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2021 Hyundai Santa Fe Limited AWD
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I ended up with a 2021 AWD Santa Fe Limited.
I looked at-

Ford Escape- Too Tiny (looks like an ugly car after latest redesign)
Toyota Rav4- Tech seemed dated inside
Nissan Rogue- Liked a lot but just a bit small
Subaru Outback- Liked a lot except for the idle stop and go, it was rough each time and could only be turned off by going deep into menus. This is really what kept me from buying the car. Hyundai one is much smoother and easy to shut off. If I hadn't test driven the outback in stop and go traffic I may have bought it.
Ford Explorer- Really liked a lot, price was a bit high for the AWD with features I wanted
CRV- Tech seemed a bit dated, didn't like the look of it.
Sorento- LIked a lot, but didn't need 3rd row and too many different options and packages to find exactly what I wanted, Hyundai had more storage with underfloor storage where third row bolted down (I love that compartment).

I'm happy with my Santa Fe for the most part- there are a few things I wish it had but it doesn't.

Wireless car play- not a big deal really. I use a .5m cord (yes I'm American but I found a .5 meter cord from China) with a 90 degree lightning is the prefect length, the cord is flush so I can rest my wrist or hand over the phone and not have the cord poke me, and still keep the phone in the wireless charger slot so it's easy to reach while using apple car play. The length of cord lets me hold and use the phone comfortably when needed yet not have the cord hang down and hit my leg.
Spare tire- There's no spare tire on the 2021 Limited AWD or Calligraphy models. I'm in the process of getting that corrected, it's taking longer that I had anticipated but it should be done soon.
Cup Holders- I wish the cup holders on the door pockets flared out a bit more, they can only really hold a small plastic water bottle, it'd be nice to be able to put a reusable water bottle or tumbler in there.
 

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2021 Santa Fe: Preferred w/Trend CDN
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3 Posts
I do love my SF, but I would have to agree that contact with Hyundai corporate and the dealership has negatively impacted my view of the company. It is terrible, so much incompetence.....
Could not agree more, when corporate told me they would not work with me to allow me to take my 3 month old santa fe to another dealer to do repairs that the first dealer had screwed up on, (this first dealer had already lied to me twice, and damaged my vehicle, and left me 1/2qt low on an oil change) and that I would be paying out of pocket for them, I was exceptionally upset. The lady on the phone also refused to let me escalate the call claiming she was as high as corporate canada went. Not the start to my ownership I was hoping for.
 

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2020 Santa Fe Limited 2.0T Awd
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827 Posts
Could not agree more, when corporate told me they would not work with me to allow me to take my 3 month old santa fe to another dealer to do repairs that the first dealer had screwed up on, (this first dealer had already lied to me twice, and damaged my vehicle, and left me 1/2qt low on an oil change) and that I would be paying out of pocket for them, I was exceptionally upset. The lady on the phone also refused to let me escalate the call claiming she was as high as corporate canada went. Not the start to my ownership I was hoping for.
Wow.

They seem to try and push things onto the dealers as much as they can. Although I was able to get my issue escalated, I had to really fight with them. I'd recommend writing a letter to corporate explaining what happened. Also try contacting the owner of the dealership and writing a bad review of the dealership on Google.
 

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2019 Dante Fe Ultimate 2.0
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17 Posts
When I was comparison shopping in 2019, none of Subarus had these features that were available on some versions of the 2019 Santa Fe: Heads Up Display ("HUD"), power sunroof shade, adjustable thigh support on the driver's seat, front view and 360° cameras, driver’s seat that moves back automatically for easy entry/exit, and window shades on back side windows.
Agreed! I was coming from a 2007 Subaru Forester and was really surprised when I drove a 2019 Forester and found that it was not as quiet or as comfortable as all of the other SUVs I had tried out!
 

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2015 Subaru OB 2.5 Ltd, 2019 Kia Niro PHEV EX Prem
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10 Posts
Current 2015 OB owner. I'm pretty much on the fence between 2021 Outback Ltd 2.5 vs 2021 SF Ltd. They are really close in most regards. I too found the OB idle SnG a bit annoying. On the other hand I like the lower, more car like profile of the OB and it is a bit lower & easier for entry & exit as well as loading the hatch area. Right now leaning toward the OB for those reasons and the fact that were are just very comfortable with the overall, familiar Subaru layout (although the new infotainment screen will take a bit of getting used to).
Penywisexx: I noticed that CR says that the SF ride is stiff and has poor isolation from road imperfections. Somewhat similarly MT said "the 2021 Santa Fe rides smoother than the Sorento but not as well as the superbly tuned Outback." What was your opinion on overall ride comfort and road / wind noise between the SF & OB?
 

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2021 Hyundai Santa Fe Calligraphy
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I looked at an Acura RDX, but I needed a bit more cargo room that is NOT a 3-row SUV. Was going to buy another Grand Cherokee, but the 2-row redesign is not yet available.

Funny you mention an Outback. I had a 2021 Outback Touring XT that I bought late November 2020. I just traded it with 700 miles on it for the 2021 Santa Fe Calligraphy. It had too many gremlins. They really did not adequately test the head unit. Once while night driving the car thought it was day (at like 9:30pm at night) and all the lights in the cabin went out. I had to pull over and restart the car. The week before I traded it, I parked it and it wouldn’t shut off. Took about 12 minutes to get the car to shut off. Yes, it was under warranty, but these are the types of things service departments notoriously state they cannot reproduce. Then there were things that weren’t scary, but annoying. Features like user profiles that work maybe 50% of the time, an auto-stop-start that’s like a carnival ride because it doesn’t play well with the CVT engine. I was in the 2020+ Outback FB group and some people in there had their car for 4 weeks and it’s been in the shop another 4. The windshields are bollocks, but that’s no surprise given the class action lawsuit that’s public information. Recalls I don’t mind because it means the manufacturer is righting what is wrong on their dime. Class action lawsuits I mind. That means they won’t accept responsibility for the garbage they put out. My one plus was the turbo on that car. Good grief that thing flew. When it kicked in…because…CVT engine has a delay between physically hitting the pedal and the car actually responding. A lot of people love the 2021, I’m just not one. I don’t buy new cars to have all those problems, and it was just so badly tested. I don’t care if it’s under warranty or not. If I wanted to spend my days in service departments, I’d keep my older cars with no car payment. I’d join that group and look around at people’s experiences if you want to do your own due diligence.

I only have 90 miles on the SF and so far so good. I don't have enough time in the SF to provide informed feedback other than it's comfortable and I'm in love with the Heads-Up display. On cons for me (annoyances, but clearly weren't deal breakers) is that the higher trim levels don’t provide wireless Apple Carplay/Android Auto, but the entry level trims do (make it make sense).
Next, the tire repair kit. I’d feel better if there were a spare in there. Again, it's the higher trim levels that don't get a spare tire, but the entry trims do.
Lastly, it’s pretty evident to me given the Harmon Kardon stereo in this car and the one in the Subaru that Harmon Kardon has sold out. Neither systems are really any good. Years ago, I paid $3K for an upgrade for a Harmon Kardon system on my Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland and that thing rattled pavement and did it while providing brilliant clarity. It was a beast. Harmon Kardon used to mean something, and it’s interesting to me how they’re no longer found in luxury cars, but now economy cars.
 

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Hi, another "down-under" Santa Fe owner. I have the mid-spec known in Oz as the "Elite" . Like "Enforcer", I've done many long trips... this is my second SF (diesel), the previous was the DM version 70,000+ trouble free kms. This one is the TM.2 with 8sp auto and 2.2 L CRDI diesel and AWD. This time around I made comparisons with the BMW X3 6cyl petrol, the LR Discovery Sport diesel, Kia Sorento and the Pajero Sport. I'm of an age where I'm no longer required to front up for work on Monday morning :rolleyes: or any morning for that matter...

I value practicality over bells and whistles. I prefer the 18"rims to 19 or 20"...I would have fitted 17" rims to obtain slightly higher sidewall tyres for offroad if I could. No sunroof ...not required in sub tropical climate, no 'stop/start' in traffic. I will admit that the adaptive cruise control is growing on me but I rarely use it. I have now covered 15,000kms trouble free, on two trips to the "top end" of Queensland carrying camping gear and a low profile roof top tent. Overall fuel economy measured at the pump, is 6.3L/100km or approx 38mpg (US Gallon). Only once have I tempted fate and squeezed over 1,000 km (actually 1,023km) from the 71L tank between refills... much of this is was over roads which are usually "less travelled".

Mods: Hyundai towbar/electrics; removeable Hyundai cargo barrier ; Hyundai genuine HD rear springs. I found for sale a surplus genuine 'nudge bar' package for the TM series at a heavy discount. I fitted this myself.
LED Light Bar: No additional cabin switch required
I then fitted a 20" light bar on top of the nudge bar. I wired up the light bar as one would for spot lights, switched on via a relay activated by tapping the high beam circuit so it operates only when the headlights are on high beam.
However, I didn't install a separate switch in the cabin for this relay. Instead, I installed a second relay activated when you switch on the fog lights. This second relay switches on the first relay instead of needing a separate cabin switch. So, when on high beam and you require the light bar /spot lights, simply switch on the fog lights as well and the vehicle lights up like christmas tree!

Cost-wise, for the on-road price of the BMW and or the LR Discovery, to the same standard of fittings, I bought the SF and a new Subaru Impreza for my good lady 😉 with change to spare.... !
 

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PS Re. the above... another MAJOR reason for buying the Santa Fe was that it comes with a FULL SIZE SPARE WHEEL ...not a stupid wheelbarrow wheel or a can of exploding goo to fix roadside puctures. On one journey (250km from the nearest help and out of cell phone range) came across a "no names please' European vehicle with run flat tyres..no spare wheel.. which had suffered a catastrophic tear in the sidewall from sharp stones ...it had been driven a further 20km in this condition and the tyre was completely shot...like a F1 car which tries to get back to the pits on a flat tyre...
 

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I read about, mulled over and test drove a few of the usual suspects...
2021 Mazda CX-5-great reviews from all the major car mags, it's been around a while and has improved with exceptional reliability. The test drive was fine but I was disappointed in the tech, could not truly embrace the overall design/proportions and the paddle shifters are really slow. 3 year warranty was just not enough.
2021 Kia Sorento-I like the overall exterior look...more rugged and with some real nice color choices. Sat in one and just didn't like the interior so didn't even bother to test drive it. It didn't help that my local dealers were unprofessional.
2018 Audi SQ5-I've owned an Audi before and the look and feel is exceptional. Test drive was excellent. The one I was considering had all the tech. But between the financing, high cost of maintenance/ potential repairs or extra cost extended warranty, I just didn't want to spend that much. It was a very, very tough call.
So for our needs...solid "value" considering all the features, great experience with previous Hyundais, current 2008 Sonata, previous 2018 Kia Stinger and the long warranty...
Just found and purchased a 2021 Santa Fe Calligraphy with 20" wheels.
I waited and searched daily to find any but especially the Hampton Grey with Black interior.
I'm looking forward to learning all the features and enjoying the SF for many years to come.
BTW, from stock photos I thought the 20" rims were painted a silver/grey.
But they have a machined face with dark grey accents...much better looking than I expected.
Good luck to everyone in your search...
 

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No HUD in the USA Limited HEV......
Honestly, My Aunt did no like the HUD. She found the HUD distracting to her driving. Originally she thought it was something in front of the car. Her eyes could not focus on the road and HUD at the same time. The sales person at the competitors stated the focus problem was a typical ”Complaint” by older drivers, this is most request feature to “Turn-Off”..

Hum???
 

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My 2nd /3rd choices were the smaller Toyota RAV4 ad Honda CRV. Wish now that I bought either of those instead. Both engines were not GDIs.
The 2021 Santa Fe have dual injectors per cylinder, one port and one direct.

Reminder 2020 Toyota RAV 4 have 5 separate safety ”Recalls” per car. So you want to buy a Toyota RAV4 with 5 separate safety recalls??? ...and this is better for you???

2020 Honda CR-V have one safety recall.

Visit www.nhtsa.gov and query 2020 Toyota Rav 4 and 2020 Honda CR-V for safety recalls.
 

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2020 Santa Fe Limited 2.0T Awd
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Lastly, it’s pretty evident to me given the Harmon Kardon stereo in this car and the one in the Subaru that Harmon Kardon has sold out. Neither systems are really any good. Years ago, I paid $3K for an upgrade for a Harmon Kardon system on my Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland and that thing rattled pavement and did it while providing brilliant clarity. It was a beast. Harmon Kardon used to mean something, and it’s interesting to me how they’re no longer found in luxury cars, but now economy cars.
It's not so much Harman selling out.... it's just the fact that the sound systems in FCA vehicles are tuned to "rattle the pavement" and Hyundai doesn't tune its systems to sound as powerful....and you also have to take cost into consideration. Hyundai is most likely using cheaper speakers to save money.
 

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My 2018 Santa Fe Sport 2.0T Ultimate had articulating headlights, but they were removed from future versions. So far I have not missed them on my 2021 Limited.

For me the 360 degree camera is a game changer as I park in a public garage with tight clearances. I would find it hard to go back to a vehicle without it. I notice this year it's made it's way down to the 2022 Tucson Limited. I'm betting in another year or two it will be on all models in the upper trim levels.
I have it on my 2021 Tucson limited and can not live without it.
 

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2019 Santa Fe Ultimate 2.0T AWD
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Honestly, My Aunt did no like the HUD. She found the HUD distracting to her driving. Originally she thought it was something in front of the car. Her eyes could not focus on the road and HUD at the same time. The sales person at the competitors stated the focus problem was a typical ”Complaint” by older drivers, this is most request feature to “Turn-Off”..

Hum???
Older drivers having trouble adopting to new technology. Who da thunk it?
 

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2021 Hyundai Santa Fe Calligraphy
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Honestly, My Aunt did no like the HUD. She found the HUD distracting to her driving. Originally she thought it was something in front of the car. Her eyes could not focus on the road and HUD at the same time. The sales person at the competitors stated the focus problem was a typical ”Complaint” by older drivers, this is most request feature to “Turn-Off”..

Hum???
I absolutely love the HUD. But, then again I'm not trying to focus on both things at once. Just like you don't focus on a gauge and the road at the same time. Focus on the road, reference your speed as needed. Maybe trying to do both is wha tripped her up. To each their own. Hopefully she can switch it off (I haven't even checked if that's possible because I love it)
 

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We were coming from a 2013 RAV4 that my wife loved. 93k miles and not one problem. Didn't like the new RAV4 at all. These were all 20 or 21 models that we drove.

-Mazda CX5. Car was the most fun to drive, I liked the selector dial in the console for the infotainment system, felt too small all around and seats were not comfortable.
-Acura RDX. Loved all the features, ride was great, best stereo of all we tried, good power. Didn't like the touchpad selector in the console. Not intuitive at all.
-Honda CRV. Already have one, love it, has more std features than most (EX-L trim), great gas milage and power. Wife didn't want two of same car and I agreed.
-Nissan Rogue (new one). This car has a lot going for it. It probably packs more in than any other car for the money. We drove the Platinum edition. I would take a look at this again in the future.
Didn't really feel comfortable buying first model yr though.
-Tuscon Ultimate. Liked it a lot. Many features for the money, comfortable seats, Too small overall poor MPG for size engine
-Santa Fe. Probaly the first runner up of all. Nice features, liked the HU, plenty room, good stereo, great power (we drove the turbo), good incentives (at the time), still not great MPG. Probably my first choice but wife said seats were not quite as comfortable as our final choice.
-Subaru OB Touring XT. Most comfortable seats of anything and that is important at this stage of our car purchasing lives. Yes the things that Lynn C mentions are all valid points. However there was a software update that moved the Start/stop button to the Home Screen so it is just a one push thing now. The resale value down the road was also a concern for both Hyundais. The Subaru like Honda is known to hold its value as much as anything on the road. We don't keep a car for 10 yrs so this is important to us.

Hopefully we made the right choice for us but when it's time to replace my CRV I will look at the Tuscon again, esp what I see in the 22 model. One thing I realized is that no matter how many cars you test drive, there is not one out there that is going to have it all. You have to be willing to give and take and at the end of the day decide what is most important to you and not the rest of the forum. It also made me appreciate my CRV more for the things it has that newer cars don't have or sometimes even offer. Good luck to you.
 

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We looked briefly at the equivalent Toyotas, Mazdas, and VWs but just barely. When we purchased, we owned a 2004 Santa Fe and 2016 Subaru Legacy. I'd mostly narrowed it to Santa Fe and an Subaru Outback. The fact that Subaru didn't seem to be able to deliver cars in mid-late April swayed me to the Santa Fe. I've loved my 2004 and the bells and whistles of the Limited were attractive enough to not "wait-and-see" on getting Subaru delivered. I know my wife is a touch disappointed, I'm sure she was leaning toward the Outback - she has become quite the loyal Subaru owner.
 

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I absolutely love the HUD. But, then again I'm not trying to focus on both things at once. Just like you don't focus on a gauge and the road at the same time. Focus on the road, reference your speed as needed. Maybe trying to do both is wha tripped her up. To each their own. Hopefully she can switch it off (I haven't even checked if that's possible because I love it)
Younger people have tighter eye iris, the f-stop is f8 which give great depth of vision. With f8
Or higher field of vision increase with near and far objects in focus.

As people grow older their iris don’t close down, f4 or narrow field of vision. With narrow field of vision, only the item in focus stay focus, anything in front or behind become out of focus.

That is why many turn off the HUD feature, because of narrow field of vision and distraction.

The HUD or no-HUD is not a deal maker or breaker, more distraction especially at night. Why do you think all Cadillac’s have their HUD turned off!

The Panoramic Sun-roof, Quited leather seats, heated rear seats, rear side sun shades, quiet ride, great MPG, and many tech features are deal makers.
 
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