Flat towing (or dinghy towing) is a great alternative to ensure that you will have a smaller vehicle that occupies less space when doing necessary errands or sightseeing in a town or city while doing a road trip on your motor home. If you are planning to do this and you own a Hyundai Santa Fe, well, this is the article for you. We have researched whether or not you can flat tow a Santa Fe, and this is what we found.
According to Hyundai, any of their cars that are manual transmission and two-wheel drive can be flat towed while all of the wheels are on the ground. Automatic or CVT transmission and four-wheel drive Hyundais cannot and should not be flat towed as this will cause its transmission to break. So if you have a manual two-wheel-drive Santa Fe, you can flat tow it.
Do you want to learn more about flat towing your Santa Fe? Continue reading as we discuss other subtopics regarding the subject such as other Hyundai models that can be flat towed and if you can put a tow hitch on a Hyundai Santa Fe as well as which Hyundai is best for towing, and many more.
Flat towing a Hyundai Santa Fe
The ability for new vehicles to be flat towed is becoming difficult as new models being released by car manufacturers have little to even no option for a manual transmission at all. Unfortunately, for Santa Fe, Hyundai does not offer a manual transmission for their 2022 model year in the North American market. This has been the case ever since 2015. This makes only the 2015 and older Santa Fe models flat towable.
This is one flaw that automatic transmissions have, the inability to flat tow them is due to the reason that their transmissions are only being lubricated while it is running.
In a manual transmission car, you would just have to put the stick shift to neutral and you are good to go. With the automatic, if you put it in neutral, and the engine is not running, there will be no lubrication in your transmission system. If you tow it, your transmission will be moving forcibly and can result in complete damage.
As of this writing, the only way for you to flat-tow an automatic transmission is if your car has a disconnect transmission feature. On the other hand, the race to satisfy consumers is very competitive amongst car brands, especially since there is a significant amount of customers in this specific niche. It is only a matter of time for innovation to allow automatic transmissions to be flat towable.
Installing these modifications is crucial as they are fairly technical and can cause major problems if installed improperly. It would be a wiser decision to buy a dedicated flat towable vehicle, especially if you always find yourself in the need of such. Another alternative is to rent one.
It is very important to note that not all car manufacturers design vehicles the same, some brands allow front-wheel-drive cars to be towed while disallowing rear-wheel-drive ones and vice versa, the same goes for four-wheel drive. To know which is which, you can check the owner's manual as everything you have to know will be indicated on it.
There is one thing, though, that you can do to tow any automatic and four-wheel drive car without putting in the risky modifications. Check the next section to find it out.
How to flat-tow a Hyundai Santa Fe
One great way to get around non-flat-towable vehicles is to get a flat trailer, specifically for dinghy towing. Through this option, you will be able to bring your Santa Fe with you as you go road tripping in your motor home.
Now there will be some things to consider when you decide to go this route. Laws from different states vary on trailer cargo weight, but when your trailer cargo exceeds 1,500 lbs, you are required to have trailer brake assistance.
One drawback to this method is you would have to load and unload your vehicle off the flat trailer every time you have to use it. This could be a time-consuming endeavor when you are traveling alone.
With a flat-towable Santa Fe, you might get disappointed as base plates compatible with Hyundai vehicles could be a challenge to find. This is due to Hyundai not being one of those car brands that people who flat tow usually use. Without a base plate, you cannot connect your vehicle to the tow hitch of your motor home, therefore you cannot pull it.
Selected manufacturers have started producing base plates for brands like Hyundai, but they usually require a liability waiver stating that the manufacturer will not be responsible for any damages that can happen while flat towing.
What other Hyundai models can be flat towed?
Hyundai currently has four latest car models that you can flat-tow. These models include Veloster, Veloster N, Accent, and the Elantra. These vehicles still offer a manual gearbox and do not come with an all-wheel drive.
Now, this list broadens when you use older models. Nearly every Hyundai variant can be towable if you look up 2012 model years and older. This is due to the prevalence of manual gearboxes and two-wheel drives in those times.
You do not have to worry as you can find a great deal of manual transmission Hyundais in the used car market. If you are worried about whether or not a used Hyundai is still reliable, do not. Hyundai has one of the best reputations when it comes to reliability, which we will be tackling later on.
How fast can you go while towing a vehicle like a Hyundai Santa Fe?
Now this will depend on the power of the engine of your motor home. Assuming that you are towing your Hyundai with a trailer, the heaviest a Santa Fe trim level can reach is over 4,000 lbs, couple this with the average trailer weight for cars 1,900 lbs, and you will be pulling a weight of nearly 6000 lbs give or take.
These towing capacities have to be considered as you would be limited by speed if you are pulling your dinghy near the towing capacity of your motor home. The power of your engine will determine how fast you can run with your Santa Fe in tow.
But for safety measures, no matter how powerful your motor home's engine is, you should always follow the speed limit set by the state you are in.
How long will a Hyundai Santa Fe last?
You can expect to drive 200,000-250,000 miles on your Santa Fe. Accounting for the 15,000 miles per year average of cars in the United States, you have an estimated 13-17 years of life expectancy for your Santa Fe.
Are Hyundai Engines reliable?
Hyundai's RepairPal statistics are as good as they get. In their reliability ratings, Hyundai has a score of 4 out of 5. This rating is good enough to land on its fourth spot out of the 32 car brands that it has tested.
Hyundai cars also have an average of $468 of the annual maintenance cost, nearly $200 cheaper than the average maintenance cost of $652 for all car brands.
But of course, these numbers will only be numbers if its owner will not do its part. Regular maintenance and proper use will all contribute to the longevity of the vehicle.
Hyundai cars are already well-built vehicles. If you couple that with careful and responsible ownership, you can expect to maximize the estimated lifespan of your Santa Fe, and maybe even more.
How well does the Hyundai Santa Fe hold up in value?
Caredge calculator discloses that a Hyundai Santa Fe will depreciate 50% after five years of ownership. It will have a five-year resale value of $18,038, assuming a sticker price of $35,868.
Factors like repair history, crash history, mileage, and cosmetic issues will all bear in the overall appraisal of your Santa Fe. A more worn-down unit will result in a lower value.
If you have a manual transmission Santa Fe that has a two-wheel drive, you can tow it as long as all of its wheels are on the ground while you are moving. With the craze for automatic transmissions, manual ones are slowly becoming harder to find as vehicle manufacturers are gradually phasing them out by offering fewer and fewer manual transmission options every year.
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