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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.
Alerts
There are 3 recalls on this vehicle. Learn More.

Road Test Results

Performance
Acceleration Acceleration Acceleration tests are conducted on a smooth, flat pavement straightaway at the track. Time, speed, and distance measurements are taken with a precise GPS-based device that’s hooked to a data-logging computer.
0 to 60 mph (sec.) 0 to 60 mph (sec.) The time in seconds that a vehicle takes to reach 60 mph from a standstill with the engine idling.
Transmission Transmission Transmission performance is determined by shifting smoothness, response, shifter action, and clutch actuation for manual transmissions.
Fuel Economy Fuel Economy We perform our own fuel-economy tests, independent of the government's often-quoted EPA figures and the manufacturers' claims. Using a precise fuel-flow measuring device spliced into the fuel line, we run two separate circuits to represent city and highway consumption.
CR's Overall Mileage CR's Overall Mileage CR's overall mileage is a composite of measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course and highway cruising; and CR's 150-mile test trip of mixed driving, if tested. In recent road tests, we've discontinued the 150-mile trip test.
CR's City Mileage CR's City Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course.
CR's Highway Mileage CR's Highway Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed highway cruising.
Annual Fuel Cost Annual Fuel Cost The cost and amount of fuel used in 12,000 miles and is calculated from CR's overall mileage.
Braking Braking The braking rating is a composite of wet and dry stopping distances and pedal feel. Braking distance is from 60 mph, with no wheels locked.
Emergency Handling Emergency Handling Several factors go into the rating, including the avoidance maneuver speed and confidence, as well as how the vehicle behaves when pushed to its limit,
Comfort / Convenience
Ride Ride Our expert judgment of how well the suspension isolates and absorbs road imperfections and how steady it keeps the body on various road surfaces.
Noise Noise Our expert judgment of the vehicle's interior noise level in everyday driving.
Front Seat Comfort Front Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the front seat is for drivers of various heights.
Rear Seat Comfort Rear Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the rear seat is for two passengers to sit across.
Interior Fit and Finish Interior Fit and Finish An expert evaluation of the interior quality and craftsmanship.
Trunk/Cargo Area Trunk/Cargo Area Our rating is based on the amount of luggage or cargo space that a vehicle has in the trunk or cargo area.

Owner Reports

Worse Better
Reliability History Reliability History The reliability charts are based on responses on hundreds of thousands of vehicles from our latest Annual Auto Survey. Consumer Reports subscribers reported on any serious problems they had with their vehicles during the past 12 months that they considered serious because of cost, failure, safety, or downtime, in any of the trouble spots included in the table below. The results are presented relative to the average model that year. Extra weight is given to the more serious areas such as major engine or transmission problems. Based on this data and further analysis, we predict reliability for the latest year. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
2000
2001
NA
2002
NA
2003
2004
2005
2006
NA
2007
2008
2009
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018
Reliability Trouble Spots
Engine Major Engine Major Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.
Engine Minor Engine Minor Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.
Engine Cooling Engine Cooling Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.
Transmission Major Transmission Major Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.
Owner Satisfaction Owner Satisfaction To learn about satisfaction, CR has collected survey data from our annual survey on more than half a million vehicles. Our subscribers provide great insights into their satisfaction by answering one simple question: If they had it to do all over again, would they definitely buy or lease the same model? In addition, respondents also rate their cars in six categories: driving experience, comfort, value, styling, audio, and climate systems. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
2000
2001
NA
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018
Driving Experience Driving Experience Includes acceleration and handling
NA
Comfort Comfort Includes seats, climate control, noise, and ride
NA
Value Value Did you get what you wanted relative to the price you paid?
NA
Styling Styling How it looks inside and out
NA
Safety Equipment
ABS available, standard from 2005. Side air bags standard from 2003. Head protection air bags and ESC standard from 2007.
Road Test

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.

Seating
2 front, 3 rear
Drive Wheels
AWD , Front
Warranty

In most cases, automotive warranties are based on the vehicle identification number (VIN), and the warranty will be valid regardless of ownership. The dealership can tell you exactly how much warranty is left.

Read more about extended warranties
Body Styles
4-door SUV
Transmissions Available
  • 5-speed Automatic
  • 4-speed Automatic
Engines Available
  • 2.7-liter V6 (170 hp)
  • 3.5-liter V6 (200 hp)

Owner Reported Trouble Spots

The Reliability score is based on our latest subscriber survey of 2005 Hyundai Santa Fe owners. The owner comments describe problems respondents experienced with this vehicle.

Climate System

Blower (fan) motor, A/C compressor, condenser, evaporator, heater system, automatic climate control, refrigerant leakage, electrical failure.

What Owners Say

“Compressor froze up. Needed to be replaced”

Anonymous, NC (2005 Hyundai Santa Fe GLS 3.5-L V6)

“The compressor while still working was starting to make noise caused by a bad bearing. easier and cheaper to put in a new unit than have bearing fixed”

Gerard L., FL (2005 Hyundai Santa Fe LX 3.5-L V6)

“AC stopped working around 85000 miles, compressor and evaporated replaced”

C L., ME (2005 Hyundai Santa Fe LX 3.5-L V6)

“The compress just quit, but in the action of replacing it, the repair man broke the coil tower and disturbed the plug wires”

Anonymous, TX (2005 Hyundai Santa Fe GLS 2.7-L V6)

“I've had 2 failures in a 1.5 year period. now going w/o air conditioning”

Anonymous, WI (2005 Hyundai Santa Fe GLS 3.5-L V6)

“Replaced under extended warranty”

Anonymous, TX (2005 Hyundai Santa Fe GLS 3.5-L V6)
Automatic climate control

“fan motor changing output automatically”

R M., OR (2005 Hyundai Santa Fe GLS 3.5-L V6)
Blower (fan) motor

“would not turn on during hot weather”

Anonymous, CA (2005 Hyundai Santa Fe LX 2.7-L V6)

“Issue with AC - unknown problem, too expensive to fix. Doesn't get very cool in the summer”

William L., NY (2005 Hyundai Santa Fe LX Unsure)

Suspension

Shocks or struts, ball joints, tie rods, wheel bearings, alignment, steering linkage (includes rack and pinion), power steering (pumps and hoses, leaks), wheel balance, springs or torsion bars, bushings, electronic or air suspension.

What Owners Say

Power steering leaks

“Steel tubing at front of car leaked”

Robert S., IL (2005 Hyundai Santa Fe Base 2.7-L V6)

“power steering went out. whole rack and pinnion had to be replaced”

Charles B., WI (2005 Hyundai Santa Fe GLS 2.7-L V6)

“Have had issues ongoing, this is the last thing fixed to fix sounds and bumping noises”

Anonymous, BC (2005 Hyundai Santa Fe LX 3.5-L V6)
Springs or torsion bars

“Recall from company”

M M., NY (2005 Hyundai Santa Fe GLS 2.7-L V6)

“Broken spring. Hyundai recall”

Anonymous, ME (2005 Hyundai Santa Fe Unsure 3.5-L V6)

“Many ongoing issues with this vehicle”

Anonymous, BC (2005 Hyundai Santa Fe LX 3.5-L V6)

“Front spring broke causing damage to tire. Claim filed with Hyundai for recall of problem”

Gary D., IA (2005 Hyundai Santa Fe Base 3.5-L V6)
Steering linkage (includes rack and pinion)

“High pitched whine louder with engine rev. Two shops, total of four rack-&-pinion and 3 power steering pumps, finally found it was a high-pressure hose”

Anonymous, NM (2005 Hyundai Santa Fe GLS 2.7-L V6)

Paint/Trim

Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling), loose interior and exterior trim or moldings, rust.

What Owners Say

“Sorry coverage of paint, too little used. Needs to have better print coverage”

Joyce R., NC (2005 Hyundai Santa Fe Base 2.7-L V6)

“I live in Florida and the paid on mirrors faded/bubbled up...and the trim confront and around windows faded terribly”

Tom V., FL (2005 Hyundai Santa Fe GLS 3.5-L V6)

“Paint faded terribly. Finally, had it repainted by a body shop”

James B., FL (2005 Hyundai Santa Fe GLS 2.7-L V6)

“Paint is fading and chalking”

Anonymous, CA (2005 Hyundai Santa Fe GLS 3.5-L V6)
Loose exterior trim or moldings

“the trim on the lower half of the rear drivers side door panel fell off, without any warning or cause to fall off. New one was very expensive and even though the colour on all of the Sante Fe's was an off grey, it only came in black and had to be pai”

Ruth S., ON (2005 Hyundai Santa Fe GLS 3.5-L V6)
Rust

“Outside window trim rusted. Repainted when the car was repainted but it still rusts”

James B., FL (2005 Hyundai Santa Fe GLS 2.7-L V6)

“rust when there had been body damage and was previously repaired”

Anonymous, PA (2005 Hyundai Santa Fe GLS 2.7-L V6)

“strip between front door and rear door both sides”

Anonymous, AZ (2005 Hyundai Santa Fe Unsure 3.5-L V6)

Body Integrity

Squeaks, rattles, wind noises, loose or cracked seals and/or weather-stripping, air and water leaks.

What Owners Say

Seals and/or weather-stripping

“Just recently noticed a water leak after a very hard rainstorm near the rear hatchback”

Anonymous, AL (2005 Hyundai Santa Fe Base 2.7-L V6)

“leaking around rear break light into it fixture”

Anonymous, DE (2005 Hyundai Santa Fe GLS 3.5-L V6)

“Leaking from back window, stripping falling out”

Anonymous, TX (2005 Hyundai Santa Fe LX 3.5-L V6)

“Numerous squeaks and rattles, especially with the rear door”

James C., TX (2005 Hyundai Santa Fe GLS 2.7-L V6)

“A heat shield had come loose and rattled when driving. Was removed by the mechanic”

Anonymous, PA (2005 Hyundai Santa Fe GLS 3.5-L V6)
Air or water leaks

“had to use silicone to seal around rear wind shield washer”

Anonymous, DE (2005 Hyundai Santa Fe GLS 3.5-L V6)

“About what is expected for an 11 year old car”

James C., TX (2005 Hyundai Santa Fe GLS 2.7-L V6)

Brakes

Antilock system (ABS), parking brake, master cylinder, calipers, rotors, pulsation or vibration, squeaking, brake failure or wear.

What Owners Say

Antilock system (ABS)

“Front sensor rings cracked &broke”

Anonymous, ME (2005 Hyundai Santa Fe Unsure 2.7-L V6)

“Indicator dash light indicated problems”

M M., NY (2005 Hyundai Santa Fe GLS 2.7-L V6)

“Consistent issues with ABS, unable to fix. Difficulties braking”

William L., NY (2005 Hyundai Santa Fe LX Unsure)

“ABS rusted. when going under 10 MPH and stepping on brakes, pedel would lock up and brakes wouldn't engage. Got into small fender bender because of it”

Charles B., WI (2005 Hyundai Santa Fe GLS 2.7-L V6)

“Deterioration of metal Gas gauge malfunctioned, 1000 dollar repair bill”

Anonymous, NY (2005 Hyundai Santa Fe GLS 2.7-L V6)
Premature brake wear

“rear dis had excessive groving need to be replced -with pads 850 $”

M T., BC (2005 Hyundai Santa Fe LX 3.5-L V6)

“required new rear brakes every couple of years, have never had that issue with any other vehicle I have owned past or present”

Ruth S., ON (2005 Hyundai Santa Fe GLS 3.5-L V6)

Engine Major

Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.

What Owners Say

Timing belt or chain

“New chain recommended by our regular mechanic due to mileage of vehicle and observed wear”

Anonymous, SC (2005 Hyundai Santa Fe Base 2.7-L V6)

“The flywheel on the front of the engine failed--it has a two piece assembly with a rubber cushion between, the cushion fialed--part was $200--and they had a stock on the shelve of them”

Anonymous, NY (2005 Hyundai Santa Fe GLS 2.7-L V6)

“Never replaced timing belt. Load whine sometimes when it was hot”

Chris B., IL (2005 Hyundai Santa Fe GLS 2.7-L V6)

“oil leak oared under warranty no charge”

Robert C., FL (2005 Hyundai Santa Fe GLS 2.7-L V6)
Scheduled timing belt replacement

“change due to mileage”

Robert C., FL (2005 Hyundai Santa Fe GLS 2.7-L V6)

Electric System

Alternator, starter, hybrid battery and related systems, regular battery, battery cables, engine harness, coil, ignition switch, electronic ignition, distributor or rotor failure, spark plugs and wires failure.

What Owners Say

Cruise control

“set switch or relay worked sporadically and now not at all”

Anonymous, FL (2005 Hyundai Santa Fe GLS 2.7-L V6)
Headlights

“Replaced both headlight bulbs in the last 16 months and severe clouding on the lenses”

Anonymous, CA (2005 Hyundai Santa Fe GLS 3.5-L V6)
Exterior lights (other than headlights)

“Routinely have to replace rear brake lights and front driving light bulbs. Seem to go out often”

Anonymous, CA (2005 Hyundai Santa Fe GLS 3.5-L V6)
Wiper motor or washer

“I had to get the windshield washer tank replaced”

Anonymous, CA (2005 Hyundai Santa Fe GLS 3.5-L V6)

Drive System

Driveshaft or axle, CV joint, differential, transfer case, 4WD/AWD components, driveline vibration, traction control, electronic stability control (ESC), electrical failure.

What Owners Say

4WD/AWD components

“The transfer case leaked oil”

Anonymous, NV (2005 Hyundai Santa Fe GLS 2.7-L V6)

“Rusted axle caused poor timing issues due to inability to read clearyl”

Anonymous, FL (2005 Hyundai Santa Fe Base 3.5-L V6)

“position indicator broke, expanded and gave false readings”

Robert S., IL (2005 Hyundai Santa Fe Base 2.7-L V6)
Driveline vibration

“Our mechanic tells us that thed u-joint is failing. Repair would be over 2000”

Geoff W., NH (2005 Hyundai Santa Fe LX 3.5-L V6)

Fuel System

Check engine light, sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor), emission control devices (includes EGR), engine computer, engine computer, fuel cap, fuel gauge/sender, fuel injection system, fuel pump, fuel leaks, stalling or hesitation.

What Owners Say

Emission control devices (includes EGR)

“The ENG light is always on inspite its been taken to mechanic many times. Can't find the reason for ENG light to be on. Replaced many parts suspected but light still is on”

Anonymous, CA (2005 Hyundai Santa Fe GLS 3.5-L V6)

“don't know”

F G., FL (2005 Hyundai Santa Fe GLS Unsure)

“Cataylitic converter”

Anonymous, DE (2005 Hyundai Santa Fe GLS 2.7-L V6)

Engine Minor

Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.

What Owners Say

Fuel leaks

“Fuel tank rusted and leaked due to poor design. There was a cover on the bottom of the tank which did not allow the water drain away from the tank”

Anonymous, IL (2005 Hyundai Santa Fe GLS 2.7-L V6)
Oil leaks

“valve cover gaskets and associated gaskets to access”

Anonymous, FL (2005 Hyundai Santa Fe GLS 2.7-L V6)

Transmission Major

Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.

What Owners Say

Torque converter

“Car stutters mainly between 45 -50mph, 55-60mph & 65-70mph - but only when the air conditioner is on. Feels like it is trying to shift into overdrive, but can't. Dealer & trans. shop can't isolate & fix problem - just generic solution of rebuild tr”

Robert F., FL (2005 Hyundai Santa Fe GLS 2.7-L V6)
Transmission rebuild or replacement

“The shifter got hung up and rather than fixing it Hyundai replaced the entire transmission "under warantee"- but it cost me $500 for all the fluid and a number of other associated costs”

Anonymous, FL (2005 Hyundai Santa Fe Base 3.5-L V6)

In-car Electronics

CD or DVD players, radio, speakers, GPS, communication system (e.g., OnStar), display screen freezes or goes blank, phone pairing (e.g. Bluetooth), voice control commands, steering wheel controls, portable music device interface (e.g., iPod/MP3 player), backup or other camera/sensors.

What Owners Say

CD player

“Stopped working”

Anonymous, OH (2005 Hyundai Santa Fe Unsure 2.7-L V6)
Radio

“Stopping working”

Anonymous, OH (2005 Hyundai Santa Fe Unsure 2.7-L V6)

Power Equipment

Cruise control, clock, warning lights, body control module, keyless entry, wiper motor or washer, tire pressure monitor, interior or exterior lights, horn, gauges, 12V power plug, remote engine start, alarm or security system

What Owners Say

Starter

“failed and had to replace. very expensive”

Anonymous, CA (2005 Hyundai Santa Fe GLS 3.5-L V6)

Transmission Minor

Gear selector or linkage, leaks, transmission computer, transmission sensor or solenoid, clutch adjustment, rough shifting, slipping transmission.

What Owners Say

Slipping transmission

“The transmission started slipping a little bit, approximately 9 months ago. It's not really bad yet. It used to only happen when accelerating to get on the expressway, but it is slipping a little when accelerating at 45-50 mph”

Anonymous, MI (2005 Hyundai Santa Fe LX 3.5-L V6)

Exhaust

Muffler, pipes, catalytic converter, exhaust manifold, leaks.

Body Hardware

Power or manual windows, locks and latches, tailgate, hatch or trunk, doors or sliding doors, mirrors, seat controls, safety belts, sunroof, convertible top.

Engine Cooling

Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.

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