2008 Hyundai Santa Fe AWD by oym20829


									  B4        Autos                                                                                                 The Epoch Times                                                                                            January 17 – 23, 2008

The Award-Winning
        2008 Hyundai
        Santa Fe AWD
By DURHL CAUSSEY                           automatic	transmission	had	
Special to The Epoch Times                 the	pep	and	quickened	audac-
                                           ity	that	allowed	me	to	do	things	
   	                                       like	merge	with	the	flow	of	traf-
   The	Santa	Fe	comes	in	three	            fic	from	the	on-ramp	without	
trim	packages:	the	GLS	midsize	            impeding	or	jeopardizing	my	
crossover,	the	Sporty	SE,	and	             safety.	Passing	was	easy	and	
the	Santa	Fe	Limited	that	comes	           appeared	articulate	in	taking	
with	an	outstanding	package	of	            commands	from	the	accelera-
luxury	features.                           tor	to	the	smooth	and	powerful	
   The	Santa	Fe	Limited	comes	             engine.
with	all	the	equipment	found	on	              I	can’t	tell	you	how	enjoyable	
the	SE,	but	adds	a	leather	seat-           it	was	to	drive	the	Santa	Fe	dur-
ing	surface,	heated	front	seat,	           ing	the	holiday	season.	X-M	Sat-
and	power	drive	seats	with	power	          ellite	Radio	added	to	the	cab’s	
lumbar	support	which	helped	               Christmas	atmosphere,	which	
this	old	man	with	a	bad	back.	             uplifted	my	spirit	and	filled	my	
Dual-zone	automatic	tempera-               heart	with	merriment.	It	made	
ture	control	with	outside	tem-             the	season	festive	and	it	passed	
perature	display	kept	me	toasty	           much	too	quickly.	                                                                                                                                                                   Courtesy of Hyundai Motors
on	the	inside	on	cold	days	and	               Until	I	did	a	little	research,	I	
wonderfully	refreshed	on	days	             didn’t	realize	that	Hyundai	had	
the	temperature	rose	into	the	             an	assembly	plant	in	the	USA.	
mid	80s.                                   But	they	do,	and	it	is	located	in	      but	Korea	and	Canada	contrib-                 Front	and	rear	disc	brakes	are	        ing	adds	even	more	pleasure	to	a	        air	curtains	for	all	three	rows	of	
   The	Santa	Fe	V-6	3.3L	DOHC	             Montgomery,	Ala.	Portions	of	           ute	to	nearly	all	parts	manufac-           standard	and	are	coupled	with	a	          cold	glass	of	soda	that	is	easy	to	      available	seating.	The	Hyundai	
24-Valve	Engine	with	5-speed	              the	engine	are	made	in	the	U.S.,	       tured.	                                    four-channeled	anti-lock	system	          locate	to	be	quickly	enjoyed.	           Santa	Fe	has	received	the	U.S.	
                                                                                                                              that	includes	brake	assists	to	              EPA	Fuel	Economy	Estimate	            government’s	highest	crash	test	
                                                                                                                              provide	maximum	braking	force	            is	17	mpg	in	the	city	and	24	mpg	        ratings	for	frontal	for	driver	and	
                                                                                                                              when	a	panic	stop	is	detected.	           on	the	highway.	Quite	frankly,	I	        passenger,	and	side	for	both	
                                                                                                                              This	lessens	the	frustration	I	           didn’t	get	that	kind	of	mileage.	I	      front	and	rear	seats	and	a	near	
                                                                                                                              have	driving	on	the	winding	              only	got	12	in	the	city	and	17	on	       perfect	score	for	rollover.	
                                                                                                                              road	that	takes	me	home,	but	             the	highway.	There	are	numerous	            The	manufacturer’s	suggested	
                                                                                                                              often	around	hillside	rocks	that	         reasons	for	this,	one	of	which	          retail	price	is	nearly	$27,000.	
                                                                                                                              have	been	sent	spilling	onto	the	         is	poor	math	on	my	part.	But	            But	as	I	visited	the	dealer	show-
                                                                                                                              road	and	century-old	trees	that	          I	wanted	to	report	it	as	it	hap-         rooms	and	repair	shops,	I	found	
                                                                                                                              have	been	scarred	by	high	winds	          pened	to	me.	                            that	there	is	a	high	motivation	to	
                                                                                                                              and	left	stranded	on	the	road-               The	Santa	Fe	has	one	of	              reduce	suggested	prices	consid-
                                                                                                                              side.	Winter	weather	attracts	my	         the	industry’s	best	warranty	            erably,	but	not	at	the	price	of	
                                                                                                                              attention	because	often	these	            packages:                                quality	or	reduction	in	optional	
                                                                                                                              winds	leave	large	limbs	and	fast	            1.	 5-year/60,000	miles	new	          features.	
                                                                                                                              water	across	the	road.	                   car	warranty
                                                                                                                                 Blue	backlighting	for	interior	           2.	 10-year/100,000	mile	                Durhl Caussey is an interna-
                                                                                                                              gauges,	switches,	and	buttons	            powertrain	warranty,	and                 tional auto writer. He is a member
                                                                                                                              highlight	the	Limited’s	modern	              3.	 5-year/unlimited	miles	           of the Texas Auto Writers Asso-
                                                                                                                              integrated	interior	design.	Even	         roadside	assistance	                     ciation. He may be reached at this
                                                                                                                              the	cup	holders	are	ringed	with	                                                   publication or dcaussey@sbcglo-
                                                                                                                              a	blue	light	for	night	driving.	             			The	Santa	Fe	features	six	         bal.net.
                                                                                                                              Smooth,	safe,	nighttime	driv-             standard	airbags,	including	side	
                                                                                             Courtesy of Hyundai Motors

Reserved and Elegant Mastery                                                                                                                                            liter	V6	engine.	The	maximum	out-
                                                                                                                                                                        put	is	273bhp	at	the	wheels.	Mated	
                                                                                                                                                                        with	a	6-speed	automatic	transmis-
                                                                                                                                                                        sion,	this	vehicle	is	a	superb	drive.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                 stability	off.	It	comes	out	of	the	
                                                                                                                                                                                                                 corner	quickly	and	under	control,	
                                                                                                                                                                                                                 giving	the	driver	confidence.	This	
                                                                                                                                                                                                                 feature	has	the	stability	control	sys-

2008 Mazda CX-9
                                                                                                                                                                            The	car	rides	smoothly,	with	        tem	to	thank.	According	to	Mazda,	
                                                                                                                                                                        hardly	a	trace	of	engine	noise	or	       only	the	BMW	X-series	had	this	
                                                                                                                                                                        vibration	at	low	speed.	But	give	        kind	of	control.
                                                                                                                                                                        it	some	gas,	and	it	will	smoothly	          During	my	test-drive,	I	experi-
                                                                                                                                                                        accelerate	from	zero	to	60	mph	          enced	the	first	major	snow	storm	
                                                                                                                                                                        in	around	8	seconds.	The	sound	          in	Toronto	this	winter.	The	CX-9	
                                                                                                                                                                        dampening	of	the	cabin	is	superb.	       drove	through	the	snow	with	a	sense	
By LI JIE                                  Fully Equipped Interior,                ing	out	the	windows,	the	kids	can	         center	console	display	automati-          Even	when	accelerating,	the	engine	      of	assurance.	The	auto-sensing	wip-
Epoch Times Toronto Staff                  Convenience at Your Fingertips          also	watch	their	favourite	cartoons.	      cally	shows	the	rear	view.	Shift	out	     sound	is	hardly	audible.                 ers	automatically	adjusted	speed	
                                              The	center	console	is	feature	       This	puts	an	end	to	the	never-end-         of	reverse,	and	the	display	switches	         Whether	in	the	city	or	on	the	       according	to	how	much	water	was	
   	                                       packed.	But	at	the	same	time,	          ing	complaining	and	whining	and	           to	something	else.	This	applies	to	       highway,	you	always	feel	that	the	       hitting	the	windshield,	the	Xenon	
   Upon	first	glance,	the	size	of	the	     because	of	the	number	of	controls,	     restore	peace	and	order	to	the	cabin.      the	GT	model.	For	other	models	           CX-9	has		power	left	in	reserve.	The	    HID	lamps	illuminated	the	road	
Mazda	CX-9	commands	respect.	              it	may	take	some	time	for	you	to	get	   The	driver	can	focus	on	the	driving.       that	aren’t	equipped	with	the	center	     acceleration	is	assuring	and	the	        ahead,	and	the	245/60R18	tires	
Under	the	bright	sun,	the	shiny	           familiar	with	them.                                                                console	screen,	when	you	back	up,	        vehicle	responds	to	steering	with	       tightly	gripped	the	road.	Even	with	
colors	reflecting	off	its	metallic	           The	CX-9	is	equipped	with	Blue-      Back Monitor                               a	small	LCD	screen	appears	on	the	        speed	and	agility.	It	can	overtake	      the	snow,	the	vehicle	did	not	slip	at	
exterior	puts	excitement	in	the	heart	     tooth	for	connecting	to	cell	phone	        Ever	wish	you	had	eyes	in	back	         rear-view	mirror	to	show	the	rear-        and	pass	other	cars	with	ease.           all.
of	the	beholder.	The	body	lines	are	       headsets.	It	is	also	equipped	with	     of	your	head,	as	the	saying	goes?	         view	camera.	This	screen	disap-               The	nemesis	for	this	vehicle	is	        With	no	other	car	in	sight,	I	
flowing	and	dynamic.	Its	size	is	          a	GPS	navigation	system	that	has	       Now,	when	you	drive	the	CX-9,	you	         pears	when	you	shift	out	of	reverse.      the	traffic	jam.	The	driver	may	feel	    stomped	on	the	brake.	I	immedi-
big,	but	it	does	not	show	a	trace	of	      voice	recognition.	All	controls	are	    can.	A	small	screen	mounted	on	the	           Although	this	feature	saves	you	       some	frustration	with	all	this	power	    ately	heard	the	ABS	at	work,	and	
intimidation.                              easily	accessible	on	the	steering	      rear-view	mirror	will	relay	what’s	        the	hassle	of	turning	your	head,	you	     and	handling	stuck	in	crawling	traf-     the	vehicle	came	to	a	stop.
   The	aura	emanating	from	the	            wheel.                                  happening	behind	the	vehicle	to	           still	need	to	pay	attention	to	the	sur-   fic.                                        With	ABS,	dual	front	airbags,	
CX-9	reminds	me	of	the	great	mar-             Above	the	second-row	seating	is	     the	driver,	giving	the	CX-9	the	title	     roundings.                                                                         side	airbags,	curtain	airbags,	
tial	arts	master	Li	Mubai	from	the	        a	DVD	player	with	wireless	head-        of	the	first	SUV	in	North	America	                                                   Safety                                   dynamic	stability	control,	trac-
movie	“Crouching	Tiger,	Hidden	            phones.	This	feature	is	great	for	      with	such	capability.                      Driving Performance                         When	cornering,	the	size	of	the	       tion	control,	and	rollover	control	
Dragon”	played	by	Chow	Yun-                the	kids.	Nowdays,	besides	look-           When	you	shift	gears	into	R,	the	         The	GT	trim	comes	with	a	3.7-           CX-9	does	not	throw	the	vehicle’s	       systems,	the	Mazda	CX-9’s	safety	
Fat.	This	was	precisely	my	first	                                                                                                                                                                                standard	has	won	very	high	regards	
impression	of	the	Mazda	CX-9—a	                                                                                                                                                                                  in	the	industry.	In	the	collision	test	
reserved,	soft-spoken	master.                                                                                                                                                                                    report	by	NHTSA	in	the	U.S.,	the	
   The	Mazda	CX-9	was	specially	                                                                                                                                                                                 CX-9	has	won	5-star	ratings	for	
designed	for	the	North	American	                                                                                                                                                                                 both	frontal	impact	and	side	impact	
market.	This	seven-passenger	mul-                                                                                                                                                                                safety.	It	is	also	the	first	SUV	to	win	
tifunction	SUV	inherited	Mazda’s	                                                                                                                                                                                a	4-star	rating	in	the	rollover	test.
“Zoom	Zoom”	design	concept,	
and	surpasses	the	limitations	of	the	                                                                                                                                                                            Other Noteworthy Features and
common	SUVs	in	the	North	Ameri-                                                                                                                                                                                  Accessories
can	market.	It	successfully	weds	a	                                                                                                                                                                                  One	thing	I	found	interesting	was	
sporty	drive	with	the	practicality	of	                                                                                                                                                                           the	extension	on	the	two	visors.	Pull	
a	seven-passenger	cabin.                                                                                                                                                                                         it	out	when	you	need	it,	and	push	it	
   The	2008	CX-9	measures	about	                                                                                                                                                                                 back	when	you	don’t.	When	you	are	
16.7	feet	in	length,	about	6.4	feet	in	                                                                                                                                                                          driving	toward	the	sun,	no	matter	
height,	and	about	9.4	feet	in	width—                                                                                                                                                                             where	it	may	be,	you	can	adjust	the	
making	it	one	of	the	widest	in	its	                                                                                                                                                                              extension	to	block	the	light.	For	
class.	Its	interior	volume	is	greater	                                                                                                                                                                           someone	who	wears	glasses	like	me,	
than	that	of	its	competitors,	and	has	                                                                                                                                                                           it	is	very	convenient	because	you	
an	impressive	array	of	features.                                                                                                                                                                                 won’t	have	to	wear	shades	anymore.
   The	test-drive	unit	was	GT	model	                                                                      Courtesy of Mazda                                                                  Courtesy of Mazda       The	CX-9	borrowed	a	fair	
with	AWD.                                                                                                                                                                                                        number	of	interior	design	elements	
                                                                                                                                                                                                                 from	the	XC90	by	Volvo,	which	is	
Spacious Interior                                                                                                                                                                                                owned	by	the	same	parent	company	
    CX-9GT	is	equipped	with	keyless	                                                                                                                                                                             (Ford)	as	Mazda.	One	difference	
entry	and	ignition.	The	actual	key	                                                                                                                                                                              is	that	in	the	XC90,	the	display	it	
is	roughly	the	same	size	as	a	credit	                                                                                                                                                                            located	at	the	top	of	the	center	con-
card.	You	just	need	to	have	the	key	                                                                                                                                                                             sole,	but	not	in	the	CX-9.
in	your	pocket,	and	the	CX-9	doors	                                                                                                                                                                                  If	we	can	for	the	moment	for-
will	unlock	as	you	approach	the	                                                                                                                                                                                 get	the	headaches	brought	by	the	
vehicle.	You	don’t	need	to	take	out	                                                                                                                                                                             soaring	gas	price,	we	can	definitely	
the	key	to	start	the	engine	either.                                                                                                                                                                              say	the	Mazda	CX-9	is	a	successful	
    Inside,	there	are	three	rows	of	                                                                                                                                                                             product.	Mazda	now	has	an	alter-
leather	seating	with	plenty	of	leg	                                                                                                                                                                              native	to	luxury	sedans	for	potential	
room.	This	provides	a	comfortable	                                                                                                                                                                               buyers.
ride	for	all	passengers.	The	entrance	                                                                                                                                                                               In	October	2007,	the	editors	of	
to	the	third	row	is	the	largest	in	its	                                                                                                                                                                          Motor	Trend	awarded	the	Mazda	
class.	In	addition,	the	second-row	                                                                                                                                                                              CX-9	the	title	of	“Best	SUV	2008”	
seats	have	a	latch	you	can	easily	                                                                                                                                                                               after	a	difficult	selection	process.	As	
operate	with	one	hand,	making	it	                                                                                                                                                                                said	by	Angus	MacKenzie,	the	chief	
even	easier	for	passengers	to	get	in	                                                                                                                                                                            editor,	“CX-9	is	the	most	fun	SUV	
and	out	of	the	last	row	of	seats.	The	                                                                                                                                                                           to	drive.	It	also	makes	the	consumer	
flexibility	of	the	back	seats	gives	the	                                                                                                                                                                         aware	that	an	SUV	can	be	excit-
CX-9	the	maximum	useable	cargo	                                                                                                                                                                                  ing	and	fun	as	any	other	kind	of	
space.                                                                                                                                                                                                           vehicle.”	
                                                                                                          Courtesy of Mazda                                                                  Courtesy of Mazda

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