Driving Me Crazy: 2020 Hyundai Santa Fe Limited 2.0T AWD
By JOHN and LAURIE WILES

John and Laurie Wiles Automotive, Mt. Vernon, New Rochelle, NY, Pinehurst, NC, Scarsdale, NY, Westchester County, NY, Yonkers, NY Leave a Comment

Driving Me Crazy automotive review Columnists Laurie and John Wiles.

Before the current vehicle I own, I owned a 2008 Hyundai Santa Fe Limited; and I loved it. I put over 100K miles on it, and it never once left me stranded. Back then I was doing a lot of driving from Florida to North Carolina, Maryland, Virginia, and states further north to attend the string of outdoor shows on the East Coast where a person with an outdoor activities business could ‘vend his wares’, so to speak. When the 2020 Twilight Black Hyundai Santa Fe Limited showed up in our driveway, I was a happy camper, I mean driver, to see what improvements Hyundai had made to the already wonderful Santa Fe I knew in the past.

My old Santa Fe had been a six-cylinder with lots of pep and let’s say decent gas mileage. As I remember, about 20 miles per gallon. The new 2020 Santa Fe was the top of the line Limited 2.0T AWD, meaning 2.0 Turbo 4 cylinder with All Wheel Drive, and I wanted to do as much of a memory comparison as I could. A quick check of the mileage showed the new Santa Fe got 20 mpg around town and 26 mpg on the highway for a 22 mpg average. My old Santa Fe was a six cylinder and this one had a four-cylinder turbo. I will continue to plead my case with Hyundai that a four cylinder, even with a Turbo, in a vehicle this size, makes the car feel sluggish and slow to respond in situations that demand a more instantaneous response – moving into traffic from a dead stop as an example. Growing up, we called it ‘lugging’ the engine, the feeling that you were asking it to do more than it was capable of doing. That’s my point here. Of course, the longer one keeps and drives their vehicle, the more in tune the become with its particular acceleration and handling characteristics. And all that means is that we, as drivers, are good at adapting our driving to our cars’ idiosyncrasies. Every new car requires some ‘learning to drive’ time.

My old Santa Fe rode and handled wonderfully and the new one rode and handled the same. Hyundai credits the Santa Fe with being its best seller early on and really a contributor to Hyundai’s success here in the US, and I can see why. First, it’s a good-looking vehicle. It’s bigger than the Hyundai Tucson, yet not as big as say a full-size SUV. It fits easily in the supermarket or post office parking spaces, is easy to enter and exit (without hitting your head), and offer a lot of space in the back with the rear seats still up – plenty for groceries and weekend getaway luggage. The rear seat is roomy and comfortable as well. You can ask our 18-year- old, 6’ grandson. He thought it was great.

2020 Hyundai Santa Fe Limited 2.0T AWD

Since our Santa Fe Limited 2.0T AWD is considered the top of the line, it also had a few features included as standard that the luxury driver might find interesting – heated, leather front and rear seats – hmmmmmm, ‘me likey’; air conditioned front seats as well – “begone foul heat of summer”; heated, leather wrapped steering wheel – ‘expected’; the panoramic sunroof seems to go all the way back – to where, we don’t know – and completely transforms the interior by adding light and the feeling of increased space – Laurie loves this.

Before the current vehicle I own, I owned a 2008 Hyundai Santa Fe Limited; and I loved it. I put over 100K miles on it, and it never once left me stranded. Back then I was doing a lot of driving from Florida to North Carolina, Maryland, Virginia, and states further north to attend the string of outdoor shows on the East Coast where a person with an outdoor activities business could ‘vend his wares’, so to speak. When the 2020 Twilight Black Hyundai Santa Fe Limited showed up in our driveway, I was a happy camper, I mean driver, to see what improvements Hyundai had made to the already wonderful Santa Fe I knew in the past.

My old Santa Fe had been a six-cylinder with lots of pep and let’s say decent gas mileage. As I remember, about 20 miles per gallon. The new 2020 Santa Fe was the top of the line Limited 2.0T AWD, meaning 2.0 Turbo 4 cylinder with All Wheel Drive, and I wanted to do as much of a memory comparison as I could. A quick check of the mileage showed the new Santa Fe got 20 mpg around town and 26 mpg on the highway for a 22 mpg average. My old Santa Fe was a six cylinder and this one had a four-cylinder turbo. I will continue to plead my case with Hyundai that a four cylinder, even with a Turbo, in a vehicle this size, makes the car feel sluggish and slow to respond in situations that demand a more instantaneous response – moving into traffic from a dead stop as an example. Growing up, we called it ‘lugging’ the engine, the feeling that you were asking it to do more than it was capable of doing. That’s my point here. Of course, the longer one keeps and drives their vehicle, the more in tune the become with its particular acceleration and handling characteristics. And all that means is that we, as drivers, are good at adapting our driving to our cars’ idiosyncrasies. Every new car requires some ‘learning to drive’ time.

My old Santa Fe rode and handled wonderfully and the new one rode and handled just as well. Hyundai credits the Santa Fe with being its best seller early on and really a contributor to Hyundai’s success here in the US, and I can see why. First, it’s a good-looking vehicle. It’s bigger than the Hyundai Tucson, yet not as big as say a full-size SUV. It fits easily in the supermarket or post office parking spaces, is easy to enter and exit (without hitting your head), and offer a lot of space in the back with the rear seats still up – plenty for groceries and weekend getaway luggage. The rear seat is roomy and comfortable as well. You can ask our 18-year- old, 6’ grandson. He thought it was great.

Since our Santa Fe Limited 2.0T AWD is considered the top of the line, it also had a few features included as standard that the luxury driver might find interesting – heated, leather front and rear seats – hmmmmmm, ‘me likey’; air conditioned front seats as well – “begone foul heat of summer”; heated, leather wrapped steering wheel – ‘expected’; the panoramic sunroof seems to go all the way back – to where, we don’t know – and completely transforms the interior by adding light and the feeling of increased space – Laurie loves this.

2020 Hyundai Santa Fe Limited 2.0T AWD

Recently we talked about a new feature on the Hyundai Palisade – panel displays turning into cameras when you activated your turn signal. That is also on the Santa Fe. The circular speedometer configured in the middle of your dashboard display in front of the steering wheel, literally turns into a camera showing you the right or left side of the vehicle depending on the direction you are turning. No more running over the flower pots or stakes sticking out of the ground. It is a very nice feature to incorporate into safe turning.

Hyundai has, in my opinion, been one of the leaders in safety innovations for their vehicles, and the new Santa Fe has them all, including the turn signal camera I mentioned above.

Also, and it’s worth pointing out, everything I talk about in this review is ‘standard’ on the Santa Fe. The only ‘Added Feature’ were $135 carpeted floor mats – nope, can’t explain it; don’t ask.

Back to the ‘standard’ safety features on the Santa Fe Limited – Forward Collision Avoidance Assist and Safe Exit Assist. Forward Collision Avoidance is something most of us see all the time in new vehicles and, I hope, understand as an important tool in driving safety. Save Exit Assist is one of those things I think gets little press, but is an important, noteworthy feature. Safe Exit Assist uses radar to detect cars approaching from the rear and cautions passengers looking to exit the vehicle. If you have seen the commercial where the child is going to get out of the back of the car to go to school, but the door won’t open because it senses an oncoming car in the lane next to the car, you understand how important this safety concept can be. Then there are Forward Collision–Avoidance Assist (“He’s stopping, he’s stopping!), Blind View Monitoring (Where did that car come from?), Smart Cruise Control with Stop and Go (Love this one), Blind Spot Collision Avoidance (Stop before you hit), High Beam Assist, Rear Cross Traffic Collision – Avoidance Assist (doesn’t it seem like there is one too many words here?), Lane Keeping Assist (“Get back over here!”), Driver Attention Warning (“Wake up Sleepy Head or pull over”), Surround View Monitor (how do they do this one?), Ultrasonic Rear Occupant Alert (no more leaving kids and dogs in the car), and Parking Distance Warning – Reverse (cameras and sound). If I have left anything out, you can check yourself at https://www.hyundaiusa.com/santa-fe/index.aspx, lots of really good information.

A couple of other features I really like not necessarily related to safety are the Rain Sensing Wipers, the Acoustic Laminated Windshield, and the Hands Free Smart Liftgate. We have mentioned the Acoustic Laminated Windshield before, but basically, the windshield is constructed such that it reduces engine and outside noise – nice engineering.

I talked about the heated and air-conditioned front seats, but the driver’s seat also a memory seat for drivers one and two, with 8-way power seats with Lumbar Support, and a front seat Cushion Extension that extends the front seat up under your knees (somebody out there is listening to us). The cushion extension doesn’t sound like much, but on extended drives, it really takes the pressure off the back of your legs, and that, along with a driver’s seat adjusted to YOU, makes a long trip NOT the exhausting outing it once was. You arrive refreshed, stable, and able to walk. Out Santa Fe had Dual Automatic Temperature Control (sometimes referred to as ‘his and hers’, or occasionally ‘hers and everyone else’s’).

A few slightly smaller but important features are things like the 8” Navigation System (which worked well), Blue Tooth (which I use), Quantum Logic Surround Sound with Clari-Fi Music Restoration Technology (catchy), Wireless Device Charging (just lay your phone in the cradle and Voila, it’s charging), and a Full Color Heads Up Display.

On, and maybe I saved the best for last – this fully equipped, top of the line Santa Fe, with all the bells and whistles, beautifully appointed (forgot to mention the wood panels), sells for – are you sitting down? – $40,430.00. $40K for a vehicle that rivals the $65K models all day long. How Hyundai does it, I don’t know; but I say “Hyundai, keep on doing it. You are doing GREAT!”

                                                                             — JOHN WILES

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Hyundai of Pinehurst – Southern Pines Hyundai Dealer is your North Carolina Hyundai dealer. They invite you to 10732 U.S. Hwy 15-501, Southern Pines, NC 28387 location for a wonderful sales experience while being treated as a guest in their automotive home. Sales and Service at 910-692-2424 or 877-894-2568.

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At Central Avenue Hyundai, customer satisfaction is their highest priority and they are proud to offer one of the largest selections of brand new Hyundai models in Southern Westchester and New York City. Central Avenue Hyundai. Sales: 914-368-7981; Service 914-831-1500; Parts 914-328-2227; and Finance 914-220-0360.

Whether you’re looking for a fuel-efficient sedan to take on your daily commute or a family-friendly SUV, there is sure to be a great vehicle option waiting for you! They serve the following areas: White Plains, Scarsdale, Hartsdale, Yonkers, Mt. Vernon, New Rochelle, Eastchester, Irvington, Ardsley, Bronxville, Dobbs Ferry, Elmsford, West Harrison, Purchase, New York City, and beyond!

 

John and Laurie WilesDriving Me Crazy: 2020 Hyundai Santa Fe Limited 2.0T AWD
By JOHN and LAURIE WILES

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