First Hyundai car, opinions changed, now a fan
April 15, 2019
I had never owned a Hyundai/Kia car prior to my 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe’s purchase. Nobody I knew had owned a Korean car to ask for opinions. After months of reading, viewing videos and test drives, I have come to the decision to purchase the first Hyundai vehicle. In this day and age, not taking enough time to do research is a missed opportunity for car buyers. As I had taken my time, I got better ideas what I would like to have in my next car and cross-shopped for the car I wanted. I kept an eye on the prices for a while, negotiated for price matches, and then pulled the trigger when best offers are available. Also through my research, my branding sentiments for Hyundai and Kia was also changed. Potential buyers should be able to find lots of information about good value and quality in Korean cars in the last 5-10 years. Don’t just read experts’ reviews, I have valued lots of average users’ reviews. I am aware of the current recalls (engine fire), which I am not too concerned about in the newest 2019 models. In general, there are a lot more positive reviews from Hyundai/Kia car owners than I had expected.
For the new 2019 Santa Fe, I love the new exterior design and the interior’s modern layout. It feels spacious on the inside, specially second row seats. The all functions are so easy to use and they just work. Fit-and-finish is excellent. Good choice of materials using on the inside show good overall quality for the vehicle. All premium features (Ultimate trim) you can only find in the high-end cars, on top of the standard safety features. Best warranty in the industry. IIHS & NHTSA crash tests are highly rated. 3-yr BlueLink Remote Service is a plus. I find this car more suitable for family people like me on daily commute, occasional road/camping trips. It depends on your priorities, but I like the practicality and active safety features in this car. I am also very impressed on how comfortable and quiet this Santa Fe handles on the roads. My Ultimate trim is equipped with all LED lamps. These help illuminate the roads better at night and also look more upscale. For engine performance, I wished they would have added a few more horses for the naturally aspirated engine option or V6 for some more towing capacity. For what it is, I still think it’s adequate for most of my normal driving. I guess Hyundai has chosen practicality, utility and comfortability over performance.
Like other high tech industries, auto industry is changing fast too. The race to earn more market share is more competitive than ever, especially in the SUV segments (wait until Chinese cars can join this party). I’ve known Hyundai quality have improved greatly in the last 20 years. But when it comes to purchasing one, people tend to go back to their trusted older brands. It’s a safe choice for a big purchase, I understand that. Nevertheless, I think Hyundai and Kia are doing the right things. They obviously try harder to win you over. Bottom line is, I initially chose the 2019 Santa Fe over other popular choices (Highlander, Pilot, Murano, Outback etc.) because of the best value for what I can get. Judging from the experience so far, I am quite happy with the decision. My perception is now changed positively about the brand. Hopefully, my long-term ownership of the car is also positive. Just a personal experience on how I changed and became a new Hyundai car owner.