Got the vehicle on Thanksgiving. Had a 2005 CRV, traded it in. The Santa Fe SE is a better SUV. I have been an industrial mechanic and Honda owner for 35 years. Hyundai won me over. I got the SE 3.5 version. As hard as I could try the only thing I didn't like was the harsher ride than the Honda, but more quiet inside. It feels a little more sporty, on smooth roads, but all in all I don't think you can go wrong. This car is well built, and designed, the engine had plenty of power if you put the pedal to the metal (its too new to do it too often) it is truly a little pocket rocket, pulls some G's! Considering the warranties and Consumers Reports rating its better than Toyota or Honda overall!
We were cross-shopping a Santa Fe against a Toyota Rav-4. Just bought a Santa Fe base model, FWD, V6. Considering the price and standard features, plus longer warranty, the Santa Fe has so much more going for it. The base model we have has a V6 with plenty of grunt, yet reasonable fuel economy, standard Bluetooth, heated seats (we're in Canada), USB iPod hookup and a good stereo to match. Huge amount of storage in the back, nice hidden storage underneath too. Lots of standard features. The rear hatch swings up instead of to the side like on the Rav. Excellent visibility all around, unlike a lot of competitors with their tiny windows. No wonder they push rear view cameras!
I've waited to write a review on our Limited FWD until we've had it for a couple months in order to get over the "I love this vehicle" feeling that we all have when we get a new car. We now have almost 3,000 miles on ours, and we don't necessarily love this vehicle, but we really like it a lot. We're very pleased with the power and fuel mileage, impressed with the design and build quality, and pretty satisfied with the features. There is some suspension noise and the ride can be a bit jarring when going over large bumps or potholes, but overall it has a nice ride. If I had the chance to do it over again, would I still buy a Santa Fe? Absolutely.
I own this Santa Fe since last week of 2010. Driving is not too bad at all but last week while I drive in my parking space with almost no speed, the bumper cover fell off. I push most of the bumper cover back except the driver side corner. Body shop at dealer said must get another bumper at cost of $1078. Called Hyundai and they said drive in snow is not cover by warranty. Most bumper must meet 5mph requirement thus means this is a "TOFU" comparable bumper. Even I have the money to replace same thing will happen again if is getting near any snow or things. Disappointing................! Mistake to buy one!
I bought the "bait and switch" car from the newspaper ad, so I think I got a very good price. It's stripped down, 4 cylinder, front wheel drive, but has the bluetooth, ipod connector, hands-free phone, and radio controls on the steering wheel. today, it's 1 year old, 10,000 miles. Mileage is about 22 in the city but rises to 26+ on the highway if I keep to 65 and use the "manual" feature of the automatic transmission to force it to stay in 6th gear. I also drive conservatively in general. It will get up and go if you ask it to, but mpg's will suffer.