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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Pro:
Great power delivery
Sport-tuned suspension
Nice paint awesome styling
New navi looks modern and has all the features I want

Con:
Engine noise even noticeable at rpm as low as 1500
Dimension sound system provides somewhat inadequate bass
LED dome light a bit annoying
Mpg a bit low

Detail:
My parents have a 2013 GLS. I drove it for the summer and came to like it. The only things that I didn't like were the soft suspension and the crappy audio system. So the SE w/ premium package seems like a right choice.

But I had a back injury a few years back and cannot really stand a suspension that is too punishing. So I did some extensive research online (especially here on this forum) and found mixed views on the sport-tuned suspension on the SE. So I was kind of worried.

Now that I have owned the SE for some days I am really relieved that the suspension is exactly what I wanted. It is responsive and provides lots of feedback about the road condition but at the same time it dampens the shocks and plays very nicely with my injured back, even when there are many potholes. You know that the road imperfections are there, but they don't bother you.

There are exceptions though. I noticed when I cruise around 30 - 40 mph and the road has some dips, not holes, but continuous and rather deep waves of unevenness, the car would bounce quite uncomfortably. If my memory serves me I remember learning it from high school physics that there is an exact combination of mass and frequency of shocks that can give the spring the biggest amplitude. Guess that was that exact combination.

But other than that one occurrence, the suspension provides such a great combination handling and comfort. So for those of you who want the sportiness of the SE suspension but are concerned about the possible loss of comfort, my advice is that, go get the SE. If my sensitive back is not complaining, you won't either.

The greatness of the car is repeated many times on different websites and forums. And they are all true.

The power delivery is not mind-blowing, but it gives you the smile every time you find out everybody else is behind you and you didn't even go over 3000rpm.

The transmission is smooth and quick, beats the stupid PowerShift dual clutch on my old Ford that is absolutely clueless about what I want (uphill slippage, excessive engine braking, upshift rattle in lower gears, shudder in 1st gear, etc. Note to Ford: phase out that abomination or I'll keep telling everyone I know to stay away from you) The AT on the Sonata is always understanding and kind to you. It does what you want it to do and never surprises you. Just love it.

The interior is just great. Everything is well put together and all soft when touched. I know this is about personal taste but I think the layout is the best among all the cars that I've driven (that includes A4, X1, 328i, CLA, and so on). Also, black interior with blue ambient light is so cool every time you look at it.

Now let's talk about the things that I am not very satisfied with. They are absolutely not deal breakers, but they are worth mentioning so that potential buyers can be better informed.

1. I like the 2.0T engine note, but I don't really want it ALL THE TIME, even when I'm cruising at low rpm. Even at 1500 you can still notice it. That is somewhat intrusive.

2. The speakers are quite capable of making high quality sound, but the built in player is the bottle neck here. If you play your music from a memory stick, the built in player simply refuses to give you any bass. At first I even suspected that the sub woofer was broken until I hooked it up with my iPhone via AUX/bluetooth, then it can play some proper bass and it sounds decent. So the problem here is the player and I hope they can have some kind of software fix for it in the future.

3. Maybe it's just me but I found the new LED dome light kind of annoying when I drive in the dark. As far as I know there is no way to turn it off.

4. Only getting 24-25 mpg combined. Highway cruising at around 80mph only gives 24mpg. Don't know if it will get better after break in.

Some comments to the new features in 2014 models.

1. DSSM. Sport mode sucks. Sometimes it's so heavy that when you move the steering wheel too little the car doesn't turn, at all. Just leave it at normal and forget it's there. The normal mode on SE works great. Not too heavy and provides subdued feedback.

2. Road noise was kind of an issue for earlier SE's. I don't have a back to back comparison but I don't think my 2014 SE have this issue at all. Maybe that's due to the improvements they made. Wind noise is also minimal.

3. New Navi. Big improvement from the last model. Looks awesome. Big buttons and fast response. Navi provides way more info than I can imagine. And the media player can read meta data from all mp3 files, including the album art.

That's all I have for now. Will update after I spend more time with this baby.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks. This forum really helped me a lot when I was doing my research but I was having a hard time getting enough information on 2014 models so I figured it would help to post a detailed review as soon as possible.

Also, I can answer any questions about the new car :cool:
 

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2013 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport
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2,286 Posts
Pro:
Great power delivery
Sport-tuned suspension
Nice paint awesome styling
New navi looks modern and has all the features I want

Con:
Engine noise even noticeable at rpm as low as 1500
Dimension sound system provides somewhat inadequate bass
LED dome light a bit annoying
Mpg a bit low
Congrats and glad you like your '14 SE 2.0T. Kind of jealous since I really want a turbo but I want to pay off my 11 before I make any moves.

Curious that the '14s have this exhaust note, since I never noticed it on the older cars. Perhaps newer/larger piping to aid the engine in power, although it seems to be the same 274 as last year.

You can disable the LED light but it requires removing your roof console and clipping a trace. Not the hardest thing to do, but it takes a bit of patience.

Dimension system was never anything to write home about (actually none of them are, but stock is the worst). Glad to know that the navigation has been improved and the ability to display album art has been added.

Now if they would only put a Pandora/Stitcher/Slacker app in the radio....
 

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I have a 2012 SE 2.0t and I would mostly agree with your assessment. I had just the stock sound system and it was absolutely garbage. I invested about $1000 into a totally aftermarket sound system and its the best investment I've ever made... fantastic sound system.

I would encourage you to think about aftermarket sound systems. The fact that you already have upgraded speakers and a subwoofer, you would probably see a significant difference with just a ~$300 head unit. You can get adapters to keep your steering wheel controls and XM radio.

As long as you can twist some wires together and read a wire diagram (read: connect like colors together) the install is pretty easy.

EDIT: Just read that you have a navi system... missed that first time around. In that case you might do well adding a subwoofer in the trunk and a line out converter to connect that to your existing head unit. You could get as much bass as you want... I have 2x 12" 500W and think its great.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
The exhaust is tuned for the 2014 SE models to hear it a bit more.
Hmmm I think that this might be the case. But it is really unnecessary I think.

Some update:
1. Had to drive for some longer periods and to other places for the last couple of days. The bouncing around due to firm suspension got even more noticeable now that I've tried some other roads. No dampening, it bounces. My back is still OK. But I kind of don't really like it. It happens mostly around 30-45 mph, which means 80% of my daily commute. And it makes the car feel uncivilized.
2. Hankook tires struggle on the first rainy day. Got wheel hop around 4k rpm in first gear. Considering this is quite a hilly area and the winter is coming, I'm thinking about changing into DWS. But again don't feel so good about changing tires on a new car.

Anyone knows if there's any way to fix the bouncing problem of the suspension?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I have a 2012 SE 2.0t and I would mostly agree with your assessment. I had just the stock sound system and it was absolutely garbage. I invested about $1000 into a totally aftermarket sound system and its the best investment I've ever made... fantastic sound system.

I would encourage you to think about aftermarket sound systems. The fact that you already have upgraded speakers and a subwoofer, you would probably see a significant difference with just a ~$300 head unit. You can get adapters to keep your steering wheel controls and XM radio.

As long as you can twist some wires together and read a wire diagram (read: connect like colors together) the install is pretty easy.

EDIT: Just read that you have a navi system... missed that first time around. In that case you might do well adding a subwoofer in the trunk and a line out converter to connect that to your existing head unit. You could get as much bass as you want... I have 2x 12" 500W and think its great.
My take on this issue is that the hardware is OK and the problem lies in the mp3 player in the head unit. I'm hoping that they can provide a software fix...
 

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2013 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport
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Hmmm I think that this might be the case. But it is really unnecessary I think.

Some update:
1. Had to drive for some longer periods and to other places for the last couple of days. The bouncing around due to firm suspension got even more noticeable now that I've tried some other roads. No dampening, it bounces. My back is still OK. But I kind of don't really like it. It happens mostly around 30-45 mph, which means 80% of my daily commute. And it makes the car feel uncivilized.
2. Hankook tires struggle on the first rainy day. Got wheel hop around 4k rpm in first gear. Considering this is quite a hilly area and the winter is coming, I'm thinking about changing into DWS. But again don't feel so good about changing tires on a new car.

Anyone knows if there's any way to fix the bouncing problem of the suspension?
Change them ASAP! The Hankooks are GARBAGE and shame on Hyundai for still offering them as OEM equipment.

The DWS are what you want for snow driving. You won't have the wheel hop or breaking free due to the more aggressive tread of the Conti's

I swapped mine out at 22K and I wish I had done it sooner. Almost lost the Sled after getting stuck in an intersection that had been recently plowed.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Change them ASAP! The Hankooks are GARBAGE and shame on Hyundai for still offering them as OEM equipment.

The DWS are what you want for snow driving. You won't have the wheel hop or breaking free due to the more aggressive tread of the Conti's

I swapped mine out at 22K and I wish I had done it sooner. Almost lost the Sled after getting stuck in an intersection that had been recently plowed.
Yeah that's what I'm planning to do. But kinda want to get some money back from my almost brand new stock tires. Do you know where I can sell them? Tried a couple of tire shops in the area and no one wants them :/

Update on suspension:
I can't believe how I "fixed" the suspension problem... I bought a seat cushion from Walmart for $15 and threw it on top of my driver seat. Instant change of feels. Night and day difference. Turns out the seats can be such a significant factor. Drive with a lot more confidence now and I'm totally not giving any thoughts to what kind of road I'm driving on.

But the cushion is just so, very, ugly... Does anyone have any experience in replacing car seats? Now that I know that softer seats can keep the suspension and boost comfort to another level, changing them sounds like an ideal plan. Any suggestion is greatly appreciated :)
 

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Find out the local sources for automotive upholstery in your area. I'd recommend going to Lexus or BMW dealers, tell them you love their seating, and see if you can find out who does their custom/repair seat work (NONE of them do it in-house). You'll be very pleasantly surprised at the range of options, quality of work, and reasonable pricing associated with automotive upholstery. One of the few bargains left out there. Good luck.
 
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