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2010 Hyundai Santa Fe - Initial Impressions

Illustration for article titled 2010 Hyundai Santa Fe - Initial Impressions

So, this past Saturday, I became the owner of a 2010 Santa Fe Limited AWD. For way too much a month for way too long a time, I’ll be paying for this vehicle. But it has a warranty, I can’t remember the terms, but it does have one. My stepdad handled the financing and co-signing of the loan and so on. I’m paying a lot but it’s not outside of our budget.


Cost aside, it’s nice to have a newer vehicle that will be reliable. The Durango we just got on the road is experiencing some major electrical issues, which will be difficult and expensive to resolve, especially as it’s extremely intermittent. My work schedule makes public transit frustrating at best, and not an option at worst. My other option was to take a cab, but at $20 per one-way trip, a bit prohibitive. The $300 Durango I bought last month needs an engine. We have an extra one, but haven’t had time to do the swap, and that will be used as a second vehicle once it is running. The Infiniti with a major suspension failure is out of the question.

Anyways, this Hyundai Santa Fe is extremely nice. As I said, it’s the limited trim. So, it comes equipped with the V6, leather seats, front being heated, and driver’s seat is also power. Also has a sunroof, Bluetooth voice calling and media streaming, CD, AUX, and USB integration, as well as XM radio. There are a handful of 12V power outlets, and a household power outlet as well. Space is quite ample, with a lot of below-the-load-floor storage in the rear, and the back seats fold down to increase cargo space. Quite practical. And the roof rack makes hauling our kayak a bit easier.


It’s got a low-average of 64k miles on it at the moment. Driving-wise, it does quite well. It certainly doesn’t have sports car handling (unlike the blue Ferrari F12 Spyder I saw on the way home from work today) but it’s certainly something I can live with on a daily basis. Steering is a little on the numb side, but I think that’s typical of most modern vehicles. The 2015 Versa I had as rental recently had similar, but lighter, steering. This is a little heavier. Suspension feels pretty good. It takes bumps with ease and doesn’t jar you too much. Only about 300 miles have been put on it so far, but they’ve been effortless and trouble free. It eats up the highway miles without a problem.

This is the first Hyundai I’ve driven in about 10 years. My driver’s ed car was a 90s Accent, and that was extremely cheap and junky. There was a guy I knew who also had a 2009 Accent, and it also seemed pretty cheap, but this is world’s above in build quality. It still has some hard plastic here and there, primarily in the center console and switchgear areas, but there’s a reasonable amount of soft material as well. The leather is soft and comfortable. Air is ice cold, and the heat, well with digital driver and passenger control, it’s damn hot.


I hope this vehicle proves to be reliable for me, because we plan to keep it well after it’s been paid off. I don’t plan on buying another daily driver for quite some time, so it needs to last. I’ve heard a lot of good things about these though. I’m going to do an Oppo Review on it after I’ve broken it in a bit, so I can be a little more objective, and out of the honeymoon period with it.

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