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2009 Hyundai Santa Fe

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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 569 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
    9.1/10

Too many times in shop. 100K warranty is joke.

By on Monday, May 23, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 69,295

10 3.0
overall rating 3 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
3/10
Value
6/10
Reliability
2/10
Quality
3/10
Performance
5/10
Styling
6/10
Comfort
5/10

Pros: "Power, size"

Cons: "Not reliable, warranty a joke,"

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

"Car had mechanical problems that left wife in almost 2 accidents. Went from 65 to 30 with no warning twice in traffic. Now oil leak on engine not covered under 100,000 mile drivetrain coverage. Oil sensor switch is not part of engine coverage. Only internal parts that are lubricated are. Not happy and soon to be forever free of Hyundai's!"

1 person out of 2 found this review helpful

Love this car

By on Tuesday, April 26, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 119,000

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
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Right size, easy to drive/maneuver, comfortable"

Cons: "Black color - mistake other cars for mine"

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

"I purchased this 2008 Santa Fe new. Still have it with almost 120,000 miles. It has been faithfully maintained. No major problems. Handles well in snow. Gas mileage averages 19.5. Easy to drive, park and maneuver. Back seat folds down to accommodate large loads. Will keep it until it tells us it is done. Will probably get another Santa Fe. It is just the right size vehicle for me. 60 yo lady. Only gave 9's because nothing is perfect."

10 people out of 15 found this review helpful

Excellent Car Condition

By on Sunday, April 17, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 51,000

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
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Great price, drives very smoothly, very comfortabl"

Cons: "No navigation system"

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

"This car has been very reliable. It is in excellent condition. It has been parked most of the time in a garage. The paint of the car is immaculate. Hurry up, this car will go fast."

4 people out of 5 found this review helpful

Best value ever, with great warranty.

By on Friday, March 18, 2016

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
9/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Great Warranty, size and fuel economy."

Cons: "Needs more power, but I fine with it's 4 cyl."

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

"I purchased this SUV for it's size, cargo room, warranty and value. I was on home dialysis at the time and needed a large cargo area to travel with all my supplies if I left home for more than one day.It had to reliable, so that if a call came for a transplant, I could make the rapid trip. The warranty was the most important since it would be the last new vehicle I would buy. It handles great even in the snow.(I have AWD) The fuel economy is great. It is very confortable and has many great features. My wife and I are not into all that tech stuff,but this SUV has everthing I could want. Got a great deal since it was the end of the syle type in 2012. My nephew bought a older used one in the Buffalo area and he loves it. He and his wife sold me on it. Then my niece was moving to Florida and bought a used one too. Great SUV !"

4 people out of 6 found this review helpful

Great Value

By on Friday, February 26, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 54,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Nice features - good price - so far so good"

Cons: "paint could be better."

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

"I purchased new in 2009. Have had no major issues. I do have one complaint, the paint chips and scratches easily. The ride is what is to be expected in an SUV, a little on the rough side. Gas mileage is not the greatest in town, but acceptable on the highway. We are all around 6' and have plenty of room in the front and rear. Love the fact that the rear seats can be reclined, (almost like a lazy boy chair). Have only changed the tires and battery in the past 7 years. Do regular oil changes with synthetic oil only. Overall a great value. Hope to drive it well over the 100K mark."

5 people out of 18 found this review helpful

Completely reliable, amazingly roomy, I love this

By on Tuesday, February 16, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 87,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

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

Very roomy! Kids love falling asleep in the comfort of this vehicle

"I bought this Santa Fe a few years ago and it has been a great vehicle for my girls and I. It was either this or the Ford Edge and I went with the Santa Fe because of the enormous cargo space in the rear for strollers and groceries. Yes, at the same time! It’s been almost three years and I love the SUV experience. Maintenance has been inexpensive; it has 17 inch tires, and a good suspension. It maneuvers well in traffic with some body roll. The inside is very comfortable and surprisingly roomy. It has hands free features like Bluetooth in the steering wheel and a well-lit dashboard when it’s dark outside. You can set the cruise to 74 and still be on eco. I’m a single mom and I truly love and rely on this vehicle. Those who cannot afford it, even going on for a second hand deal is not a bad idea, you won’t be disappointed."

9 people out of 20 found this review helpful

Very roomy! Kids love falling asleep in the comfort of this vehicle

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