He shoots, he scores - Hyundai's Santa Fe 2.2-litre CRDi Premium review
IN the usual course of events we expect to see footballerinas in cars like Ferraris. Perhaps when they have a couple of bin lids and need a family saloon, a Bentley, with a Range Rover Sport on the drive for the run to the tanning salon.
In truth it is as difficult to connect with the superstar version of everyday motoring as it is for an under sevens rugby league colt to grasp the Premiership definition of bodily contact.
Times are, however, a changing.
Not in the writhing on the ground department. No, a chafing undergarment will still earn a last minute penalty at some grounds. But there's a touch of the common man coming to training.
Recently Manchester Unitedist Paul Scholes, a man synonymous with the club to the extent that if you cut him in half and believe me Tommy Smith would have, he has Trafford and Old running right through him, had his car stolen
Scholes, 38, left his Chevrolet Captiva LT 2 warming up on the drive when one of those exciting recession-busting opportunist 'steamers' nicked it. A couple of things spring to mind. One, you dope and two, a what? Not something by AMG or Overfinch?
Of course, Chevrolet are sponsors of United and so have superstar exposure for the sort of cars normally only seen on match days at places like Nuneaton Borough.
This is no bad thing, either for the image of players or the blood pressure of fans paying fifty quid for a view partially obscured by the referee's ego.
So to Daniel Sturridge, signed by Liverpool as a counterbalance to Luis Suárez's teeth.
Mr Sturridge is a Team Hyundai ambassador and has recently taken delivery of a Santa Fe Premium SE auto. As indeed did I. My closest ever association to an England shirt.
This is very good news for young Daniel, both because he is driving an able, well appointed and attractive 4x4 and because the Santa Fe has just been named safest in its class in NCAP tests, ahead of both Range Rover and M Class.
Therefore, straight from the kick off, the it is putting pressure on the opposition. The question is can a marque so recently risen from motoring's lower divisions live with the big money players?
Well on the subject of transfer fees, £29k is what sands between you and being able to say you drive the same car as a Liverpool striker, not cheap but then there's a lot of value in there.
They say in the beautiful game that pace is everything and at 9.4 seconds to 62mph that's not lacking from what is a big vehicle, seven seats are an option in fact making for a viable alternative to the sort of MPV which ate all the pies. This is a strong 197bhp 2.2-litre diesel which can do 42mpg with the automatic gearbox. According to the onboard computer I got less, I always do, but carbons only stretch to only 155g/km.
And the downside? Well, it's not great at corners and huge Rooneyesque door mirrors bring with them some wind noise. Aside from that the drive is accomplished; quiet engine, low road noise, good ride quality and a classy cabin with a lot going on around the fascia.
Well there will be because there is a lot of kit. SE trim adds a sunroof, keyless entry front parking sensors and electric driver's set to Bluetooth, air con, reversing camera and sat nav.
Off road the Premium dealt well with a day's shooting, the sort with dogs, over ruts and deep, deep mud. And thanks to leather seats it was easy to clean. Massive load space, too.
I hope Mr Sturridge enjoys his Santa Fe. I did but his will be will him for some time while mine has now been replaced with an Alfa Romeo. Which does not make me Mario Balotelli or any of the Berlusconis.