2003 Hyundai Santa Fe SUV Review | Edmunds.com

2003 Hyundai Santa Fe SUV

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Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) is a category of used car. Often late-model vehicles, they have been inspected, refurbished, if necessary, and are under warranty by the manufacturer.
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Hyundai Santa Fe Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 2.4 L Inline 4-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 4-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 138 hp @ 5500 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 18/25 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats No

Review of the 2003 Hyundai Santa Fe

  • Odd design elements aside, the Santa Fe offers a consumer-friendly blend of space, comfort, features, performance and value.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Reasonable price, super warranty, roomy interior, long list of standard features, solid construction.

  • Cons

    Underpowered without the 3.5-liter engine, unusual styling won't please everyone.

  • What's New for 2003

    For 2003, side airbags become standard equipment for every Santa Fe. New this year is Homelink and a Monsoon sound system with a six-CD changer -- these are standard items on the LX, and the audio upgrades are optional for the GLS. There is a newly available 3.5-liter V6 which will be offered in addition to the 2.4-liter inline four and the 2.7-liter V6. The 3.5-liter engine replaces the 2.7-liter unit and is now standard on the LX as is a new five-speed automatic transmission.

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Gas Mileage

EPA-Rated MPG

  • 18
  • cty
/
  • 25
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
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What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews


3 of 3 people found this review helpful

Bought used last year, 2013

by on
Vehicle: 2003 Hyundai Santa Fe GLS Fwd 4dr SUV (2.7L 6cyl 4A)

I bought this car used last year as a trade with my mini van. When they first pulled it up I was like, um nope. My husband made me test drive and I fell in love. Mine is brown and black, and this thing is awesome. It is by far the best car I have ever owned. Even the first Hyundai I had, swore never to get another. The gas mileage is great. Put $20 in a beginning of work week and no more until Friday or Saturday. Gets me where I need to go.



10 of 10 people found this review helpful

Great used car for teens

by on
Vehicle: 2003 Hyundai Santa Fe GLS Fwd 4dr SUV (2.7L 6cyl 4A)

Bought a 2003 Santa Fe with 125K GLS 2.7L for my son his senior year of HS, he took it to college...had to replace a rear trailing arm & a coroded battery cable, other than that I did the timing belt, plugs & wires, new tires, and most fluids. GREAT car for the money, love the styling (its now a classic), modern interior, and perfect for teens and college age kids for room and safety. Decent sound system, side airbags and lots of metal, smooth ride and quiet engine...you can do a lot worse, just stay away from the 4-cylinder.



2 of 2 people found this review helpful

I love my 2003 hyundai

by on
Vehicle: 2003 Hyundai Santa Fe GLS Fwd 4dr SUV (2.7L 6cyl 4A)

I bought my 2003 Santa FE brand new. I now have 175000 miles on it. I have had its maintenance done regularly which has included the timing and serpentine belt twice, replaced the battery once, 2 sets of front brake pads, 1 set of rear brakes pads, and replaced one set of tires. This has been absolutely worth the money I have spent for the car. Some of the 'problems' that other reviewers have posted are not problems but regular maintenance items. Everything thing wears out people and may need to be replaced! Some of the fuel economy issues can also be attributed to poor fuel quality. If you put crap gas in your car it will cause problems first with poor mpg's then eventually emission issues.



10 of 10 people found this review helpful

2003 santa fe lx 2.7

by on
Vehicle: 2003 Hyundai Santa Fe GLS Fwd 4dr SUV (2.7L 6cyl 4A)

My wife and I bought it with 60,000 miles. We had a couple of minor issues right of the bat that the dealer didn't want to handle. I did replace the plugs and wires twice within the first two years because of the same problem. It was a little time consuming but not impossible. Definately cheaper then taking it into the dealer. Other then that it has been very reliable. Gas mileage could be a little better. I think we average around 17-18mpg. We orignally bought it because we were told it could handle a boat. Later found it the towing capacity wasn't great. But would definately buy another one.



3 of 4 people found this review helpful

Major repairs on used purchase

by on
Vehicle: 2003 Hyundai Santa Fe Fwd 4dr SUV (2.4L 4cyl 4A)

I purchased this vehicle used a 1 1/2 yrs ago and had nothing but problems. Major cost to fix each problem. The front and rear catalytic converter had to be replaced as I could not get speed over 25 mph. On trip 2 hrs away from my home a month ago and the car just shut down on me. This past week belt which controls the a/c condenser and power steering just completely broke. Now I need a a/c condenser which is over $1000. NEVER will buy a Hyundai again.



1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Great value for its time

by on
Vehicle: 2003 Hyundai Santa Fe LX Fwd 4dr SUV (2.7L 6cyl 4A)

Bought the LX for my wife in Nov 2002. She is 5'2" and loves it. I am 6'2" and it is great around town, bit of a challenge on all-day drives. Been to Colorado skiing in 2x and it is great in the mountains. MPG could be more, but the feds killed it with crappy ethanol (insane idea to use food for fuel). Get 18 or 19 mpg around town, stop and go. Interstate driving nets 26+ at 70-80mph. (Ours is the 4 spd auto.) Downside has been recent - right side lock is failing. The radio is poor on AM (had the antenna replaced once) and the radio display is on/off intermittently. I've used all BG products and done careful maintenance - Santa Fe should go to 150K easily.



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Full 2003 Hyundai Santa Fe Review

What's New for 2003

For 2003, side airbags become standard equipment for every Santa Fe. New this year is Homelink and a Monsoon sound system with a six-CD changer -- these are standard items on the LX, and the audio upgrades are optional for the GLS. There is a newly available 3.5-liter V6 which will be offered in addition to the 2.4-liter inline four and the 2.7-liter V6. The 3.5-liter engine replaces the 2.7-liter unit and is now standard on the LX as is a new five-speed automatic transmission.

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Talk About The 2003 Santa Fe

2003 Hyundai Santa Fe Discussions See all Started By

matthewhwolf
matthewhwolf
03-18-2014
I'm interested in buying a used year 2010 - 2012 mid-sized SUV and I'm trying to decide between a Hyundai Santa Fe and a Toyota Highlander. I'm looking for it to have around 20K - 30K miles or so. I'v...


rivrav
rivrav
03-27-2007
What is the transmission capacity for a 2003 Santa Fe with a 3.5 liter engine and what type of fluid is needed? I cannot find the manual. Thanks....


econn1
econn1
08-01-2007
I just had my 2003 Santa Fe serviced and the climate control got set to Celsius. I looked in the manual and I only have information for the manual controls, not the automatic. Cna anybody tell me ho...



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