Is the Tucson all that much better than the Santa Fe ?
I have been offfered, by a Hyundai dealer, a substantial discount from
the sticker price of a 2005 (not 2007) Santa Fe. It looks nice and
works for me.
The Tucson is what seems to be getting all the press and the J. D.
Power approval ratings. Is there that much difference ?
Obviously the former year left over 2005 would logically be and is
being discounted. But is there something that much better about the
Tucson ? Or is it that the Tucson has just about everything that the
Santa Fe has, but at a lower price, and therefore is a better deal, is
more popular and would bring greater customer satisfaction in value
for the money, and thus a good Power survey response ?
Thanks in advance.
PS would any of you see (again) all that much improvement between a
2005 Santa Fe and or Tucson and a 2007 ?
Yes and no.
It has less internal cargo space and is overall shorter.
It has considerably more leg room designed into it (and "less" cargo
space) but once you factor in the Santa Fe's absolutely pathetic rear
seat fold-down design (was this ever fixed?) its really not that much
less usable cargo space.
Big cargo is what they make trailer hitches and/or $30/day rental trucks
The SF is an older design than the Tuc (explains difference in JDPower
The Tuc has a little bit more legroom front and back than the SF
The SF has more cargo space
The Tuc has more airbags and a better crash rating than the SF
The Tuc has active stability control (anti-rollover). SF does not.
The Tuc gets slightly better MPG than SF (both with 2.7L V6)
The Tuc is 7 in. shorter. A real plus if garage space is tight.
2006 is the last year for the SF. The '07 SF is a complete redesign and
will be more upscale.
Since the 06 SF's are being phased out, Hyundai has a $3,000 incentive
for July. Tucson's incentive is $1,000.
If safety is important to then the Tuc is the way to go. If not, and
you want the absolute best bang for the buck, then the SF with $3000
off might be a better deal, although the stellar quality ratings for
the Tuc is hard to pass up.
Just a couple of things to add:
Bought an '06 Santa Fe in April of '06
Test drove the Santa Fe and the Tucson, a number of times.
Both were Limiteds. The Tucson was (is) nice, however, there
is a world of difference between the Tucson 2.7 and a Santa Fe
3.5. The 3.5 flies and the 2.7 has a problem in traffic on a busy
interstate. Also there's a big difference between a 4 speed and
a 5 speed.
In the end we went with the Santa Fe. My wife's major complaint
with the Tucson was the pick-up. He next big complaint was the
lack of a power seat. She's used to one and that killed the Tucson
All in all the Santa Fe, in my opinion, is the nicer of the 2 cars.
And I think it has a lot to do with the size of the Santa Fe. But,
they are both really nice cars....we just happend to love the Santa
The 2.7 needs about 10k miles to break in. The 3.5 is faster no doubt,
but that 4 mpg hit was a bit excessive. We specifically bought a 03.0
2.7 LX for that reason - the 03.5 3.5's were on the lot, and the price
increase was small, but the long term was going to be large.
Bah. Use the knobs! Personally I'm kicking around a seat replacement
on mine. They just don't fit well.
I haven't been in a Tucson yet, but IMHO its sitting in a nasty market
segment.. They're trying to compete with junk like the CRV and the RAV4
with the Sportage, and the Tucson is just a dressed up Sportage.
The 01-current Santa Fe fit a very good market segment. It had some
design flaws (whoever designed the back seat fold-down setup needed a
beating) but I've driven much much worse for a lot more money.
Unluckily they're trying to turn the Santa Fe into a chop-top minivan
("crossovers" suck!) and the Sportage/Tucson is a little too small for
my taste, and Hyundai's dealer network is still pathetically under
built, so I doubt I'll be going to Hyundai to buy another car anytime
The Consumer Reports autos issue in April covered the results of their
reliability poll. If memory serves me right, the Santa Fe was rated way
above average in reliability. The Tucson was rated way below average. In
fact, the Santa Fe is Hyundai's most reliable model, and the Tucson was
Hyundai's least reliable model.
Take that bit of data however you like. Whatever problems people might have
with CR as a magazine, the sheer size of their survey sample (1 mil+
vehicles) is hard to dismiss. Nothing I've heard so far challenges the
statistical validity of their reliability survey.
I trust JD Power over Consumer Reports, primarily because Power gives
out unfiltered consumer opinions, while CR "experts" distill their data
and make their own recommendations. I prefer the unbiased scoop. Power
retains PhD's in statistics to ensure sampling validity.
Also, the Power surveys are fresher and more timely than CR. I've
noticed this over the years, Power always spots the new trends in
quality first and CR lags. You're not going to get a good read on the
'06's from CR until next year. Power's Initial Quality Survey tells you
what new car owners think of their '06's today.
Power's recent results show that new Tucson owners are reporting fewer
problems and higher satisfaction than new Santa Fe owners:
== USA TODAY =The Hyundai Tucson was the No. 1 compact multi-activity vehicle. Three
Hyundai cars took second-place spots: the Elantra compact car, the
Tiburon sporty car and the Azera large car.
Only the company's Santa Fe SUV, which is being redesigned for the 2007
model year, and the Accent subcompact car did not make the top three
slots in their respective categories.
You are comparing apples and oranges. The JD Power IQS is NOT a reliability
survey. It measures quality issues over a 90 day period, half of which
covers design defects (are those knobs intuitive?) and the other
manufacturing defects (do those panels align perfectly?). For reliability,
you want something like the JD Power 3 year reliability survey (where
Hyundai seems to do curiously badly). You can't measure reliability over
just 90 days.
In any case, you have not said anything meaningful to discredit the CR
survey. The results are empirical (they are ranked in terms of number of
problems), so there is little room to "distill" the data. The JD Power
results as reported in the media is even more "distilled" in that the news
reports have far less details. Heck, they don't even tell us their sample
size in their press releases. So you have no proof that CR manupilates their
data, no proof that the data is biased, no proof that one "filters" their
data more than the other. But the funniest part is that there is no way to
defend the Tucson based on bias: even a biased study has no reason to favor
one Hyundai SUV over another.
The reason for the reliability disparity is quite simple. While Hyundai has
made remarkable progress in reliability, they may not be as consistent
across all models or when first starting out. The Tucson is still very new,
and Hyundai may not have gottent their act together yet on this model.
Hyundais might need a number of years to get their reliability up. My 2001
Accent (a model introduced in 2000), is rated very poorly by JD Powers' 3
year reliability survey. But 2005 Accents are rated quite reliable by
Consumer Reports. Since the Tucson is also only in its 2nd year, you might
have a couple of years to go for it to shape up.
Right, and by the same logic, Consumer Reports is not really a
reliability survey either -- it's a "historical reliability survey."
Here's the problem: CR sends out surveys in the spring and reports the
results in November. This means the CR data you read today reflects
what owners thought in 2005. Any major changes in quality occurring in
2006 is missed by current CR data and won't be published until this
For car companies whose quality and reliability patterns are relatively
static, CR ratings are fine. But Hyundai is improving quality by leaps
and bounds. CR's methodology is too slow to give an accurate picture of
what's going on ^today.^
With JD Power's 90-day survey you at least get a timely snapshot of
recent owner experiences. If they have to take their cars back to the
dealer frequently due to quality issues, it's going to show up in
For Hyundai, IMHO, I think you have it backwards. They are making
strides in quality very quickly, and the trend seems to be the newer
the design the better the build. This does not surprise me, the Koreans
are world leaders in computerized design, manufacturing and automation.
This may be why the newer models are doing so well in JD Power (fresher
data) and not Consumer Reports (last years data). In fact, CR wrote
that the predicted reliability of the 2006 Tucson will be "worse than
average." From what we know today, that prediction has proven to be
I say you are way too optimistic -- you are predicting the future -- based
on wrong data. As I said, the JD Power IQS is NOT a reliability survey. You
can't extrapolate reliability from this study. Nor should it suggest that
the current Tucson should improve significantly: why do you assume it
improved its IQS score? It has always done well. According to Edmunds, the
2005 Tucson scored 4/5 overall on the IQS. The 2006 Tucson also scores 4/5
on the IQS. So naively going by the unchanged IQS score, we can assume that
the 2006 Tucson should be about as reliable as the 2005. Unfortunately, in
the CR reliability survey the 2005 Tucson ranks dead last in the small SUV
category, tying with the Kia Sportage and Saturn Vue.
While I am optimistic about Hyundai's quality in general, it sure looks like
the Tucson is a dud. This is the first Hyundai in years that scored this
horribly. The current Sonata debuted on the charts with an above-average
rating. The Santa Fe was always respectable across all years. The old Accent
and Elantra never scored this bad out the door. My fear is that there is
something badly wrong with the Tucson. You seem to be expecting miracles to
happen with the Tucson, but Hyundai simply does not have that kind of track
record. The Sonata is reliable now, but when it was introduced in 2000 it
spent the first 2 model years with below-average reliability. There is
absolutely no proof that Hyundai turned around the Tucson in just one year.
Consumer Reports, the people that put the Toyota Corolla and the Geo
Prism on opposite ends of the reliability scale (EXACT SAME VEHICLE) in
the early 90s.
The Sonata was introduced long before 2000... I want to say 1989 or
1990. The Sonata V6 was introduced somewhere in the mid 90s.
Where exactly does CR get its statistics from? "Thin air" seems a
Yes, Consumer Reports data isn't from a randomly selected sample, it is
from a self-selected set of their subscribers. So you have at least two
biases built in to start with. The bias of having only those people who
subscriber and then the bias of having only those who choose to return
I've owned two cars that were also rated pretty much at the opposite end
of CR's spectrum: an 84 Accord that rated well and an 89 Acclaim that
rated poorly. The Accord was a lemon (engine failed at less than 80,000
miles - only engine I've had in 30 years of driving that failed) and the
Acclaim was the rock of Gibralter.
You realize, you have defined away the entire field of surveying. There
will always be some selection issues in statistical sampling, precisely
because it is sampling. There will always be the bias of having getting only
results from people willing to return results. You won't get that
theoretical purity without testing absolutely everyone and forcing them to
submit an answer. Then that is no longer a survey.
Valid sampling simply means to make sure that the sampling does not
significantly distort the results. And here, the CR bashers' arguments
evaporate. Nobody has been able to prove that -- or even explain how -- CR's
sampling distorts in its stated purpose of comparative reliablity. I repeat:
comparative reliability. Why should a CR reader who owns a Tucson be more
biased against his car than a CR reader who owns a Santa Fe? Feh.
CR's survey has a sample size of about a million: 20 times the size of JD
Powers' 3 year reliability survey. Its results are empirical: it counts the
problem incident rate. I don't see how there an be a statistical or bias
fluke when the Tucson and Santa Fe's ratings are so far apart. I believe the
CR's sample size has grown to the point where its numbers are fairly
consistent for the more popular models. Case in point: the Tucson's
reliability score is virtually identical to the Kia Sportage, its mechanical
Precisly. It doesn't mean that the Toyota car had fewer problems, it
only means that owners of Toyota cars reported fewer problems in their
surveys. As long as you keep in mind that their data isn't data on car
reliability, but simply a summary of the biases of their readers, then
you are fine.
The only real way to get good reliability data would be to have the
repair records of each car. Owner's are notoriously unreliable in their
assessments of car reliability and things that I would consider an
issue, may not even register to you. Just look at the comments in this
group about the Sonata tank sloshing for example. This is a design
issue so ALL Sonatas have sloshing tanks, yet people here seem to fall
into one of three camps:
1. Those who don't notice (maybe can't hear it or play loud music)
2. Those who notice, but don't consider it a problem.
3. Those who notice and consider it an annoyance.
Yet, all are describing the same thing.
I bought a 2005 Tucson V6 4WD with 3300 miles on it and have since added
about 4000 miles. For me, it is the perfect size (length, width and
interior), and all the features are really worthwhile. The one negative,
which is extremely important, is the poor gas mileage, which has been
commented on in this forum by others. My car is averaging only about 12
mpg, and a little better (maybe 14) on long freeway runs. For the total
number of miles, 12-13 mpg has been the average, and it is disheartening.
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