: Hyundai Santa Fe Test Drive

Lord Cadillac
11-15-06, 03:55 PM
Well, my wife's been looking for a new small SUV - something with more current features - like the hatch that opens automatically and the seats the fold down automatically. With all her neck and back pain, I can't blame her. So we've been looking around.. So far, the only thing that works for her is the Lincoln Navigator.. Either that, or another Lexus RX - but she feels it's just paying to get into the same car again with a few extra features. I guess she's bored of the Lexus.

Anyway.. We test drove the Hyundai Santa Fe.. For the money, it's the best deal out there. It's got a very cool ambiance inside - with blue lighting - and it's pretty comfortable. All the switch-gear seems expensive. Everything works nicely. It rides smooth and is quiet inside - with enough power to never complain. However, and of course it's not - it's not up to Lexus standards. The leather is tough, the seats are hard, the ride isn't quiet as soft as our RX300 is - and it doesn't have an automatic lift-gate...

What we did find very nice is the third row seating - which the Lexus RX still doesn't have..

As a side-note, we also looked at the Infiniti QX56 (she felt it was far too "trucky" and had a harsh ride), the Infiniti FX (she just hates it), and the Acura MDX (the new one) - and she doesn't like that either. However, I thought the new Acura MDX had the nicest dash I've ever seen...

Cadillac SRX you might ask? Well, maybe the new one.. The outgoing model's interior is just terrible. Plasticy and cheap - like the CTS - which at least has a HOT exterior. Unfortunately, we can't afford anything new, so - maybe in 10 years...

I'll be test driving the CTS in an hour or so. We've got the Escalade in the shop and the CTS is our loaner...

11-16-06, 08:27 AM
What about a Chrysler Pacifica? Those seem to be nice.

The Rav4, CRX, etc... the small "foreign" ones, or are those not nice enough? I just can't think of anything else beside the pacifica that would fit you guys. :hmm:

11-16-06, 03:05 PM
I love the new Santa Fe's. They are great looking vehicles with lots of options for on hell of a price. BTW why are you trying to compare a Hyundai to a Lexus, Cadillac, Acura, or Infiniti?

Lord Cadillac
11-16-06, 03:50 PM
Neither my Wife or I can get into Chrysler for some reason. My Wife doesn't like Honda, Toyota or Nissan at all.. I do, however..

Honestly, I think Hyundai is only a short way-off from being considered a "step up" over Honda, Toyota and Nissan.. So, the next step is Lexus, Acura and Infiniti. Now while Hyundai won't be competing with them directly - their luxury brand will - and we're looking for some previews of what's to come.

Since my Wife got the RX300, she doesn't want anything less.. She loves that truck but wants something with newer features. So everything kinda gets compared to the Japanese luxury brands now..

11-17-06, 02:39 AM
X5? Plus, if you hunt, you can get the 3.0 in a 5-speed!

Lord Cadillac
11-18-06, 01:10 AM
She's actually been meaning to test drive the X5 but that's probably going way over our budget...

11-18-06, 06:41 PM
I like the Pacificas. Have you guys at least test drove one. They are very nice, maybe you two can have a change of heart...

If the X5 is $$$, maybe an X3? Or are those still too new and still $$$?


11-18-06, 11:09 PM
For something smaller, is Danielle opposed to a first-gen Lincoln Aviator? You get the awesome Navi interior in a smaller package. Sure, its a gussied up Explorer, but what great gussying!

11-19-06, 12:02 AM
try to test drive New SUZUKI XL7, you and your wife will not regret, seriously, just try it, you've got nothing to loose.

11-19-06, 12:22 PM
The new Santa Fe is a terrific small ute--exactly as you described--but I could see how it is missing a few little touches of extra features and refinement when compared to your general Lexus. Very, very close, but still a difference.

That said, and given that she doesn't like trucky, and really loves her Lexus but wants more features, I really have to say that a newer RX330 or RX350 with the pumped up new engine might just be the best choice. Yes, it would be sticking with the same brand and model, but they're quite a bit changed, and also now incorporate things like the power liftgate and such. Still a 5 seater, and not the most unique car on the road, but that's my guess for what would probably work best.

Or as others have mentioned, the Pacifica--Chrysler or not--has done quite well since intro, and now really has some serious guts under the hood with the 4.0L, as well as trim and leather of quite a high scale, a nice 3rd row, power liftgate, etc. Still, you don't seem hot on the idea of a Chrysler, but it's worth at least giving a try of a new '07...you NEVER know until you actually try one, even on a fluke.

OH, and mustn't I forget, the new GM Lambda crossovers have started production and will be out shortly--you can price them out online right now. There you have the great 3.6L V6, 6-speed auto, 7/8 passenger with real space and cargo room, all the luxury amenities, power hatch, etc. Of course, you can't drive one just this minute, but if the new car isn't a must have just this moment, they may be very well worth waiting a few weeks (I think) for, to check out.