Forward on fours. The Fortuner might hither to have been the default choice for those looking for a serious 4WD vehicle. But, can the Santa Fe change that? AUTO BILD INDIA tests the two back to back to find out.
'Office on wheels’ as a concept is great. After all, why should a commute be just a commute when one can devote extra hours to work rather than say read a book or muse about a family vacation while being chauffeured around? And with cars getting more high-tech, spacious and comfortable, it’s that much simpler to work harder still these days.
Personally, I’d rather have a ‘gym on wheels’ (just for the sake of staying with the theme). Not the existing ‘gym on wheels’ concept, mind, for that's for lazy folks who want to get fit, but won't walk two minutes to the fitness house to get toned. So, the gym comes to their house packed inside an SUV. Actually, I am quite okay with not walking, but spending time getting fit, no matter where you are, is such a waste. I’d rather just have the SUV. You know to go places, try challenging stuff and then spend a complete Sunday afternoon just trying to get unstuck in the middle of now here. I need a 'gym on wheels' for my soul; something that makes we want to get up and go out and play (in motoring terms, of course).
But, some SUV makers take the 'gym on wheels' idea quite literally. Take the BMW X1 for instance. It is the perfect tool to build up your fore arms and biceps thanks to its unnecessarily heavy steering. The Hyundai Santa Fe on the other hand is perfect for toning your thigh muscles. I know this because I have been driving one for a while now. But sadly, it only tones your left thigh, courtesy the heavy clutch operation. No wonder I have been limping and looking strange with my one thigh being larger than the other.
I haven’t been driving it because I care much about my physique though (you might have guessed that by now). I am driving it for it seems like a good prospect for my 'gym' concept. It's an SUV, has four wheel drive, complete with differential lock, and promises great on-road performance, given its engine specs.