Fascination of the Boring: the 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe

catching focus eyesThere is no more middle-of-the-road, uninspiring, uninspired kind of car on the roads today than the midsize crossover. Particularly bland is the Hyundai Santa Fe. Why can’t I take my eyes off of it? 


LOOK AT YOURSELFLike all crossovers, this Hyundai Santa Fe has a car-based platform, so that it road manners aren’t strange. There’s nothing to acclimate to. It’s never weird or daunting, or intimidating to a buyer who is used to buying a four-door sedan as a family car.

And like all crossovers, it sits tall with a high roof. The view out the front seat is somewhat commanding. Some would find it confidence-inspiring. A regular car seems uncomfortably low in comparison. The crossover offers a feeling of safety and control.

This kind of view used to be restricted to truck-based SUVs, like Jeeps and Broncos and Suburbans. They were clunky and were set up to go off road, making them feel very out of their element in the city and on the highway. A crossover like this Hyundai never forces the driver to make any of these compromises.


In other words, the Santa Fe stands for nothing.

In other words, fuck its face. May it burn in hell.


But just as much as I loathe the idea of this fat car on stilts, I can’t help but be a little obsessed with it. After all, it is a perfect barometer for where cars are today.

the world reflected on its sheetmetal

The world of 2013 is reflected on its sheetmetal.

Look at its black plastic mock grilles, with extruded mesh textures. Look at its high beltline and thin windows. There’s a standard engine under the hood – a turbo two liter four cylinder. You’d think it would be front wheel drive, but that would be much too daring! It drives all four wheels, so you never have to worry about anything.


I can see myself reflected in the big, flashy, blunt, regulated front end. The front lights look more expensive than they are. They are staring into me.


I have talked to this Hyundai Santa Fe. It wants to know if you have a soul.

So if you find this post five years from now, ten years from now, twenty years from now, this is what a standard issue family transportation vehicle looks like. For the rest of us in 2013, take a long look at the Santa Fe and ask yourself if you like what you see.

2013 Raphael is locked in this 2013 Hyundai

Does it repulse you? Do you repulse yourself?

This entry was posted in Editorials, Fascination of the Boring, NYC. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Fascination of the Boring: the 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe

  1. Paul Root says:

    We’ve traded originality for reliability. Cars are much easier to drive and take less maintenance than 30 years ago. As a consequence people pay less attention to them and are much worse drivers. Cars are just appliances now.

  2. Ben says:

    Great use of red. Amazing reflections, almost like tattoos.

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