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Josh-D. S. Davis

Xaminmo / Omnimax / Max Omni / Mad Scientist / Midnight Shadow / Radiation Master

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Car experience report: Hyundai Santa Fe 2012
Josh 2004 Happy
Rented a Hyundai Santa Fe from Hertz for our holiday trip to Santa Fe. Work said they would pay since I'd spent a lot of time on a project recently rather than dealing with my car problems. WOO HOO!

Excluding anything price related, Overall satisfaction rating is a 9 of 10.

Usability and Ergonomics: Excellent!
* Lots of room inside, including cargo space. Great maneuverability.
* 35 hours in the car over 7 days, and my back and knee still feel fine.
* It wants to drive a little fast, but that's okay.
* It's more stable than I'd expect for a mid-sized SUV.
* Where my knee rests is not conflicting with power ports or anything that can break.
* It has lots of cubbies and pockets for putting stuff. The iPad Mini fits in the dash slot, wallet next to the shifter, room for phones, map and drink holders in all 4 doors, sub-floor cargo spaces, etc.

Economy: Good. This would be an excellent replacement for our van.
* Round trip was 20.20mpg, with an average speed of 75mph.
* 1696 miles total, with about 80% being highway.
* Based on extrapolation and calculations, if we were willing to spend an extra 7 hours driving, we could have saved $64 in gas.

Minor issue: The AWD transmission is not really great.
* The AWD transmission is not limited slip. There is a "lock" option which is supposed to provide limited slip when needed, but it still had a pretty strong amount of slip when trying to get over an icy bump in a parking lot.
* Traction control has an override too. Traction control basically reduces power to the wheels if your acceleration causes them to slip. Turning this off allows you to spin the wheels on ice and make a nice sliding turn. :)
* Downhill break control adjusts the transmission shifting so the engine is used to keep you from going too fast down hill. I found this could not be engaged while driving, at least at 55mph or so, making it very limited usefulness. Luckily, none of the grades were a problem from Dallas to OKC to KS to Santa Fe to Cline's Corners, to Dallas.
* Changing to the 2WD tranny adds 2mpg and saves a little on the price if buying new.

Minor issue: DC power ports shut off way below their rated power outputs.
120W plugs (10A at 12V) only provide about 1.5A at 12V before voltage drops severely and the charge indicator comes on and off repeatedly.

Minor issue: The radio USB port says "iPod" but it doesn't support iOS for real.
It just reads as USB flash drives. All MP3 tag/music info is missing when using an actual iDevice. Doesn't support an iPad Mini at all.

Minor issue: The radio USB port only provides 0.5A.
Plugging in the iPad Mini, or an iphone at low charge while using GPS and data causes the port to shut off repeatedly.

Minor issue: Doesn't have dual climate controls.
This was an issue where I was fogging up the window but too warm, and Erica was freezing.

Minor issue: driver pedals designed for a short person.
If there wasn't cruise control, my right leg would wear out after a few hours. With cruise, I can put my foot between the pedals, and the floorboard is another 12 inches beyond. Not a huge issue based on compensating factors.

Minor issue: Hertz at DFW isn't staffed for high volumes of customers.
Wait at the exit gate was about 15 minutes.
Wait at the counter was about 25 minutes.
Excellent customer service negated most of the negative leaning of this.

Minor issue: Hertz gate agent at DFW added all of the optional insurance plans without asking me.
This wasn't in my profile, or on my reservation.
In-person customer service is excellent, and all problems were resolved.

Minor issue: Email responses from the web form are not prompt.
Didn't hear back after over 12 hours, so it's better to just wait until I could call (6a-9p M-F).
Phone rep customer service was excellent.