
As for fuel consumption, we had a mix of city and highway drives which spans from Paranaque, Makati, Taguig, Mandaluyong to QC and then a full round trip drive from BGC to Nuvali. Based on a total trip of around 850 kilometers and a full tank of 64L, we estimate the average fuel consumption at about 14km per liter.
The entire ride is enjoyable, smooth and comfortable. We were thoroughly satisfied and the Santa Fe didn’t disappoint, not even a bit. It’s a solid performer, has a beautiful exterior and interior design, with a sprinkle of technology niceties here and there.
This specific model is the more well apportioned one (Hyundai Santa Fe 2013 2.2L R-eVGT 6AT 4WD) and has a suggested retail price of Php2,228,000.