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2003 Hyundai Santa Fe

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Consumer Reviews & Ratings

Overall Rating
8.8
Out of 10

Based on 671 Ratings for the 2001 - 2006 models.

Review this car
more rating details
  • Value
    9.1/10
    Quality
    9.0/10
  • Reliability
    9.2/10
    Performance
    8.9/10
  • Comfort
    8.9/10
    Styling
    8.8/10
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Great car overall

By on Sunday, July 08, 2007

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

"In the most important areas, I give this car 5 stars without hesitation. It's reliable. It hasn't even hic-uped once in the 4 years we've had it. It's solid, safe, and comfortable. It's a little slow off the line, but has plenty of passing power once it's moving. I have 2 complaints. First, the electric window and lock controls are not lit, a real pain at night. I have heard Hyndai added that the next model year though. Other than that, sometimes the car has a bit of a "cheap" feel to it, although not real bad. The cruise control is rather primative compared to other cars of this year. Also, the plastic seat belt covers pop off, the rear seat had a problem with the recliner mechanism. No big problems. I wouldn't hesistate to recommend it or to buy another though. You really get a lot of bang for the small bucks in this car. We have the 2.5 V6 with automatic, and get 18.3 miles per gallon around town."

24 people out of 24 found this review helpful

Incredible

By on Monday, December 17, 2012

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 400,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Can't beat the reliability, value, comfort."

Cons: "No cons...perfect car."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I purchased my 2003 Santa Fe in 2003, and am about to roll over to 400,000 kms/250,000 miles. Aside from routine oil changes whenever I remember to do it, usually ecery 6 - 7000 kms, 3 timing belts (every 120,000), spark plugs done once, brake pads replaced once, original battery, thats it, still running as good as the day I bought it."

22 people out of 22 found this review helpful

Perfect for a small family!

By on Sunday, September 02, 2012

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 67,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Cost to own/operate, Comfort, Value, Reliablity"

Cons: "Tires- unusual size= kinda pricey"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I have owned this vehicle for a little over 5 years and drive it daily. When I bought it, all I wanted was 4doors, 4 wheel drive option, and SUV body style. It is a smaller SUV but it serves my family of 4 without complication. The only negative about it is that with a booster seat and an infant seat in the back, there's not a lot of room for a 3rd person. I have had 0 problems with reliabilty. The 4wd works beyond compare (if you know how to properly navigate the midwest weather). My husband has even used this vehicle to pull large trucks (like a ford f250 diesel) out of ditches!...completely beyond reccommended use but it worked and had no problems. As far as comfort goes, I can't complain. The "ride" is very comfortable. And the FUEL MILEAGE amazes me. I can travel approximately 450miles (highway) on a full tank. In town, or short trips, I can go almost 2 weeks (mileage unknown)before re-fueling! This vehicle has cost me nothing to drive beyond normal wear and tear like gas, oil changes, and tires (just replacing those for the 1st time and they are still not junk). If you are a smaller person its perfect, but if you are 7foot tall, you may be a bit cramped. Can not say enough good things about this SUV."

13 people out of 13 found this review helpful

240,000 Miles and Keeps on Going - Love It

By on Saturday, April 27, 2013

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 240,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Reliable, versatile, good value"

Cons: "Drives like an SUV - but it is!"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"This is a great car! I have had very few problems. A dead AC compressor at 200k and a frozen spare tire crank. That's it besides your normal maintenance (oil, brakes, belts). At 240,000 miles I am still getting 22 MPG. Always starts first try. If it dies, I might just have the engine replaced. Still looks great! At nearly 10 years old still looks current."

12 people out of 12 found this review helpful

By on Thursday, July 05, 2007

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

"This is the second Sante Fe that I have owned. I had a 2004 which I traded for a 2006. I have never had any problems with either Sante Fe. It is a SUV that drives like a car. Great Car."

10 people out of 10 found this review helpful

244000 miles and still rides well.

By on Tuesday, March 18, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 245,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"244000 miles and reliable and comfortable. I take long trips with this care and get reasonable gas milage (better milage when it had less miles). Lots of convenience features and great value for the money. Both my daughters own Sante Fe's and likewise never have any trouble. One daughter has 176,000 and the other has 140,000."

9 people out of 9 found this review helpful

Better investment ever..

By on Monday, September 09, 2013

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 160,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
9/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Today I traded in my 2004 Sante Fe for a 2013 model. If you are considering one of these cars I highly recommend getting one, they are the best bang for the buck!"

9 people out of 9 found this review helpful

Boy, did I luck out

By on Sunday, August 04, 2013

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 54,500

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Heated seats: great on chilly nights or mornings"

Cons: "No interiror trunk release"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"In reading reviews of the Santa Fe it appears that the 2005 model year was about the best. I bought it new in June 2005 and it rode, and still rides, like a dream. It is spacious, comfortable in front and rear, has a large trunk area and drives beautifully. Two complaints: sometimes when accelerating from a dead stop the car jumps forward; and I've had to replace the battery 3 times in 8 years. Although I live in the Phoenix area in the winter, I leave for a cool climate in the summer months so there's no justification, in my opinion, for 3 batteries + the original in 8 years. Also, the alarm, which the dealer says is aftermarket, goes off by itself at odd times or is triggered by lightening or thunder. Other than that this 6 cylinder car is great-reliable and comfortable. It would have been nice to be able to release the trunk lid from the inside but that's a minor inconvenience. Too bad the car has never averaged more than 17 mpg no matter if highway or city driving."

9 people out of 9 found this review helpful

Unreliable

By on Sunday, August 19, 2007

10 5.0
overall rating 5 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
5/10
Value
6/10
Reliability
3/10
Quality
6/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
8/10

"We love the ride and performance of this vehichle. The reliability is in the gutter. We have had Trans replaced. Engine torn down twice as well as several other sensors and problems. Been in the shop 13 times including routine maintenance. We live in country and taking it in takes at least a1/2 day overall even with a loaner. What will it cost us after warranty is out? Cant afford to take a chance. Many people have had good results with this vehichle but not us."

8 people out of 8 found this review helpful

Best vehicle I ever had!!. been driving 43 yrs

By on Monday, July 21, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 116,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "fun to drive, good for all kinds of weather, safe"

Cons: "none"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I am about ready to trade in due to high mileage and am sad to do so due to this having been such a dependable car. besides the usual upkeep and one garage bill for repairs that was about 800 $ for sensors, there was nothing ever wrong with it in 8 years. Very speedy too."

7 people out of 7 found this review helpful

Exceeded expectations and great in bad weather!!!

By on Monday, July 07, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 154,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "low maintenance and great value for the price"

Cons: "kind of noisy, had to add a tow package $$"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"This car was a great deal for the money. I have been really pleased, especially with dealing with horrible road conditions and weather!"

7 people out of 7 found this review helpful

Ive had it over 10 years and 100000 miles

By on Saturday, June 22, 2013

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 115,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "It never lets me down."

Cons: "Not superfast takeoff."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I purchased this vehicle brand new with 3 miles on the odometer. I also got the 10 yr bumper to bumper warranty. This car does not have a super quick take off but ive had it up to 130 mph. Bet it would have gone faster but was afraid of the ticket. I have had it on many jeep only trails off road, long road trips across the country day to day city commute and just sitting idling for hours. I have had to put very little into the car for parts or repairs. My car is the one vehicle on the road regardless of conditions. Ive towed a 4x4 1998 dodge ram 2500 numerous times across town and it doesn't feel like im pulling anything. When the big 4x4 trucks get stuck in the snow I am the one pulling it out. there is not anyplace mud snow rivers that has stopped me yet in it. everything in the interior is very logically placed. I am 5'4" and my little brother is 6'5" and we both fit comfortably in any seat in the car. Plenty of leg room everywhere even in the back seat with the drivers seat pushed all of the way back. Easy to drive and have a hard time getting it to slide when I want too ie empty icy parking lots. Excellent traction everywhere. Love the car. Would buy it all over again in a heartbeat."

7 people out of 7 found this review helpful

Best thing we have ever owned

By on Tuesday, August 11, 2009

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

"Kept the '01 and bought a identical '04. 150K and 110K with no major problems"

7 people out of 7 found this review helpful

i have the 3.5 l v6 its a lilttle rough on gas .

By on Saturday, August 09, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 115,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
8/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "good in snow,plenty of cargo room,cool features"

Cons: "gas milage ,tires have to be bought 4 at a time."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"i bought the car off a friend of the family privately.iv owned the car for 1 year and its been in the shop 1 time for a throttle positioning censor which roughly cost me 275 dollars for full bill.Other then that its great in the snow unbelevable compared to other 4 wheel cars iv driven in the snow.i bought the car with 93k on it for miles and now have 117k.Im a 300 pound man and it has plenty of room and is comfortable so thats not an issue.i own th lx model which had the 3.5 l v 6 in it im currently getting about 21 miles to the gallon.over all its a great vechicle and would buy another one ."

6 people out of 6 found this review helpful

1 owner car,reg.service only,love my car

By on Monday, February 03, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 99,044

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Great price in 2002, comfortable & fun to drive"

Cons: "I have nothing negative to say"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I purchased this car in Dec.2002. It has never left me stranded,or disappointed for any reason. Lived in snow country & found the 4WD worked great. All in all I hate to get rid of it afraid I won't get another one that meets my expectations."

6 people out of 6 found this review helpful

Best ever

By on Monday, April 01, 2013

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 79,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
8/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"Overall this may be the best car I've ever owned. When considering cost to buy, cost to maintain, total cost of ownership for 12 years and all those things it can't be beat. The only shortfall might be if you're looking for sports car handling. At 12 years old it still looks stylish. I'd buy a new one in a minute if they still made them. (The new models are bigger with smaller engines)"

6 people out of 6 found this review helpful

Love!

By on Tuesday, August 21, 2012

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 73,020

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Dependable!"

Cons: "Doesn't have an easy way to install a hitch"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"I have owned this car for almost 7 years and it still runs like a champ! I've never had any major mechanical issues and it's never broken down on me. In one particularly ridiculous winter (when it snowed almost 4 feet over a few short days), mine was the only vehicle getting in and out of the neighborhood thanks to the trusty FWD. I've hauled everything from dogs to kids to couches in the back and it's always cleaned up nice. Came standard with convenient features, so I didn't have to shell out a ton of extra money to be comfortable. When asked if I would get another, my answer is always, "Definitely! I love my car!""

6 people out of 6 found this review helpful

Pretty Good Car, Reliable safe and low maintenance

By on Friday, November 04, 2011

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 170,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
8/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "Good Engine Good Trans"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"We bought this car used in 06 with a little over 50,000 miles I believe. We did have something go out in the first year of ownership in the engine that smelled like burning rubber that was fixed for about $800. Other than that, the engine and trans has been good to us. The paint does peel on this car though. It started last year at about 8 years old. Also, this is not a comfortable car for driving long trips. This car is driven alot of highway miles and is still going strong today at 170,000. I would have to say that this car has been pretty good overall."

6 people out of 6 found this review helpful

no issues, low maintenance, most dependable!!

By on Wednesday, August 17, 2011

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 98,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "great price, dependable, low maintenance, looks good"

Cons: "none"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Hardly put any money into this car for almost 8 years. Always starts, runs like a champ, handles great, good for roadtrips, good mileage and I am seriously upset that I got hit by another car and will have to give it up! I was going to keep it until it gave up the ghost... so sad."

6 people out of 6 found this review helpful

This vehicle is absolutley awesome!!! Cuts through

By on Wednesday, March 27, 2013

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 78,981

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"snow like it is butter!!! Bought it pre-owned, I have owned it for 5 years and have had absolutley no problems. Did have to replace the original battery though but that's okay because it exceeded its original life span. Do check out the Santa Fe if you are in the market. Very reliable car"

5 people out of 5 found this review helpful

The best car I've ever owned

By on Wednesday, October 17, 2012

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 94,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "great, dependable car"

Cons: "cant think of any"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I bought this car because of the warranty and am very satisfied. I wouldnt hesitate to recommend it and purchase another one."

5 people out of 5 found this review helpful

It just keeps ticking . . .

By on Wednesday, August 01, 2012

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 107,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Reliable. Safe"

Cons: "It just won't "die" !"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"After years of leasing (VW's, Mazda's) I purchased the Hyundai Santa Fe in 2004. GREAT vehicle. I take very good care it. Minimum maintenance requirements, minimum "recalls". No problems with it at all. Best warranty available."

5 people out of 5 found this review helpful

Affordable-Great Family Car

By on Saturday, June 23, 2012

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 100,800

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Fun to drive, AWD, low maintenance, roomy interior"

Cons: "Gas mileage"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"We bought our 2003 Santa Fe in 2008 with 60,000 miles on it. We now have over 100,000 and hope to have it for 5 more years. Great car! The AWD is perfect for the Colorado winters, the V-6 engine has great get-up, and the interior is spacious and comfortable. My husband is 6'2" and can fit comfortably in the front or the back. Low maintenance, small turning radius, and drives like a car (easy to park). I do wish it had better gas mileage (18-24 depending on driving), but we use it mainly for driving kids around town. Highly recommend!"

5 people out of 5 found this review helpful

My best vehicle ever!

By on Saturday, December 10, 2011

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 183,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
9/10

Cons: "Belts chirping when it rains and now all the time"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I changed my factory tires @ 101,000 miles I changed my factory battery @ 182,500 miles I changed my factory brakes @ 79,000 miles I changed my 2nd pair of tires @ 182,500 miles I haven't really changed any belts yet All I have to say is that this is TRULY the BEST vehicle ever! How could I NOT get another Hyundai!! :) :) :)"

5 people out of 5 found this review helpful

love it

By on Tuesday, October 25, 2011

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 135,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "roomy drives great just plain happy with it"

Cons: "dont have any"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"i love it! out of all my cars its definitely my favorite. runs great looks great has enough room for my kids and my double stroller! and fyi for the lady writing about the rust its because you live in snow! with any car it rust after a long time because they put salt on snow so actually with any used car if it from a place that snows look underneath"

5 people out of 5 found this review helpful

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