News Flash

October 09, 2015, Friday
  • Police detective shoots dead a hostage-taker who took control of a bus along Taft Ave. corner Pedro Gil in Manila. 6 hours ago |
  • Coloma says Pres. Aquino cannot yet certify as urgent the proposed BBL since it is still in the period of interpellation. 6 hours ago |
  • Arroyo to file her COC next week as she intends to run for 3rd & final term in Pampanga’s 2nd district. 6 hours ago |
  • Sen. Angara says both Senate & House are trying to find a ‘win-win solution’ for bill seeking to lower income tax. 6 hours ago |
  • Arroyo asks Sandiganbayan for permission to avail of some medical procedures in St. Luke’s QC from Oct. 21 to 22. 6 hours ago |
  • Rep. Arroyo asks Sandiganbayan to allow her to go through some medical tests not available at VMMC. 7 hours ago |
  • Policeman killed in an ambush in Marawi City on Wednesday night. 11 hours ago |
  • Comelec & Smartmatic-TIM to hold review of source code for 2016 elections in the first week of Jan. 2016 11 hours ago |
  • Arroyo to file new petition for bail at Sandiganbayan & will use UN Working Group’s report as basis. 11 hours ago |
  • DOJ cites US-PH Mutual Defense Treaty as basis for participation of U.S. troops in Mamasapano operation. 11 hours ago |
  • DOJ says U.S. troops who participated in Oplan Exodus did not violate the PH constitution. 11 hours ago |
  • DOJ says U.S. troops’ participation in Mamasapano clash was limited to intelligence work & monitoring & not actual combat. 11 hours ago |
  • DOJ confirms U.S. troops’ participation in Oplan Exodus launched the Mamasapano operations last Jan. 25. 11 hours ago |
  • Palace does not see Enrile’s call for full plenary debates on Mamasapano encounter as an attack vs. Aquino gov’t. 11 hours ago |
  • Singer and comedienne Elizabeth Ramsey passes away at 83. 12 hours ago |
  • Businessman Cedric Lee pays P 20K bail at Court of Tax Appeals in connection with the tax evasion case filed vs. him by DOJ. 12 hours ago |
  • Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile says the death of SAF 44 must not be taken lightly. 12 hours ago |
  • Sen. Enrile seeks a full plenary discussion on the Senate committee report on Mamasapano encounter. 13 hours ago |
  • Justice Sec. Leila de Lima says they have legal basis to detain Pampanga Rep. Gloria Arroyo. 13 hours ago |
  • Sen. Miriam Santiago says some society leaders are urging her to run for president & she can rise to the occasion. 13 hours ago |
  • DOJ: No witnesses that can identify who killed the 9 Seaborne Commandos that attacked suspected Malaysian terrorist Marwan’s hut. 13 hours ago |
  • DOJ: 9 Seaborne Commandos who attacked Marwan’s hut were killed in an area away from cornfield in Tukanalipao where 35 SAF members died. 13 hours ago |
  • DOJ: No respondents can be charged for the death of 9 members of 84th Seaborne Commandos who attacked Marwan’s hut during Mamasapano clash 13 hours ago |
  • 5-man UN Working Group urges PH gov’t to review Arroyo’s bail petition based on int’l human rights standards. 13 hours ago |
  • UN Working Group cites international law as basis for finding Arroyo’s continued detention illegal. 13 hours ago |
  • UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention declares Arroyo’s detention at VMMC arbitrary & illegal. 13 hours ago |
  • Magnitude 4.7 earthquake hits Masbate & parts of Sorsogon. 13 hours ago |
  • 1 person dies & 3 are rescued as boat capsizes in Taal Lake in Talisay, Batangas. 13 hours ago |
  • Armed men abduct an Italian in Dipolog City. 13 hours ago |
  • Road mishap involving a truck & 9 motorcycles occurs at Commonwealth Ave near Tandang Sora flyover in QC. 13 hours ago |
  • Fire in Barangay Lipunan, Quezon City now under control. 14 hours ago |

Satisfying drive

By Dino Ray V. Directo III | Feb. 15, 2013 at 12:02am
Unmistakably Korean,  surprisingly  European touch

The latest variant to come out of the Hyundai  stable has the looks  and performance of a Korean powerhouse. Although its  chassis is not exactly “all new”, the 2013 Sta Fe has distinct features amplified by  smooth, almost effortless driving  – both on and off the road.

Stepping back to admire the craftsmanship of this third-generation SUV, this latest version is classier and sharper looking than the previous model. It’s a good thing design engineers threw away the rear door latch from the earlier model which looked like a design flaw. I had the opportunity to drive this metal beast up and down the hills of Tanay, Rizal up to Infanta, Quezon Province for a tuna fish run at the Dahican Port. With my family in tow, we visited my friend Ronnie Combalizer, a businessman who owns a small fleet of  fishing vessels.

I found it difficult to find a fault in the Sta. Fe’s interior. In terms of ergonomics, features and styling cues, the dashboard layout is among the best in its class. The fit and feel is no longer Korean but more European as evidenced by the soft-touch, steering mounted controls, tight alignment of trim panels, and the abundance of leather. The wood and metal trims of the 4x2 and the faux carbon highlights of the 4x4 version have a premium look and feel. Hyundai broke the bank with this one and definitely did not scrimp on the budget.

Elegant and  stylish dashboard layout

Space is not an issue and the supple seats of this SUV provide good lumbar support, which is an important feature when  driving for long hours  like the five-hour road trip I did. The rigid body of the Sta. Fe makes it feel robust, allowing it to  absorb the bumps and ruts of the gravel portion of the Infanta-Antipolo Highway. The McPherson strut front end and the Multi-Link rear suspension did its job well in adjusting to the road conditions.

Powered by an athletic DOHC 2.2 liter CRDi engine, the sheer performance of this diesel unit makes one wonder why Hyundai even bothered to offer a thirsty gasoline version of the Sta Fe. In a country where fuel prices are as volatile as the North Koreans, diesel powered vehicles are the way to go. Equipped with a variable geometry turbo, this 2.2 liter power plant produces a  vigorous 436Nm of torque between the 1800 rpm and 2500rpm range and can sprint from 0 to 60 kph in under six seconds. For a vehicle of its size and heft, this Korean macho machine is amazingly agile and sips fuel like a small hatchback.

With a retail price of P1.7 million for the 4X2  version and a pricey P2.2 million for the top-flight version, the Sta. Fe is a satisfying drive.  This Korean contender is at par with its counterparts, be they Japanese, Americans or Europeans.
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