This has been a very satisfactory car for me. The features are excellent for the price. It is a bit underpowered for the weight of the vehicle, but Hyundai has corrected that in newer models. The only failure in 5 years has been the interior clock for which a replacement doesn't seem to be available. I am considering purchasing another Santa Fe when I replace my present car.
I love my Hyundai Santa Fe I have had it for about 5 months so far and never have had a problem. I hesitated when buying because I didn't know much about them but I can say I am very glad I choose it. I know all cars have there ups and downs and there are good ones and bad ones. I have to say I got luck I purchased my 2002 with 123,000 miles on it and she has ran perfect for me. One thing I would like to give this car props on is the four wheel drive I go any where in the snow I live in Ohio.
Until recently I loved the Santa Fe, great gas mileage, great looking, good performance... until last year... things started failing, the axles broke... yes broke, within the axle boot, something let go, vehicle wouldn't move. 1 month later, the wheel bearing went, most recently the engine failed... everything within the engine, there wasn't much left of the engine, the service guy said it "grenaded". This left us stranded in the middle of nowhere without a warning. No strange noises, no tell tale warning signs of impending failure... nothing. Shut it off normally then went out to start it and nothing... this thing was seized up, the engine would not turn at all... Now it sits in the shop..
I bought my 2002 SantaFe in that year brand new.
Its been very reliable and ive babied the car on doing maintenance which i do myself.
It routinely gets a combined 21 MPG with 23 on the Highway at 70 mph.
It is very peppy and in fact, the front tires will spin from a start if you take off real quick.
I upgraded the crummy LongTrail Tires to Michelin LX Tires and went from 225's
-- the extra width makes it handle superbly and they dont rub on anything.
The Factory radio / tape/ cd
player went out at 75,000 miles so i went with a new Pioneer from BestBuy.
Other than that, i had a Temperature Sensor go out around 80,000 miles...and thats been it for failures.
Its been good.
My first car. Wish it had more power and zip. Live the way it handles. Love the way it looks. When it is actually working I love the car but at 100k miles it all went down hill had to replace power steering pump, fuel injectors both front axles and both front abs speed sensors, rest carrier bearing, the transfer case and the transmission. Between the fuel injectors and the transfer case and transmission all going out with in the last year and a half it was a between $6,000 and $7,000 and the ac broke twice. Would not but another one or recommend the first generation Santa Fe to anyone who doesn't have deep pockets to keep it on the road. All that being said I am sad that I have to get rid of