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Hyundai Santa Fe (2006 and earlier)



  • I am looking into purchasing a SF 2002 LX and have a few questions. I have seen both AWD and 4WD used, I'm assuming, to mean the same thing. Which is correct? If 4WD is correct, is it all the time or does it have to be put into 4WD?

    I am currently a Saturn owner and had been waiting for their SUV to come onto market for 2 or 3 years now. I recently had a bad experience with Saturn, which forced me to open my eyes and see what else is on the market. After test driving a Santa Fe I could not believe the comfort, the quiet ride, and the incredible warranty plan. The Saturn was a complete disappointment after being in the Santa Fe. I'm currently doing my homework and these forums have been an excellent source of information. Thank you for the input.
  • guyfguyf Posts: 456
    The Santa Fe is a permanent all wheel drive. You don't have to do anything to activate it. I drive on snow 4-5 months per year and I can tell you the traction is excellent.
  • The recall for CRANKSHAFT POSITION SENSOR (CPS)is now posted on the NHTSA site

    The recall includes SF's built between 03/2000 - 02/2001 - but not all of these vehicles are subject to the recall problem.

    I called Hyundai (1-800-633-5151)and they looked up my VIN and although it was built during the specified period (09/27/01), I was told my car is not one that is affected by the recall. I have an '01 GLS V-6 with 4WD.

    I suggest that anyone wondering about theirs, call Hyundai and let them check their VIN.

  • guyfguyf Posts: 456
    I got my recall letter yesterday from Hyundai Canada. I'll take it in at the next oil change.
  • lrchomelrchome Posts: 130
    I also called Hyundai, and they told they have no record of my Vin# being recalled for CPS replacement. So I ask why is mine not being recalled, since it was manfactured within the time frame. They then told me that Hyundai has no recall in USA for CPS replacement. I told him the recall was listed on NHTSA site. He said they were premature, and they have not listed a recall yet. So yours will probably be recalled when the recall is instituted.
  • A quick question, what is the manufacture date for your Santa Fe?

    In your posting, you typed in the date of 09/27/01 as your manufacture date. This date is outside the recall dates.
  • dgrpkdgrpk Posts: 27
    Have any of you santa fe owners looked at the aztek from pontiac. I am looking to purchase soon and I have it narrowed down to either of these two. If you think the aztek is ugly, try and put that aside for a moment. My main concerns are reliability, and safety. I like them both, dont plan on taking them off road, have a 16 month old, and this vehicle needs to last.
    Worried about the stalling I've been reading about, I live in az and don't want that to happen when its 115 degrees outside with a little one on board! Need as much info as possible. thanks.
    These forums are great, looking forward to hearing from you.
  • How do most of you Santa Fe owners find it in terms of spaciousness?

    Our '95 Dodge Caravan is about to kick the bucket, and just told our mechanic today not to do the $500 repair to stop the oil leaks. As soon as tax refund comes in we're dumping the Caravan and getting a new car.

    I know this seems like apples and oranges, but the two models coming in our talks (my wife and I) are Honda Odyssey and Santa Fe.

    Personally, I wouldn't mind having an SUV, and the Santa Fe seems to carry the qualities I value most: gas mileage, warranty and bang for the buck.

    But I'm also aware that minivans have more cargo room, and having a Caravan for the past 7 years, where I could remove both rear seats and haul stuff was invaluable.

    Anybody else face similar issues that we have and ended up purchasing a Santa Fe? If so, how do you feel about now?

    Thanks for any feedback.
  • jaserbjaserb Posts: 858
    Granted, it won't hold the proverbial 4x8 sheet of plywood, but mine has swallowed stuff that would make a Rav4 or CRV blush in shame. I got a full size treadmill (in the box!) in there once, and another time I put in a 72" long bookcase. Granted, I needed to move the seats way up, but I got the hatch closed both times. If you don't need the 7 pass. capability of the Odyssey the Santa Fe will hold quite a lot of stuff.

  • It got three-star rating WITH SIDE AIRBAGS in the NHTSA side-impact test! You don't want to put your baby in the back seat of the Aztek.
  • The IIHS gave a marginal rating to Aztek and a good rating to Santa Fe. So if safety for your 16 monthg old baby is one of your concerns then I would go with a Santa Fe.

    IIHS website is
  • dgrpkdgrpk Posts: 27
    that is a strong statement. I did look at the crash test results for both vehicles, but I'd say maybe that comment was a little harsh? If it were that unsafe, it wouldn't be on the road. Obviously marginal isnt the best, but it isnt the worst either.
    Some people say that these tests are only a guideline, and that it is impossible to test a vehicle as it would actually happen on the road. you'd have to test it up against every other model/type on the road in every angle and with every possible situation that might occur and at different speeds.
    I do agree with you both as far as the santa fe getting a better review, and I do wish they would retest the tek, gm litigation, youre not the first to say that. In looking at the results on the websites and, the tek isnt even in the same class as the santa fe, its a heavier vehicle, doesnt this change its safety comparison to the santa fe?

    Now how about those recall and stalling issues? Is it just regarding 2000/2001 - (07/00-02/01) models? Does that mean the 2002 have had this problem corrected? Consumer reports has the santa fe predicted reliability as below average. and the tek as average. they tested a 2001santa fe and tek. not the 2002.

    As far as gas mileage, it isnt one of my biggest concerns.

    As far as the double rebate, toyota doesnt offer rebates, and neither do a few other foreign made cars (honda). remember the price I gave you is $18,000 after tax, title and license. on the santa fe $17342, plus ttl would bring it to approx 18942. and they are doubling the rebates on all models not just the tek.
  • See post 3155 and the problem has been fixed. I subscribe to Consumers Reports, the reliability is low because of the previous cars made Hyundai under the previous CEO and remember that CR will only report what people have sent in via snail mail on auto repairs. Since Hyundai has gotten a new CEO, quality has improved greatly and sales have gone trough the roof. Also
  • mastrvmastrv Posts: 16
    If you say "ignore" the safety tests, then why have them at all? The reason is because although you can't test EVERY angle, you can test some angles. The ones that cause most damage/injury. It keeps the car manufacturers honest. If they didn't do these, they'd get away with anything.

    It sounds like the person comparing between the Aztek and the Santa Fe has already made up their mind. They keep coming back to the Aztek as a better deal/value. I have had my Santa Fe for over 6 months with 12,000 great kilometers and no problems. One of the best, quietest and most economical rides I've driven. If you like the looks of the Aztek and believe it is a better deal/value, then you should just go ahead and buy it.

    It really comes down to a personal decision and personal likes and dislikes. You should list all things (like safety, price, performance...) that are important to you and YOU rate each car. Maybe rate each from 1 to 10. Others CANNOT do this for you, for they have already done this and can only give you THEIR evaluation. It's YOUR evaluation that matters. You will live with your decision and not others.
  • Just wondering if anyone has had any problems with outside mirror noise on the SF. My right side mirror was making a noticeable whistling noise so I took it back to the dealer and they said the seal was not right so they replaced the mirror. It was fine for about 2 weeks and then started making the noise again. Now the driver side mirror is starting to make a similar noise as well (not as loud but noticeable). Have any of you had similar problems?
  • Sorry for the dead brain. My manufacture date is 09/27/00.
  • sbmdsbmd Posts: 6
    Just wondering if anyone has any feedback on Hyundai dealerships in the MD/DC area. I'm in the market for a Santa Fe LX AWD, and I'd like to know if anyone has any positive (or negative for that matter) feedback on dealerships in the area. Thanks.
  • sbmdsbmd Posts: 6
    Is $23,300 a good out the door price for an LX 4WD? This includes all fees, tax, and tags. Thanks.
  • It is no big deal. If you get an Automatic, you get what they call the Shiftronic Automatic. All that does, is allow you do manual shift your gears if you so choose to drive that way otherwise just leave the lever on Drive. Most of the time, I do not use the Shiftronic and all the boards that I read I have not seen any major problems with it.

    Hey Mastrv

    Where have you been hiding?
  • I found a 2001 pewter FWD Santa Fe GLS with 19K miles. It has aftermarket leather and stereo and appears in good condition. The dealer was asking $21,800 originally and it sat on the lot for months. Then he dropped to $19,800. After pointing out several things I would want fixed (a small ding on the door, missing wheel emblem, etc.) I told him I would give him $17,000. He has countered with $17,800. I know Edmunds TMV is lower but there seem to be few used FWD V6 with leather in my area and I think $17,000 is fair. He seemed very eager to sell and I am hoping to get my price. I was disappointed when he told me the warranty drops to 5 years, 60K miles on the powertrain on used Hyundais. BTW I had read that the Santa Fe didn't have very good pick up so I test drove this one with 3 fairly hefty guys along and it did had plenty of pickup for me. Maybe the AWD makes a real difference.
  • harry31harry31 Posts: 128
    I have a FWD GLS. Plenty of pickup for me, also. I think the reviewers complaining about the Santa Fe pickup have just come from testing a Porsche. You know, 0 to 100 to 0 in 12.9 seconds - top speed 188 MPH. After one of those, you might feel that a Jaguar was slow.

    Funny thing is, the same reviewer will call a 4cyl Honda, "Nimble". Yeah, right!
  • jceh1jceh1 Posts: 1

    $23,300 with tax and tags? That's below MSRP for the vehicle alone. What area do you live in?
    I'm in Metro NY area and best I could do was $23,400 before taxes and tags.
  • For all who want to know. I just picked up a GLS, V6, ABS and TC, FWD, roof rack and rails, Woodgrain Dash, Mud flaps, floor mats, cargo tray. List price was $21,334 plus the $225 bike rack and 3 oil changes got it for $20,300. I am sure it was not the best price out there but had fun making the deal. What do any of you think?

    So far I love it. So much bigger than I thought. Thanks to all who have written in and given this kind of info it helped the process.
  • sbmdsbmd Posts: 6
    I'm in the DC Metro area. The dealership is in northern Virginia.
  • Hey guys, i don't really know how to use this forum, so I made an email for whoever is interested to reply to.
    I might buy a Santa Fe. And might buy one soon. Ive been doing the research and would like to know, from real people, If the Santa Fe is a good mechanically sound vehicle. I want to get a base model, except with the utility package. I want it in stick (the AWD v6) but i dont think its available.
    I made the mistake of buying a 99 KIA Sportage convertable. It has only 32,K miles, but has never been a good car. I could get a different car Other than a Hyundai, I know Buick is offering 2002 cash back and 5.9 APR. But I need a van. And Hyundai offered to pick up the loan value of my KIA. I dont want lightning to strike twice. So please, if anyone has any input, Pro or Con, please get it to me.
    Im not completely sold on the Santa Fe. But the value is undeniable. I might get the GL 5 speed manual if that is the only manual they offer. I just want to be able to control my car. 3500 pounds is really heavy.
  • guyfguyf Posts: 456
    I have 40,000 km on my Santa Fe and it is very solid and reliable. The manual is not available with the V6 but the shiftronic let you control the vehicle the same way as a manual. You should test drive the shiftronic to see if you like it.
  • mastrvmastrv Posts: 16
    To dgrpk:

    I know what you mean about dealers and slimy salespeople. Keep looking. Try to get the best deal you can and remember, YOU are the customer. There are good salespeople out there. Sometimes different people at the same dealership can be very, very different too. I don't think this problem is specific to any dealer or manufacturer. Basically, when a saleperson thinks they have the upperhand (like when a car is selling well), they will try to get as much as they can out of you. Try to go to a dealer with many models to choose from, or come back and talk to different salespeople. They use various tactics to make you anxious, like waiting in their office or desk for a long time. Get upset if they do this or talk to a different salesperson. Also, don't be afraid to walk out. They seem to change their attitude when this is done...I guess they think they're losing a sale.

    To txsantafe:

    I've been around, putting my 2 cents in every once in a while.

    To polie8080:

    The 5 speed may be available in different models depending on the country you're in. They recently started offering a 5 speed manual with the 4 cylinder version with Front wheel drive in Canada. I think it's the same in the US. I don't think the V6 is available with a manual 5 speed, though. Have you tried the automatic with the Shiftronic? It's kind of like a clutchless standard. It's not the same but you may like it. Try it out.
  • Im surprised by all the people who say they DON'T use the shiftronic gate. 90% of the time I leave it in drive but for going up long hills, esp at higher altitudes it is a blessing. Being able to just kick it down to 3rd and sail up a mountain pass at 70 on cruise control is great. It is nice on long descents as well. The SF engine makes enough power, it just makes it at 4k rpm's.

    My only issue is actually user error, I will forget it is in shiftronic and after the hill I won't upshift so I drive for 60 miles in 3rd gear. I guess if the car were noiser in 3rd gear at 70mph I would notice, bummer...kinda, sorta not really.
  • guyfguyf Posts: 456
    I agree with you actionball, I use the shiftronic pretty much in the same way you do. The regular automatic is nice in stop and go traffic but I prefer to use the shiftronic in hills and mountains and anticipate the downshifts.

    I feel the automatic works on what would be the economy mode in cars with different shifts modes. If you want full acceleration and power, just use the shiftronic and let the engine rev.
  • After some shopping around, we just bought a 2WD V6 LX model Santa Fe in Southern California (San Diego, to be precise).

    Got what we thought was a good deal: $20,680, including mudflaps, roof tie rods, and floor mats. Licensing and taxes were extra, of course.

    So far, the car -- Pewter and dark gray interior -- has been fun.
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