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HYUNDAI 2009 TREK 'n' TOW SANTA FE TEST
Hyundai introduced towing-specific suspension upgrades in 2009.
Hyundai and Cub Campers combined to celebrate the launch of a Trek ‘n’ Tow suspension kit for the Santa Fe seven-seater in 2009, when Hyundai made cosmetic and equipment changes to the range.
The most significant chnage to the Santa Fe was an optional Trek ‘n’ Tow suspension kit that increased ground clearance and towball load capacity.
The external changes to the Santa Fe range were limited to a chromed grille and wing mirror housings that incorporated turn signal repeaters. Inside there was a new sound system with USB port and MP3 jack.
The big news was a Trek ‘n’ Tow suspension option ($1600 plus fitting) that consisted of four re-rated coil springs, Edelbrock monotube rear dampers and progressive rear bump stops.
The Trek ‘n’ Tow concept was originally introduced on the discontinued Terracan, where it improved towball load capacity.
The Santa Fe fitted with Trek ‘n’ Tow sat 20-30mm higher than the standard vehicle and, because the spring rates were higher the vehicle didn’t have as much dynamic variation in ground clearance when running on rocky or uneven surfaces. In addition the kit allowed a higher towball load to be imposed – 180kg, compared with the standard vehicle’s 150kg rating. Towing capacity was two tonnes.
The suspension change didn’t turn the Santa Fe into a square-rigged, hairy-chested 4WD, but it did allow a full on-board load and a packed trailer behind, without much suspension sag.
The Cub Kamparoo H2 as tested weighed in at 650kg empty, with a 90kg ball load and it had an aggregate trailer mass rating of one tonne, making it a useful load carrier. We tested it loaded to 900kg, with 110kg ball load.
The combination of Santa Fe with Trek ‘n’ Tow suspension and Cub Kamparoo proved to be a pleasant one.
The Hyundai 2.2-litre turbo-diesel had ample power and torque to provide effortless highway performance and the slack-free Trigg coupling meant there was quick response from the override trailer discs and no thumping from the back end.
On rough surfaces the Santa Fe’s and the Cub’s independent suspensions soaked up irregularities without excessive bouncing and the trailer tracked neatly over the Hyundai’s tyre marks through all but very tight turns. Manoeuvring was easy.
You can buy a used Hyundai Santa Fe diesel auto and couple up a Cub Kamparoo for a combined price that’s around what you’ll pay for a large 4WD wagon alone.
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