Is the Hyndai Santa Fe a Good Car?

27 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Best Answer

    Although the Hyundai Sonata and Santa Fe rank high in initital customer satisfaction, long term reliability has proven to be poor, thus directly affecting resale. Most importantly, if you are looking for value, the resale value of Hyundai is poor, well below the industry average and should be the biggest factor to consider in your decision to buy or not buy a Hyundai. Consider:

    Although, the consumer affairs database has yet to compile reports on the Vercruz, the 2008 Santa Fe already has a list a mile long both good and bad points, starting at the very top with depreciation, followed by reliability and issues relating to their warranty.

    Most people never consider the real cost of ownership and only see the purchase price. After reviewing the consumer affairs database, you will see the the 2008 Hyundai Santa Fe has a total cost of ownership rating of poor- in 5 years of ownership, this vehicle will have cost you more than $47k, mostly due to poor depreciation. This is something serious to consider when shoping for a "value car.".

    Hyundai's seem like a bargin at first, but if the car is worth less then half its value in 2 years time, would you really say that was a good deal?

    Consider this- if you pay $24k for a Santa Fe vs $28k for a Toyota RAV4, and the retail value next year for the Santa Fe is $14k but $24k for the Toyota, which was the better value in the first year of ownership?

    You can clearly see the Hyundai lost $10k whereas the Toyota lost only $4k. (These are actual figures extrapolated from a consumer database)

    Secondly, reliability. Do not be misled by the Hyundai car dealers here who have their biased opinions and would swear up and down about how good "their" Hyundais were even if an engine or transmission blew within the first 40k miles. Despite their origin of assembly, (US or Korea) Hyundai has poor long term reliability which directly effects the resale value, as you can see- nobody wants to own a used Hyundai and they are difficult to sell compared to similar vehicles. Only the Mitsubishi Outlander and Kia Sorento are worse in every aspect.

    A quote from a respected automobile journalist--- "Hyundais are better than they were. Sure, there's no arguing with that. But I'm getting a little tired of my colleagues bestowing such radical praise on the Korean carmaker. Don't misunderstand, Hyundai has made great strides. Its engineers deserve credit for taking their products to the next level, and the company's bean counters should be lauded for allowing it to happen.

    But let's get real, people. There still isn't a Hyundai around that's as well built or as rewarding to drive as the Toyota, the Honda or the Mazda it competes with. Not the Elantra, not the Sonata and not this Santa Fe.

    Oh, sure, it's much improved over the old Santa Fe, but that's like saying she's got nicer feet than Dick Butkus. Hyundai still has a way to go... engine power, transmission refinement, braking ability and ride quality.... As much as I like the way this SUV looks, both inside and out, its depth of engineering and level of refinement remain a few clicks behind the big boys." As you can see the savvy shopper will know Toyota and Honda are still better values no matter how you slice and dice it. It's your money.

    I have had two, first hand experiences with Hyundai- a employee in our office bought a new 2006 Hyundai Sonota. Within 15k miles, the tranmission started slipping. Hyundai ran an diagnostic and said nothing was wrong. Not even 3k miles later, the transmission blew and was replaced but of course- NO LOANER CAR and it took 5 days to get a new transmission. Who was stuck with the bill for the rental car? She was. There is a small clause in the warranty that says Hyundai is not responsible for transportation... due to warranty related issues. Amazing. I did not mention the numerous smaller problems like unwarrantied leaking headlamps, that she experienced along the long tedious15k miles.

    Next, a company that our company does business with bought a fleet of Santa Fe's and Sonata's (ironically they call them Satan Fee's) for their employees to drive clients around which consists of about 40 employees. To make a long story short-- big mistake. Many failed starts (which resulted in loss of clients), faulty electronics, numerous warped brake rotors (which Hyundai will not replace under warranty) strange suspension noises and body vibrations. All of the problems beg to ask the question is the warranty as good as they make it seem?

    Third, the real world MPG of a Hyundai Santa Fe, is notoriously below that of the sticker MPG. Expect to see 14 MPG average city/highway with the 3.3L engine. With gas prices at $3/gal do you really want to fill the tank so often, with Premium (Hyundai recommended) no less? --A tip. If you experience any failure relating to the engine, the first thing they check is the gas- was it premium? If not, they will try to pass the cost on to you for "abuse....and lack of maintenance". Beware.

    Additionally, in a recent consumer affairs long term study- Hyundai ranked near the bottom of long term reliability right above, sister co. Kia, Land Rover and Mitsubishi but far behind Toyota, Lexus, Cadillac, GM, and Honda. My suggestion, look at everything before you fall in love with one car.

    If you were my friend, I would advise you to avoid Hyundai. Sure, its not the absolute worst vehicle on the road, but if there are better vehicles that are far more reliable and don't depreciate so fast, why buy the Hyundai? Look around and don't forget to consider DEPRECIATION which is part of the real cost of ownership. It's your money.

    Just passing along some real first hand information for you to consider. Good Luck.

    Source(s): Automobile Writer, Expert...
    • Lamar5 years agoReport

      funny this is the best answer. JD Power gave this car a five star reliability rating and it gets a 8.9 consumer rating from Kelley Blue Book reviewers with over 500 People giving a review of the car. Reliability at 9.1. nice try though. You seem to know what you Are talking

  • 1 decade ago

    Wow, the person who claims that they're an automotive writer and expert really does not know much considering they're an expert. Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama produces the Sonata and the Santa Fe. The factory has the capacity to produce up to three different cars side by side and are currently adding an engine plant as well to manufacture 4 cylinder engines.

    I have owned two Hyundais, both Sonatas. The first was a 2000 which did not give me many problems. The biggest problem I had was that the alternator had to be changed. It was changed under warranty (the price for the parts and repair was approx 350.00 and the dealer provided a loaner).

    The second Sonata is a 2006 which has not given me any major problems at all. The only thing that has gone wrong is that the rear door lock was not locking/unlocking under the control of the switch on the driver's door.

    The Sonata has the same 3.3L V6 as the SE and Limited trims of the Santa Fe. This engine in the Sonata is very powerful and returns good fuel economy on the highways (I consistently get better gas mileage than the EPA ratings), In the city, however, the fuel economy is not as good and I tend to get gas mileage numbers just a little bit below EPA numbers. I would expect that a Santa Fe owner then would experience the same thing: good fuel economy on the highways but less than stellar in the cities. By the way, the Santa Fe or Satan Fe as the automotive expert calls it uses regular unleaded.

    The Santa Fe launch was regarded by many automotive journalists as one of the highly successful new model launches. It has been well received by consumers and after having driven one on a test drive I can see why owners are so satisfied with the vehicle as per Consumer Reports' Most Satisfying Vehicles list. There are so many accolades earned by the Santa Fe that I can't list them all. To contradict the automotive journalist yet again, among them is a 5-star crash test rating by NHTSA and a Top Safety Pick by the IIHS.

    Many of the people here that say "Don't buy it, it's Korean. . ." or "It's a Hyundai" probably have never owned a Hyundai nor driven one given their attitude towards the brand. Hyundai's depreciation really is not that bad. When you compare it to the resale value of Honda or Toyota the resale value seems shockingly low, however, it is actually more in line with industry averages. In terms of initial quality and long term reliability Hyundai is consistently above the industry averages.

    If I were currently in the market for a midsize CUV I would definitely put the Santa Fe up there. It performs well in terms of ride and handling (see car and driver article comparing Santa Fe, Murano, Edge, RAV4), has an excellent warranty and looks quite elegant. Overall I would say it is one of the better CUVs on the market and I would definitely consider buying one.

  • Lorene
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    The Santa Fe's base engine is the 2.7L V6. The higher trim models have a 3.3L V6 which is more powerful but also more costly. Both are stronger then the 4 cylinder but will use more gas. Sounds like your mom wants fuel economy more so then power so her only option (if she really wants a Hyundai SUV) is the Tuscon. A good compromise would be the front wheel drive 2.7L V6 Santa Fe. Not bad on gas and more powerful then the 4 but keep in mind the Tuscon is less expensive then the SF as well. Can't go wrong with both trucks.

  • 4 years ago

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    Is the Hyndai Santa Fe a Good Car?

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  • 3 years ago

    2008 Hyundai Santa Fe Problems

  • cjgt2
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    The negative opinions sound more like racist remarks more then anything else. Actually sounds like what they said about Japanese cars 25-30 yrs ago, look how popular they are now so I guess the racist trash always be there, don't pay attention to it.

    Depreciation is comes in to play if you don't intend on keeping the car for a long time so if you keep the car for a while it won't matter much.

    I'll use an answer that I used before about cars in general:

    I could name a least a dozen things wrong with the cars in my fleet (I'm a fleet manager) but know enough to realize that just because things go wrong with a couple cars doesn't mean the whole company makes poor cars. (We had everything from Ford to Toyota).

    I own a Hyundai and I haven't had any major problems in 6 yrs with over 120,000 miles on it. I driven a good # of cars and trucks and ALL COMPANIES have their share of problems. A friend of mine got '05 Toyota Camry and the tranns started slipping AS SOON AS HE DROVE OFF THE LOT OF THE DEALERSHIP. But I know you can't call the entire company poor just because of one poor car.

    I think the Santa Fe is a fine SUV and Hyundai has come a long way to the point of become a company known of making dependable autos.

  • 1 decade ago

    Wow, only like 3 real answers, mostly a bunch of racist people who know very little about automobiles built after 1995. You obviously have an interest in the Hyundai Santa Fe, so comments telling you not to support the Democratic state of South Korea or vehicles not built in America shouldn't phase you. Sun L gave you all the a ton details based on personal opinion.

    The facts are both JD Power and Consumer Reports rank Hyundai above all European and all but a couple American brands for initial quality and long term reliability and even higher then some Japanese manufacturers.

    Comments about how Hyundai's depreciate faster then Toyota/Honda are true...but guess what so does just about every other brand (Nissan/Mazda, all American, majority of European).

    Do your research on yahoo autos and the 2 sites below to read owner surveys and critic analysis/reviews, you will find that not just Santa Fe, but the majority of Hyundai vehicles are safe, reliable, comfortable and a great value.

  • 1 decade ago

    I bought a 2007 Accent and it's a great car. Santa Fe is a step up from the Accent so I'd think if you do a little research and take one for a test drive, you'll like it.

  • 1 decade ago

    The Santa Fe is an excellent car. Check JD Powers reliability reports. Check NHTSA crash test safety reports, check value or $$ in terms of whats included, check their 7-10 year warranty. All good. The cars are made in US as well. So DUH to the 'its Korean' brigade. Great deal. As for resale value - try reselling a Japanese car or US car to a dealer and see what you get. The depreciation is front end loaded in their prices.

    edit: to Chris B; i think you have to eliminate most of the anti Hyundai comments as they are ignorant of what product Hyundai is currently offering. i think they are a great deal, i own a Hyundai Tuscon and its very good value for money all round and has had no problems, i would expect the Santa Fe to be even better in terms of quality and whats included. Toyota Honda etc I have found difficult to negotiate with because they are market leaders, Hyundai is the company vying to take the place of Toyota and Lexus so they include a lot and will negotiate on price more. Again check out their warranty and cash back rebate deals. I think you should take guidance from people who buy cars as opposed to those that write about them...

  • 3 years ago


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  • 3 years ago


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