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Hyundai Santa Fe

Lemon cars

Bought a faulty elite, turbo hoses blowing off multiple times having to be towed each time, confused gear automatic gear changes, paint defects, losing power or no response from acceleration, no joy from dealer or Hyundai themselves, dealer said it was my fault that caused these issues

Purchased in June 2018 for $63,000.00.

Build Quality
Value for Money
Cleaning & Maintenance
Acceleration / Power
Gear Shifting
Fuel Efficiency
Interior Design
Boot Size

Hyundai Santa FE 2019 Highlander

Top model of Hyundai Santa FE is far better than the lower models. Better than all the other cars of its class like BWM and AUDI. Amazing features like safety cameras, collision sensors and blind spots detector is very useful for new users. Love to recommend if you want a 7 seater SUV with premium features same as available in mercedes, BMW and AUDI. Perfect for a big family and has lots of boot space for extra luggage storage.

Date PurchasedJul 2018

2013 Santa Fe BEWARE

We had a 2013 Santa Fe Highlander.
This car is a great looking car inside & out. The interior feels good quality & has lots of little storage nooks. Is nice to drive, however I feel the steering is a little sensitive, especially on freeway driving.
Air conditioning problems from early on, which can’t seem to be fixed.
Our car has just done 100,000 k’s. Whilst just coming off the freeway recently, our DIFF exploded & oil started pouring from underneath. Hyundai didn’t really want to know about this problem. Surely this is a safety concern for Hyundai??? Could have been a very dangerous situation for us.
After investigating Santa Fe’s of this year, I found 2 other people who had encountered this serious DIFF problem!!!!
Really, really disappointed with this car.
We replaced with a 2nd hand diff (brand new was $6k) & traded it for a Nissan.
Glad to see it gone.

Date PurchasedAug 2015


With 5 kids in tow, we find our Hyundai Santa Fe extremely reliable, amazing on fuel and extremely comfy!!! Easy to drive and look after, we love piling in and going for a drive! It could do with better AC though, with my kids who sit in the rear seats, finding it very stuffy and hot or cold, as there are no air ducts that go back that way. It’s a fairly basic model therefore not much can go wrong or play up! For a 7 seater SUV for the price of purchase, seriously its worth the money

Date PurchasedJan 2018

Great car. Fantastic practicality and sublime engine/transmission

I've had the Santa Fe for about 6 months now. It is a fantastic car. Great diesel engine provides solid torque whenever you need it. The transmission is pretty good if not a little jittery at lower speeds from time to time. Suspension rides maybe a touch firm but nothing to complain about. I particularly enjoy driving the Santa Fe in Sport mode, it becomes a completely different car and can be quick and engaging to drive. Steering provides good feedback. Turning circle is excellent for a car of its size.

Very practical and comfortable vehicle. Boot takes our pram and gear well. Android auto and Apple car play are amazing and the Bluetooth connects every time without drama.

I'm a taller guy at 6'4'' and fit comfortable in the front seats (which is a primary consideration for me). The bolstering on the seats could be better for my bigger frame but my wife finds its incredibly comfortable. We've done some longer haul trips and the car travels well with the NVH being pretty good, if not a little intrusive on coarse surfaces. The seats did the job for trips to Mudgee and Melbourne. Can't complain.

This is my first Hyundai and I'm pleasantly surprised by the performance and build quality of the vehicle. No squeaks or dash rattles, solid door thunks and good enough mix of softer interior materials (as opposed to hard plastics).

Overall the car has been the best all round vehicle we've owned. Practical, comfortable and enjoyable to drive. Highly recommended.

Date PurchasedApr 2018

A really good drive!

I've had my 2009 Santa Fe 2.2L diesel admittedly only 4 mths so far so not a long term test, but in that time, I traveled from Bathurst to Flinders Ranges SA and return with no fuss what-so-ever. The car sits well on the road with surprisingly good handling for a SUV. (it is constant 4wd)
I towed a camper trailer on the trip and achieved an average of 10.2 l/100 with a fully laden car, really good after my previous petrol 3.3L Nissan Pathfinder (2003) which did average 13.2 l/100 on a similar trip NOT towing anything!
It's very comfortable and easy to drive with light but responsive steering and light accelerator.
There is however, a problem to look out for in this series which I discovered I had on mine, the car sometimes simply would not start but just kept cranking!
To cut a long story short, I discovered after some investigation that there is a wiring loom under the dash going up to the key module that is so tight that it connects and then disconnects at will, so sometimes the car starts and sometimes not!
I went to Hyundai to price rectifying it and they said that both the loom and starter module needed to be replaced at a cost of $650.00. (approx)
I then had a bright idea and crawled under the dash, fitted a cable tie to the loom and around the steering column, holding the loom firmly in place and have had NO problem since! Savings: $650 woo hoo!
But all that said, I would recommend and seriously consider buying another Hyundai....very nice car!

Date PurchasedJun 2018
1 comment
Have now had the car 7mths and the starting problem has come back with a slight difference. The car now stalls at low speeds with regularity, so had the wiring loom and Smartra Immobiliser replaced and still stalling regularly. I have been looking on forums and have discovered that this is a very common problem with Hyundai owners around the world. This problem is very dangerous as it can stall at any time without warning and you of course, lose your steering and brakes. Knowing this, I will stay way clear of Hyundai from now on!

Do not trust auto parking!

I bought this car for the auto-parking which worked a treat for months, until it didn't. It smashed me into the vehicle it was parking behind and dented my Sante Fe (luckily other car was fine). I feel Hyundai should repair the dent but they have not been helpful. The doors are also too low and get stuck on the curb almost every day (poor design), otherwise its great car.

Date PurchasedApr 2017

Love this car!

I have had 2 Hyundai Santa Fe and I must say the driving experience is really excellent! It’s economical with fuel, plenty of space inside and back, the seven seater allows for my kids friends to ride along, the digital technology capabilities are great, comfortability and easy drive mechanism makes it stressless to travel and most importantly the safety features gives me confidence that we are secured whilst driving! Love the car!

Date PurchasedMar 2018

Great car until the transmission blows before 50,000km

Bought this car when my brood was expanding. It drives beautifully, quiet like on rails. Great interior space and beautiful lines on the outside. Extremely easy to manoeuvre. Have had some air-conditioning problems from the get go which starts after the car has been running for around 1 1/2 to 2 hours. To date, the dealership hasn't been able to fix it. Have had an issue with the button handbrake, however that was fixed and have no troubles with that since. Unfortunately, the deal breaker for me is the transmission issues which buyers need to be aware.
My car has been fully serviced on time at reputable dealer and dealership. Prior to my car hitting 50,000 I noticed slight slippage, and then clunking, then slight stoppage with the cars transmission. I decided to take it to the dealer to look at with the recall for the bonnet latch. I needed a new transmission as the splines were totally worn. After a battle with Hyundai, they honoured the warranty. They paid for parts, while I paid for labour. This would have cost me near $7000. When my car was in for repairs (nearly 2 weeks) there were approximately 4 (in the first week that I was aware of)other Santa Fe cars in for the same reason. A terrible shame for such an otherwise okay car. Be very wary before buying. I am in the process of looking for another car, unfortunately, it won't be Hyundai.

Date PurchasedFeb 2013

Nice....while it lasted.

Had a Sante Fe Highlander that was faultless engine wise for 7 years. 150,000ks. Serviced for everything at Hyundai dealer including door seals which came off every few years. Then driving it to work one night and it started losing power and noticed engine starting to overheat. Took it to dealership next day and found head had cracked. $4500 to fix. As soon as it was put back together i sold it. Was it the car, was it the servicing?? Hard to say. Not sure i would take the risk again.

Date PurchasedAug 2010

Gearbox problems, rattles and average service

I bought the Santa Fe DMII Highlander new at Hyundai in Frankston/VIC.
I bought a car off the floor, as my previous car was written off. The Hyundai cars get good reviews, John Cardogan is all for it (autoexpert on Youtube) and the drive was good.
The cabin plastics are a little cheap and the car developed some cabin rattles over time.
At around 20,000 km the gearbox developed shifting problems and the dealer tried twice to upgrade the software and "re-learn" the gearbox. I was under the impression nothing had changed and told them to look at replacing the gearbox.
At 45,000km the gearbox didn't shift into certain gears anymore and reversing was not possible.
It took Hyundai Australia nearly 2 weeks to approve a new gearbox.
I passed the car onto my wife, who never liked the car and we sold it privately.
Purchase a wagon or a people mover, there is no need to drive a SUV to haul kids, other cars do it better.

Date PurchasedMar 2015

Love my Santa Fe

I love my Hyundai Santa Fe.

When i was looking for a new car i wanted something that was capable, practical and real which is really hard to find in todays car market.

I then stumbled upon the Hyundai Santa Fe with its 2 tonne towing, huge boot it ticked all the boxes.

I have pulled excavators, trailers and all sorts of bits and pieces with ease behind this car.

If you are looking for a practical non showy good all round car then the Hyndai Santa Fe ticks all the boxes.

Date PurchasedDec 2016

Don't not deliver on there promises

Too k vehicle in first service was told not worry about both booking in when purchased and said a
Loan would be provided this didn't happen would even take owner to shops had to wait around for over a hour. They tell people they have fixed price servicing not true fixed price as price varies depending on service interval not like Toyota they have fixed same amount for service intervals for three years

Date PurchasedJun 2018

Love it.!

Consistently good. The after sales experience is great. Over 4 years on and not even a Hiccup. Its a great family car especially with the extra seats. Fantastic on fuel. On a long trip i can get fuel consumption down to 6 leters per 100km. The reversing camera is a bit sensitive, you need ti keep it clean.

Date PurchasedApr 2014

Awesome SUV, love the drive

No complaints whatsoever. Value for money. Amazing space, style and feature. Responsive engine and top it all powerful. Fuel efficiency is remarkable. Light styling is amazing and only slight drawback is the engine noise through the cabin. Would recommend everyone for value for money. Do test drive and then decide.

Date PurchasedDec 2017

An Outstanding SUV providing luxury and performance

We have had our Santa Fe Highlander for almost two years now and we couldn't be more satisfied with our purchase. The performance is outstanding feeling more like a sports sedan than a SUV, whilst providing every luxury and comfort for both driver and passengers at an affordable price. Reliability and running costs are unbeatable with Hyundai providing free servicing for five years. I thoroughly recommend the 2017 Santa Fe Highlander for anyone in the market for a larger SUV with excellent performance, safety, convenience and reliability.

Date PurchasedAug 2016

Pathetic Mileage and No customer support

I have a new Santa Fe Active X (done 600 kms). My car has been recalled for steering assembly. Having called 3 dealerships, they don't have an appointment for me to bring in my car for another month. Am I expected to drive my car around with a faulty steering ???
Also, mileage that my car is giving thus far is only 18.1 ltr/ 100 kms....

Date PurchasedFeb 2018

Love my 2016 Santa Fe Highlander

I bought the 2016 Santa Fe Highlander nearly 2 years ago. I shopped around for an SUV for 12 plus months but kept coming back to the Santa Fe. Has heaps of extras as 'standard' features, drives beautifully and I love love love the heated/cooled seats and the panoramic roof. Only thing I'd like to see added would be a CD player - but hey a girl can't have everything ;-) I'd highly recommend this car to anyone looking to buy an SUV.

Date PurchasedSep 2016

This car has been great for ten years and 160 k on clock

Our only family car, took us around Australia towing a camper, towed our caravan over Mt Hotham, small enough to take to supermarket, big enough to take on holiday, even 4WD in NT, good fuel efficiency, upgrading reluctantly due to needing more towing capacity. Showing its age now with some quirky issue, but superb value for money. Lots of legroom, flexible 7 seats, and for $48,000 new in 2009.

Date PurchasedFeb 2009

Great car, some towing limitation

I have the MY2106 active diesel - YAY for cloth seats (leather is too hot in summer and too cool in winter for Perth)! The diesel is a dream to drive and city mileage is 8.3L/100kms on less than 10km trips - cant ask for better in my opinion.

After buying the car, we changed our habits a bit, and are now towing an offroad camper trailer with about 130kg ball weight. Local Hyundai fitted upgraded springs for $400 to uprate towball max from 100 to 150kg. But the constant need to check the weight ($50 scale needed) and consider how we use the fridge in the camper and how we load it is affecting our freedom to use the camper. Note, that actual towing of the camper is great, highway mileage came to 8.7L/100kms for the 1.2 tonne load. There is the usual wander and need to drive smooth, but it never feels unsafe or wobbly, no load distribution is needed. Big standard mirrors also mean no tow mirrors are needed.

In no other way, would I downrate the Santa Fe, the driving and handling, the occassional 7 seat use, 5 year/100000km warranty, perfect for our family of 4.

Date PurchasedSep 2017

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Questions & Answers

I have a 2007 Sente Fe Diesel Manual which required the replacement of the big end bearings. Have been told it is a throw away but can fix myself. Can you advise if this can be completed in car and approximate parts costs for the job.
No answers

Hi everyone I have a 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe Elite Does anyone else’s stereo automatically turn on once any door opens in the car? It’s extremely frustrating because if I’m only grabbing something from the car it stays on until I turn it OFF using the push button And it also doesn’t do this every single time so it can’t be a feature
No answers

My Santa Fe 2010 diesel manual vehicle suddenly developed problems in the 4 weeks of being driven by my adult son. Vehicle was driving smoothly beforehand. Assessment by a Hyundai mechanic friend is that there is a clutch and CV shaft failure. His quote to for parts and labour is $3000. Apparently it would cost me approx $5500 to have clutch and CV shaft replacement/repair done at Hyundai service center. Are these prices about average or are they excessive? No warranty BTW.
No answers

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