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What's everyone's experience with the first year of a model? I'm told by everyone to wait and never buy the first year. Is there much difference in the second year? More models or other changes that they might make?

I'm waiting anyways cause of pricing but just curious, while I impatiently twiddle my thumbs.
 

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2022 Limited Blue Stone
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I thought about it too, but I figured that if anything I'll just bring it under "America's Best Warranty"
This is my first Hyundai/Kia product, so I'm giving them a chance. If it becomes a nightmare of frequent visits to get it fix, then I'll trade it for a Tundra
 

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I had a first year Saturn Coupe. It was a great car that didn't suffer 'lots' of issues. The biggest issues it had in my 7-year 140K mile ownership were the rubber engine mount dampeners deteriorating after a few years(the engine started shaking the whole car!) and from the first year I owned the car, it always burned a very little bit of oil so I was consistently topping up the oil between changes. The first was quick dealer repair and the other was never enough of a problem to establish the precise cause.

I very much enjoyed the "Hey what kind of car is that?" questions shouted from windows at traffic lights. 😁
 

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2022 Sage Grey SC Ultimate
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There's always a bit of a gamble with first year/new models/new platforms. It's the nature of the business. In normal times, I would probably hold out for another year and get the 2nd year production run. But these aren't normal times. I need to pull the pin on a new vehicle this year, so the timing was spot on. If it wasn't something i've been waiting to see happen for years, I'd have probably just taken a Canyon or something that I could have driven off the lot locally. But the SC is like my perfect set of wheels ... and I hope it's more of a dream than a nightmare, being a first year, new model.

What concerns me much less about it is that it shares the platform with the Tucson and a lot of the drivetrain with other proven Hyundai vehicles. If it was a new platform, new engine, new transmission ... I'd be a lot more leery. But, while the platform is fairly new, the engine is fairly well proven, and the transmission is shared among the lineup. If it's a lemon, Hyundai is going to have some MAJOR issues on its hands, not just with SC owners.

I guess time will tell!
 

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2022 Santa Cruz SEL Premium Hampton Gray
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What's everyone's experience with the first year of a model?
While there's obviously some risk it isn't necessarily a recipe for problems. I bought one of the early 2006 Sonatas. It was a totally new Sonata design that was the first Hyundai model built in the brand Alabama factory. In more than 15 years the only problem I ever had was a faulty brake switch which was a 3rd party component.

As @Walking Black Bear said for the SC most potential problems are mitigated due to it using proven designs for most major systems. Then there is the most excellent Hyundai warranty.

Given I have experienced over 32 trouble free vehicle years in Hyundai's I never gave it a second thought.
 

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What's everyone's experience with the first year of a model? I'm told by everyone to wait and never buy the first year. Is there much difference in the second year? More models or other changes that they might make?

I'm waiting anyways cause of pricing but just curious, while I impatiently twiddle my thumbs.
I base a lot on the brands history and the components used.

With that said, I've only owned one first full model change vehicle. My 1991 Toyota Landcruiser was a first year total redesign model. Never had a single issue with it, but at the first upgrade 2-3 years into that redesign they improved all the known things that needed it. In that case it was larger front rotors and an engine power upgrade of some type.

IMHO it's the first model upgrade year that is best to buy, after doing your research on the couple years prior known issues. ;)

With my 2012 Mini Cooper I watched them for years and only bought into the second generation R56 6th year! I specifically stuck with the non-turbo for reliability. The new Mini Cooper was a very unique vehicle. It's second generation heritage was British and the new design was Bavarian (BMW) like the first generation, but the engine was French and automatic transmission was Japanese. You don't get much more diverse than that; four countries engineering designed into one vehicle.

It was basically a reasonably priced small BMW in my eyes and one of the best things BMW made since the 2002 and 320i. My diligent research paid off. It was a wonderful car for what is was. Many of the R56 "S" models with turbo had major issues due to the extra power of the turbo stretching the timing chain and an inadequate spring tensioner, which caused the timing chain to skip and implode the motor. The other issue was that French motor appeared to use engine oil to assist with cooling (I think by design, but don't quote me on that). People that didn't manually check their oil levels regularly as required and relied on the technology to tell them when oil was low sometimes suffered engine seizure due to inadequate oil level. The base R56 non-S without turbo is super reliable if maintained properly as mine was, but you still had to watch the oil level carefully. The "S" turbo models required more diligent maintenance to insure reliability. Manufacturer oil change intervals (thus computer aided maintenance) really needed to be shortened as well.

As for the Santa Cruz, I'm jumping into the first year SE/SEL non-turbo/non-DCT for several reasons. First off I've been waiting for this vehicle for 6+ years and just love the design. I'm getting older now and don't require adrenaline pumping acceleration. Second is I like the standard analog gauge cluster and knobbed center console best. Third is the somewhat proven MPI/GDI and the standard automatic combination already used in the Tucson (others?). That's not to say the Turbo/DCT isn't also already somewhat proven too, but I do plan to do some minor off-roading at slow speeds and don't need the extra power, so the slush-box works for me best.

Now if I was in Canada or could get Canadian build specs here in America, I'd be hard pressed to go with the Canadian base Preferred trim level and get the Turbo/DCT with the analog gauge cluster and knobbed center console. :giggle:

That said, I'm not opposed to upgrading to a Santa Cruz N-Line if built, after the first upgrade year hits if my current needs/desires change. I'd like to see a sport model with traditional separate analog gauges and a manual transmission while keeping the AWD; a Porsche Turbo Carrera 4 Santa Cruz if you will. Now that might get my blood pumping and wallet opening wide! :love:
 

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2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz SEL Premium AWD 2.5T Blue Stone
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Our 2012 Veloster was also a first model year vehicle. The only issues we've had with it are the SiriusXM radio would randomly drop its ID# and not work. Ended up replacing it under warranty. We've had a few CEL issues, but those have mostly been O2 sensors. We did have the airbag light come on a year or so ago. It would turn off if we drove in a straight line for an extended period of time. If we turned/changed lanes, it would come on. Turns out it was the wiring harness. Not too surprising that would go bad, what with Texas heat. We've been extremely happy with the Veloster. That's one of the reasons why I wanted another Hyundai. It's also a reason why I don't mind buying the first year Santa Cruz. Like others have said, it shares a platform with another vehicle, and most of the parts are from established models. I'm not worried.
 

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I've owned a 2003 Nissan 350Z and currently drive a 2014 Corvette - both first model year vehicles and both had no major first year problems. CAD engineering has really improved in modern vehicles to the point that everything is tested virtually which should ensure anything obvious is not missed. The Z had a recall for a bad 3rd synchros in the manual transmission along with some revised alignment settings to correct excessive front tire wear. The C7 had poorly designed brake rotors that were recalled and a batch of bad fan relays, plus some electrical gremlins related to the infotainment screen.

The main draw backs of my '14 C7 really turned out to be stuff that was added to later models like front cameras and a power hatch pull down - both of which the car really needs. In addition GM has come up with some software changes that they refuse to make retroactive like AppleCar Play and new digital dash displays. I do fear at some point the SC will suffer a similar fate and get stuff like memory seats since that is a glaring omission in terms of features already found in the Tuscon. Other examples would be Smart Park and a hybrid. However this is a risk regardless of what year you buy as new goodies are always been teased as coming soon.

Like others have said, it shares a platform with another vehicle, and most of the parts are from established models.
I think this is key on the SC. Its all new but contains many common parts. The major and expensive / critical stuff like the engine & transmission are shared so hopefully any bugs have already been caught, Almost the whole interior is a direct copy of the Tuscon. If anything turns up there should be enough data / experience to address it down the road. However I do worry about tasks like towing where the platform is unproven and some SC specific parts becoming difficult to source in the future if the platform does not sell well.

In general I buy used vehicles just to avoid such unknowns however in this case my current truck is reaching the point (20 year old) where it is time to move into something new.
 

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2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz SEL Premium AWD 2.5T Blue Stone
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I do fear at some point the SC will suffer a similar fate and get stuff like memory seats since that is a glaring omission in terms of features already found in the Tucson. Other examples would be Smart Park and a hybrid. However this is a risk regardless of what year you buy as new goodies are always been teased as coming soon.
To me, memory seats aren't that big of a deal. There are only two drivers in my household, and our seating positions are near enough the same as to be identical (my preference is to have the seat one notch forward on the Veloster vs. my wife's position, but since she's the primary driver of that vehicle, I just deal with it). With a power driver's seat, it makes any adjustments easy enough that I don't care.
I think this is key on the SC. Its all new but contains many common parts. The major and expensive / critical stuff like the engine & transmission are shared so hopefully any bugs have already been caught, Almost the whole interior is a direct copy of the Tucson. If anything turns up there should be enough data / experience to address it down the road. However I do worry about tasks like towing where the platform is unproven and some SC specific parts becoming difficult to source in the future if the platform does not sell well.

In general I buy used vehicles just to avoid such unknowns however in this case my current truck is reaching the point (20 year old) where it is time to move into something new.
The only problem I've run into so far on the Santa Cruz is the 12v power outlet in the dash doesn't work. At first I thought it was a bad fuse, because they are so tiny it's hard to see. When I stopped by the dealer last night to get my plates, I took it to the service department to have them check the outlet. They checked the fuse, and it was fine. I've tried two devices in it, neither worked. The service writer brought out his charger from his truck and we tried it, and again, it didn't work. He suspects it's a bad receptacle, but since the Santa Cruz is so new, he doesn't know what all is involved with accessing it. I'll have them check it when I go in for my first oil change in a couple of months.
 
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