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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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2009 Hyundai Santa Fe Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.9
Out of 10

Based on 549 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

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."

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."

3 people out of 6 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."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

Love the looks but the car itself isn't my favorit

By on Friday, May 29, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 135,000

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
7/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
6/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "its a car....fun to drive...na"

Cons: "I have lots of cup holders."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 6

"I have never had to put more headlights in a car in my life. It eats them. I love the look of both the interior and the exterior. Not great pick up when it comes to speed. Ride is reasonably smooth. Horrid sound when opening a back window and road noise fairly loud. Gas mileage fair to good. I really haven't had to do many repairs. All in all it is an ok car."

CONMPLETELY SATISFACTORY

By on Wednesday, May 20, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 105,000

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: "easy handling; good pickup for freeway driving;"

Cons: "seems to wear out tires too rapidly"

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

"The Santa Fe Hyundai has been a completely satisfactory vehicle. Gas mileage was good for the time purchased and I hope when I buy a new one next year, it will get better. Other than regular maintenance it has been a worry free car."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

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."

9 people out of 14 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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