I cannot really give a long term review as I have had the same 2004 Hyundai Santa Fe since new and I only have 77 thousand miles on it. I live on Oahu so travel is short no matter where you go. I commute 16 miles a day and have every day since I owned it. I did replace the power steering pump that seems to be a Hyundai problem that is fairly common, serpentine belt which is just good maintenance and proper oil and fluid changes to transmission, power steering and brakes and cooling.
The cabin has one flaw, the plastic dash and various parts chirp from bad fits and lack of insulation. Always has been that way. Other than that, I keep it covered both at home in a car port and in an underground garage and always have, perhaps that is why I have no paint issues at all. I hand wash it and always have since Oahu has no public spray wash booths, this seems to have given the paint a long lease on life. The only real issue is that it is realiable enough to get bored with it after so many years.
2004 Hyundai Santa Fe LX Fwd 4dr SUV (3.5L 6cyl 5A)
This is the first car I have owned since brand new that has even come close to having over 150,000 miles on it and still runs. To date, other than preventative maintenance and normal wear and tear, I've had the following problems: At 40k miles, a torn CV joint boot (warranty repair); At 60k miles the timing belt required replacement per scheduled maintenance ($600 @ dealership, including water pump and belt tensioner as precautionary replacements); At 130k miles replaced the timing belt, water pump and tensioner again a little late to schedule ($300 by family mechanic); At 152,000 miles the switch for the cruise control broke ($30 / 15 minute repair by myself); At 155,000 miles the alternator war replaced (2 hours, $275 parts/labor at a local shop). When you think about it, the alternator was really wear and tear as they do not last forever. And that's it. 160k miles and about $300 worth of repairs, $30 if you exclude the alternator.
I maintain it religiously and take care of little things before they become big things. We've gotten our money's worth from this vehicle and then some. We don't off-road it or mistreat it, but it is not pampered by any means.
2004 Hyundai Santa Fe GLS Fwd 4dr SUV (2.7L 6cyl 4A)
Oh the tears I have shed. I have owned two of these vehicles. One was 3.4 v6 and the one I have now is 2.7 v6. I truly loved this car enough to purchase my second one. I didn't drive my first one but for 30,000 miles. It had 67,000 miles on it when I traded it in. I have been very happy with the vehicle and would have purchased a third one had I not lost my career employment. I drove over 1,000 miles per week so went through 100,000 mile warranty in two years or so. It has been a mechanically sound vehicle until the latter years. I have experienced power steering going out, while driving in the rain, and no one can find why it does that. Now I can't use the hand operated door open and lock because it triggers something to do with the parking lights or signal lights not sure which, coming on and won't go off. I can hear a ticking sound like the signal lights. When this happens and I do not realize it the car is dead the next morning and I have to jump it. Plus the automatic lock feature is not a good idea. The seats are not that good. They were hard when I bought the car new and they are hard now 11 years later.
Now the paint is peeling off on the hood and the clear coat is coming off in other places causing the paint to peel. On the hood the paint was peeled by a hard rain, not hail, but rain. It peeled on the hood on each side and in the same place on each side. Strange to say the least. The clear coat had not come off on the hood but paint still peeled.
I have persuaded a few friends to purchase this car because of its performance which I can say is the best on the highway. But now that they have seen how my paint has done they are reconsidering.
This was to be my last car because now I am old and unemployed and can't purchase another car. I was so proud of the one I have now because I took care of it. It still looked in appearance nice enough, but now is an atrocity from the paint peeling. I could cry a lot over this. Now the vehicle I once loved has turned cold like the car. T
2004 Hyundai Santa Fe GLS AWD 4dr SUV (3.5L 6cyl 5A)
I bought it new in 2004. It has plenty of room for passengers and plenty of cargo room. The car has great power on take off. The biggest issue I have is they use bad paint. These hyundai's are peeling and fading. This in itself is why I won't buy the new 2013 Hyundai Sante Fe.
The size is perfect for me. It still looks nice (on the inside) after all these years.
Buyer beware! There is a major problem with hyundai's paint. Almost all hyundai owners are having problems with peeling and fading on the body. Hyundai won't do anything about it! Also, the leather seats are very hard, which makes for a very bad traveling experience. Take a few pillows along on the trip. You'll need them. I also had problems with windshield wiper arms rusting out. Until they fix these problems, I'll warn all who consider getting a hyundai to read customer reviews first.
I bought my Santa Fe new in 2004. After 150,000 miles, it has spent more time broken than any car I have ever owned. Since new we have replaced the crank sensor 6 times, the throw-out bearing grenaded taking the clutch with it, the radiator disintegrated, the cat converter burned out, the power steering pump shaft broke, etc,etc. The tranny has been solid as many times I was able to restart by downshifting and popping the clutch which made the tranny scream but got me to the house. I bought an extended warranty which paid for itself many times over. It rides and drives great but breaks down too often. No longer my daily driver, but still my beater as it hauls a lot of stuff, when it runs.
Best seats in any car, ever!!!
Large carrying capacity