Winter Traveling in the 2013 Hyundai Sante Fe
With so many of us traveling the highways for the holiday season at a time of year when the weather throws us its worse, I hope that you and your families arrived at your destinations safely. My family got together for Christmas at my mom's place up in the Okanagan (see previous blog). The Coquihalla Highway (and Connector) that we travel on takes us through some majestic snow-laden forests, but also through precarious high mountain passes that present treacherous driving conditions. With a feeling of anxiousness we noted the electronic signs preceding the uphill climb warning of compact snow and slippery sections, so we knew to drive cautiously, but as our trip progressed, we were totally aghast to see countless accidents with cars flipped over on their roofs, in the ditches, or piled up alongside the road (a terribly sad way to begin or end holiday festivities), the cause, undoubtedly, black ice. It's in such conditions that you really appreciate having a safe and reliable vehicle to travel in.
From time to time, I'll test drive and review a car for Modern Dog (usually when I'm thinking about getting a new vehicle myself), so, if like me, you're considering a new vehicle, I thought you might like to hear about my experience test driving the 2013 Hyundai Sante Fe on the Coquihalla. To begin with, not only was it large enough to comfortably fit our crew (four adults and three dogs), it also provided ample room for our luggage. The folks at Hyundai told me the 2013 Sante Fe recently won Best New SUV and I can understand why, it not only looks sensational (it's been totally redesigned for 2013), it was also a real pleasure to drive. With power to spare, we could accelerate with ease and the front wheel/four wheel drive gave us the control we needed on snowy roads, while the 6-speed automatic transmission had us effortlessly climbing the passes. The most treacherous part of the trip is usually along the Connector, where just past the summit, the weather conditions always seem perilous. As usual, it served up its usual "thick as pea soup" fog combined with driving snow. We put on our hazard lights giving those following us a better opportunity to see us and thanked the Hyundai engineers for designing the Sante Fe with electronic windshield wiper de-icers, so that we had no snow-build up on our windshield giving us excellent visibility and one less thing to worry about.
It took us nearly five hours of driving to get us to our destination so I really appreciated the creature comforts incorporated into this vehicle, such as power lumbar support, as well as the Bluetooth Hands-Free phone system and the iPOD/USB/auxilliary input jacks (we had plenty of time to disagree on what music we were going to listen to en route!). The Sante Fe has a 2.4L engine, giving us all the power we need while still being good on gas (we didn't need to fill up with gas en route and when we arrived we still had well over a quarter of a tank of gas left). Although we had the vehicle in its standard seating positioning, I can see how the 2nd row 40/20/40 split fold-flat and recline positioning would give those of us travelling with dogs and human passengers the greatest flexibility in seating and stowage patterns. We give it two thumbs up, but check it out yourself. There are plenty more great features that I'm sure you'll love.
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