Thursday, April 26, 2007

South Korea

I recently took a trip across Florida. When I got to the Hertz rental car counter I found that they upgraded me from a mid-size to an SUV, in particular this Hyundai Santa Fe.

Even though I hadn't driven a Hyundai before, my fact-free opinion was that these cars were of low quality. In my lifetime Japanese cars had come up from mere toys (my grandmother had a TINY Honda Civic) to pretty much the gold standard of reliability (to the chagrin of Detroit). Korean cars initially had a reputation for terrible reliability and they were one of the first vendors to offer 100,000 mile warranties in an attempt to fight this perception (or even if it is true, then the dealer would be on the hook for the problems, not you).

But this was mere myth. I was very surprised at how well this car was put together. The interior was very well laid out and solid, and the fit was of high quality. The car drove very well even though it was the 2WD model and the smaller engine (cmon' Hertz isn't that stupid to give me a hot rod for $200 / week). When I stopped for gas the guy next to me asked how it drove because he was thinking about buying one. I gave it a thumbs-up. Later I looked and this car retails for $22k... quite a steal compared to some of the higher priced SUV's.

In general I haven't heard much in the way of negative talk about Koreans since the unfortunate incident recently (can't mention because I don't want troll traffic) and I think a lot of that is due to the fact that they have a well deserved reputation for hard work and industriousness. Except for a few rap songs I remember hearing about grocers (hardly an unbiased group) I can't really remember anyone saying anything bad about them even after this tragedy, which makes sense because the guy was just apparently off his rocker regardless of race or creed. I was glad I was driving a Hyundai...

1 comment:

Kevin Lomax said...

I've owned one for a while and would not hesitate to buy one again. The Hyundais are extremely well built cars now.