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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 522 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

Problems with transmission Santa Fe 2010 3.5 6 Cyc

By on Thursday, November 06, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 85,000

10 3.0
overall rating 3 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
3/10
Value
4/10
Reliability
1/10
Quality
1/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "comfortable when the car does not shut down."

Cons: "car shuts downs just as we get comfortable."

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

"I have had this car almost 3 years now and it`s been nothing but headaches. The car completely shuts down while driving. I must pull over, shift it to Park and then it restarts. The car is still under warranty but no dealer has yet to solve this. Whats more annoying is that this happens only during the summer days, when its hot and humid. The transmission is very jumpy and quirky. I have had practically every piece changed, from alternator to cables, to inhibitor switch, throttle body and my left and right shocks change twice on and on - in 3 yrs - can you imagine when my warranty finishes! On top of this my radio shuts while i am driving. Then it turns back on. It is no longer on warranty. The drivers side window goes up when i want it to go down. I have had a Sentra, RAV4, Acura and this terrible terrible headache of a car. I have been at the dealer once a month for the last 2 years. I am fed up. Car for sale!"

4 people out of 9 found this review helpful

Great investment so far

By on Thursday, November 06, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 95,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Durable, comfortable"

Cons: "Rides Rumbly, poor gas mpg"

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

"I have driven my 2012 Sante Fe 96K miles in 2.5 years. my tires lasted 75k & I still haven't needed brakes. Don't be fooled by the sticker on MPG though. I have never done ANY better than 24mpg on the highway"

3 people out of 5 found this review helpful

Dissapointed

By on Monday, November 03, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 77,000

10 4.0
overall rating 4 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
4/10
Value
7/10
Reliability
4/10
Quality
4/10
Performance
3/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
4/10

Pros: "great price and spacious"

Cons: "Bumpy ride, electrical defects, bad transmission"

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

"- Driving is not smooth, bumpy ride - Engine power is not there, very slow and lethargic pick - Transimission was changed once before warranty. even after that the new transmission is very finicky."

2 people out of 3 found this review helpful

excellent car except the ride is not as comfortabl

By on Monday, October 06, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 57,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
Not Rated
Reliability
Not Rated
Quality
Not Rated
Performance
8/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
8/10

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

"parking is not as smooth as we would like..does not line up with space lines as it appears from the inside..other people have told me the same thing..some even got back inside car and reparked."

10 people out of 19 found this review helpful

great car and prove safe

By on Friday, September 26, 2014

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
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
9/10

Cons: "none but, buy full loaded"

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

"We bought a Santa Fe Limited new from the dealer in 2010 and loved it. Very sporty drive compared with its competitors. Excellent value after 67,000 miles in 4 years. Twice it's agility kept accidents from being worse that they otherwise would have been; both were the other driver's fault and my wife's driving, coupled with the car's responsiveness avoided what would have otherwise been fatal encounters. The first was a couple thousand of repair and the second accident totaled the car. Driver ran a red light going 45mph+ in a F150 truck; it spun our Santa Fe a full 360 degrees and across two curbs - all airbags deployed and our family of four (3yo and 5yo kids) all walked away without a scratch."

6 people out of 8 found this review helpful

Love it

By on Tuesday, September 23, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 80,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
Not Rated
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

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

"Love this vehicle --- It's my second Sante Fe. Would definitely get another when the tie is right. Good Value - Good Mileage."

4 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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