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