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Ballweight hiccup but Santas Sleigh Santa Fe R comes through with relaxed, fuel efficient towing 

July 27, 2010
Ballweight hiccup but Santas Sleigh Santa Fe R comes through with relaxed, fuel efficient towing

GoSee got the ballweight wrong on our 2416km plus tow tug evaluation with the new Green R Hyundai Santa Fe R auto diesel. Hyundai says 150kg maximum ballweight. But a weighbridge check shows we had 170kg. 

With the caravan trim wrong we took 120kg off the front wheels of the AWD. That brought some traction loss in the steep reality of demanding Clyde Mountain on the Kings Highway route to Canberra. 

With the heads up from the Clyde Mountain hairpins GoSee put the whole rig over a weighbridge check near our Fyshwick, Canberra head office.

The numbers are:

Weight with Hyundai front wheels on weighbridge and Jayco Discovery 16.52 connected 1050kg.

Weight with Hyundai front wheels on weighbridge and Jayco Discovery disconnected 1170kg.

Result 120kg off the front wheels.

Weight Hyundai on weighbridge and Jayco Discovery connected 2310kg.

Weight Jayco Discovery on weighbridge and connected to Hyundai 1460kg.

Weight Jayco Discovery disconnected on weighbridge and jockey wheel down on weighbridge 1630kg.

So the real ball weight is 170kg.

The Hyundai engineers rate the Santa Fe R diesel auto to pull 2000kg.

So with 370kg available to us in caravan loaded weight we trimmed our rig.

<!--mo1####mo2-->White frost jewels the  morning at Junee Tourist Park 049<!--mo3-->
White frost jewels the morning at Junee Tourist Park 049

Two computer drives,two weight distribution bars and their box, camp chair and a heavy box of GoSee TravelSmart Club member stickers moved from the back of the Santa Fe R to the lockers under the twin bunks at the rear of the single-axle 16.52 Jayco Discovery pop-top caravan.

The combined weight of these extras is only about 60kg and back on the road on route to Junee, NSW it made no difference to the Discovery's excellent towing manners. We used our Hayman Reese digital scales and checked the Jayco Discovery ballweight again.

This time 147kg. Just under the Hyundai 150kg towball down-weight maximum, but the Santa Fe R traction control appreciated the 20kg difference. No more traction slip from the front wheels in extreme conditions.

In a controlled test we went to extremes of throttle to provoke front wheel slip but our ballweight adjustment did the trick. The 436Nm torque from the 2.2 diesel feed smoothly to solid AWD road grip through the Santa Fe R's traction control.

In a nutshell the Hyundai Santa Fe R is a spacious, comfortable seven-seater, fuel-efficient, relaxed towing tug. It has earned the nickname "Santa's Sleigh" as there is certainly some magic in the new Santa Fe R series.

Over 11 days over 2416km towing in varied conditions and terrain it returned 11.36litre per 100km (24.3mpg) at an average cost a litre of $1.31.

The Santa Fe R auto diesel pulled the GoSee Jayco Discovery 16.52 pop-top and used 280.9litre of diesel which cost $366.84. No attempt is made by GoSee to drive for economy in towing evaluations.

<!--mo1####mo2-->Weather-proof barbecue Junee TP July 22 2010 031<!--mo3-->
Weather-proof barbecue Junee TP July 22 2010 031

Predictably the heaviest fuel use (12.8litre per 100km) was on the Batemans Bay to Canberra section of the extended GoSee evaluation. 

On Clyde Mountain full use was made of the manual over-ride ability of the six-speed gearbox with 4th, 3rd and 2nd gears locked in as needed. 

The rpm was taken to 3000 in 3rd gear and held on the steeper sections of Clyde Mountain at road speeds of up to 70kmh. 

In hilly winding towing the six-speed gearbox and AWD allows big safety margins if full use is made of the gears and engine compression braking on long winding descents.

Brakes become a secondary back-up and progress is sure-footed and smooth. 

Back in Victoria near the end of the GoSee evaluation this Santa's Sleigh Santa Fe R ability made a snap of coming down the range from the Kinglake turnoff to Yarra Glen. Third gear did the whole no-stress job with occasional taps on the brakes. 

On the NSW South Coast from Lakes Entrance to Batemans Bay via Tathra and Bermagui on the old NSW South Coast road the Hyundai made towing touring a fun AWD drive with manual over-ride use of the gearbox ratios clicking smoothly with the new 2.2litre diesel.

From GoSee's ACT home base in the Canberra suburb of Fyshwick we headed for Junee 226km away past the Australian War Memorial to Northbourne Ave and turned left onto the Barton Highway (25).

We by-passed one of our usual stops historic Yass on the Hume Highway (31) and cruising easily towing at speeds up to 110kmh, the Hume posted maximum, made short work of the run to the unusual right turn from the centre of the Hume highway which leads to the Burley Griffin Way (94) in the Bowning area.

<!--mo1####mo2-->Bath mats supplied Junee TP July 22 2010 039<!--mo3-->
Bath mats supplied Junee TP July 22 2010 039

The sharp right turn crosses Hume traffic moving at high speed and should be handled with care.

The Hyundai's towing grunt made quick work of getting out of harms way when a safe gap in the traffic presented.

Wheat centre Harden was our lunch stop in a growing area which lays claim to the best wheat soil in Australia. Huge stockpiles of grain at the rail yards support Harden's claim to fame. At Wallenbeen GoSee headed southwest on the Olympic Way (41) to Cootamundra.

GoSee is not a fan of using cruise control when towing but the Santa Fe R has a logical system on the right of the steering wheel so we used it in the easy flat sections of the Olympic Way. GoSee has experienced gearbox issues if overdrive is allowed to lug so we are wary of cruise-controlled towing.

GoSee also believes that driver response to a road crisis can be blurred by cruise control. In the Hyundai's case the system does its job well in easy plains country towing.

GoSee took a $27 a double per night grassy powered site at Junee Tourist Park.

The Tourist Park and its facilities are immaculate. Pets at park owners discretion. Pets are not permitted in park cabins.

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GoSee helps with website work. Junee TP July 22 2010 044

Junee's railway station is the hallmark of this historic railway town. It mirrors writer Mark Twain's observation about Maryborough, Victoria. "It is a (magnificent) railway station with a town attached". 

Opposite is the country character Junee Hotel at which we enjoyed the best mixed grill GoSee has ever sat down to.

It was "country size" in fact it was so substantial is should have been brought alongside our dinner table with a tug boat.

For easy Recreational Vehicle (RV) touring with a difference Junee is midway between Sydney and Melbourne on the alternate Olympic Highway route to Queensland. 

Junee is also home to the famous Organic Licorice Chocolate Factory, Railway Roundhouse Museum, and the historic Monte Cristo Homestead only minutes from Temoras Aviation Museum.

Faye and Peter Mansell own and run Junee Tourist Park on its lakeside location of three acres of lush green grass in a quiet, inviting part of Junee. Junee Tourist Park offers accommodation to suit all budgets. There are air-conditioned ensuite cabins and grassy sites, some of which are drive through.

<!--mo1####mo2-->User friendly showers Junee TP July 22 2010 041<!--mo3-->
User friendly showers Junee TP July 22 2010 041

Best Inland Tourist Park 2006

Faye and Peter Mansell of Junee Tourist Park won the Best Inland Tourist Park 2006 Award at the Inland Tourism Awards on Sunday night July 30 in Wagga Wagga.

From Junee on the Olympic Highway (41) GoSee headed for Nagambie, Victoria, 411km away via Wagga Wagga and a short spell on the Sturt Highway (20) to pick up the Hume Freeway (31) near Holbrook.

With plenty of diesel in the 70litre tank we cruised past Albury at 110kmh in near complete silence as the new surfacing work on the freeway proved so effective that we quick checked the revs to make sure we still had power on.

We turned right again off the Hume after a short cruise in Victoria and headed across country on farm bitumen through tiny Locksley in fat lamb land to pick up the Goulburn Valley Freeway (A39).

There has been a deluge in the area, but with full traction the Hyundai strode over the slippery bits to Nagambie Lakes Leisure Park and a $36 a double a night ensuite powered campsite.

GoSee uses a Top Tourist Parks member discount card.

<!--mo1####mo2-->GoSee ensuite campsite Nagambi Lakes Leisure Park July 23 2010 069<!--mo3-->
GoSee ensuite campsite Nagambi Lakes Leisure Park July 23 2010 069

This is a big modern member of the Top Tourist Parks of Australia chain at 69 Loddings Lane (off Heathcote-Nagambie Road). 

Nagambie Lakes Leisure Park is 80 minutes north from Melbourne with the choice of luxury cabins on the river bank, ensuite and powered caravan sites or camping areas all in magnificent surrounds with the Goulburn River on one side and Nagambie Lake on the other.

The final 11th day of the GoSee Hyundai Santa Fe R towing the GoSee Jayco Discovery 16.52 was through a favorite GoSee touring route.

Seymour to Yarra Glen via Yea turned on a bright blue day in glowing green landscapes with touches of spring showing. 

Completely comfortable with the Hyundai/Jayco towing combination we manually used 5th 4th and 3rd gears as required on this beautiful touring route. 
The result was a smooth cruise to Yarra Glen.

GoSee used considerable local knowledge on the Melbourne suburban section of the total tour of  about 200km to Bonbeach on Port Phillip Bay Victoria.

We usually use the Eastern Tollway but Stud Rd to Dandenong South gave the Hyundai a chance to show its agility and power in heavy traffic and then via the Patterson River backroad we completed 2416km to Chelsea Heights and the GoSee southern office at Bonbeach.

<!--mo1####mo2-->Babies  bath Junee TP 050<!--mo3-->
Babies bath Junee TP 050

A woman's view of the Hyundai Santa Fe R

GoSee's Pam has more towing and outback 4WD drive experience than most men.

She likes: The Hyundai Santa Fe R's power. "It really has get up and go", she said.

The 10.8m turning circle - "It's very easy to drive".

Parking - "It's no problem".

Instrument display - " It was too bright for me at first, but now I know how to turn it down".

Button starting - "I find it takes getting used too, not using a key".

Cruise control - It is easy to use it and the radio control which is on the steering wheel too".

Handling the controls - "It is all in reach and I like the layout".

Drivers electric seat - "Very comfortable and I can adjust it exactly".

Reversing alarm - "Really helpful".

Visability - "It is easier to see than from the Captiva".

Comfort and extras - "Heating and cooling is easy to manage and I like the layout".

Editors Note: Hyundai Australia does not recommend the use of weight distribution devices (WDH). Hyundai says - "These devices alter the geometry of the towbar and act as levers which place loads on the towbar and chassis which may exceed the rated capacity. Damage caused by the use of these devices will not be covered by new car warranty".

May 24-2011 - Hyundai Santa Fe – least expensive medium SUV to own
Industry Website AutoNews reports today that the NRMA’s operating cost calculations have found the Hyundai Santa Fe to be the least expensive medium SUV to own and operate. The annual report assesses Australia's most comprehensive list of over 1200 new vehicles to ascertain their ‘whole of life’ costs presenting the findings in an easy to use consumer calculator.

The Santa Fe SLX R-Series diesel is the least expensive vehicle to run in Australia in the medium SUV class, costing $32.03 dollars per week in fuel, with a whole-of-life cost of $179.28 per week according to the calculator. Three Santa Fe model variants featured in the top ten for the medium SUV class.

Calculations are for private ownership in New South Wales and based on an annual distance of 15,000 kilometres travelled over an ownership period of five years. The formula takes into account the negotiated vehicle price, depreciation, opportunity interest, registration, comprehensive insurance, NRMA membership, maintenance, repairs and fuel.

Other Hyundai models to feature in category top ten lists include; Getz S in the light car class, i30 in the small car class and ix35 in the compact SUV class.

The NRMA's car operating costs calculator is a valuable tool for any new car buyer. To view the calculator, visit

New Santa Fe – powertrain

2.2 CRDi turbo Diesel (3rd generation common rail with piezo electric injectors)

145kW of peak power @ 3,800rpm

421Nm peak torque @ 1,800 to 2,500rpm for 6-speed manual

436Nm peak torque @ 1,800 to 2,500rpm for 6-speed automatic

Fuel consumption+ 6.7 litres/100 km (man), 7.5 litres/100 km (auto)

CO2 emissions+176g/km (man), 197g/km (auto)


Engine: 2.2-litre, four cylinder, turbo diesel

Power: 145kW @ 3800rpm

Torque: 436Nm @ 1800-2500rpm

Induction: Common Rail & Turbocharged

Transmission: Six-speed automatic

Driven Wheels: All

Brakes: Discs with ABS & EBD

CO2 Emissions: 197g/km

Fuel Consumption: 7.5L/100km (ADR)

Fuel Tank Capacity: 70L

Fuel Type: Diesel

ANCAP Rating: Five-star

Airbags: Front, Side & Curtain

Safety: ESC with Traction Control

Spare Wheel: Full-size Alloy

Suspension: Strut (F) / Multi-link (R)

Cargo Capacity: 969/2247L

Tow Capacity: 2000kg (Braked)

Turning Circle: 10.8m

Warranty: Five-year / Unlimited kilometre

Weight: 1988kg (Tare)

Wheels: 18-inch Alloy

Towing Capacity CRDi 2.2 Diesel

Braked / unbraked (Auto) 2000 / 750 kg

Maximum towball weight 150 kg

Roof cross bars load limit 100 kg

Editor's Note: Also see Information Articles in Hyundai Santa Fe R series-

Green R Santa Fe R tow tug shows serious grunt in Clyde Mountain test climb

GoSee evaluates Hyundai Santa Fe CRDi 2.2 Diesel as tow tug

Willing Hyundai shows poise as GoSee takes Slippery When Wet coastal touring route