IMO this is the best SUV you can get for the money, especially if buying used. The cargo capacity is outstanding, including generous under-floor storage, the ride is very quiet, the mileage is surprisingly good (no worse than my previous Honda CR-V - a much smaller and noisier vehicle). With the Santa Fe you get the feeling of a refined, almost luxurious vehicle but with a bargain pricetag.
Had to replace rack and pinion three times. Also, inside door liners, had to replace rubber twice. For all those who own this vehicle, make sure you have the rack and pinion checked. If the steering wheel doesn't stay straight once it's aligned, it could be your rack and pinion.
We have had our 2008 Hyundai Santa Fe for seven years. In that time it has been a very costly car to maintain. Within the first two years we had two major fuel issues, the leather interior started to peel away in areas, a battery that didn't even make the 2 years before dying suddenly and tires that were done long before the warranty. The amount that we would have gotten on the pro-rate for the battery and tires was so minimal that we went outside of Hyundai to replace and got better warranties with longer life. Within the past year we had a low fuel sensor issue that I have come to learn is not uncommon for Hyundai products and a high ticket repair (over $800). Now its the rack and pinion steering (over $1400). I'm sure that some owners are fortunate and don't have the lemon issues that we have had. We have a Honda that is 14 years old have never had these issues. Having to deal with so many issues I know that I will never purchase another Hyundai automobile. Considering the price that we paid for it, one would think that the quality would be better.
I've owned 5 cars in my lifetime (Mitsubishi, another Hyundai, Volvo, Honda). This has been the best vehicle I've owned thus far. I purchased it used with 15K miles on it for $17500 and the dealership kept the 100K mile warranty on it. I just recently hit 110K miles on it in early 2016, and I've only had 2 problems with it since purchase. The CD player recently stopped working (stuck CD) and the coolant system blew out and required a complete replacement at 30K (warranty covered). Despite those 2 issues, I'm still in love with this car. I have been with it in Florida driving around the city and frequent tropical storms without problems, it has taken me to Virginia/DC/Connecticut and handled the snow/ice very well (despite being 2WD), and currently is enduring Texas weather without problems. It comfortably fits 4 people (5 if the person in the middle is small).
Owned the car brand new for about 7 years now and so far it has been good to us. A few recalls were taken care of warranty but one major repair expense outside of warranty was the rack and pinion ($1k/incld labor) since it was leaking heavily from the passenger side. Also, there are traces of oil leaking from the head valve gaskets after 90k. Regular oil maintenance for both engine and transmission have been done religiously according to recommended intervals. I'm expecting to pay another $1k @100k for spark plug and valve cover gasket replacement work. It seems that these cars were designed to crap out after warranty and when you're done paying off the loan...SMH Update as of 3/16/17: (~120k) Despite the issues we've experienced in the past. Our car is still going strong and still our daily driver that fits our family's needs. Keeping up with the regular maintenance makes sure of that. This vehicle goes out on 8 hour road trips through the mountains at least twice a year and haven't had to use AAA yet. (Knocks on wood) :-) Update as of 3/2018: Car is still running smooth. Rear shocks need replacing but that is from normal wear and tear. The gas gauge experienced problems and after replacing the fuel sender units the gauge still does not read properly. Besides those issues the car still runs and I believe we will run this car to the ground despite the important convenience of having to know how much of gas you have left in your tank accurately. SMH