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2009 Hyundai Santa Fe

Overview
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2009 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 2009 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 2009 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 resale values of the Japanese brands, the Hyundai Santa Fe may not be for you.

What's New for 2009

For 2009, all Santa Fe trims receive improved audio systems with USB/iPod inputs, while the SE Touring adds a power driver's seat and Homelink.

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
Available on Limited trims with Touring Package, this navigation unit fits nicely with the Limited's upscale interior and its voice guidance feature makes map reading a thing of the past.

2009 Hyundai Santa Fe Details
2009 Hyundai Santa Fe photo 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
2009 Hyundai Santa Fe photo

Hyundai showed good taste in moving away from the overly busy appearance of the first-generation Santa Fe. The newest 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.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The 2009 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

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

Buying this car?

2009 Hyundai Santa Fe Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.9
Out of 10

Based on 514 Ratings for the 2007 - 2012 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    9.2/10
    Quality
    9.0/10
  • Reliability
    9.3/10
    Performance
    9.0/10
  • Comfort
    9.1/10
    Styling
    9.2/10

I LOVE this car!!!

By on Thursday, August 14, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 45,000

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: "Dependable, inexpensive to maintain, goes in snow!"

Cons: "NONE!!!"

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

"I purchased this vehicle new in 2008. The only maintenance that it has needed are the standard oil/filter changes. When it snows, this is the one vehicle on the block that can be counted on to GO!!! With the optional AWD, I can get around when those with the big 4WD vehicles are stuck in the driveway!! I won't own any other car besides a Santa Fe - ever!!!"

Best car I have ever had!

By on Tuesday, August 05, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 117,000

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, reliable, great mileage, fast acceleration"

Cons: "vibration with original tires."

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

"When i first purchased this car, there were issues with the wheels vibrating at certain speeds. As tires were replaced the problem went away. I have had to replace two coil packs, one gas cap (do not overfill tank as it causes a vacuum issue),a brake switch (under recall but we replaced ourselves), and a switch in the back gate. Also the usual maintenance items. This has been a fantastic vehicle for us for the past 5 years. I feel safe in it and LOVE the acceleration!"

4 people out of 6 found this review helpful

Top notch SUV-The best ever!

By on Saturday, July 26, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 68,000

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
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Sooooo comfortable to travel & great gas mileage"

Cons: "The cloth seat material could've been better"

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

"I cannot say enough about this Santa Fe, excellent SUV,mid size, handles great, never ever had ANY problems with it!!! All I have had done was the typical service-maintenance-even the tires lasted 60,000 mi. I have 68,000 on it now and have owned it almost 6 yrs. Hyundai has come a long way, I have owned previous Hyundai's; 2004 Santa Fe, Sonata and the XG 350. My husband and I both had Hyundai's and we never had any problems with any of them! I sincerely highly recommend the Santa Fe, for an SUV, and the Sonata for the car! Ready to sell now and get the car - I'm a Senior now...lol (need smaller vehicle)"

1 person out of 2 found this review helpful

I would buy another Sante Fe

By on Wednesday, July 23, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 65,000

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
8/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

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

"This has been a great car. With regular maintenance it has performed flawlessly. Looks good, drives great, comfortable, and incredibly reliable. Only drawback, wish it got better gas mileage. It gets 24 on the highway pretty consistently, bit with the 4 cyl engine I was hoping for more."

Mechanically very strong !

By on Monday, July 21, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 72,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Minimal mechanical issues,turning radius,hatch rm"

Cons: "2 airbag recalls,gas tank repair, gas cover broke"

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

"Mechanically strong with no major issues with engine repair. Good turning radius due to extended Sonata body for parking in tight areas. Exterior color good quality even after 7 years old. 2 airbag recalls & strange issue with gas tank that needed $600 part just to show correct fuel level. Did not care for interior, but partially because of the light tan color we chose. Liked room in hatch for this mid-size SUV vehicle. AWD was nice for winter driving as needed & to be able to lock in. Overall would recommend. Still going strong after 72K miles."

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

Easy to drive and park

By on Sunday, July 13, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 49,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Fun to Drive"

Cons: "The side of the window has a pretty lg blind spot."

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

"I enjoy driving my Hyundai. It has a good turning radius which makes it convenient to drive and park. It's been reliable and I would buy another Santa Fe in a minute."

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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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