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2008 Hyundai Santa Fe

Overview
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2008 Hyundai Santa Fe Review

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The Hyundai Santa Fe is a unibody SUV made for tackling the urban jungle, not the rain-forest jungle. Since its introduction in 2000, almost half a million have been sold. The Santa Fe is right at home running the kids to soccer practice (made easier with the optional third-row seat), hauling groceries from the supermarket or heading to the mountains for the weekend. Combining attributes like a higher seating position, roomy interior, rugged good looks, a long list of standard equipment, a good warranty (10-year/100,000-mile powertrain) and a reasonable price, the 2008 Hyundai Santa Fe provides good value in the mid-size SUV category.

You'll Like This Car If...

If getting the most for your money matters, the 2008 Hyundai Santa Fe might be the SUV for you. The Korean manufacturers have improved quality over the years but still have to entice buyers with good value and an excellent warranty -- the Santa Fe has both.

You May Not Like This Car If...

Many people remember the cheap economy cars Hyundai sold in America starting in 1986. If you are looking to buy an SUV with the reputation and image of the Japanese brands, the Hyundai Santa Fe may not be for you.

What's New for 2008

The Limited trim receives a standard 605-watt Infinity Logic 7 Surround Sound audio system and a power tilt-and-slide sunroof. A new LG navigation unit is optional.

Driving the Santa Fe

Driving Impressions The Santa Fe rides smoothly and inspires confidence while cornering thanks to its responsive steering and well controlled body lean. Standard Electronic Stability Control helps during evasive maneuvers and is...

especially reassuring when driving in slippery conditions. Also standard is a tilt and telescoping steering wheel which makes it easy to find the perfect driving position. With the exception of some wind noise in the front and road noise from the rear, the cabin remains fairly quiet at freeway speeds. Acceleration with the 3.3-liter V6 is decent but is unfortunately plagued by some torque steer under harder acceleration. The Shiftronic automatic transmission responds quickly to manual gear selections, making driving on curvy roads an almost sporty experience.

Third-Row Seating
The optional back seats in the Santa Fe boost the possible passenger count to seven and are usable, not just for pets and briefcases. Children sitting in the third row will be comfortable and the occasional adult should have enough room to ride without complaint.

LG Navigation
Missing from last year's model, this navigation unit fits nicely with the Limited's upscale interior and its voice guidance feature makes map reading a thing of the past.

2008 Hyundai Santa Fe Details
Interior

The Santa Fe's interior conveys a feeling of quality thanks to sturdy plastics and low-gloss surfaces. The instrumentation is neatly laid out, easy to operate and at night glows with pleasant blue backlighting. The optional 50/50-split third-row seat is comfortable for children but also acceptable for adults over short distances. Unfortunately, entry to the third row is available only through one side of the vehicle, as the driver's side second-row seat does not flip forward to allow access. A Santa Fe without the third-row seat will have a hidden storage compartment instead. The second-row seats can be reclined; however the levers are placed on top of the seats, making adjustment while sitting very difficult.

Exterior

Hyundai showed good taste in moving away from the overly busy appearance of the previous-generation Santa Fe. The latest version features a much simpler approach, with design elements that are tasteful and purposeful. Body cladding is gone, replaced by smooth sheetmetal flowing into color-keyed bumpers. With its wide track, the Santa Fe has a much stronger stance. There are some carry-overs from the original, however, such as the tailgate's asymmetrical hatch release.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The Hyundai Santa Fe offers high value, as reflected by its standard equipment list which includes air conditioning, cruise control, a roof rack, dual exhaust, power windows, power door locks, power mirrors, and a six-speaker MP3-compatible CD player. To enhance safety, all trim levels include four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes (ABS), electronic stability control (ESP), traction control, front and side airbags for the driver and front passenger, side-curtain airbags that protect all three rows and active front head restraints.

Optional Equipment

Most popular options can be grouped together in packages that vary depending upon trim level. All-wheel drive is available for all Santa Fe models. Other options include third-row seating with third-row auxiliary climate control, heated front seats, steering-wheel audio controls, a power outlet in the cargo area and a power sunroof. A rear-seat entertainment system is available for SE and Limited models, and includes a DVD player with an eight-inch screen and wireless headsets. Unique to the Limited is the Touring Package with LG navigation, which will be available as a stand-alone option later in the model year.

Under the Hood

Hyundai offers two V6 engines for the Santa Fe. The 2.7-liter V6 in the GLS model is paired with a five-speed manual transmission or a four-speed automatic. SE and Limited models get the 3.3-liter V6 and a five-speed automatic. The extra $1,500 to move from the automatic-equipped GLS to the SE with its 3.3-liter engine is pretty reasonable considering you get 57 extra horsepower, gas mileage comparable to that of the 2.7-liter engine and other goodies, including 18-inch wheels and fog lights.

2.7-liter V6
185 horsepower @ 6000 rpm
183 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 17/24 (2WD, manual), 17/23 (AWD, manual), 18/24 (2WD, automatic), 17/23 (AWD, automatic)

3.3-liter V6
242 horsepower @ 6000 rpm
226 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 17/24 (2WD), 17/24 (AWD)

Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

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2008 Hyundai Santa Fe Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.9
Out of 10

Based on 538 Ratings for the 2007 - 2012 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    9.2/10
    Quality
    9.0/10
  • Reliability
    9.2/10
    Performance
    9.0/10
  • Comfort
    9.1/10
    Styling
    9.2/10

Highly Recommend this product.

By on Saturday, March 21, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 50,600

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
8/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Good value"

Cons: "Some blind spots when backing up."

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

"Have had virtually no problems with my Santa Fe in 5 years of ownership. Did have one occasion to use their roadside service and was over the top impressed with this service. Not only did they keep in touch with me ( phoned every 10 minutes until help arrived )but took the extra steps to make sure that I was in a safe place while waiting."

Great SUV for daily use

By on Sunday, March 08, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 47,000

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

Pros: "Cargo space, driving ease"

Cons: "Long trips"

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

"Santa Fe handles great in daily use-city driving and highway. 2012 with 47,000 miles and stock tires have good tread. Comfort rated 9 due to long day trips over 600 miles-not best car for comfort on long trips. Great for daily use. Cargo space is large, carry sound equipment weekly and plently of space. Turning ratio is great. Have had no mechanical issues."

Proof is in the performance and longivity

By on Sunday, March 01, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 191,000

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: "Safe, High Visibility, Comfort, Fun"

Cons: "none"

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

"I have 191000 miles on my Sante Fe and still going strong. It is sound and strong with no major problems just regular maintenance. No tears or fading in the interior. I travel from Mountains to the Coast regularly and it handles all the road conditions well. It can also accommodate my five grandchildren in car seats and their luggage/toys/messes. Cleans well and presents a clean stance. Wish I didn't show my age as well as my car....lol. I am now a Sante Fe devoted customer."

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

great car. good quality,reliability,endurance.

By on Thursday, February 26, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 42,200

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "real practical and great driving car"

Cons: "leather interior not high quality, split apart."

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

"This vehicle has all the needed comforts. quality, reliability, and style. good fuel mileage and rang. low maintenance. Easy repair access, and great custom features make this my best vehicle ever owned. still has good resale value and is desired in the market of small suv's...I really love this car. Only one problem with the leather interior, the passenger seat back magazine flap unglued/unstitched itself and needs repair. I tried various adhesives w/no success. Needs a leather shop fix...."

1 person out of 2 found this review helpful

What a great car it has been!

By on Wednesday, February 18, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 66,000

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
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Solid, quiet, great electronics."

Cons: "Original tires were poor in snow and ice."

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

"Didn't expect it to be this good. Have driven Audi's, Lincoln's, Caddy's and this competes with the best of them."

1 person out of 2 found this review helpful

Has been a very stable and dependable vehicle.

By on Tuesday, February 17, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 130,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Dependable"

Cons: "Alignment difficulties"

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

"Comfortable on road trips, good through snow with AWD. Four wheel alignment a bit of a negative, could never get into "perfect" alignment so tires "cupped" creating a loud tire noise. Feel safe and secure in vehicle."

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Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

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