Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Upgraded (2012) Hyundai Santa Fe

The family recently purchased the upgraded Hyundai Santa Fe and couldn’t be happier with its performance and comfort, particularly the two futsal players in the house. Our 2007 Kia Carens though still dutifully rendering efficient service, is already showing a few signs of ageing, so it definitely welcomes some help.

Powered by a 2.2 liter CRDI engine, equipped with the electronic variable geometry turbo system called R-eVGT, the brown metallic 2WD Santa Fe is easy to steer, quite fast from the get-go, cruises smoothly and quietly, and brakes strongly but gently. While still in the “break-in” phase, the power of Santa Fe is palpable even as it averages 7.7L-10L/100km for mixed Freeport and SCTEX driving.

But first a disclaimer: I am no techie, much less a car expert, so this is purely anecdotal even as I borrow the technical jargons from the websites of Topgear-Phils., Autoindustriya.com, the Philippine Daily Inquirer as well as Korean and Australian news agencies.

With its wide girth, the boys do not have to fight for space in the second row and they can be separated by two cupholders right down the middle. There are airvents on both sides, so does the third row. While it's relatively tall, the boys can easily get in and out of the Santa Fe.

We are still learning about its features and so far, the boys enjoy the NAVSAT capabilities of the Santa Fe (even if it just involves the distance from the house to school and vice-versa most of the time), the automatic wipers that adjust as the rain beats even harder, and the cooler right between the front seats. The touch-screen monitor also doubles as a reverse camera for easier and safer parking, while the side mirrors with signal repeaters fold with the push of a button.

According to the news, the 2012 model year upgrade for Santa Fe, “comprises a number of cosmetic enhancements both inside and out, led by the addition of silver ‘skid plates’ for the front and rear bumpers." The “refreshed seven-seat crossover also features a new chromed grille with ‘floating’ Hyundai badge, revised headlights, high-gloss black (instead of silver) roof rails.”

No mechanical changes are part of the MY2012 upgrade though. Its “R-eVGT 2.2 liter twin-cam 16-valve engine that delivers 197ps and 44.5kg/m of wall-climbing torque,” remains. It still “sports the latest electronically controlled variable geometry turbine technology and piezzo-electric crystal injectors offering precise fuel metering regardless of engine speed. Its Bosch-developed CRDi system is mated to an all-new, more compact, lighter 6-speed automatic transmission (AT) that offers a wider range of ratios and better mechanical efficiency than the outgoing 5-speed AT.” We're fine with it.

Certainly then the Santa Fe is an ideal CUV for a family with two smart and peripatetic young fellows bursting with energy. Hopefully, it will serve us in good stead for countless family adventures to come.

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