2013 Hyundai Santa Fe: Joshua Tree Camping Trip Part 3
May 5, 2014
Our last morning in Joshua Tree National Park was mostly spent packing up. We made a trip to the local grocery store for supplies during our long weekend of camping, so we had some extra items in the back of our 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe on the return trip. Even with the additional cargo, there was plenty of room left for three passengers, and since packing up went so quickly, we had extra time to explore the park on the way home.
Driving out of the park was almost as fun as the exploring we did over the weekend. Pinto Basin Road snakes through the park to the southern exit, and we took that road on our way home. To my surprise, the Santa Fe was well-suited to this kind of driving. It has good steering, and while it's wasn't exactly like taking a sporty hatchback over Glacier Point, it had a lightweight and stable feel through corners. I enjoyed the big crossover through the bends, even with three passengers and several hundred pounds of gear in the back.p>
Over the course of this trip, we covered about five hundred miles with the all-wheel-drive Santa Fe averaging 22.5 miles per gallon. Of those miles, 350 or so were highway miles. The other 150 miles were in and around the park. Considering the Santa Fe was either full of passengers or cargo most of the time, our earned mileage bettered the EPA estimate of 20 mpg for combined driving.
It was a relaxing weekend under the desert sky, but I was happy to be home. We unloaded the Santa Fe, swapped gear back into Greg's CR-V, and I took a hot shower for the first time in days. Before passing out on the couch, I recorded my thoughts on the Hyundai Santa Fe: It was easy to drive, lively (for a big SUV) and relaxing. The seats were extremely comfortable over long distances, the excellent stereo system indexed my music quickly, and there was plenty of space for our ludicrous amount of stuff.
A few months ago, Greg enlisted my help before purchasing his first grown-up vehicle, the previously mentioned CR-V. He needed something that got decent mileage and had enough space for his camping gear, so I recommended the Honda. If Greg ends up with a few more family members or some dogs over the next few years, I'd have no problem making the Hyundai Santa Fe my next recommendation.
Travis Langness, Associate Editor @ 19,290 miles