Peace in a time of turmoil is an achievement in and of itself. With rough roads and never-ending traffic, a car would be the only source of solace for many, but some are better than others. The Hyundai Santa Fe is more than just a car for this purpose. Engineering and thoughtfulness are part of the equation when it comes to designing a vehicle like the Santa Fe, where multiple pieces are put together resulting in one of the most comfortable and plush experiences from Hyundai.
Details that can be seen are only part of the story the Santa Fe tells us. To the untrained eye, it may seem like just another vehicle with high ground clearance and a diesel engine, but it’s more than what it is. It is priced accessibly even with much thoughtfulness and detail; challenging upscale brands stitch for stitch and refinement for refinement. The real magic comes when viewing the car as a whole, but here are a few facets that make this Santa Fe, a worthy choice for those looking for premium access. Can you quantify quality? Perhaps you can, but here are five things that the Santa Fe does absolutely right.
There are styling elements that stand out with the Santa Fe. From afar, you get to see Hyundai's updated design for this model year, but go closer and you will see that even the smaller details of the car were not neglected. Several parts hold a well-executed finish that gives this vehicle personality from every angle. Starting off with the lighting array, the headlights are not where you expect them to be. To maximize the size of the bulb that Hyundai can place, the main LED projector headlamps are embedded into the bumper. Subtle design quirks such as the embossed plastic pieces inside the lens play with the light that hits them, creating dimension in an otherwise, ignored object.
The same can be said for the taillights. What was otherwise flat, is given a three-dimensional effect. The lens has two elements that create depth for the rear. It's an interesting array that catches the eye and makes you go for a double-take whenever you see it.
2. Engineered to the molecule
Hyundai manufactures their own brand of steel —used in ships, aircrafts and their cars —incorporating a special formula called Advanced High Strength Steel, which performs as its namesake suggests. It’s a tough and resilient material that ensures performance and safety which sets the tone for the rest of the vehicle, meaning it can take a beating and still retain its form. Up to 57% of the entire car utilizes this steel, making the entire vehicle strong.
The chassis has a unity that SUVs won’t have. The frame moves as one without any shakes or rattles that may stir up some commotion in the interior. The monocoque is not as clunky as a typical SUV’s construction, which means there are no seams and rivets, it’s all one continuous piece that moves with the rest of the monocoque.
3. Robust refinement
In a blind test, you’d think it’s not powered by a diesel engine. It’s a forgivable mistake to assume that it’s a gasoline engine since it runs without the traditional clunk of such a motor. It has low-end torque and high efficiency, which are all hallmarks of a diesel mill, but without the distinctiveness of such. When you demand power, however, it is granted once you step on the floor hinged accelerator pedal. You can be pushing the engine, and none of the noise or vibration from the engine will be heard or felt.
4. Integration for today
While the mechanical bits are all good in terms of its engineering, Hyundai has made sure to create a car that is adapted to the ever-changing landscape of technology. Hardware and software adapted to today, that’s what the Santa Fe has. The infotainment system can pair with an Android or Apple smartphone to deliver a modern infotainment experience complete with maps, messaging, and music integration.
You also get another piece of technology that you didn’t know you wanted. A 360-degree camera will be the headlining feature for years to come, and Hyundai has added it into the spec sheet of the Santa Fe. It helps with tighter situations, and it’ll give you peace of mind knowing how far the curb is or if you’re parked straight or not.
5. Uber Comfort
All of these facets result in a vehicle that not only is a pleasure to be behind the wheel of, but also a pleasure to be driven in. No matter where you are in the vehicle, expect your own space. There are no intrusions that come from the car itself. Faith can be given to the vehicle’s comfort because of its chassis. On top of that, you also get the quiet performance and a barrier to shield you from the hustle and bustle of city traffic.
It’s also a joy to gawk at the interior, which has more detail than most pedestrian cars in the market. Instead of going for straight forward lines, we get a treat for the senses. There is a two-tone theme of black and brown happening here. All of this is accented by a geometric pattern that Hyundai seems to be fond of. Taking a look at the seats reveals a not-so-typical quilting pattern of leather and thread. It’s a different approach that lets this interior shine to those willing to peer closely. While appreciated in the seats, the passenger storage area in the dashboard would be the last place that one would expect this pattern to pop up. It’s also three-dimensional, which creates a depth and air of thoughtfulness on Hyundai’s part. A closer look at the other bits in the interior reveals trim pieces with a subtle geometric pattern as well. This complements the speaker grilles which add a touch of class to an otherwise mundane item in the cabin.
If the exterior has a lot of unnecessary details, the interior is a whole new world. For starters, a black headliner set the tone as it emulates class and relaxation by simply looking at it. Though this pales in comparison to the tactility of the suede material. It's a pleasure to touch and hold, an experience we wish other cars would follow, sadly – or quite happily, the Santa Fe isn't most cars. Even the sun visors – a part that is often ignored, is clad in this luxurious-feeling material, and is a treat to use.
The sum of all its parts
Korean cars have reached a high point. Whether the brands will continue to elevate the level of quality remains to be seen, but we cannot deny that the Santa Fe stands as one of the better-engineered and thought of vehicles to come from Hyundai in recent years. Whether it’s a culmination of everything that Hyundai has learned or a sign of things to come, it’s an undoubtedly grand step in the right direction. Every detail is oriented towards the goal of creating an experience that beats more popular options in the market. Every complaint about the ride quality, sound-proofing, and technology is addressed; and then some.
Don't just take our word for it, consider other organizations that have lauded the vehicle's quality and performance in the real world. The Santa Fe has also been awarded as the Best Family Car of 2019 by Kelley Blue Book, an American company specializing in the valuation and review of automobiles. Hyundai has also received an award from J.D. Power for the Most Dependable SUV in the 2019 Vehicle Dependability Study. J.D. Power gets pertinent information to gauge customer satisfaction metrics from real consumers through the use of surveys.
Any manufacturer worth their salt will commit to giving their consumers the best possible experience with their products. From the releasing, all the way to the current service interval. Hyundai is so confident with its products that it bundles them with a five-year, unlimited mileage warranty. On top of that, you can quell your anxieties by going through Hyundai's 30-minute fast-track service that is free if it takes longer than the allotted time. All of these offers and claims are backed by the brand's 41-strong dealer network that is reachable through the South Korean brand's support program.
The HCARES program is actually an acronym for Customer Assistance and Response System, which extends Hyundai’s promise of worry-free ownership experience to its customers with roadside assistance being only one of the main services they offer from their strong family of dealerships. It's essentially a customer care hotline where anyone can inquire about products, service appointments, raise technical concerns, request for roadside assistance, and other customer services.
If that's not enough to teeter you over the edge, then maybe Hyundai's newest offer can entice you:
With the industry’s first and only 5-year unlimited warranty, you get an extra 5-year FREE PMS on the Hyundai Santa Fe when you purchase from September 23 to November 30. And Hyundai is extending this offer to new purchases of the Tucson and Grand Starex. Click on this link now to find out more.
Produced in partnership with Hyundai Asia Resources, Inc.
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