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).
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

"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)


Includes seats, climate control, noise, and ride

What Owners Say

"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)

"Roomy & has third row seating."

Anonymous, NJ (2009 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"seats not that great"

THOMAS F., OH (2009 Hyundai Santa Fe)

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

Anonymous, CA (2009 Hyundai Santa Fe)


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

What Owners Say

"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)


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?

2009 vehicles
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Hyundai Santa Fe
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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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