2013 Hyundai Santa Fe: Uncomfortable Ride With Passengers

Edmunds.comEdmunds.com Member, Administrator, Moderator Posts: 10,315
edited February 2016 in Hyundai
The complaints started within the first 50 miles of home and I've been hearing them (and echoing them) all the way to Oregon and back. Our 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe has a habit of bobbing on its rear suspension and hammering at our backsides over swales and waves in the highway. It's bottoming out over pavement features it should absorb, and we're not even full.

2013 Hyundai Santa Fe Long-Term Road Test

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  • yellowbalyellowbal Member Posts: 234
    Would stiffer lowering springs help or hurt in this case?
  • zimtheinvaderzimtheinvader Member Posts: 580
    Stiffer lowering springs would definitely affect the ride quality the rest of the time that they rave about.
  • duck87duck87 Member Posts: 649
    lowering springs? You want even less suspension travel than they have now?
  • fordson1fordson1 Unconfirmed Posts: 1,512
    Said it before; say it again...Hyundai/Kia are great with interior stuff, infotainment, content, warranty...not so great with making x horsepower feel like x horsepower, making a given suspension configuration perform up to potential.
  • hotpass105hotpass105 Member Posts: 0
    They're getting better but you can't match twenty years of refinement from the Americans, [non-permissible content removed], or Europeans in the four years Korea has been trying.
  • s197gts197gt Member Posts: 486
    air bags in the springs?
  • quadricyclequadricycle Member Posts: 827
    It sounds like the larger, seven passenger Santa Fe shares not only suspension design and components but also tuning with the smaller, lighter, five passenger Santa Fe. It also sounds like that Santa Fe relies heavily on very soft springs, rather than chassis and sophisticated suspension design and tuning, to provide a comfortable ride. Luckily some slightly longer, heavier rated springs could be employed by Hyundai at refresh if this becomes a big gripe among owners. I think Fordson1 accurately describes the Hyundai/Kia situation.
  • kyolmlkyolml Member Posts: 37
    i can't believe these days they can still skim on a proper set of spring/shock rate, these sounds like a major design flaw. Dan should definitely talk to whomever you said you might know in the suspension engineering department to see what they are up to?
  • legacygtlegacygt Member Posts: 599
    Time for a Santa Fe suspension walkaround post?
    When we first learned about the new Santa Fe coming in 2 sizes I thought it was a mistake from a marketing standpoint. It looks like it was also a mistake from an engineering standpoint. It will be interesting to see if this is something that's easy to fix or if addressing this will upset the ride in other ways.
  • fordson1fordson1 Unconfirmed Posts: 1,512
    Dan Edmunds says firmer or progressive-rate springs. From that shot and his description, I would say both, but I'm not sure even that would do the trick - just sounds to me like it doesn't have enough jounce travel. From that photo - which I understand is partially laden - I'm looking at maybe a little over 3 inches left. It's like they took the design from the two-row, SW model and just added wheelbase. Nobody likes to design too much bump travel in, because that costs cargo/passenger capacity, but in addition to adding more weight, extending the wheelbase like this puts a greater percentage of the total weight on the rear wheels, too.
  • cotakcotak Member Posts: 89
    You know edmunds don't do long term test for every car they review. Maybe a loaded pothole/bump test should be part of their regular car review routine. If you didn't do this car for a long term test we wouldn't now this info.
  • greenponygreenpony Member Posts: 531
    This would be a dealbreaker for me. Unfortunately it would probably not be something a casual test drive would reveal....
  • duck87duck87 Member Posts: 649
    @greenpony: Personally, I make it a point to scope the area around a dealership for some crappy roads to drive the car over. Nothing reveals a car's character more than hauling [non-permissible content removed] with it over a long, rough bend. Always feel sorry for the salesmen though
  • noburgersnoburgers Member Posts: 500
    @duck87 my Hyundai dealership is surrounded by such roads, and I don't care how they like the test ride. But you are right that it will reveal this kind of flaw. I still wonder how a car can get into production without someone saying that this isn't rig
  • stovt001_stovt001_ Member Posts: 799
    Actually a test drive still might not reveal this flaw, unless you brought the whole family and some luggage along on the test drive. I would be interested in a more in-depth write-up on the role springs and dampers play into this suspension tune and how a stiffer spring would actually improve the ride.
  • duck87duck87 Member Posts: 649
    @stovt001: Luggage might be difficult, but I'd be surprised if anyone buying a CUV or minivan for their entire family went to buy the car without bringing the kids along.
  • agentorangeagentorange Member Posts: 893
    Many vehicles seem to have very limited suspension travel these days. I'm packaging is the main culprit.
  • stovt001_stovt001_ Member Posts: 799
    @duck: when I worked at a dealership, I saw some buyers bring the family along to sit in it, but the test drive itself was typically just one of the buyers and the salesman. Maybe the spouse. I don't think I recall any test drives with the kids tagging al
  • aggie94aggie94 Member Posts: 15
    I have the 2wd and have had a similar load with no problems. We used to own a Sorento with 3rd row seat, and the Santa Fe has a much better ride overall, even on 19's.
  • steve636steve636 Member Posts: 1
    Just got directed to this article from the hyundai forums.

    I'm having the same issues with my 2013 LWB Sante Fe with tech package. low rear end after a trip. had approx 800lbs in the vehicle (passengers, gear, hitch, hitch carrier and cargo on it), door jam says do not exceed 1111lbs cargo/passengers, i was at 72% of that.

    after the trip, the rear end looked low and rear tires looked to have a noticable inward camber. took the car to the dealer for that issue (as well as numerous others, 8 dealer trips on 9 months of ownership) and they are currently replaceing my rear springs. they stated that the rear springs have partially collapsed. they believe this is the reason for the creaking/groaning i hear, rough ride, and low rear end. my bump stops are almost touching the bottom of the spring assembly with nothing in the vehicle.

    i'll be curios to see how the car looks once the new springs are in or if the new ones will be any stiffer. Dealer said this is the first time they've ever replaced the rear springs on one, so, we'll see. i'll update once its done.
  • dieselkjdieselkj Member Posts: 2
    edited February 2016
    Hey @steve636, I realize this is 2+ years later, but did the new springs cure the issue?
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