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by Karl Peskett

2009 Hyundai Santa Fe CRDi Long Term

It’s probably one of the great secrets of the Hyundai line-up. The Santa Fe has been steadily increasing in numbers on our roads, without much advertising and fanfare, either. In its current form, unlike the dowdy predecessor, the Santa Fe is a stylish and practical wagon that’s now available in three specification trims and two fuel types, petrol and diesel.

As a family man, a mid-sized SUV suits me pretty well, and with the in-laws getting older and needing help with transportation, the space and seven seats are a great help.

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Which is why we contacted Hyundai for a long term loan of what is now its biggest car. We intend on spending a few months with the SUV and see how it handles the family grind.

Hyundai’s PR mananger is about as helpful as you can get, even offering us a choice of colours, and any options we wanted.

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We opted for a gun-metal metallic version, fitted with Bluetooth, parking sensors, nudge bar, floor mats, towball and, most importantly, a Trek’N’Tow package.

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This raises the height of the car by 30mm for added ground clearance, as well as increasing the weight-bearing ability of the towball. It certainly stiffens up the ride, which is something you’ll get used to, but on the 18-inch wheels it also makes it a tad jittery, and if it means better off road performance, it’s a trade off I’m willing to live with.

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What I’m not willing to live with is the leather popping out of the seat frame, which happened within a week of delivery.

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Thankfully Hyundai was very prompt in sorting it out, with the dealer getting on the job immediately. Hopefully that’s the only issue we’ll have with build quality.

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We also took the car to the excellent folks at Perth Graphics Centre for some signwriting, with special thanks to Tony and his team, and Ian for doing a great job of fitting the graphics.

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We were able to watch the whole process, and with 3M vinyl being used, we’re assured of a quality run with our identification on the car.

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So far, the Santa Fe has averaged 10.2 litres per 100km, but with only 1100kms on the clock from new, the engine still hasn’t been fully run in, and as a result is probably making less power due to being quite tight. A few more kilometres under the belt should see it ending up a little quicker, and using a bit less fuel.

We’ll report back soon, after we’ve had a longer run, and some off-road experiences as well.



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HYUNDAI SANTA FE BREAKDOWN

2009 Hyundai Santa Fe CRDi Long Term Review
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