Last week, we head out to the beautiful island of Siargao to experience first-hand what the latest model of the Hyundai Santa Fe 2013 has to offer. First of all, I have to say that the venue, as well as the timing, couldn’t have been more perfect to showcase this 3rd Generation mid-size SUV’s prowess.
The Santa Fe has come a long way since Hyundai released its first version some 13 years in the past. It has evolved into a masterpiece that not only caught the attention of its target market, but also impressed various car organizations both locally (Car Awards Group Inc.) and abroad (Euro New Car Assessment Program).
In its short tenure, the car has already brought home notable awards such as being named Best Midsize Crossover Car of the Year in the Philippines (2012-2013) by CAGI and bring referred to by EURO NCAP as the Safest Large Off-Road 4×4 in its class.
Earlier I’ve mentioned that Hyundai Philippines couldn’t have picked a better time and place to let select members of the press to test drive the Santa Fe. That’s because we had a little bit of everything as far as the road surface and condition are concerned.
Albeit majority of the main roads are cemented, there are still roads on the island that are rocky, muddy or sandy. But no matter what road we were treading, the Santa Fe was able to provide a smooth ride thanks to a plethora of enhancements for both braking and handling various terrains that Hyundai equipped the car with.
Hyundai prides itself on their in-house design philosophy they like to call as “Fluidic Sculpture”. Call it a marketing gimmick as you wish, but I have to say that the Santa Fe’s curves are undeniably fly and I assume serves a greater purpose as far as aerodynamics is concerned.
The Santa Fe’s interior is as well thought of as its exterior. Most of the things that are usually adjusted (audio volume, driving/braking modes, windows, etc.) by the driver are within arm’s reach. There’s also a fancy dashboard that’s both visually-appealing and functional. Furthermore, it can be customized to display information such as average speed, average fuel consumption and distance to empty.
Another geeky addition to its arsenal is the combo of Proximity Key technology and Engine Start/Stop button. Here’s a short video to give you a better picture of the benefits of these added features.
The inside of the car was spacious; there was ample legroom for both the 2 seats at the front and passenger seats at the middle. However, the foldable seats at the back was a bit of a tight-squeeze and not something that I would advise to be sit on by full-grown adults.
Here are some shots that we took of the Hyundai Santa Fe:
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Just to be clear, I am not a car enthusiast by any means as it’s probably evident on my coverage. But quite frankly, I feel like I don’t need to be one to be able to tell you guys that the Hyundai Santa Fe is a well-rounded SUV.
It definitely has the looks, but more importantly it has all the bells and whistles that one would look for in a car in this class. We also like the idea that Hyundai was able to incorporate today’s technology to the Santa Fe which not only ensure a comfy ride in various terrains, but also add a touch of convenience to the whole package.
Hyundai Santa Fe specs (click to enlarge):
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The Hyundai Santa Fe is available in two variants; 2.2L R-eVGT 6AT 2WD and 2.2L R-eVGT 6AT 4WD. The base model of the former will set you back Php1.768M while the latter retails for Php2.228M.