A Note from the Editor: A stock image has been supplied with this review.
This was to be my first new car. I had owned 11 vehicles before this in 50 years of driving. My wife thought it was too high, and when I would go around a corner, I could see her gripping the seat thinking it was going to roll over.
Our first big trip was Sydney to Perth, and by then it had 10,000km on it. In the four weeks we were gone, it never missed a beat. The power was outstanding, and I really thought there was more than a 2.2-litre turbo-diesel under the bonnet.
I had it serviced before we left and didn't have to worry about servicing until we got back. That was five-and-a-half years ago, and to this day it has to be the greatest vehicle I have ever owned.
I am still driving with the original brake pads at 90,000km, and it looks like they will last another 50,000km. I have it serviced every six months, and the mechanic just checks everything and shakes his head in disbelief.
I am a big person but find it extremely comfortable to drive long distances. Everything is still original, except I had a multimedia system put in just for the sat-nav (boy's toys).
I have never had one bit of trouble with this car since I bought it. I haven't even had to replace a globe in it since I bought it. To put it in simple terms, my Hyundai Santa Fe Highlander is the greatest thing since sliced bread.
People all around me are buying SUVs and 4WDs. When they show me the vehicle, I look it over and tell them how impressed I am. They tell me it has this and that, and that it does everything, and I think 'Wait there, my car is nearly seven years old and it has all of these things'.
One of the things I do notice is these new cars don't have the same power as mine does. The only things better are the real expensive European diesel SUVs, and we're talking $100,000-plus. They are great, but who can afford that? If I had the money, and if I was allowed to, I would buy another Santa Fe Highlander tomorrow. But why would I, when mine is just as good as a new one?