2009 Hyundai Santa Fe AWD V-6

2009 Hyundai Santa Fe AWD V-6

With all the recent hype surrounding the Cash for Clunkers Program, I had been seriously investigating what kind of "deal" I could get, let alone what kind of SUV or Crossover vehicle would be able to replace my 15-year-old Ford Explorer (with 246,000 miles on it!).

I looked at the Toyota RAV-4, which was too cramped and overpriced. After a test drive, I found that the Ford Escape, which was all plastic, was somewhat of sub-par quality. Finally I found and test-drove the vehicle that was night-and-day above the others as far as quality and comfort at a comparable price: the 2009 Hyundai Santa Fe!

I wanted to share my tips and experience so others may possibly benefit from what I did...

About a week ago, I looked at the available Santa Fe models and options at one dealer that I heard good things about and really wanted to negotiate with. The next week, I went to another dealer to get a quote, with the intention of negotiating a better deal at the first dealer.

After getting the run-around, and being presented with an informal offer on paper for the SE model (which I was originally after) which they would not let me take with me, I was told that they could not locate the vehicle I was interested in at any NH dealership. However, I was offered a "deep discount" (LOL - I have to laugh) on the Limited model (leather, premium this and that, power moon/sunroof, etc.), and told how much better it was and what a "steal" I was getting... I told them I had to sleep on it and check with my wife (love you, Samai!), and at least left with a formal invoice listing for a Limited model at a much-discounted price...

The next day I called the first dealer and mentioned price matching, which they agreed they could do. To keep track of the "informal" offer I was made, I had marked up my invoice from the second dealer with a Sharpie, giving myself the original rebate and discounts from the informal quote at the first dealer, plus I put myself in for some additional "dealer" discounts and waived fees.

Then back to the first dealer I went, and armed with my invoice, not really intending to use it but kept it really as a point of reference. I fully expected to have to defend the price.

It's hard to believe, but it worked, and without any haggling! I even negotiated some additional discounts on top of this!

So between the powertrain warranty (10 years/100,000 miles), 6 years/60,000 miles bumper-to-bumper warranty, the 12 month buy-back policy (in case I get laid off), the Cash for Clunkers program (getting rid of my 1994 rotting, gas-guzzling Ford Explorer 4WD), and the bottom line price (less than I originally planned for the SE model), it was a no-brainer... Deepwater Blue metallic exterior, with a Charcoal/Black leather interior... sharp lookin'!

Check out the Santa Fe at the Hyundai USA web site.

OK, so my domestic vehicle allegiance has been shaken a bit. But you can rest at least partially assured that although the Hyundai Santa Fe is owned by a South Korean company, it is designed in Southern California, USA, they have a large manufacturing plant right here in Alabama, USA. So that means American jobs at least!

Here are some more photos:

  • Rear view
  • Front seat
  • Engine
  • Logo