Driving the Tour of California #4: Divine navigation the way to go in 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe

James Raia

The first few days of the Amgen Tour of California involved only 10-mile round-trip treks from San Diego to Escondido, a welcome respite from the nearly 500-mile pre-race trek from Sacramento.

But the multiple-hour treks returned for stages 2 and 3 and they reiterated my appreciate for the navigation system in the 2013 Santa Fe I’m driving for two weeks and for an estimated 2,000 miles.

As previously mentioned, the Digital Navigation System in the Santa Fe is arguably the best I’ve used in the 10 years I’ve been reviewing cars. It has an eight-inch screen and offers a clear picture and easy-to-understand icons.


Instructions are precise, provided with a professional voice and give not so often that it’s an annoyance, like the “recalculating” refrain common in other systems.

The drive in the mountain desert outside of Palm Springs for the end of stage 2 was a largely straightforward trek for about three hours. The drive from Palm Sprints to Valencia to the end of stage 3 was far more complicated. It included a half-dozen freeways, and although it was only 2 1/2 hours the route had a few tricky freeway merges, including one I missed at the last second.

Toward the end of the 138-mile trip, the freeway was wide and several lanes merged onto Interstate 5. But the choice of Interstate 5 north or south was a short, twisty on-ramp in a construction area. I chose south but north was proper way.

The navigation system corrected me within seconds. I exited at next exit, followed the directions back onto Interstate 5 north and lost no more than three minutes of travel time.

Looking through the navigation system’s manual, there’s much I haven’t explored, particularly in voice activation and other vastly detailed in Hyundai’s Blue Link wireless technology.

This morning, I surpassed 1,000 miles of driving on the trip. It would have been a lot longer without the Santa Fe’s navigation system, which while hi-tech, is also intuitive for non-tech oriented drivers. It sure turned me around quickly.

Article Last Updated: July 28, 2023.

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