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St. James Plaindealer - St. James, MN
My blog is about my life as a teacher, coach, and typical 22 year old trying to connect the dots of life. This has been a way for me to sit back and reflect on the lessons that I learn through teaching and coaching. I like similes and analogies. so when I am able to apply a lesson learned, in the class and on the court, to my life, I carry the analogy with me, reflecting back on the experience.
Hyundai Santa Fe Comes in Medium and Medium+
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About this blog
By Rachel Sanders
Rachel Sanders was born and raised in Crookston, MN. She attended Crookston Public Schools and graduated with the class of 2010. She attended two years at the University of North Dakota, and spent her final two years of college, graduating from ...
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To do what I was made to do
Rachel Sanders was born and raised in Crookston, MN. She attended Crookston Public Schools and graduated with the class of 2010. She attended two years at the University of North Dakota, and spent her final two years of college, graduating from Mayville State University with a Bachelor’s of Science in Education in Mathematics Education. She is in her first year teaching, and was extremely blessed and excited to receive her first teaching job with the Staples Motley School District. She teach Algebra 1 and Geometry at Staples Motley High School. She also coach 7th grade Volleyball. She's an avid Green Bay Packer fan and Fighting Sioux Fan. Her family consists of her parents, Rich & Ruth of Crookston, and brother and sister-in-law, Jake & Jensen of Eagan, MN. She enjoys bonfires on cool fall nights, music, spending time with little kids, and any time I get with my family.
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By Silvio Calabi
March 17, 2013 5:20 p.m.

The three-bar grille tells us that this is the shorter of Hyundai’s two distinct Santa Fe lines, the 5-passenger Sport.

The three-bar grille tells us that this is the shorter of Hyundai’s two distinct Santa Fe lines, the 5-passenger Sport.



If by chance the BMW X1 (discussed here recently) isn’t your cuppa but you’re still hunting for a small and stylish crossover SUV with all-wheel drive, this just might soak your tea bag: the updated 5-passenger Hyundai Santa Fe Sport. The 190-horsepower model is down 50 ponies from the 4-cylinder Beemer, but it costs $6,300 less to start—just $26,200. Jump up to the turbocharged Santa Fe Sport 2.0T and you gain 74 horsepower (a respectable 264 in all, and 269 lb-ft of torque) for $29,450.

Now you’re only 36 HP less than the hotter X1, the 6-cylinder, but the difference in starting prices has shot up to $9,150. And the more boxes you tick on each option sheet, the greater the price difference gets.

We can hear the outrage already: How dare you equate a Hyundai with a BMW? Oh, but we’re not done yet. The new Santa Fe is arguably as good-looking as the X1 on the outside and possibly nicer inside. In every dimension these two vehicles fall within a few inches of each other—and of the Honda CR-V, Ford Escape, Toyota RAV4, etc.—but the Korean is a critical bit roomier than the German, especially in the back seat and the cargo area. More, however, on Santa Fe roominess to come.

Yes, the 4-cylinder X1 has a vanilla-smooth 8-speed automatic transmission while the Santa Fe makes do with a slightly clumsier 6-speed. And, thanks some very sophisticated technology, the BMW may travel a mile or two farther on a gallon of gas. However, in 70/30 highway/city driving we averaged 24.4 MPG in a Santa Fe Sport AWD 2.0T. (Hyundai has cut weight by switching to new, higher-strength steel and this engine is fed fuel by direct injection, for a bit more efficiency.)

The Santa Fe’s default mode is front-wheel-drive instead of the X1’s RWD, with varying amounts of torque sent to the rear wheels as needed, but it has a classically BMW-style suspension. Depending on slippage, the Santa Fe’s torque also can be automatically adjusted, “vectored,” from side to side.

We wouldn’t be surprised if the BMW was more composed at 110 miles per hour. But that’s on the autobahn; here, the Santa Fe Sport meets or exceeds all expectations for stopping and going, as well as for comfort, quiet and convenience.

Our impress-the-press sample Santa Fe Sport was equipped with most of the optional toys. The “standard features” column on the spec sheet is long and, as usual, lists items that once were found only on really posh cars. However, one standard feature is unique, at least in this category: DSSM, or Driver-Selectable Steering Mode. This changes the steering effort and response from Normal to Sport to Comfort. In daily use the differences are almost unnoticeable—but the steering-wheel heater, part of the $2,900 Technology Package, is very noticeable and, in late winter, welcome.

That’s over on the “added features” side of the sticker, which is where we also find the leather trim and front and rear seat heaters, the dual-zone automatic climate control, the GPS navigation and the rear-view camera, the digital connectivity features, the 12-speaker sound system and a host of other goodies, including window shades. We want for nothing. Well, except better headlights, please.

Now let’s go back to roominess: This Santa Fe Sport has two rows of seats for five people (four comfortably). Not enough? Meet the Santa Fe GLS, with two more seats in a third row. If you didn’t see the GLS next to a Sport, you’d be hard-pressed to tell that it’s 10 inches longer. The stretch Santa Fe has a bigger motor too, a 290-horsepower V-6, and a starting price of $28,350. With a choice of three engines and front-wheel or all-wheel drive in two different sizes and at prices that start in the mid-20s, the Santa Fe has become an unusually versatile vehicle.

Mr. or Ms. Average Driver who has just traded in his or her 10-year-old (average) beater on a 2013 Santa Fe is going to drive home in blissful happiness, marveling at how much cars have improved.

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