2001 Hyundai Santa Fe Review

Pros & Cons

  • Relatively inexpensive price, super warranty, roomy interior.
  • Unproven reliability, unimpressive four-wheeling capability, underwhelming powertrain performance.
List Price Estimate
$978 - $1,980

Used Santa Fe for Sale
None for sale nearby. Instead:
See all for sale

Get More For Your Trade-In

Get More For Your Trade-In

Edmunds shoppers get on average $235 more for their trade-in.
Find out what your car is really worth in minutes.
See your car's value

Edmunds' Expert Review

An impressive combatant in the mini-SUV realm with more cabin room than competing models. Now, if we can only overlook its exuberantly, uh, different, sheetmetal.

Vehicle overview

Hyundai dives headfirst into the teeming SUV pool with the introduction of the Santa Fe, a sport-ute based on the midsize Sonata platform. According to Hyundai, the Santa Fe will combine car-like drivability, steering, ride, handling and braking with a truck-like seating height and profile. An optional full-time four-wheel-drive system can be thrown in to sweeten the deal. What more could the average American consumer want, right?

Hyundai's ute will be offered in either front-wheel-drive or four-wheel-drive configuration, in one of three trim levels. The Santa Fe GL with front-wheel drive is the only version with a four-cylinder engine; all others come with a V6. That means you're not likely to find anything but V6 models on the dealer's lot, with GL, GLS or LX trim.

That standard 2.4-liter inline four makes 150 horsepower and is mated to a five-speed manual transmission. A four-speed automatic with manual shift mode is optional on the GL, but is better matched to the 180-horsepower 2.7-liter V6. With roughly 3,500 pounds to tug around, neither engine could be called sprightly.

Hyundai's ute comes with MacPherson struts up front and a double-wishbone suspension at the rear to ensure a car-like ride. Rack-and-pinion power steering provides sharp response. Sized roughly equal to a Lexus RX 300, the Santa Fe qualifies as a midsize SUV according to our guidelines, but is likely to be cross-shopped against smaller models like the Ford Escape, Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4.

Beyond beefy sport-ute cues like big wheels and aggressive front styling, the Santa Fe is designed to resemble the Tiburon Coupe and the Sonata Sedan. You decide if this was a wise move. The rounded body-side contours, according to Hyundai, recall a desert landscape, thus setting the Hyundai apart from other, more angular SUVs. We can tell you that with a scant 7.4 inches of maximum ground clearance, you'd better be sticking to well-traveled fire roads if you venture off the pavement and into Cactusville.

Inside, the Santa Fe offers safety features like second-generation depowered front airbags and seatbelt pre-tensioners. Other standard features include alloy wheels, air conditioning, power windows, dark-tinted glass, a CD player and a 60/40 split-folding rear seat. The driver seat has adjustable height and lumbar support for long-trek comfort, and the Santa Fe boasts 29 cubes of cargo capacity with the rear seat in use.

All V6 models have four-wheel disc brakes. Mid-level GLS models add oversized foglights, power door locks, cruise control, a first-aid kit and remote keyless entry to the standard equipment list. Leather seating comes with the LX. Options are bundled into packages, forcing buyers to spend more than they want for items like ABS and a limited-slip differential.

Naturally, the Santa Fe is backed by Hyundai's excellent 10-year/100,000 limited powertrain and 5-year/60,000-mile limited bumper-to-bumper warranties. Along with a 5-year roadside assistance program, the comprehensive coverage should reassure consumers, still put off by Hyundai's former reputation for shoddy quality, that the Santa Fe will hold up over time.

Santa Fe is a big step for Hyundai and should prove popular with budget-minded SUV buyers more interested in a roomy cargo hold and sure footing during a snowstorm than running their own version of the Baja 1000.

2001 Highlights

For 2001, Hyundai comes to market with its very own sport-utility. The Santa Fe is based on a modified Sonata midsize car platform and is available with either front-wheel drive or full-time four-wheel drive with either a four-cylinder or V6 engine.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2001 Hyundai Santa Fe.

Trending topics in reviews

Most helpful consumer reviews

15 year owner
GLS 4WD 4dr SUV (2.7L 6cyl 4A)
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!
Saved My Life
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.
Best value SUV for the price
GL 4WD 4dr SUV (2.7L 6cyl 4A)
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.
A great vehicle for us
Bought this one at 125K km, now has 205K. We've replaced only wear parts so far. It's a little underpowered for my liking but it did pull a u-haul trailer through the Canadian Rockies just fine.

Features & Specs

See all Used 2001 Hyundai Santa Fe features & specs


IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Not Tested
  • Roof Strength Test
    Not Tested
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test

More about the 2001 Hyundai Santa Fe

Used 2001 Hyundai Santa Fe Overview

The Used 2001 Hyundai Santa Fe is offered in the following submodels: Santa Fe SUV. Available styles include GLS 2WD 4dr SUV (2.7L 6cyl 4A), GLS 4WD 4dr SUV (2.7L 6cyl 4A), GL 2WD 4dr SUV (2.4L 4cyl 4A), LX 2WD 4dr SUV (2.7L 6cyl 4A), LX 4WD 4dr SUV (2.7L 6cyl 4A), GL 2WD 4dr SUV (2.7L 6cyl 4A), GL 2WD 4dr SUV (2.4L 4cyl 5M), and GL 4WD 4dr SUV (2.7L 6cyl 4A).

What's a good price on a Used 2001 Hyundai Santa Fe?

Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.

Which used 2001 Hyundai Santa Fes are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2001 Hyundai Santa Fe for sale near. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2001 Hyundai Santa Fe.

Can't find a used 2001 Hyundai Santa Fes you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Hyundai Santa Fe for sale - 7 great deals out of 13 listings starting at $16,688.

Find a used Hyundai for sale - 5 great deals out of 24 listings starting at $23,239.

Find a used certified pre-owned Hyundai Santa Fe for sale - 12 great deals out of 18 listings starting at $24,442.

Find a used certified pre-owned Hyundai for sale - 7 great deals out of 7 listings starting at $8,261.

Should I lease or buy a 2001 Hyundai Santa Fe?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

Check out Hyundai lease specials
Check out Hyundai Santa Fe lease specials