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Bas75

Hyundai Santa Fe - Auto or Manual?

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I am looking for another tow car as my Kia Sorento 2016 (manual) has to be returned as part of a lease agreement. The Santa Fe seems a good car to go for as there are some good deals about for cars 1-2 years old and it apparently has the same engine as the Sorento which I like.

 

My caravan is an Ace Award Superstar 2009 that is twin axle with a maximum permissible weight of 1815kg. It is loaded close to that weight.

The Sorento (manual) tows the van well and I’m sure the the manual version of the Santa Fe will be the same as one of my friends has one and speaks very positive about it.

 

But. ..I fancy an automatic transmission this time which lowers the maximum towing capacity to 2000kg compared to 2500kg for the manual. I’m not sure if this has any impact on its towing capability because of 500kg less capacity. My van is heavy and I don’t want to compromise on towing and want the same amount of power when I’m towing regardless it being a manual or auto.

 

Can someone please offer me some advice as I need to make sure that I’m getting the right transmission on the new car?

 

Thanks, Bas

 

 

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Auto, no argument. I ran a 2014 KX2 for 4years with no issues whatever. Brilliant towcar, quick, comfortable and reasonably economical. Because it’s not our tow car anymore when the contract finished we went for a VW Tiguan instead. Garbage in comparison. Roll on 3 years so I can go back to a Kia.  

We were towing our previous Swift Challenger and latterly our Conqueror 645 (1900kg)

Edited by Tuningdrew
Additional text.

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I second that.

I have had both manual and now auto Sorento. The auto is definitely better all round for towing. We have a 1900Kg  TA Sterling.

As with all autos, it uses a bit more fuel but not enough to worry about.

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I had a 2012 Santa Fe manual and changed to a 2016 auto last year.  Definitely go for the auto :-).  

 

The only reason I purchased the 2012 manual was due to the noseweight difference (100kg manual / 75kg auto).  From 2013 the noseweight limit is identical (100kg) for both manual and auto.  I am very pleased with my 2016 auto, amazing car both solo and towing.

 

Mark.

Edited by Markt1891

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Assuming its the same autobox as the Sorento . .. auto every time.   Its an old fashioned torque converter box - but very well suited to towing.

 

Not a huge difference in the fuel consumption either:    https://www. honestjohn. co. uk/realmpg/hyundai/santa-fe-2012  https://www. honestjohn. co. uk/realmpg/kia/sorento-2015

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If you only tow a few times a year, I'd go manual. The rest of the time you'll be solo and the mpg will be better than the auto. But if costs don't matter, then go for an auto.

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Both are capable of towing your van and the only difference is the obvious one.

Only you can decide whether you prefer auto or manual gearboxes. For me manual every time, 

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Don't know about Sante Fe but Auto every time, I would never ever return to a manual tow-car, or any car come to that

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1 hour ago, Tuningdrew said:

Auto, no argument. I ran a 2014 KX2 for 4years with no issues whatever. Brilliant towcar, quick, comfortable and reasonably economical. Because it’s not our tow car anymore when the contract finished we went for a VW Tiguan instead. Garbage in comparison. Roll on 3 years so I can go back to a Kia.  

We were towing our previous Swift Challenger and latterly our Conqueror 645 (1900kg)

Did you just say you tow a 1900kg caravan with a Tiguan?  At what ratio?

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Auto is probably rated lower than the manual to protect the auto box.    I think you will appreciate the auto in stop start traffic, my wife has told me she wouldn't want another manual car, and I'm too old now for a manual anyway.

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I had the Sorento Auto - go for the Auto apart from towing it makes the car a relaxing car to drive and quite quick away from junctions etc.  

 

It also has the advantage of the hill hold facility (don't know if the manual does as well) but this is excellent when towing.

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Thanks for all comments as I’m leaning towards an Auto. I’ve always had manuals myself and have driven quite a few demo vehicles that were Auto and the drive seems more relaxing. I also find the manual gearbox of the Sorento quite clunky for gear changes between 1-2 and 2-3 although that’s been a minor negative (I’m assuming that the Santa Fe has the same gear box). If I pay £20k+ for a nearly new Santa Fe then it has to be right.

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Hyundai is the developer of all the Hyundai/Kia models so Kia's are just Hyundai's underneath. The Hyundai 6-speed automatic (maybe 8-speed on new models?) is well regarded in the industry and has a good reputation for reliability, although the US-built 2010 models all had a fault which required full rebuild under warranty, this may skew internet searches and didn't affect EU/UK market models anyway. The same 6-speed autobox is used with the 3. 0 V6 S-series turbo-diesel but we don't see that in the UK.

 

All automatic Santa Fe / Sorento come to the UK with "towing pack" already fitted as standard. and is the transmission fluid cooler/heater. As long as you're not towing over 2,000 kg don't worry about the reduction compared to the manual. Fuel consumption will be 1-2 mpg worse than the manual but then it is a proper torque-converter transmission.

 

I had a 2011 Santa Fe automatic for 5 years and the autobox was faultless - like most others I wouldn't willingly go back to a manual towcar now.

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Plus 1 for the Auto.   Now had latest generation Sorento for 7 plus years.   Only way to describe the auto box is superb.   Why would you want to sit and push a clutch up and down 1000s of times whilst at the same time stirring a shift stick on journeys is lost on me.

Yes the Auto may drop fuel very slightly in real everyday driving.   But as we found on the fleet cars.   Auto equaled 

More reliable

Tyres and drive train lasted longer

Driver fatigue much reduced.

For towing you can add better hill starts (less stress in mechanical components)

 

As for the towing capacity  Kia/Hyundia work to what they believe is a Euro recommendation not the actual mechanical abilities of the vehicle, which I believe are much higher (source = an interesting exchange of emails and phone calls with Kia in 2010)

 

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Auto every time. Just make sure you have your gearbox oil checked &  if needs be, changed on a regular basis.  

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Santa Fe Auto excellent tow car and the 7 seat model comes with self-levelling suspension. Eliminates the need for tyre pressure adjustment when towing.

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6 hours ago, xtrailman said:

Did you just say you tow a 1900kg caravan with a Tiguan?  At what ratio?

No the Tiguan is not the tow car.  The Navara has taken over towing duty.  I don’t think I’d tow anything with the VW, so disappointed with it. Glad it’s not mine!

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48 minutes ago, davidhr said:

Santa Fe Auto excellent tow car and the 7 seat model comes with self-levelling suspension. Eliminates the need for tyre pressure adjustment when towing.

If the car is laden, it still needs the tyre pressures set at their load level.

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One other plus point for the auto is that when in cruise control driving, you don't drop out of cruise every time you change gear like a manual does.

With auto it is all done for you and you just sit back and enjoy. Great for the open European motorways!

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3 minutes ago, Black Grouse said:

If the car is laden, it still needs the tyre pressures set at their load level.

My Sorento gives the same tyre pressures for all load status 33 psi all round.    Presume the Hyundia did the same.   I did try increasing the rears by a couple of pounds or so when towing as an experiment.   Made not a blind bit of difference to the stability that I could feel.

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Not on newer model Sorrento same pressure laden and un laden

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1 hour ago, Tuningdrew said:

No the Tiguan is not the tow car.  The Navara has taken over towing duty.  I don’t think I’d tow anything with the VW, so disappointed with it. Glad it’s not mine!

 

Ok thanks, not impressed with the VW then.

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Just to put a negative point against the Santa Fe. Really didn't get on with ours it was the 7 seat top of the range one. We had numerous faults within the first year, very squeaky drivers seat - replaced, faulty heater i. e. it stopped working just as we were about to go skiing in January again replaced but took 3 attempts, as well as numerous faults on the electrical system but the biggest problem was the pitching when towing  roads that were less than perfect, it really was uncomfortable. The general consensus (its well documented) is that the self leveling fights against the ATC.  

Prior to that we bought, new,  one of the early Tiguans - the Escape 140bhp and towed faultlessly for 3 years including a trip to the South of France, really great towcar. Not sure how the new ones are though. Having said all that the Mazda CX5AWD Sport Nav we have now is excellent.

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4 minutes ago, Hopdog said:

Not on newer model Sorrento same pressure laden and un laden

 

I'm confused with this, never having had a car that didn't say add more pressure for more load.

Then I read that Ford say add an extra 3psi over full load pressure while towing.

 

Can someone explain this?    If I check a tyre site the pressure appears to increase with load.

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23 minutes ago, xtrailman said:

 

I'm confused with this, never having had a car that didn't say add more pressure for more load.

Then I read that Ford say add an extra 3psi over full load pressure while towing.

 

Can someone explain this?    If I check a tyre site the pressure appears to increase with load.

Stated in the handbook/manual. 33psi in all tyres laden or not for 7 seat auto Santa Fe. Manual must surely take priority over 'tyre sites'.

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