2013 Hyundai Santa Fe Consumer Review: Dangerous Steering

2013 Hyundai Santa Fe - Consumer Review

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Dangerous Steering
By snehila on


2013 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport 4dr SUV AWD (2.4L 4cyl 6A)


I bought this vehicle a week ago and have to advise you to not purchase until Hyundai has a solution to the steering problem.

The car doesn't track straight at all, darting left and then right requiring constant and exhausting corrections to the wheel.
The wheel doesn't center itself.

To explain what I mean, while going around a curve if you remove your hands from the wheel, the car continues to go around the curve.
It never makes any movement to center the wheel and track straight.

At highway speeds I have never felt less in control.
Even with two hands on the wheel driving for more than 15 minutes is a frightening and tiring experience.

Best Features

I bought this car for the great looks and gas milage. Even with all wheel drive I'm getting 28 mpg on the highway. Unfortunately a quick 10 minute test drive doesn't uncover the unnatural and dangerous steering which overshadows all the good about the vehicle.

Worst Features

I brought the car back to the Flemington NJ Hyundai dealer and they said all the 2013 Sante Fe's were doing the same thing, so there was nothing they could do for me. I called the corporate hotline and filed a case number, but their only solution was to get a second opinion from another dealership. I won't put my family in danger by driving this vehicle again until the problem is fixed. I can only pray at this point that Hyundai will come up with a solution so I'm not stuck with a $30K vehicle I can't drive. It's staying in the garage until then.
Recommend (55) (58)

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Comments (15) Post a Comment
By snehila
on 09/14/12 19:05 PM (PDT)

After taking the Sante Fe to a second dealer they told me the tire pressure was over inflated by more than 20 lbs. Although the original dealer claims this isn't true, the car is considerably better but not great. I'm not in fear of crashing as I was but it still is a terrible steering vehicle and pretty unbearable to drive for long periods on the highway. Hopefully Hyundai will take seriously the posts here and come up with a solution.

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By carampdriver
on 09/19/12 21:42 PM (PDT)

I've been interested in this vehicle for some time now and I came across this review which had me re-thinking my decision to get the vehicle. I did come across something else in regards to the steering, and wonder if this is what you're experiencing, and if so, is there an option you can change. The excerpt below is taken from a review on Motor Trend by Motor Trend. "Hyundai is seeking to improve steering feel with its new Driver Selectable Steering Mode (DSSM) system on the Santa Fe and Santa Fe Sport. DSSM includes three operating modes - Comfort, Normal, and Sport - that can lower or raise steering effort depending on the mode. DSSM adjusts not only the assistance level, but also the on-center and in-curve build-up feel, which Hyundai says will offer "a very natural progressive feel." We'll have to wait and see on that one." Any thoughts?

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By rcassano
on 09/15/12 16:14 PM (PDT)

Several car manufacturers have been plagued with the same issue. The 2012 Honda Civic does the same thing with, "apparently" no solution. The problem is with the new Electric Power Assist (EPS) steering systems. They seem to be too sensitive at highway speed resulting in constant micro correction by the driver. This becomes seriously fatiguing. Hope the fix is simply a software update. Wish you the best - the Santa Fe Sport is a beautiful vehicle. I did a test drive last week and was very impressed. I agree, it's impossible to fully appreciate all the characteristics of a new car on one short test run. You have to live with it for a few days to truly figure what works and what doesn't. I would love to rent a Santa Fe Sport for a week. Thanks for your report.

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By jjohn5
on 09/21/12 12:01 PM (PDT)

@carampdriver, those are not reviews based on having test driven the vehicle. Here is one that is, it is from Autos.ca formerly Canadian Driver. He test drove it and found little to complain about the new Sante Fe except for one thing, The Steering. "Huntsville, ON ? As we sat down for lunch during the launch event of the 2013 Santa Fe Sport, one of Hyundai?s PR team asked us what criticisms we had. My driving partner mentioned a bit of wind noise emanating from the side mirrors, which I only noticed later on the drive home, but I sat there scratching my head, enjoying the meal, completely stumped. Eventually, for lack of anything truly valid as a criticism in the segment, I trotted out the poor ?steering feel? of the Santa Fe Sport. Despite three steering modes?Comfort, Normal, and Sport?they are all devoid of feedback and have a tendency to take a vacation as you get past the initial few degrees of lock, for incredibly vague and imprecise tracking through long turns." http://www.autos.ca/first-drives/first-drive-2013-hyundai-santa-fe-sport/

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By carampdriver
on 09/19/12 21:46 PM (PDT)

and here's another link that talks about the steering options and how they affect tracking. -------- http://www.therepublic.com/view/story/drive-santafe/drive-santafe ----

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By fqian
on 01/28/13 12:46 PM (PST)

I got the same issue. I purchased this 2013 sports model in December. I noticed my car was keeping floating on highway like in windy condition so I have to adjust the wheel to in order to keep in the center. I checked all four wheels pressure and they are all same (30psi). Now my car is over 2K, I used sport mode that help a little bit, but I will visit the dealer this weekend. My big concern is the safety because it makes me feel I'm not in totally control on that car while in high speed.

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By cjtoth
on 09/26/12 17:30 PM (PDT)

Does this happen in all steering modes?

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By bama15
on 10/06/12 08:51 AM (PDT)

I am considering this purchase .... After reading comments, I test drove a Santa Fe on the expressway at 80 miles an hour. I put the steering in the normal mode and the car continued straight without me touching the wheel for a reasonable distance. Maybe this is just a problem on some vehicles?

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By filas4me
on 07/22/13 12:52 PM (PDT)

I have the exact same issue.The dealership was going to take my vehicle back but Hyundai refused to compensate us and we can't afford to just make a trade in. The steering is dangerous.I have just finished filing a complaint with Dept of Transportation (Alberta Canada) If everyone does the same, Hyundai will have to recall or do something about it! My vehicle is a lemon.Transmission went out at 4,800 km and the car experiences loss of power/stalling as well as rough shifting on the *new* transmission. I contacted Hyundai and was told to deal with the Manager of the dealership.It seems they want to do something for us but with out Hyundai helping out, Reuther hands are tied. Any other Canadians having issues, we need to get together and start a class action suit.Alberta has nothing in the way of lemon laws.

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By dlhiggi
on 05/31/13 17:19 PM (PDT)

I also purchased a 2013 Sante Fe FWD 2.0T in January. The steering is horrible, especially on the highway(which I travel on everyday). I am having to constantly correct it, can't stay staight on the interstate. I am always scared that I will get stopped for being all over the road. I am also exhausted from the steering. If it is windy outside, my Sante Fe is all over the road. It feels like driving a car with bad tire rods, but the steering is tight. I drove my sonata for 12 years and never had a problem with it. My husband called the dealership and they said they haven't had any problems with them. I think my next step is to contact Hyundai.

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By alidab
on 09/04/13 13:29 PM (PDT)

WOW...all the info here is GREAT on the Santa Fe. I was waiting til 2013 models to come out (NOT the sport)...so I could have NAVIGATION... Test drove FEW models, and YES< YES

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By camo3
on 02/24/13 18:56 PM (PST)

I agree that the steering problem must be only be on some of these vehicles. We test drove 3 different vehicles (2.4L and 2.0T). There seemed to be some differences in fuel efficiency but the steering was great on all and the best highway tracking when the wheel is set in Sport mode. No problems so far with the SF 2.4L we purchased.

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By csthreatt
on 10/28/12 13:02 PM (PDT)

I don't know about this one now.... gosh you guys are scaring me....lol. However, it is very, very good to know now, rather than later, that the car I was seriously thinking about purchasing may potentially have a serious problem. I mean come on... the steering, really? That is waaaaay to dangerous to chance. It's bad enough that you're having the issue with the steering but insult to injury and shame on Hyundia for not jumping on this issue immediately. This is just bad business. Well, I can't afford to let a 30k vehicle sit in my garage. Hyundia, I think you just lost a customer. Thanks!

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By annemf
on 04/25/13 14:20 PM (PDT)

Hi all..I just purchased the Sport, AWD, 2.4, and am having the same problem with the steering at highway speeds. I've taken note of some possible resolutions mentioned in this forum, specifically, the tire pressure. The off the lot psi was 40, I reduced the psi to 35. I haven't had the car on the highway, at sustained highway speeds yet. I hope it resolves the problem. Fquin, did you take your car back to the dealership as noted in your 1/23 post? If so, what were the results of your visit?

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By carampdriver
on 09/22/12 09:19 AM (PDT)

@jjohn5, thanks. That does give me more to consider now I suppose. I definitely don't want to purchase it knowing that there isn't a fix for this, other than a re-design or some major overhauling. I don't know... I work with computers, so if there was only a driver or OS update to download and correct the issue, I'd be more than happy! LOL... Apple or Google should've made it lol.

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