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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
So this is going to be one of those extreme newbie threads. And it's my first and likely eyeroll worthy so go ahead and get your facepalms ready :)

I'm driving a G35. I love it, but when I bought it I didn't need cargo room. I'm into RC airplanes/helicopters now though and it's getting old trying to fit bulky items.

Yesterday I test-drove the Jeep Cherokee, Mazda CX-5, and Hyundai Santa Fe Sport 2.0T. The jeep was really nice and was adequate as far as acceleration but not impressive. The mazda interior was lacking for the price (at the upper trim level) and lacked acceleration, but had fantastic handling - the best of the three really. The santa fe sport seemed like the way to go. Tons of punch for a compact SUV and handled very well. I test drove the FWD version (I'd want AWD.. Right? The FWD liked to slide around. Seems like AWD would improve this?) and while it was definitely sliding a bit in an empty parking lot it was lots of fun to drive and felt enough like a car to make me happy. So right now that's the way I plan to go. Actually my only complaint was that the steering wheel could use a bit more texture so it's less likely to slip. (The salesperson on the test drive said he'd throw in driving gloves, LOL).

(Just for the record I'm not a nutty driver. I just want to know that if I wanted to try autocross that I could have some fun with it. :) And living in California there are lots of hills and fun roads that are fun without speeding or endangering anyone. I don't want to miss out on that with a car that drives like a boat.)

So anyways, I posted my thoughts on another forum more geared towards RC (I'm new so I can't link directly: helifreak.com/showthread.php?t=590863) and a mazda3 and a few wagons were suggested. I think wagons look hideous so that's why I jumped to looking at sporty SUVs. Didn't consider hatchbacks with fold-down rear seats (like the mazda3). But that seemed like good advice.

This probably isn't the best place to ask, but it can't hurt. Lots of people here probably know about every conceivable alternative and the associated tradeoffs. I feel like I found the right cars to try in SUVs and the SFS seems the clear winner for my needs. But are there other ideas further out of the box I should consider? I am wanting either RWD or AWD. Enough power for getting to highway speed quickly on a steep onramp. Handling that is fun and worth doing something like autocross with. And enough room for carrying bulky items (see the above link for examples).

Thanks in advance for any advice!
 

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Welcome! If only for the free driving gloves, I'd go with the SFS. :D

Seriously, I think hatchbacks (such as the 3) are a great alternative for your needs, will cost a lot less coin and likely provide a lot more driving fun. Not exactly apples-to-apples but it's always good to have choices.

IF you're willing to part with some driving fun in favor of a bit more utility, the SFS is a very good candidate.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I looked at the 3 today. I don't think there's enough room increase to justify giving up my G35. Probably true for any hatchback though I'll do some more looking. Thanks for the advice!
 

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This question is right up my alley to answer for you!

I came from a 2005 Jeep Grand Cherokee to the 2013 SFS 2.0T AWD... And I am also into R/C planes. Let me tell you that is more room in the SFS and it's far better on gas. I used to have to fold my seats down all the time, but now I can fit three planes in before folding seats down as there's more room from the floor to the ceiling.
More room then the other two vehicles you mentioned, and more features.
 

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I have a 13' SFS 2.0T AWD. support for aftermarket is somewhat weak right now. There are intakes from the sonata that bolt on. It drives great but I chose between an escape titanium and the SFS I picked this because of the space and comfort but the I lost out on some options like the memory driver seat and mirror system which is now available on the SFS 2014 :-(. Little things but to each his own. I get decent gas mileage considering it's size and weight. I like it and would buy it all overd again.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
So what are the pros and cons of FWD/AWD?

The way I see it PROS:
* Better for bad driving situations like snow/mud.

CONS:
* Higher cost although +1500 seems very reasonable and would be recovered in residual value

What does the AWD do for performance? Acceleration? Handling? I have to imagine it would be beneficial in a sport-focused car but this AWD may be more targeted for utility than driving dynamics?
 

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Welcome! If only for the free driving gloves, I'd go with the SFS. :D

If you get the tech package with heated steering wheel - driving gloves are no incentive - but throwing in the tech package should be a reasonable incentive to shoot for.

My wife loves the heated steering wheel and it is a nice touch. I was in my brothers Mercedes SUV recently - I think it was the M class and he bragging about the heated steering wheel and pano sunroof - and I kept telling him my SFS has all that for $30k less.

But the Mercedes pano sunroof is actually two separate panes of glass and I couldn't help but notice it has little removeable plastic tabs to mount roof rails. And the Merc has a twin turbo V6 under the hood with abundant torque
 

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So this is going to be one of those extreme newbie threads. And it's my first and likely eyeroll worthy so go ahead and get your facepalms ready :)

I'm driving a G35. I love it, but when I bought it I didn't need cargo room. I'm into RC airplanes/helicopters now though and it's getting old trying to fit bulky items.

Yesterday I test-drove the Jeep Cherokee, Mazda CX-5, and Hyundai Santa Fe Sport 2.0T. The jeep was really nice and was adequate as far as acceleration but not impressive. The mazda interior was lacking for the price (at the upper trim level) and lacked acceleration, but had fantastic handling - the best of the three really. The santa fe sport seemed like the way to go. Tons of punch for a compact SUV and handled very well. I test drove the FWD version (I'd want AWD.. Right? The FWD liked to slide around. Seems like AWD would improve this?) and while it was definitely sliding a bit in an empty parking lot it was lots of fun to drive and felt enough like a car to make me happy. So right now that's the way I plan to go. Actually my only complaint was that the steering wheel could use a bit more texture so it's less likely to slip. (The salesperson on the test drive said he'd throw in driving gloves, LOL).

(Just for the record I'm not a nutty driver. I just want to know that if I wanted to try autocross that I could have some fun with it. :) And living in California there are lots of hills and fun roads that are fun without speeding or endangering anyone. I don't want to miss out on that with a car that drives like a boat.)

So anyways, I posted my thoughts on another forum more geared towards RC (I'm new so I can't link directly: helifreak.com/showthread.php?t=590863) and a mazda3 and a few wagons were suggested. I think wagons look hideous so that's why I jumped to looking at sporty SUVs. Didn't consider hatchbacks with fold-down rear seats (like the mazda3). But that seemed like good advice.

This probably isn't the best place to ask, but it can't hurt. Lots of people here probably know about every conceivable alternative and the associated tradeoffs. I feel like I found the right cars to try in SUVs and the SFS seems the clear winner for my needs. But are there other ideas further out of the box I should consider? I am wanting either RWD or AWD. Enough power for getting to highway speed quickly on a steep onramp. Handling that is fun and worth doing something like autocross with. And enough room for carrying bulky items (see the above link for examples).

Thanks in advance for any advice!

Pros
- excellent fit and finish
- lots of great techno features for the price
- handles very well considering its a Hyundai
- looks good

CONS
- HUGE HUGE GAS GUZZLER and I'm talking about the 2.0T
- No feedback from the electronic steering so you don't really "feel" the road.
 

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The Mazda CX-5 is nice but my friend has had a couple of issues that are driving him crazy:

  • The hood shakes on the highway. No danger of it opening but a problem
  • The driver's seat will just gradually lower on it's own during a trip even though it is the electric adjustable seat. The dealer cannot fix the problem apparently
It is as you said the "sportiest" of the three choices. I could not get over the "red" dash lights--those lights just annoy. I did not like the hump in the second row either.
 

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CONS
- HUGE HUGE GAS GUZZLER and I'm talking about the 2.0T
In comparison to what? Try driving a Grand Cherokee for 5 years... 480-520 km on about $95 in fuel (wgich was the 3.7 V6, not the V8) then buy a SFS which gives you 480-540 km on $67-70 in fuel. It's all about perspective. I love the mileage my SFS gets.


On another note, OP had asked about the advantage of the AWD vs FWD with the 2.0.... There is a post by a 2.0 FWD owner saying he wished he got the AWD as the turbo is too much power for the FWD (his opinion)
Also, depending on where you live, AWD might be very handy... And the value on trade in will also be higher.
 

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In comparison to what? Try driving a Grand Cherokee for 5 years... 480-520 km on about $95 in fuel (wgich was the 3.7 V6, not the V8) then buy a SFS which gives you 480-540 km on $67-70 in fuel. It's all about perspective. I love the mileage my SFS gets.


IMO opinion from an engineering perspective - engine and drive train in particular the new Cherokee is better than the SFS 2.0T and with a V6 gets slight better
epa rankings and at higher speeds that v6 with a 9 speed gearbox with be even more efficient than the 2.0t SFS despite the cherokee weighing slightly more.
If you need more ground clearance or off road capability then it's no contest whatsover.

And the newer (2013) Grand Cherokee despite being over 600 lbs heavier than the SFS 2.0T produces about the same epa fuel rating and again the efficiency advantage at higher speed driving will be more pronounced.

Unfortunately the 2.0T SFS shows the fuel efficiency drawback of 4 cylinders when operating a 3700 + vehicle at speeds over 65 mph.
 

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The new Cherokee looks awful on pics but oh boy it was really nice in person. I really dig its design. If I were to trade my SFS, I will get that one
 

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Agree about the Jeep Grand Cherokee on the highway; probably a bit worse than the SFS in city (17/24 for the 2014 JGC V6) --but who knows in actuality. Seriously considered the 2014 JGC for a variety of reasons, but decided we wouldn't benefit enough from its offroad prowess and found that to get features similar to the SFS w/ Tech the price differential became significant. Also not convinced about Jeep quality control and reliability yet, but given some of the complaints I've read about the SFS it remains to be seen whether I will be any better off...
 

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In comparison to what? Try driving a Grand Cherokee for 5 years... 480-520 km on about $95 in fuel (wgich was the 3.7 V6, not the V8) then buy a SFS which gives you 480-540 km on $67-70 in fuel. It's all about perspective. I love the mileage my SFS gets.


On another note, OP had asked about the advantage of the AWD vs FWD with the 2.0.... There is a post by a 2.0 FWD owner saying he wished he got the AWD as the turbo is too much power for the FWD (his opinion)
Also, depending on where you live, AWD might be very handy... And the value on trade in will also be higher.
Photecs,

You're speaking for yourself. I don't know why this is happening but my wife and I are getting TERRIBLE gas mileage on our SFS. Seriously, without driving it hard, we are lucky if we can get 400kms out of one full tank. I'm extremely disappointed in this car's mileage. The rest I love.

And before you mention it, yes my tires are pumped to 40 PSI.

You sir, are a very lucky man. ;)
 

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Photecs,

You're speaking for yourself. I don't know why this is happening but my wife and I are getting TERRIBLE gas mileage on our SFS. Seriously, without driving it hard, we are lucky if we can get 400kms out of one full tank. I'm extremely disappointed in this car's mileage. The rest I love.

You sir, are a very lucky man. ;)
Sounds like it's a relative thing and I can appreciate that - his comparison is too a 2005 JGC - but I think a better yardstick is comparing vehicles that are more contemporary. And when your compare some CUVs that are even heavier than the SFS - some significantly as the current JGC and Jeep Cherokee - they get similar or better mpgs. and with older style V6 technology.

For me it's difficult to praise the SFS 2.0T as I choose it over the JGC - when the SFS was EPA rated at 21/27.

I find the SFS to be lacking in the category of fuel efficiency.
 

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Photecs,

You're speaking for yourself. I don't know why this is happening but my wife and I are getting TERRIBLE gas mileage on our SFS. Seriously, without driving it hard, we are lucky if we can get 400kms out of one full tank. I'm extremely disappointed in this car's mileage. The rest I love.

And before you mention it, yes my tires are pumped to 40 PSI.

You sir, are a very lucky man. ;)
I'm pretty sure tires are supposed to be around 33 psi no? Either way, I don't take it easy on the pedal whatsoever...
I'm also letting it warm up in our -10/-25 temps that we've had for the past few weeks etc... Showed 478 km to empty on my last $67 fill up, which is down from the middle of the summer when it was showing around 530 km to empty.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
For the time being I think I'm going to wait. Maybe try to pay off my G35 this year and keep it or trade it for a Z and then maybe get an SUV. At that point I'd be less concerned about getting a car-ish SUV. And I would really like to try driving a manual but wouldn't want to commit to it full time. Seems like that is the best way to get both worlds.

As far as the jeep cherokee the v6 is ok but not great. It handles surprisingly well but honestly at this point cars in general are just so good. It does seem more plush on the interior and is not an eyesore in person even if pictures make you think otherwise. The SFS 2.0T felt much more nimble and alive. Feels MUCH punchier at any speed. It does have more power than traction at low speeds but you wouldn't need AWD to appreciate the power merging into traffic. I was thinking AWD would be a huge help IF it were tuned for sporty driving - not just trawling through mud and snow which I'm a little afraid something like the SFS would be. But I really don't know. Either way none of them will ever be like my G or a Z (which I've always wanted) so maybe that's the way to go. Something practical for the weekends, and a toy for when I don't need to carry anything.
 
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