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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I've mentioned in a few other threads, room for a rear-facing car seat is a sticking point for me. My wife has a Santa Fe that does most of the family hauling, but if I'm going to buy a new car I want it to be able to comfortably haul all of us around. My kiddo is only 4 months old, so I've got at least a year left in rear-facing mode and then what will seem like forever in front facing / booster seat mode.

Local dealer had a SEL w/ Activity show up, so I ran up to see how it would fit....

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I'm 5'10" and it was just passable for someone my size I think. Anyone taller would likely feel a little cramped. It looks like a decent amount of space, but as pictured is definitely closer than I would normally sit. My wife is only 5'4", so hopefully she'll have a little more breathing room.

Note that I didn't install the base, just sat the seat on the cushion -- it's possible you'd gain another inch or so with the base (or lose a some), I'm just not sure and didn't have time today to mess with it.

Other impressions were....

- I thought the SEL w/ Activity basically got all the options the SEL Premium did, just not the drivetrain. But, this still had unpainted door handles and plastic steering wheel which surprised me.

- Very smooth riding, and very smooth powertrain with the NA motor and torque converted automatic tranny.

- A little pokey (for me). I'm sure it has plenty of giddy up when you really get into it and for normal driving, but I didn't want to abuse someone else's future ride with so few miles. Getting up to speed on the highway feeder road without revving the thing too hard felt awfully lethargic. I'm definitely a turbo buyer, as I suspected.

- Rear visibility is not good, at all... good thing there's a backup camera for parking 馃槙

- Cloth seat material seems good. For some reason the photos I've seen almost made the fabric look a little thin/cheap -- but in person it's a nice, heavy duty cloth. I like the material in my Frontier better, but not bad.

- Black paint had a nice metallic pearl sparkle to it. Of all the colors offered, Black is hands down my least favorite... wish it had been a Sage Gray or Blue Stone!

Hopefully that helps someone else out there. I wish it had a couple more inches of room w/ the car seat, but not bad -- it's not a deal breaker I don't think. I need to do more research about mounting the seat in the middle... I'd have to use the seat belts, the LATCH anchors are only on the outboard seats. I'm not sure if there's a safety penalty using the belts, or just less convenient. That would definitely make more room.
 

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I've mentioned in a few other threads, room for a rear-facing car seat is a sticking point for me. My wife has a Santa Fe that does most of the family hauling, but if I'm going to buy a new car I want it to be able to comfortably haul all of us around. My kiddo is only 4 months old, so I've got at least a year left in rear-facing mode and then what will seem like forever in front facing / booster seat mode.

Local dealer had a SEL w/ Activity show up, so I ran up to see how it would fit....

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View attachment 1253

I'm 5'10" and it was just passable for someone my size I think. Anyone taller would likely feel a little cramped. It looks like a decent amount of space, but as pictured is definitely closer than I would normally sit. My wife is only 5'4", so hopefully she'll have a little more breathing room.

Note that I didn't install the base, just sat the seat on the cushion -- it's possible you'd gain another inch or so with the base (or lose a some), I'm just not sure and didn't have time today to mess with it.

Other impressions were....

- I thought the SEL w/ Activity basically got all the options the SEL Premium did, just not the drivetrain. But, this still had unpainted door handles and plastic steering wheel which surprised me.

- Very smooth riding, and very smooth powertrain with the NA motor and torque converted automatic tranny.

- A little pokey (for me). I'm sure it has plenty of giddy up when you really get into it and for normal driving, but I didn't want to abuse someone else's future ride with so few miles. Getting up to speed on the highway feeder road without revving the thing too hard felt awfully lethargic. I'm definitely a turbo buyer, as I suspected.

- Rear visibility is not good, at all... good thing there's a backup camera for parking 馃槙

- Cloth seat material seems good. For some reason the photos I've seen almost made the fabric look a little thin/cheap -- but in person it's a nice, heavy duty cloth. I like the material in my Frontier better, but not bad.

- Black paint had a nice metallic pearl sparkle to it. Of all the colors offered, Black is hands down my least favorite... wish it had been a Sage Gray or Blue Stone!

Hopefully that helps someone else out there. I wish it had a couple more inches of room w/ the car seat, but not bad -- it's not a deal breaker I don't think. I need to do more research about mounting the seat in the middle... I'd have to use the seat belts, the LATCH anchors are only on the outboard seats. I'm not sure if there's a safety penalty using the belts, or just less convenient. That would definitely make more room.
great post and short review, thanks for sharing
 

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- Rear visibility is not good, at all... good thing there's a backup camera for parking .:)
Curious why rear visibility is "not good, at all."
Are the rear seats tall? Headrests blocking line of sight?
Inability to see the tailgate?

Not being able to see the tailgate would be a bit of a bummer.

Thanks for the quick review.
 

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@treybrad I think I test drove that same Santa Cruz yesterday; looks like the same dealership from your pics. Just curious what they told you about availability on getting a Limited trim?

I "reserved" a Limited AWD in Hampton Gray, but was told by the salesman/inventory manager that due to the ongoing chip shortage they were expecting mostly SE and SEL models for their initial allocations. I thought the SEL with the Activity Pkg drove well and was nicely equipped, but also want AWD and prefer the turbo. Might consider an SEL Premium depending on what shows up.
 

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Curious why rear visibility is "not good, at all."
Are the rear seats tall? Headrests blocking line of sight?
Inability to see the tailgate?

Not being able to see the tailgate would be a bit of a bummer.

Thanks for the quick review.
The rear visibility of a Subaru Baja is not good because of the rear seat headrest and large blind spot caused by the C pillars length and width and with no blind spot monitoring you really need to pay attention to traffic around you at all times.
 

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Thank you for the review and the pictures of the room needed for a car seat in the second row, @treybrad. I wonder why Hyundai did not provide more storage underneath the shift area like they do in the Santa Fe? Maybe because of the actual shift knob instead of the electronic one in the Santa Fe.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Curious why rear visibility is "not good, at all."
Are the rear seats tall? Headrests blocking line of sight?
Inability to see the tailgate?

Not being able to see the tailgate would be a bit of a bummer.

Thanks for the quick review.
It's exactly what @Jim 99 said -- the rear seats are high, which makes for a small/short rear window. I do not recall being able to see the tailgate at all -- but I'd have to sit in it again to be sure. Let's put it this way, if you didn't have a rear view camera and a child or dog was behind you while reversing... it wouldn't end well. That said, the rear view camera was very clear.

I don't like sitting high up, but it's possible I could have adjusted the seat higher to give a better angle... if it's still there this weekend I will go back to spend a little more time analyzing it -- I was in a rush yesterday...

@treybrad I think I test drove that same Santa Cruz yesterday; looks like the same dealership from your pics. Just curious what they told you about availability on getting a Limited trim?

I "reserved" a Limited AWD in Hampton Gray, but was told by the salesman/inventory manager that due to the ongoing chip shortage they were expecting mostly SE and SEL models for their initial allocations. I thought the SEL with the Activity Pkg drove well and was nicely equipped, but also want AWD and prefer the turbo. Might consider an SEL Premium depending on what shows up.
Round Rock Hyundai? I asked him (Phil McAllister) to email me what was coming, even though I already know thanks to @Chuck 's list - On Order Santa Cruz

His thread - Help finding which Santa Cruz are coming to your area

Coming to our area:

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Of course, I haven't had any follow up via email -- I wasn't expecting any ;) I 'reserved' a Sage Gray Limited AWD... we see how well that system is working, ha.

There are 4 SEL Prem and 1 Limited coming, but ALL of them are black! Why?! Either way I'll try to snag one for a test drive when they show up to get a feel for the turbo drivetrain.

Thank you for the review and the pictures of the room needed for a car seat in the second row, @treybrad. I wonder why Hyundai did not provide more storage underneath the shift area like they do in the Santa Fe? Maybe because of the actual shift knob instead of the electronic one in the Santa Fe.
Yeah, great point.... I'd love to have that under console storage area. Some people don't like the push button electronic shifters, but I'm all for it if it creates more practicality -- doesn't bother me at all.
 

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It's because dealers love black vehicles. Black, white, grey = about 90% of all new vehicles on the road. It was our Chevy sales guy who pointed it out to us last year when we went Cayenne Orange on the Equinox. Literally can't unsee the sea of black, white, and grey on the road and in every parking lot. You get the odd blue, the occasional red ... but black, white, grey are their bread and butter. That's why they have 100% black coming in.
 

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Probably the same rearward visibility issue I had with the Avalanche many years ago - not that I owned one, but had borrowed one for work, towing a trailer. BRUTAL!! And that was pre-backup cameras. The SC can't possibly be worse than that, but yeah, at least we have the surround view cameras on the top trims!
 

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Round Rock Hyundai? I asked him (Phil McAllister) to email me what was coming, even though I already know thanks to @Chuck 's list - On Order Santa Cruz
Yep, that's the one. The salesman I spoke with said they had allocations for "six" (?) based on their annual vehicle sales, but it did not sound as though they were taking customer orders for specific vehicles just yet. I think the Santa Cruz looked good in Black, but I've been there and done that, and won't be going there again. I reserved Hampton Gray because I thought it was the "safest" color in the Santa Cruz palette, but would really like to see the Sage Gray, Blue Stone and Hampton Gray all in person. Pictures/videos of all three of these colors seem to vary quite a bit depending on lighting and quality, so will be interesting to see what they really look like up close and personal. My wife initially vetoed Blue Stone after seeing a couple of pics where it looks lighter and more baby blue. I had hoped it was going to be a darker blue-gray similar to pic below. I guess you could always wrap it if you don't like it.

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Yep, that's the one. The salesman I spoke with said they had allocations for "six" (?) based on their annual vehicle sales, but it did not sound as though they were taking customer orders for specific vehicles just yet. I think the Santa Cruz looked good in Black, but I've been there and done that, and won't be going there again. I reserved Hampton Gray because I thought it was the "safest" color in the Santa Cruz palette, but would really like to see the Sage Gray, Blue Stone and Hampton Gray all in person. Pictures/videos of all three of these colors seem to vary quite a bit depending on lighting and quality, so will be interesting to see what they really look like up close and personal. My wife initially vetoed Blue Stone after seeing a couple of pics where it looks lighter and more baby blue. I had hoped it was going to be a darker blue-gray similar to pic below. I guess you could always wrap it if you don't like it.
Agree 100%... these colors vary so much from picture to picture I'd have a hard time pulling the trigger on any of them without seeing them all in person. I'd like to see the white in person as well, if it's a nice pearly white like my wife's Santa Fe I'd consider it.... but I've been there, done that with black too. Never again! o_O
 

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- Very smooth riding, and very smooth powertrain with the NA motor and torque converted automatic tranny.

- A little pokey (for me). I'm sure it has plenty of giddy up when you really get into it and for normal driving, but I didn't want to abuse someone else's future ride with so few miles. Getting up to speed on the highway feeder road without revving the thing too hard felt awfully lethargic. I'm definitely a turbo buyer, as I suspected.

- Rear visibility is not good, at all... good thing there's a backup camera for parking 馃槙
So if you watch reviews of the 2022 Tucson, you can see that they rave about how the 38/38/38mpg hybrid is so much more enjoyable with extra oomph over the naturally aspirated 2.5, and yet we don't get that, and probably never will because the hybrid powertrain is apparently unique to the Korean plant, and there are no Santa Cruz built in Korea.

If they had a base hybrid like the Maverick w/ 226hp that got say 38city/34highway mpg , I'd be all over that!

Sound like the Limited is really the way to roll with the Santa Cruz for those that can afford it, as it has 360o camera which makes parking super easy, blindspot cameras, handles and everything painted, cooler grill, turbo power, 7-pin and 5K tow ability once you add brake controller. ~$40K though... yeesh.
 

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Yeah, I'm figuring (obviously in Canadian dollars) on being close to 60k by the time we add in accessories (hitch and whatnot), extended warranty (because I've never NOT gotten my money's worth out of one on a new vehicle to date), and 13% sales tax. Steep ... but some things are worth paying for.
 

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Sound like the Limited is really the way to roll with the Santa Cruz for those that can afford it, as it has 360o camera which makes parking super easy, blindspot cameras, handles and everything painted, cooler grill, turbo power, 7-pin and 5K tow ability once you add brake controller. ~$40K though... yeesh.
Spec out a comparable vehicle, say a new Ranger 4x4 and you鈥檒l be at about this same price but with a few less goodies.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Sound like the Limited is really the way to roll with the Santa Cruz for those that can afford it, as it has 360o camera which makes parking super easy, blindspot cameras, handles and everything painted, cooler grill, turbo power, 7-pin and 5K tow ability once you add brake controller. ~$40K though... yeesh.
This is exactly where I'm at.... I know I want the turbo, so I'm already in for $36k and change to start with the SEL Prem. The $4k upcharge to Limited adds the 360 camera, BSM, better lane keep/highway assist, radar cruise, dark grill, ventilated leather, rear a/c vents, 20" wheels, bigger infotainment, better sound system and a few other trinkets. I don't need or want all that, but I do think I'd regret not ponying up that last $4k long-term if nothing else for the vented leather, sound system and cameras.

But... $40k, yeesh is right. I'm hoping the market will relax a bit and we'll see some discounts in the next 6 months because I can't justify that. My wife's Santa Fe 2.0T 'Ultimate' was $33k out the door before tax (hers is FWD, so let's say $34.5k to keep apples to apples considering AWD on the SC). The SF has a head's up display, HUGE pano sunroof, heated rear seats, power liftgate, rear sun shades (baby!), power folding rear seats, even the headliner is a really nice tweed-like material -- none of that stuff is available at any trim on the SC, so I'm not sure I can talk myself into paying that much more for one.

We'll see... I'm in no huge rush, thankfully!
 

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Spec out a comparable vehicle, say a new Ranger 4x4 and you鈥檒l be at about this same price but with a few less goodies.
Yeah, I'm just used to trucks being divorced from their MSRP with the fake pricing of the big 3 pre-COVID insanity. Last two vehicles we haggled to $9-10K off the ~$40K sticker, but that's not happening in this market. I saw on some car website, I forget which, that used Mustang prices jumped 30% from this time last year.
 

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I'm pretty ok with the pricing of the AWD Limited, it is only a short walk from the Tuscon Limited Hybrid; and to us the "bedette" would be much more useful. I suppose the other factor is that I was pretty serious about a top trim GV70; but only if it landed under $60k. So not the case.
 
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