Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Santa Fe for seven remains a bargain

Mark Glover’s AutoGlo car reviews also can be seen on the Business page of The Sacramento Bee’s website – via the “GALLERY: Reviews of new cars” link at

Sacramento, California – High gas prices have changed the nation’s car-buying habits, but some folks still need something that can carry seven passengers or a fair amount of cargo on a regular basis.

Those needs, however, do not negate bargain shopping.

And that’s why the Hyundai Santa Fe should be on your list.  Over the years, I’ve recommended the Santa Fe to numerous friends and family members as a practical choice in the crowded field of sport-utility vehicles, some of them priced to the sky.

Not so the Santa Fe.

My tester, a 2013 Santa Fe Limited with front-wheel drive, was loaded to the teeth for a starting price of $33,100.   A Technology Package that included a sunroof and a nav system pushed the bottom line to just short of $37,000

But I can tell you straight up: I would have been just as happy without the extras.

That’s because the long list of standard features included all the contemporary traction-control devices, braking assistance technology, 19-inch alloy wheels, proximity key entry, heated seats in the first two rows, leather seating surfaces, roof rails and a windshield wiper de-icer.  That’s just the short list.

What I had in my tester would easily equate to $45,000 or $50,000 in seven-passenger SUVs made by other manufacturers.  So, yeah, you’re getting a pretty good deal here.  Throw in Hyundai’s over-the-top warranties, and you’re getting a very good deal.

The Santa Fe’s styling is classic SUV, which is to say roundish with enough aerodynamic smoothness thrown in to please the eye.

Power is supplied via a 3.3-liter V-6 rated at 290 horsepower.  That power plant propels the Santa Fe with authority, when asked, and the vehicle is agile enough to give you lane-changing confidence during crowded freeway commutes.  On long interstate hauls, the Santa Fe was quiet and smooth, the better to hear the 12-speaker Infinity Logic 7 surround-sound system that was among the extras in my ride’s Technology Package.

Cargo-carrying capacity is impressive.  The back end area is deep enough to stack boxes without blocking the rear view.

Gas mileage is only fair at 18 miles per gallon in the city and 25 mpg on the highway.  Alas, I’ll take the V-6 power advantage over fuel mileage in a crowd-carrying SUV every time.

Overall, the Santa Fe maintains the charms that have prompted me to recommend it to prospective SUV buyers for years.  Lots of goodies for the right price.


No comments:

Post a Comment