The Santa Fe is a well-equipped and pleasant car-based SUV that rides comfortably and quietly. It also has a refined powertrain and a nicely finished cabin. Handling is not particularly agile, though secure. Further, weight takes a toll on acceleration and fuel economy, plus interior volume is less roomy than it might appear to be on the outside. A tip-up in government rollover tests is cause for concern.
There are 3 recalls on this vehicle. Learn More.

Overall Owner Satisfaction

Consumer Reports’ Annual Owner Satisfaction Survey can improve the chances of finding a compatible car match. How? Our survey data reveals whether, all things considered, owners would buy the same car again. The answer to that question is what determines our owner-satisfaction rating, which is a powerful piece of intel because it predicts how well a particular model will satisfy other owners.

Overall Owner Satisfaction

Owner Satisfaction with:

Driving Experience

Includes acceleration and handling

What Owners Say

"If stopped, when I accelerate slowly there is a clanging noise in the front. Metal on metal."

Anonymous, NV (2004 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"Acceleration is fine. Cornering feels unstable"

Anonymous, ID (2004 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"The acceleration is just fine. My only objection is it has a large blind spot on both sides of the car. I have had a few very close calls. I have found the safest thing to do is to lean forward and recheck the rear view mirrors."

JOANN H., UT (2004 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"Quick response in acceleration and eade in handling."

JOSEPH A., SC (2004 Hyundai Santa Fe)


Includes seats, climate control, noise, and ride

What Owners Say

"Too much road noise. Seats are a bit hard. Feels top heavy when cornering. Extremely quick steering"

Anonymous, ID (2004 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"I am tall and find the seats very comfortable. My Santa Fe is high enough off the ground to make it easy for me to get in and out. The AC works great and consistently. The ride is smooth & noise unremarkable."

JOANN H., UT (2004 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"It is a little noisy when driving. The molding on the inside window keeps coming off."

CLARENCE A., UT (2004 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"The AC and the heating system have not worked for almost 10 years and I have brought it for repairs and they can't seem to fix the problem"

ERIC K., NY (2004 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"My santa fe lost power, battery light came on and the noise from the engine was awful. I was afraid to drive it anywhere. It sat in the driveway for months and last Friday I traded it in for another suv. I was tired of having to pay to tow to repair. It was my favorite car because it had such a good ride, not bumpy. when I was not 12 yrs old I did not have any trouble with it and that I really a plus because all other cars I have had always gave me trouble when new or two or three years old. The"

Anonymous, AR (2004 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"Way too much road noise."

Anonymous, AZ (2004 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"I wish the drivers seat went back further as I have long legs. However the newer version, that I have driven has better room."

Anonymous, ME (2004 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"The front seats are not comfortable on long drives. Otherwise, the car is quite good."

Anonymous, AL (2004 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"Easy entry and comfortable seating. Comfortable, quiet, and smooth ride."

JOSEPH A., SC (2004 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"Both my wife and I hate the excessive road noise while driving. I would not take it on a long trip. Our Tahoe gets slightly better gas mileage on long trips and is far more quiet, rides better, and carries more and can pull more when needed. I was however impressed with how the Hyundai handled snow covered streets and hills the very few times it had to deal with those."

FRAN B., WA (2004 Hyundai Santa Fe)


Did you get what you wanted relative to the price you paid?

What Owners Say

"Inflation was huge at the time of the buy."

ROBERT D., MA (2004 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"We got good buys on both cars when we bought them and have gotten consistently good performance."

JOHN M., FL (2004 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"reliable car with hardly any repairs. This is an old model for second car just right for us"

HARTMUT W., AZ (2004 Hyundai Santa Fe)


How it looks inside and out

What Owners Say

"Paints clear coat did not last, I have a flat black color car right now. Not shiny. The paint is also chipping in some places."

ANN E., TX (2004 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"The vehicle still looks brand new - it even looks 100% better than the new models in styling and has better capacity."

DEBORAH A., WA (2004 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"The front end looks like an insect and not attractive. The newer models look much sharper."

Anonymous, ME (2004 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"All wheel drive"

Anonymous, NY (2004 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"good styling but gas milage was more inportent at the time"

Anonymous, CT (2004 Hyundai Santa Fe)

Would you buy this car again?

2004 vehicles
Acura MDX
Chevrolet TrailBlazer
Ford Explorer
GMC Envoy
Honda Pilot
Hyundai Santa Fe
Jeep Grand Cherokee
Lexus GX
Lexus RX
Mercury Mountaineer
Toyota 4Runner
Toyota Highlander
Volvo XC90
Percentage of owners who would definitely purchase that same vehicle again. Owner-satisfaction Ratings are determined by the percentage of those who answered "definitely yes" to the question asked by the Consumer Reports Annual Auto Survey "Considering all factors (price, performance, reliability, comfort, enjoyment, etc.), would you get this car if you had to do it all over again?". If we don’t have sufficient data, a similar model might be used to form the owner-satisfaction score.
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