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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 553 Ratings for the 2007 - 2012 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    9.1/10
    Quality
    9.0/10
  • Reliability
    9.2/10
    Performance
    8.9/10
  • Comfort
    9.1/10
    Styling
    9.2/10

Love this vehicle

By on Friday, July 31, 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
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
6/10

Pros: "Great Price Great Options Good Looking"

Cons: "rough ride"

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

"Own a 2015 Hyundai Limited Santa fe...only complaint is the ride..rougher than I am used to but still overall a great vehicle. I owned 6 toyotas in the past 12 years...would not go back to a toyota...over priced and interior is no comparison...much better options and looks in the santa fe than highlander. Highlander ate gas, santa fe is much better..same roads and distance. 9 out of 10 rating in my book!"

Nice Runner!

By on Wednesday, July 15, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 58,000

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
7/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Reliable"

Cons: "Heavy Car for 2.7 engine (6 cyl)"

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

"Owned this car from new and have had no issues at all. Recently took it in for the 60,000 mile maintenance at which time the serpentine belt was replaced (only because it is recommended). We 'baby' the car and like to keep it in tip-top shape. Very pleased with my purchase some 7 years later!"

3 people out of 3 found this review helpful

Most reliable car I have ever owned!

By on Monday, July 06, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 106,500

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
9/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "Reliable, Great Gas Mileage, Excellent Pick Up"

Cons: "Very light so on the highway could get blown aroun"

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

"This is the first car in 20 years that has gone the distance with me and never had anything done other than scheduled maintenance. It got better miles to the gallon than my previous utility vehicles and had excellent pick up for a lighter car."

9 people out of 14 found this review helpful

THIRD SANTA FE I HAVE OWNED.

By on Wednesday, June 24, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 41,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "COMES WITH EXTRAS. WARRANTY IS GREAT."

Cons: "CARPETS SHOWED WEAR FAST."

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

"I WISH THE GAS MILEAGE WAS BETTER. ON ROAD TRIPS I ONLY AVERAGE AROUND 19 MILES A GALLON. THE INTERIOR DOES NOT STAND UP TO NORMAL WEAR & TEAR. THE PART OF THE DASH WITH THE WOOD LOOK HAS CRINKLED UP. OVERALL, I LOVE MY SUV AND HOPE TO BE PURCHASING A NEW ONE SOON."

7 people out of 13 found this review helpful

Dependable, comfortable, economical, enjoyable

By on Saturday, June 13, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 55,000

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: "Great car"

Cons: "Can't think of any"

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

"One of most dependable cars I have owned in sixty years of driving. Ample room for legs and hips on firm seats. For the size and weight of the car, over the road I achieve 24 to 25 mpg. For city driving about 14 mpg. It is quiet, stable and fun to drive. On numerous occasions the third row made it possible to take only one car as room for six or seven persons made it convenient. I have another five passenger car and on occasion two cars were needed to accommodate six passengers."

6 people out of 13 found this review helpful

Best vehicle I've owned out of 14

By on Wednesday, June 03, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 30,212

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: "Quick, fun, handles great"

Cons: "My wife is driving it now."

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

"No repairs in 4.5 years, just normal maintenance. Still rides like new. Great on trips with 4 of us plus vacation stuff in back. This V6 SUV handles better than a new Impala I've rented recently. Made the mistake of letting my wife drive it to and from work a couple of months ago. Now she is driving my all time favorite, as she spends more time on the road than me. Now her next car will be a new Hyundai Santa Fe."

6 people out of 12 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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