Excellent car, I did my regular maintenance no major issues. beats any 4x4 jeep truck or SUV my extended family or friends have ever owned...I have had to rescue them many times or go pick them up..... to this day 15 years later runs great with 178,000 miles on it, best car thus far in my lifetime, I will always have Hyundai vehicles on my list to consider now... I might cry when I sell this, if I ever do! I have purchased the newly redesigned Tucson because the measurements are now very close to the 2001 Santa Fe but enjoy driving the Santa Fe better so far!
I live in the midwest and our winters are brutal, so I had saved up about $4,000 to buy a used SUV that I could drive during snowy treks. Found this SUV with 100,000 miles for only $3K, with minor issues (heater didn't work, check engine light). Heater was easy fix, I passed e-check with some Seafoam, and have been driving for two months and love it. Snowed real bad last night, and felt very safe all the way home from work. Interior is boring but everything you need, handles well, fun to drive. Looked at older CRV's that had higher miles and that cost about a grand+ more. Very happy with this vehicle, and hope to drive it for another 100,000 miles.
Although I cannot attest to the logevity of this vehicle (as I only had it for about 6 months) I can definetly say that it is extremely safe.
I was in a head on collision on my way to work one morning, hit by a lifted '90-something Ford F-250 going about 60+ miles/hr.
This Santa Fe did exactly what it was designed to do by crumpling the engine area, and other than the fact that the front end of the vehicle was smashed like an accordian, the rest of cabin area and the car was completely fine.
I only walked away with a small break in my ankle, which was from me bracing myself as I tried to brake.
I, as well as the paramedics on site, believe whole-heartedly that this vehicle saved my life.
Excellent car, I did my regular maintenance no major issues. to this day 15 years later runs great with 195,000 miles on it. Best car thus far in my lifetime. ... I am selling it now, because I no longer need a car since I now have my son's car. I really enjoyed driving the Santa Fe so far!