This version of the Hyundai Santa Fe is a good SUV. With an interior now big enough for a third-row seat, along with excellent fit and finish, it is a refined and versatile package. Santa Fe also has responsive handling, with a firm but comfortable ride. The 3.3-liter V6 is smooth, but fuel economy is disappointing (a 2.7-liter V6 is standard).
Alerts
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

"Performance and reliable"

Steven K., MI (2009 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"Smooth running, AWD is fantastic in the snow. Great seating for long trips."

Anonymous, WI (2009 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"I had problems with sudden un-anticipoted acceleration on 3 different occasions about 6 months apart. All occurred under warranty Hyundai refused to repair it because it did not happen when they drove it, I had the Honda dealer look at it and they identified that the fuel sensors had failed. I replaced them at my cost and it has been working since( about 3 years ago)"

Anonymous, ON (2009 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"Good acceleration & handling for SUV. Also used to pull pop-up camper satisfactory utility."

Anonymous, NC (2009 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"Six cylinder. Has plenty of get up and go even when heavily loaded. I use it often to haul heavy payloads such as lumber and other building materials. It performs very well to hard work."

Anonymous, MD (2009 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"Good acceleration and handling."

Jeff T., MD (2009 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"Great hNdling."

Walter D., MO (2009 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"Handles very well on the highway. Quick acceleration when needed."

Jim G., NM (2009 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"Find the throttle response to be very poor, even on moderate hills the vehicle will loose 10-15 kmh and then a dramatic downshift is needed to regain speed. This is even more apparent while using cruise control as it can't maintain speed very consistent even on slight inclines."

Ray M., BC (2009 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"Powerful engine and good handling."

Anonymous, NC (2009 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"Problems with engine stalling/stopping during deceleration."

Anonymous, SC (2009 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"Very stiff steering. Good acceleration."

DAVID K., FL (2009 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"Good acceleration, it is acceleration though rather than the more digital speed change of the Golf. Has been very safely responsive when needed to serve around eg idiots backing out without looking. The staggered gearshift drives me insane, I just sit in the car and tell it how much I hate just because of that one stupid feature. It is impossible to execute any quick 3 pt turn etc because the stupid gearshift sticks when used quickly, when it happens it's frightening and dangerous."

Anonymous, CA (2009 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"Excellent acceleration from the smaller V-6, and handling is better than average."

SHERYL H., AL (2009 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"Had unintended acceleration issue. Dealer no help, factory worked with dealer, but could not resolve issue. This happened to my wife, my son-in-law twice and myself. Youtube had some scary footage"

STEPHEN R., PA (2009 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"Easy and fast acceleration and handling."

HANK B., ON (2009 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"This has been a great workhorse! It has over 145000 miles. It drives well, has a short turning axis. and has never has had a problem with snow on our steep driveway. (It's 4-wheel drive)"

THOMAS R., KY (2009 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"With 117,000 miles, it still runs well with just regular maintenence. Paint has started to peel around back window and on front window support column"

Anonymous, FL (2009 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"Has a small V-6 engine that has good acceleration. Handles very well for a small SUV."

JAMES H., TX (2009 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"Long wheel base so it wobbles quite a bit when going around corners"

Anonymous, NY (2009 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"Tends to wander on the highway. Steering is over-sensitive and constant attention is needed."

GLENN H., IL (2009 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"Unsettled & "Jittery" drive. My 2009 SantaFe does not ride as smoothly as my friends 2005, which prompted me to get a SantaFe."

Anonymous, ON (2009 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"Good acceleration and handling. Fun car to drive.V6 is a plus"

Julie L., TX (2009 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"The car handles well but hesitates on acceleration before kicking in and accelerating."

Anonymous, TX (2009 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"Acceleration and handing are excellent on highway and local roads"

Deborah G., TN (2009 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"Continues to exceed expectations for reliability and quality transportation at 139,400 miles."

Steven P., TN (2009 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"6-cylinder engine's performance, overall quality of the Santa Fe."

Anonymous, FL (2009 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"For an SUV it handles smoothly although acceleration lags slightly."

Anonymous, AB (2009 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"It still has plenty of power and great take offs from a stop"

Brian G., NH (2009 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"Have taken many long vacations and the vehicle drives great, a pleasure on the road."

Anonymous, WI (2009 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"Underpowered when accelerating onto highway, delay before kicking into gear. Handling and shocks are ok for an SUV."

Bill M., NC (2009 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"the larger engine definitely accelerates much more smoothly/consistently"

Anonymous, AL (2009 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"Peppy, good acceleration. Smooth gear changes."

Rhonda H., TX (2009 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"A big comfortable SUV that has served me well."

Paul Y., WA (2009 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"I love the acceleration; but as stated before, it feels a little top heavy (tippy) when cornering or changing lanes quickly."

Fran M., WA (2009 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"for a 2.7 liter (2,700 cc) engine I'm fairly impressed. More than satisfied with merging onto freeways and passing. Handling is a bit of a different story. You need to realize it's a small SUV. I drive it like it's a sports car. Since it's an automatic transmission there's no using the gears and engine compression for any of the handling. That means that the tires ability to grip the road, handle potential high temperatures, have a solid sidewall are important. I check The UTOG ratings for Traction and Temperature and never tale less than an 'B' on traction and 'A' on Temp (I balance the traction with tread life (stickier tires wear out sooner). I am amazed at how responsive the steering and braking are considering it's an SUV and the way I drive it."

Patrick M., OR (2009 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"never have a problem passing vehicles on the interstate"

Anonymous, PA (2009 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"Smooth ride with very good and responsive acceleration (V6 engine). Drives comparably with a much smaller car."

Walter B., NC (2009 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"Excellent acceleration, firm steering control and smooth transmission."

Anonymous, ON (2009 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"Drives great on the highway. It tracks great and there is never a need to fight the steering wheel . Average 24 Mpg on the highway"

Carole B., FL (2009 Hyundai Santa Fe)

Comfort

Includes seats, climate control, noise, and ride

What Owners Say

"Very quite and comfortable ride. Love the AWD and peppy 6 cyl engine"

Jim G., NM (2009 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"Too much road noise. Interior cabin should be much quieter than it is."

James B., NJ (2009 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"The Hyundai is noisy and has a very rough ride."

Helen O., FL (2009 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"Seats can be more supportive. Also hard to get clean."

Anonymous, NC (2009 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"Good seating comcort."

Walter D., MO (2009 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"Very noisy at highway speed's. Tire and or road noise"

Anonymous, MI (2009 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"Road noise is sometimes loud."

Anonymous, WI (2009 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"Comfortable, spacious, smooth ride, minimal road noise."

Gerald F., GA (2009 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"good seats but the suspension is noisy."

John S., IL (2009 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"front seats could provide more support and be more comfortable on long drives"

Anonymous, WA (2009 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"Road noise, summer or winter tires installed, is very pronounced"

WAYNE F., ON (2009 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"cabin is noisy"

Anonymous, MI (2009 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"The seats are breaking down, especially on the sides, and the passenger seat is not comfortable. It should have also had the adjustable lumbar. And, the headrests are terrible for short people like me. Our seats should have been replaced during the warranty period, but we missed the time limits."

Anonymous, WA (2009 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"I have an upgraded trim package but the seats are still to hard and uncomfortable, no matter how I set the lumbar and positions. Cabin is quiet. Seat heaters are good. A/C system is excellent."

JOSEPH B., NY (2009 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"eExcessive wear on leather seat6s"

Anonymous, ON (2009 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"Not enough Headroom"

BRENT B., MN (2009 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"The highway ride is noisy, difficult to hear conversation or music"

Anonymous, QC (2009 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"Drivers seat is too high. Seems designed for a short person. The seats are however very supportive and lumbar adjustment is good."

Anonymous, CA (2009 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"for an SUV the ride is not stiff and noisy, it's more like a sedan. especially the 6 cylinder models , the 4 cylinder models i test rode before i purchased this one were very stiff and you felt every bump in the road. very comfortable on long trips and not much road noise."

Anonymous, PA (2009 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"The climate control needs work. The fan never really goes off and the heater comes through the dash even if only the floor setting is selected. There's a fair amount of road noise that comes through, and the ride is a bit rough."

Anonymous, TX (2009 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"Heated leather seats, nice ride"

Anonymous, PA (2009 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"Seats not comfortable for long trips, very rough ride, lots of road noise, not enough front leg room."

DAVID K., FL (2009 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"Very comfortable seats - comparatively wider and softer but supporting. Easy to keep clean with Fantastik and water"

PATRICK S., FL (2009 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"At 6'2" it is somewhat difficult to get into drivers seat without hitting head on door frame."

BILL M., NC (2009 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"Seats are very uncomfortable, gives both drivers of this vehicle a backacke."

Anonymous, NY (2009 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"Poor workmanship of interior driver and passenger seat pockets (stapled). With only 62K miles I had to spend over $600 to repair faulty fuel gauge in tank. CD player is always giving error message when I try to load a CD."

CARLA C., NM (2009 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"the front passenger seat is not comfortable for long drives over 3 hours."

Anonymous, WI (2009 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"seats not that great"

THOMAS F., OH (2009 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"Roomy & has third row seating."

Anonymous, NJ (2009 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"at about 50,000 miles driver seat supprt began to deterioate"

Anonymous, CA (2009 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"The ride has always felt a little top heavy (tippy) when cornering or changing lanes quickly. However, it has never caused a problem."

Fran M., WA (2009 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"Comfortable adjustable driver's seat, noise is minimum and the ride is comfortable and firm."

Anonymous, ON (2009 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"feels like a truck suspension and lacking comfort ion long trips"

Anonymous, IL (2009 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"Seat are good. Not excellent for very tall person in back seat. Started ok, but after 8 years, ventilation is now noisy. Very good heater."

Andre C., QC (2009 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"Just runs well at 139,400 miles."

Steven P., TN (2009 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"Even after 9 years, this vehicle provides a quiet ride and stll provides significant acceleration on hills and interstate on ramps."

Jim G., NM (2009 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"it is hard to get into the car. the seat position relative to the height of roof line is too short. i hit my head frequently. The seats could be more supportive; lower back, side seat bolsters, etc."

Mark A., MN (2009 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"Comfortable seats that include lumbar support. Quiet, smooth ride"

Julie L., TX (2009 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"Somewhat high wind noise. This can be expected from the shape of the vehicle."

H L., NY (2009 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"A nice comfortable ride, noise is not bothersome."

James H., TX (2009 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"Seats are not comfortable for long trips. Poor lumbar support."

Anonymous, ON (2009 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"Very comfortable. Some road noise"

Anonymous, ON (2009 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"very smooth ride for an SUV. good acceleration with the V6. seats are comfortable ."

Anonymous, PA (2009 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"The noise is fairly loud, forcing me to turn up the volume of the radio and phone."

Anonymous, TX (2009 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"It is very roomy and the seats are comfortable. Also outside noise is ok"

Anonymous, AL (2009 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"Extremely noisy due to road and/or tire noises,,, unable to listen to the radio while driving"

T M., QC (2009 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"Good handling. Somewhat noisy."

Anonymous, MO (2009 Hyundai Santa Fe)

Value

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

What Owners Say

"Great value"

Steven K., MI (2009 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"Fantastic vehicle with all positives and no negatives. Saved thousands of dollars over competing and similar vehicles which I feel could be no better in any of the areas. This vehicle has never had a mechanical problem."

Patrick S., IL (2009 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"All the great features of a mid sized SUV. Love to take on trips."

Anonymous, WI (2009 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"The Santa Fe is a real work horse. I use it for carrying heavy loads and for trip driving. It performs well in both. And for the money we paid, it was a great value for the money. We have had it for almost 8-years with excellent results on modest/normal maintenance."

Anonymous, MD (2009 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"just good value a lot standard for the money"

John S., IL (2009 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"190,750 miles for $31K in 09, and still going!! Only issues other than normal maintenance was stabilizer bushings, and 4 drivers side lightbulbs."

Jeff T., MD (2009 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"Fantastic value. Quiet and smooth as a Lexus at 60% of the price."

J T., CO (2009 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"Good value."

JERRY B., GA (2009 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"good price"

Anonymous, WA (2009 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"Bought new in 09, have 173K miles on it with little maintenance. Fuel pump, suspension bushings plus regular brakes, belts, tires..."

JEFF T., MD (2009 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"We just passed 100,000 miles with this SUV. We have owned it since 28,637 miles. Most of the problems were repaired under warranty after initial purchase. It has had very few non-maintenance problems since we purchased it. Our total cost of ownership has been better than expected."

STEVEN P., TN (2009 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"One good solid value for the money. 1 recall for a oil leak no charge. 1 battery just oil changes."

JOHN S., IL (2009 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"Pain under $21,000 for this SUV and love it. It has just over 93000 miles and still has the original breaks. Great SUV"

CAROLE B., CT (2009 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"Driving and comfort is great"

LARRY B., AR (2009 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"Never a problem, always started, I maintain it myself and nothing has gone wrong after 68,000 miles. Great vehicle"

PATRICK S., FL (2009 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"I have owned this car 6 years and I have not had literally any problems. It is well equipped and worth the money we spent."

JANET P., OH (2009 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"Very few problems, a great value for the money."

SHERYL H., AL (2009 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"Good price no problems"

CHARLES B., NC (2009 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"Reliable, Easy to drive, Comfortable. Well designed."

HANK B., ON (2009 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"The 2009 Hyundai Santa Fe was often compared to a luxury car when I bought it. The styling was great (dark floors, light leather seats/dash), the acceleration and handling was perfect for the Chicago expressway commute, and it had some bells and whistles that were high-end at the time (Bluetooth, iPod charger in console, heated front seats, sunroof). I've owned high end cars in the past, and my Hyundai's been more reliable. I love it. The dealership is great for service, too. I had been looking at the 2018 Audi Q7, but it just didn't feel that much better than my 2009 HSF."

Stephanie S., IL (2009 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"Car was recalled for a valve cover gasket oil leak. Hyundai replaced gasket and alternator due to leak two wears ago. Gasket is leaking again but Hyundai won’t cover this repair, even though it’s their fault for not repairing right during recall."

Anonymous, VA (2009 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"Good price for a leftover, and excellent warranty. No major problems. Tire pressure sensor is crap, even after replacing."

Bill M., NC (2009 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"I paid under $22000.00 for this SUV. What a bargain. Plenty of room for all our stuff when we go th Fl. For 6 months."

Carole B., FL (2009 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"Does everything, lower initial cost and almost no additional cost for 9 years now."

Anonymous, WI (2009 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"I paid the Consumer reports lowest recommended price. I called the dealership with that price for the car, they said ok. No haggling. Fully loaded limited model"

Anonymous, CO (2009 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"Good warranty, no major problems"

James H., TX (2009 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"I got an amazing deal on this vehicle. It was during the Cash 4 Clunkers time period, and we traded in a 1994 Ford Explorer. With the program we got $4500 for the trade-in, there was no way we would of gotten close to that on a trade-in. They also had dealer incentives because it was the end of the model year and the 2010's would be there within a few weeks. So take off another $4000, not bad for a $32000 vehicle."

Harold R., MN (2009 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"Reliable transportation"

Deborah G., TN (2009 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"Negotiated a good price for the features received"

Anonymous, AL (2009 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"excellent value for the warrantied life and options in this well priced suv."

Anonymous, IL (2009 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"In nine years no repairs, only the regular maintenance services. The most cost efficient car we ever had. we never had to rely on the 100,000 miles/10 years warranty."

Anonymous, FL (2009 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"It has proven to be our favorite vehicle because my husband and I enjoy driving it and we have not had any serious repairs on it in 9 years. We do have some rust spots on the body but that has to be expected after 9 years with any vehicle. We have had GM products in the past and Hyundai definitely surpasses them in every way."

Mary D., ON (2009 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"excellent car reliable with fair gas mileage, basically a trouble free car"

Anonymous, OH (2009 Hyundai Santa Fe)

Styling

How it looks inside and out

What Owners Say

"Has good room, head and leg. Good storage room in the back. Has good visibility all around."

JAMES H., TX (2009 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"Overall, I am happy with my vehicle, however the paint color, pearlized white, is peeling and Hyundai won't fix it. This color wasn't applied properly on Santa Fe's causing the paint to peel. Google '2009 Santa Fe peeling paint' and read the horror stories. I recently paid off this car, and am not interested in having a car payment for a while, so I'm hanging onto the car, but when the time comes for a new one, I may not choose this brand again."

Anonymous, NJ (2009 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"The syyling ofr the 09 has stayed consistant with newer models and I'm happy with the it looks"

RUSSELL G., MO (2009 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"Has blind spot on drivers front window where the framework meets the windshield"

Anonymous, MA (2009 Hyundai Santa Fe)

Would you buy this car again?

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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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