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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

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Buying this car?

2009 Hyundai Santa Fe Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.9
Out of 10

Based on 544 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

Great in everyway.

By on Sunday, April 05, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 22,000

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
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Gas MIileage, comfort, many standard features."

Cons: "No Security shade in cargo area available."

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

"I have had my 2012 Santa Fe Limited for 2 years now and am still in love. I purchased it used with 6k miles. So almost new. Love the comfort and easy to use GPS. Driver seat is great for long distance drive. The gas mileage is also great. I have had no major issues with it. Just a simple dead battery. I would recommend this to anyone who is thinking about it."

6 people out of 10 found this review helpful

Very reliable and comfortable. Nice quiet ride.

By on Saturday, April 04, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 78,000

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
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Great value for the dollar."

Cons: "leg room in back tight."

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

"Plenty for power at 242 horsepower. The only failure has been a brake light switch that was replaced during a recall."

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

Paint is a real problem

By on Sunday, March 29, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 75,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
2/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Good price, rides well and nicely designed"

Cons: "Peeling paint destroys looks of car."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 2

"EXcellent reliability and appearance,but paint is a real problem. Hood paint peeled withing first year owning the car. Dealer repainted hood under warranty. Right after warranty expiration, the front and sides of roof peeled. The paint peeled down to the base metal. Dealer and Hyundai would not do paint even though it was a manufactures defect. Said it was out of warranty. It is basically a mess now and I have to decide whether to paint it or get rid of the car. Seems Pearl White can have this problem. I've seen two other cars exactly like mine that were peeling paint in the same places. Kind of leaves me between a rock and a hard place. Can't live with it looking like it does and can't sell or trade it without it losing a lot of value."

3 people out of 4 found this review helpful

Love this car

By on Saturday, March 28, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 71,200

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

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

"This suv exceeded my expectations. I'm 2nd owner of it & love it. Minimal maintenance needed, great mpg, super soft ride. My 1st car with heated seats that I thought I'd never use living in the desert, but when it's 30F outside in the morning I really appreciate them!"

2 people out of 4 found this review helpful

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."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

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."

2 people out of 5 found this review helpful

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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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