The Santa Fe is a pleasant and well-rounded vehicle, but it is starting to show its age. The latest freshening brought a new transmission and more fuel efficiency, but is otherwise modest. Handling is responsive and secure. Front headroom is particularly tight with the optional sunroof. Suspension noise is pronounced.
Alerts
There is 1 recall 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 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.
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.
Fuel Economy & Emissions
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.
Greenhouse Gas Greenhouse Gas The Greenhouse Gas Rating represents the amount of carbon dioxide the vehicle emits compared to other vehicles of the same model year. This score from the EPA ranges from 1 (worst) to 10 (best).
NA
Smog Rating Smog Rating The Smog Rating represents the amount of health-damaging and smog-forming airborne pollutants the vehicle emits compared to other vehicles of the same model year. This score from the EPA ranges from 1 (worst) to 10 (best).
NA

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
NA
2004
NA
2005
NA
2006
NA
2007
2008
2009
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018
2019
2020
Reliability Trouble Spots
Engine Major Engine Major Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.
NA
Engine Minor Engine Minor Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.
NA
Engine Cooling Engine Cooling Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.
NA
Transmission Major Transmission Major Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.
NA
Transmission Minor Transmission Minor Gear selector or linkage, leaks, transmission computer, transmission sensor or solenoid, clutch adjustment, rough shifting, slipping transmission.
NA
Drive System Drive System Driveshaft or axle, CV joint, differential, transfer case, 4WD/AWD components, driveline vibration, traction control, electronic stability control (ESC), electrical failure.
NA
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
NA
2003
NA
2004
2005
2006
NA
2007
2008
2009
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018
2019
2020
Driving Experience Driving Experience Includes acceleration and handling
Comfort Comfort Includes seats, climate control, noise, and ride
Value Value Did you get what you wanted relative to the price you paid?
Styling Styling How it looks inside and out
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 pleasant and well-rounded vehicle, but it is starting to show its age. The latest freshening brought a new transmission and more fuel efficiency, but is otherwise modest. Handling is responsive and secure. Front headroom is particularly tight with the optional sunroof. Suspension noise is pronounced.

Seating
2 front, 3 rear
Drive Wheels
AWD , Front
Warranty
Coverage varies among versions of this vehicle

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
  • 6-speed Automatic
Engines Available
  • 2.4-liter 4 (175 hp)
  • 3.5-liter V6 (276 hp)

Owner Reported Trouble Spots

The Reliability score is based on our latest subscriber survey of 2012 Hyundai Santa Fe owners. The owner comments describe problems respondents experienced with this vehicle.

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

Alignment

"I have to turn the wheel slightly to the left to make the care actually go straight. Wheel alignments don't fix it, but seem to need to be done more often because of it. Dealership tells me it's probably something in the steering column."

Anonymous, OH (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe Limited 3.5-L V6)
Ball joints

"Have had to have front driver's side ball joints replaced twice over the life of the car. I considered it normal wear and tear after 90,000+ miles, and then 160,000+ miles. The first replacement was by a local repair shop; the second replacement was by the dealer, who indicated the first replacement work had not been done exactly correctly, eventually necessitating a second replacement."

Anonymous, (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe Limited 3.5-L V6)

"Routine maintenance spotted the problem. I was told that with the mileage on the car, it wasn't an unusual problem. Replacement was easy."

Anonymous, IL (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe SE 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

"Excessive wear that was cause to replace."

Anonymous, IL (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe SE 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

"Left Front Ball Joint was loose. Was not aware of problem. Was identified by technician when looking for rear noise and found rear differential coupler problem"

Anonymous, MN (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe Limited 3.5-L V6)

"Had to replace ball joint twice while under warranty, but had to pay for front end alignments"

Ian M., ON (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

"Not sure for now There is noise when sharp turning left"

Anonymous H., BC (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe Limited 3.5-L V6)
Bushings

"Rear control arm bushing squeak. Replaced under warranty"

Tony D., MB (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe Limited 3.5-L V6)

"Makes noise but doesn't effect drivability"

Anonymous, MO (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe Limited 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

"Bushing on the table had to be changed"

Michel C., QC (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe 2.4-L 4 Cyl)
Power steering leaks

"Fluid level became low. Made noise while turning and backing. Fixed"

Anonymous, NE (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe GLS 3.5-L V6)
Power steering pumps and hoses

"at 59k miles noise occured on start up. a fuel pump pullye i believe. luckily i was 400 miles under coverage for warranty. covered by warranty"

Anonymous, IN (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe Limited 3.5-L V6)
Shocks or struts

"Right front strut mount failed. Replaced immediately by dealer under warranty"

John W., MD (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe Limited 3.5-L V6)

"Strut bearing failed on both front struts. Replaced under warranty"

Tony D., MB (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe Limited 3.5-L V6)

"Leaking shock"

Anonymous, NJ (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe SE 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

"Developed noise when turning wheels. Problem got fixed by Hyundai"

Anonymous, UT (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe SE 3.5-L V6)

"Right front strut failed so both front struts required replacement. Cost $800"

Robert B., MA (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe GLS 3.5-L V6)

"Looks like front strut bushings are only going to last about 30000 miles...Bad design!"

Anonymous, OH (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe Limited 3.5-L V6)

"All 4 shocks/struts seemed to have failed all at once, causing the vehicle to "bottom-out" on any bump. Very annoying. Possibly related to Mag Chloride dumped carelessly on roads here for "dust control"."

Anonymous, CO (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe Limited 3.5-L V6)

"The tires started to cup. Sign the struts were getting weak. New struts installed and rides terrible."

Anonymous, (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe GLS 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

"Basically, the entire suspension system wore out at about 160000 km. Struts, bushings, links, etc. Normal wear, but not all at once. The repair cost is prohibitive, both because of the cost of the parts and the labour cost associated with the very extensive repair process"

Anonymous, ON (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe Limited 3.5-L V6)

"One of the front springs snapped in two, fortunately while driving at very low speed. The body of the car dropped onto the tire and it could not be driven. Needed to replace both front shocks/struts."

Michael B., MA (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe Limited 3.5-L V6)

"The strut bearing in the front strut mounts have been replaced three times under warranty at the Dealership. It is obvious these parts require a revision and improvement. Once the vehicle is off warranty this will be expensive as they have to disassemble the strut assembly each time. This vehicle is driven on paved city roads only. Not impressed with its overall durability"

Anonymous, ON (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe GLS 3.5-L V6)

"strut mounts were making noise"

Anonymous, ON (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe GLS 3.5-L V6)

"Noise come from them Replace shock Still some c Noise when sharp turning left"

Anonymous H., BC (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe Limited 3.5-L V6)
Springs or torsion bars

"Broken front right coil spring"

Anonymous, NB (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe GLS 3.5-L V6)
Steering linkage (includes rack and pinion)

"Noisy, were loose, repaired under waranty on both sides (front)"

Anonymous, ON (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe GLS 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

"Very noisy. Repaired as soon as possible but still able to drive"

Anonymous, NE (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe GLS 3.5-L V6)

"Link Kit has to be changed almost ever 18 month"

Anonymous, MA (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe GLS 3.5-L V6)

"Replaced front lower ball joints, 2 stabilizer linkage and front passenger drive shaft. Had front end alignment twice."

John M., ON (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe SE 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

"CV joint cover was leaking"

John R., CT (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe GLS 2.4-L 4 Cyl)
Steering wheel vibration

"The issue started in March 2019 with the steering wheel vibrating intermittently accompanied by a sound similar to a washing machine. Mississauga Hyundai replaced the passenger side drive shaft costing $500. This did not fix the issue and the problem persisted and when I took it back to Mississauga Hyundai they said they could not find anything wrong and they could not diagnose the issue since it only occurred periodically. I took it to Orangeville Hyundai in December fearing that the vehicle was a danger to drive. They immediately determined that 2 front strut mounts & bearings, 2 rear sway bar bushings, 2 lower control arm bushings needed to be replaced at a cost of $1080. Once the repairs were made the issue disappeared and frankly the vehicle drove better than it had in the last year."

Anonymous, ON (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe SE 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

"Twice I have been travelling on the QEW when the front end started to shimy and a sound like a washing machine on spin cycle started. I pulled off the highway to inspect my tires as it felt like a tire was loose. Everything appeared ok and when I started up again the noise and vibration was gone. I took the vehicle to Mississauga Hyundai after each occurrence but they told me they could find anything wrong because the sound wasn't occurring. I continue to drive on pins and needles."

John M., ON (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe SE 2.4-L 4 Cyl)
Tire wear is uneven

"Winter tire and summer tire"

Anonymous, MA (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe GLS 3.5-L V6)
Wheel bearings

"Wheel bearings wear out. That is normal. However, the hub seizes to the drive shaft, resulting in the need to replace the drive shaft with the bearing, making the repair much, much more expensive."

Anonymous, ON (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe Limited 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

"Clunk after start-up from stop was traced to a bad coupler in the rear axle or differential area"

Anonymous, CO (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe Limited 3.5-L V6)

"Failure of viscous coupler."

Anonymous, MB (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe Limited 3.5-L V6)

"The viscous coupler failed due to a design flaw for which there was a recall that we didn't qualify for. It failed last April. The Hyundai dealers gave us a price to fix it of ~$1900. We chose to work with a local shop who installed a used viscous coupler for a different vehicle which would (and has) work with the Santa Fe. Total cost was $800."

Anonymous, MT (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe SE 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

"Noise from front end especially when turning or stopping or going. Covered by warranty no problems"

Anonymous, NH (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe 3.5-L V6)

"Viscous coupler went bad. The one and only time I have had an extended warrantee pay off because that would've been a $3200 fix"

Anonymous, IA (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe GLS 2.4-L 4 Cyl)
CV joint

"Leaking seal/joint. Repaired under warranty"

Dan W., GA (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe Limited 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

"Vehicle has a loud clunking in the front right axle when turning or backing up. Self diagnosed."

Anonymous, AB (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe 3.5-L V6)
Differential

"The differential slipped and jerked intermittently for six months before it became continuous. We took it in on 4 different times. They finally fix it when it became undriveable"

Roger Y., IL (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe Limited 3.5-L V6)

"Clunks"

Anonymous, (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe Limited 3.5-L V6)

"Coupler of driveshaft to differential started making clunking noises and it had to be replaced, at a cost of over $1800."

William M., CO (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe Limited 3.5-L V6)

"Noticed problem when I would steer car to the right or left. Nice coming from rear of car sounded like a flat tire"

Anonymous, MN (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe Limited 3.5-L V6)
Driveline vibration

"Took it in for vibration & that is when the problem with driveshaft was found"

Nancy F., TX (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe Limited 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

"Because of all the problems with the axle, ball joints, etc. the driveline had vibration in the front end."

Anonymous, ON (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe SE 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

"I would have a jerky motion on and off when stopping or making a hard turn right. It took several weeks to located because the problem never surfaced for the dealer."

Anonymous, OH (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe SE 3.5-L V6)
Driveshaft or axle

"Drive line coupling"

Anonymous, AB (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe Limited 3.5-L V6)

"Horseshoe clip left off the driveshaft at factory"

Nancy F., TX (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe Limited 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

"Coupler between differential and driveshaft failed and caused loud clunking noises. Seemed unusual for the age of vehicle. Cost over $1800 to repair."

Anonymous, CO (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe Limited 3.5-L V6)

"The axle needed to be replaced twice - and the second time it was seized and other parts had to be replaced."

Anonymous, ON (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe SE 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

"CV joint seized to intermediate axle, required both to be replaced."

Anonymous, PA (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe Limited 3.5-L V6)
Electrical failure

"Car would not accelerate beyond 40km/hr.Car required throttle body replacement under warranty."

Anonymous, ON (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe Limited 3.5-L V6)

"While driving at highway speed (@70 mph) the engine died. There was a small oil leak that blew out the starter. The car died on the NJTurnpike!"

Anonymous, NJ (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe Limited 3.5-L V6)

"Heater controls coming on by themselves. Didn't get it fixed, outside warranty and expensive quote."

Anonymous, NH (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe 3.5-L V6)
Stability control (ESC)

"Four different dash lights related to the ABS, traction control, stability control and brakes would all come on at once. After 2 trips to the Hyundai service department at the dealer they could not find the problem. My local small town mechanic easily determined that the right rear ABS tone ring was cracked."

Anonymous, WI (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe Unsure 3.5-L V6)

"one wheel sensor failed--needed replacement"

Anonymous, SC (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe Limited 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

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

Alarm or security system (excluding aftermarket systems)

"Key fob would not unlock the doors. interior dome light stopped working. An electrical control module was replaced. Car alarm would go off repeatedly and parking lights would flash on/off their own."

John H., MD (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe Limited 3.5-L V6)
Body control module

"The computer control module that operates most of the SUV's electronics was replaced outside of the warranty, costing approximately $1200 at the dealer to replace, and took 1 week. This issue caused the headlights to flash on/off, the security alarm to operate, doors to lock/unlock while driving. The dealer gave us a loaner car during the repair. Very inconvenient as my daughter uses it for work. I have owned several cars during my 50+ years of driving, but no issues like this. I would definitely consider an extended warranty to cover electrical issues when/if I buy another new vehicle."

Anonymous, MD (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe Limited 3.5-L V6)
Cruise control

""Set" button occasionally does not make complete contact, requiring multiple pushes"

Anonymous, FL (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe 2.4-L 4 Cyl)
Exterior lights (other than headlights)

"Moisture detected inside left rear tail light lens"

Patricia C., MO (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe Limited 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

"Turn signal to turn left stopped working. The multifunction switch was replaced under warranty"

Anonymous, ON (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe Limited 3.5-L V6)

"Fog lights seem to burn out at a high rate."

Anonymous, NS (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe GLS 3.5-L V6)

"Left tail light fills with water"

Anonymous, CA (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe Limited 3.5-L V6)
Headlights

"Bulbs needed replacing. I drive with full headlights on at all times as a safety feature"

Anonymous, BC (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe 3.5-L V6)

"Lights burnt out, both of them at less than 60000 miles and 4 years old"

Anonymous, UT (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe GLS 2.4-L 4 Cyl)
Horn

"Use of the horn often blows the fuse."

Jeff B., IN (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe 2.4-L 4 Cyl)
Interior lights

"lights would not come on when door opened"

Steven G., CA (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe Limited 3.5-L V6)

"Dome light will no longer come on when a door opens, but you can push the button by the front seats or on the dome light directly to turn it on."

Anonymous, OK (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe Limited 3.5-L V6)

"When you open the doors the dome lights won't come on. We understand this is a common issue with these cars. They put an undersized diode in it. If you are good with a soldering iron it is easyly fixed but I am not . New part is over 350 plus labor."

Anonymous, MO (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe Unsure 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

"Interior lights would not go on or off when opening the doors, a circuit board was the problem and was resolved for about $200."

Francesca C., PA (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe Limited 3.5-L V6)

"Backseat light does not come on when doors are opened. If we push the button to have it come on, it stays on."

Anonymous, MN (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe Limited 3.5-L V6)

"Interior light not working when door opened, replaced under warranty"

Mike D., ON (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe 2.4-L 4 Cyl)
Keyless entry

"Keyless entry would no longer open drivers front door"

Anonymous, KS (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe SE 3.5-L V6)

"Certain doors do not lock/unlock. Doors attempt to lock repeatedly when shifting into drive"

Thomas M., VA (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe GLS 3.5-L V6)

"Sometimes some of the doors lock. Left side doors do not lock properly kit"

Anonymous, FL (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe Unsure 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

"Driver door lock actuator required replacement"

Anonymous, NY (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe Limited 3.5-L V6)
Remote engine starter

"The remote engine starter was port installed, i.e. installed when the vehicle landed at the US port. It is not dealer installed and considered a factory installed option. It has recently stopped working. I will have it addressed at the next service"

Sal M., AZ (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe SE 3.5-L V6)
Warning lights

"tire pressure warning light comes on without low tire pressure, possibly related to plugging a phone in for charging. Doesn't seem to be any pattern to it, but it effectively makes the warning light useless. You can't trust it. Also, at various times, other warning lights just came on for no reason - downhill assist and others, requiring turning car off to reset them. In all cases, the dealer really had no solution other than to live with the problems."

William M., CO (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe Limited 3.5-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)

"ABS wheel sensors failed indicating ABS system problems on dash light. At least 2 sensors failed at around 50,000 mile mark. To Hyundai's credit, they replaced all four sensors at no cost to us."

Charles N., NC (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe GLS 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

"The ABS sensor has been having a problem for about ten months. Repair cost is around $300 I am told. Does not seem to affect the stopping."

Anonymous, (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe SE 3.5-L V6)

"ABS, TRAC & Downhill lights on. Problem was Right Rear Speed Sensor Open Short. Repair replaced right rear HUB assembly. Covered by warranty"

Anonymous, FL (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe Limited 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

"Right rear speed sensor faulty. Replaced the right rear hub assembly"

Anonymous, MS (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

"ABS lite and TPMS lite flashes erroneously. Hyundai performs service 17 times for TPMS and 1 for ABS lilt and has informed me that they can't fix the problem and now I own it. They did however offer me an extended warranty and said thew will continue to reset the lite for the next 7 years or 100K miles whichever comes first. I will not ever own another Hyundai"

Anonymous, FL (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe Limited 2.4-L 4 Cyl)
Calipers

"Calipers seized causing overheating of brakes"

Anonymous, ON (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe Limited 3.5-L V6)
Normal routine brake wear

"nothing special"

Anonymous, ON (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe SE 3.5-L V6)

"Normal brake pad wear, but rotors were worn and had to be replaced."

Anonymous, MB (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe Limited 3.5-L V6)

"front pads were worn after 100,000 miles and needed replacement"

Anonymous, SC (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe Limited 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

"We moved from the south to upstate NY where the snow, salt & rock caused some problems."

Anonymous, GA (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe 2.4-L 4 Cyl)
Parking brake

"It doesn't lock the vehicle. Upon applying, the car will roll several inches. Dealer's service dept said this is "normal""

Anonymous, PA (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe Limited 3.5-L V6)

"Had it serviced twice, as it doesn't hold the vehicle in place when applied"

Anonymous, ON (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe GLS 3.5-L V6)

"The backing plates, also called brake dust shields, rusted very badly. A part of the parking brake mechanism is attached to these backing plates. As a result of the rust and deterioration, the parking brakes shoes came loose and caused the rear wheel to lock up"

Anonymous, KY (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe 2.4-L 4 Cyl)
Premature brake wear

"Brake pads are close to needing replacement, and rotors have been ground, and uneven wear is evident already, less than year later, and they are making a noise when applied"

Anonymous, ON (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe GLS 3.5-L V6)

"Had to replace all brake pads, had to machine front rotors and replace rear rotors at 30000 miles"

Anonymous, OH (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe Limited 3.5-L V6)

"Both the backing plates and the rotors rusted badly and created premature wear of the rest of the brake mechanism."

Anonymous, KY (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

"Very heavy rusting on rotors"

Anonymous, ON (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe 3.5-L V6)
Rotors

"Apparently not designed well for Canadian winters. Lots of road stuff gets in"

Douglas S., BC (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe Limited 3.5-L V6)

"Rear rotors have a decorative hub and are therefore very expensive."

Anonymous, WI (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe 3.5-L V6)

"they apparently wore out and I needed new ones"

Anonymous, ON (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe 3.5-L V6)

Engine Minor

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

What Owners Say

Accessory belts or pulleys

"idler pulley required repair"

Anonymous, TX (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe SE 3.5-L V6)

"Idler Pulley making noise (Dealer Replaced under warranty)"

Jim W., AR (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe Limited 3.5-L V6)

"Noisy idler pulley. Dealer replaced on warranty"

Carl H., CA (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe Limited 3.5-L V6)

"engine pulley needed replacement. Downtime 1 day"

Anonymous, AR (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe Limited 3.5-L V6)

"idler pulley"

Jim T., CO (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe GLS 3.5-L V6)

"noisy idler pulley bearing"

Anonymous, ON (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe GLS 3.5-L V6)

"Replaced noisy defecty polled on warranty"

Anonymous, CO (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe SE 3.5-L V6)
Engine computer

"Engine seemed to want to stall when stopping. Fixed with firmware repair"

Anonymous, CA (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

"Under certain conditions when braking or under low speed, the car would stall. According to service notification, load placed on engine from alternator would cause drop in RPM and then car could stall. Hyundai updated Engine Control Module logic"

Les S., ON (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe 3.5-L V6)

"Engine stalled when vehicle stopped. Computer was reset"

Anonymous, BC (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe 3.5-L V6)

"Warranty update / reprogramming the engine computer"

Anonymous, IN (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe Limited 3.5-L V6)
Engine knock or ping

"It was a check because of the recall"

Gina S., CO (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe 2.4-L 4 Cyl)
Oil leaks

"The oil sensor switch had to be replaced due to a leak. It was replaced about 40K earlier. Done under warranty even though it has expired"

Lawrence S., ON (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe SE 3.5-L V6)

"Condensator leak"

Daniel B., QC (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe SE 3.5-L V6)

"oil pressure switch failure"

Anonymous, ON (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe GLS 3.5-L V6)

"Oil pressure sending unit leakage was so bad that engine was almost out of oil upon arrival at dealership after 17 mile trip. Oil level was checked and full at start of trip to dealer. No oil on dip stick on arrival! Engine almost ran out of oil and could have seized. Known problem with these engines and often misdiagnosed as a rear main engine bearing seal leak."

Anonymous, OH (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe Limited 3.5-L V6)

"Oil pressure sensor developed a very bad leak losing a quart of oil in 15 miles which made it undriveable. Hyundai did not considered this to be part of the drive system which was still under warranty so I had to pay approximately $2000 for the tow and repairs. Then 3 months later after less than 2000 miles, the same part started leaking again."

Anonymous, WI (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe Unsure 3.5-L V6)

"the oil pan gasket leaking 41,000 when replacing the alternator that the bearings went out on. both fixed."

Anonymous, WA (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe Limited 3.5-L V6)

"Oil pan gasket leak"

John R., CT (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe GLS 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

Body Integrity

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

What Owners Say

Air or water leaks

"Tire leak which required replacing all 4 tires"

Anonymous, GA (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe GLS 3.5-L V6)
Seals and/or weather-stripping

"drivers door weather stripping broke of in pieces"

Anonymous, FL (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe GLS 2.4-L 4 Cyl)
Squeaks or rattles

"Rattles in tailgate, backseat, dash, and console"

Anonymous, AZ (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe SE 3.5-L V6)

"Door hinges have terrible squeel"

Anonymous, MI (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe SE 3.5-L V6)

"Driver window, Rattles in dash"

Daniel B., QC (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe SE 3.5-L V6)

"There always seems to be some sort of rattling and air leaks that they never seem to be able to fix or take care of"

Anonymous, MA (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe Limited 3.5-L V6)

"Mechanic has been unable to find the cause of the squeak. Suspect it is in the steering wheel itself. Squeaks only when turning right."

Anonymous, TX (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe 2.4-L 4 Cyl)
Wind noise

"When the rear windows are opened, there is a buffering type of noise that hurts the ears. You have counter balance by opening the front windows"

Anonymous, NY (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe SE 3.5-L V6)

"excessive wind noise at highway speed prevents use of radio"

Anonymous, FL (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe GLS 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

"Above 50 mph, the radio has to be so loud that normal conversation is impossible"

Ken W., TX (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe SE 3.5-L V6)

"From the time we purchased the vehicle there has been a whistle sound and excessive noise"

Anonymous, FL (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe Unsure 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

"door seals and window seals"

Anonymous, FL (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe Limited 3.5-L V6)

"When the either/both rear windows are open, there is a buffering type of noise that is horrible. The only way to alleviate this condition is to balance it out by opening the front window"

Anonymous, PA (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe SE 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

Backup or other camera/sensors

"If the sun is shining, the screen is impossible to see. It should be much brighter"

Ken W., TX (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe SE 3.5-L V6)

"doesn't always turn on"

Anonymous, BC (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe GLS 3.5-L V6)

"The light on the back up camera"

Anonymous, (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe Limited 3.5-L V6)

"Take too long to come on"

Paul F., OH (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe Limited 3.5-L V6)
Display screen difficult to see

"Take too long to boot up. Screen is too dark for the first 5 minutes or so"

Paul F., OH (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe Limited 3.5-L V6)
Display screen freezes up

"In cold weather the back up camera would freeze and the display screen would freeze up completely even when not in reverse."

Anonymous, PA (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe GLS 3.5-L V6)
In-dash navigation system (GPS)

"Was replaced by dealer under warranty"

Anonymous, NJ (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe Limited 3.5-L V6)

"Stopped working"

Tony S., MI (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe SE 3.5-L V6)
Phone pairing (e.g., Bluetooth)

"Goes in and out. Requires periodic linking with I Phone"

Frank B., FL (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe GLS 3.5-L V6)

"Sometimes the blue tooth does not work at all"

Anonymous, FL (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe Limited 2.4-L 4 Cyl)
Radio

"Satellite antenna went bad and was replaced."

Don S., AL (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe Limited 3.5-L V6)
Voice control commands

"Continues to default to spanish."

Frank B., FL (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe GLS 3.5-L V6)

"Since I purchased the car the Bluetooth does not work properly. I have also had issues with the cruise control"

Anonymous, FL (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe Limited 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

Paint/Trim

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

What Owners Say

Loose exterior trim or moldings

"Rear passenger side light lens fogged up"

Anonymous, NY (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe Limited 3.5-L V6)
Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling)

"I had some chips in the paint along the edge of the hood and on the roof. The chips on the hood and roof rusted. The chips on the roof were repaired with touch up paint. The entire hood had to be repainted to end the rust trouble"

Anonymous, TX (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe GLS 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

"glass cracked, paint fades, paint easyily chipped or scratched, paint peeled on grill"

Anonymous, AB (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe SE 3.5-L V6)

"front grill had paint flaking off, it was replaced"

Anonymous, FL (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe Limited 3.5-L V6)

"I think it started about four years ago. I didn't realize it was manufacture defect until I looked I up on line. I never vote it back to the dealer"

Anonymous, SC (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe Unsure 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

"paint blistering around fuel fill door"

Anonymous, FL (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe Limited 3.5-L V6)

"The front grill has been replaced 2 times because of peeling"

Anonymous, FL (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe Limited 2.4-L 4 Cyl)
Rust

"The rust was a result of the paint chipping along the edge of the hood and chips on the roof. I was surprised that the chips went clear down to the metal and rusted so quickly"

Anonymous, TX (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe GLS 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

"Frame rusting badly"

Paul A., ON (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe Limited 3.5-L V6)

"Right under the back window I noticed a rust stain. I took it to my dealer and he repaired it. They will continue to monitor this insistent"

Bob L., ON (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe Limited 3.5-L V6)

"surface rust below rear window"

Anonymous, ON (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

Climate System

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

What Owners Say

Automatic climate control

"Heat/AC comes on at random settings. Fan comes on at random settings"

Thomas M., VA (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe GLS 3.5-L V6)

"Heater noisy and failed to work on some occations"

Anonymous, NY (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe Limited 3.5-L V6)

"Fan goes on high on it’s own for a few seconds."

Anonymous, ON (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe GLS 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

"electronic controls are not reliable. It turns itself on. Can't seem turn it off sometimes"

Anonymous, FL (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe SE 3.5-L V6)
Blower (fan) motor

"Turns on and off oni its own"

Anonymous, NY (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

"blower was blowing hot air while operating the AC. If you adjusted the temperature control knob, it would suddenly blow hot air out, and the AC cold air would not come out."

Anonymous, FL (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe SE 3.5-L V6)
Electrical failure

"The system cuts out at random, going from heat to cold (heater stops). Same in reverse, from air conditioner to no cool air at all. Can not determine cause of problem"

Anonymous, NJ (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe Limited 3.5-L V6)
Heater system

"When you put the climate control on a high level, it does not heat the car up quickly or at all at times"

Anonymous, NV (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"Complete heater controls replaced under warranty"

Tim W., ON (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe 2.4-L 4 Cyl)
Refrigerant leaks

"A/C not cold and only blowing hot air. fixed at dealership"

Anonymous, MA (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe Limited 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

Engine rebuild or replacement

"Piston came apart and rod went through the side of the engine. Dealer wanted $9500 to replace the engine and would not cover it under warranty since I bought the vehicle used. Found a used engine for replacement with a 5 year warranty."

Larry A., UT (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe GLS 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

"The engine's value rod broke. Hyundai is replacing the engine under their 100,000 mile warranty."

Anonymous, MO (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe Limited 3.5-L V6)

"The engine stopped running due to the valve rods freezing in place. Hyundai replaced the engine, but I had to wait 5 1/2 months the replacement to be completed."

Anonymous, MO (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe Limited 3.5-L V6)

"mfg recall of engine"

Anonymous, FL (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe Unsure 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

"manufacturing engine problems, engine failed and was replaced by hyundai but it took 6 months to get the car back,"

Anonymous, FL (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe Unsure 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

"My engine seized on the freeway in October 2019. At the time, the engine had 95K miles on it. It was discovered that the engine had so much metal in the pan that it looked a cat litter box. I am fortunate that Hyundai completely rebuilt the engine and gave me a loaner for the five weeks it took to fix it without charging me a cent (apparently there had been a class-action lawsuit for exactly this problem some years previously). I have to give Hyundai high marks for customer service but considering the severity of the issue and the timing of my engine freezing up (going 85 mph on a freeway), I have lost confidence in Hyundai and my next vehicle will likely be a different make. It is disappointing because prior to this issue, I had considered this vehicle the best I'd ever owned."

Anonymous, (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe GLS 2.4-L 4 Cyl)
Head gasket

"fuel leaking internally in the engine"

Anonymous, ON (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe Limited 3.5-L V6)

Transmission Major

Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.

What Owners Say

Transmission rebuild or replacement

"Transmission acted like it started in 2nd gear from a stop. It would jump back in reverse. Under warranty, new trans. installed"

Douglas A., CA (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe GLS 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

"Had a pin size hole in the casting and would leak transmission fluid. The tranny worked fine but it Was cheapest for them to put a whole new tranny in"

Anonymous, MN (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe Limited 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

"REPLACED UNDER WARRANTY--FAULTY SEALS"

Anonymous, BC (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe SE 3.5-L V6)

"The transmission has had the computer replaced 3 times over the life of the vehicle, I have had 2 separate occasions when there were fluid leaks and the vehicle stopped operating, a complete transmission replacement was required."

Anonymous, ON (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe Limited 3.5-L V6)

"Torque converter noise. Internet information indicated a seal leak on the torque converter causing low fluid pressure resulting in no torque converter "lock up". Sometimes running the engine up to 3000 rpm for a mile or so would stop the noise for about one week"

Anonymous, OH (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe 3.5-L V6)

"Rebuild transfer case for $1300, out of warranty"

Anonymous, WV (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe GLS 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

"It felt like the car was slipping out of gear and seemed to be in neutral while driving. Then it would catch and get back into gear"

Anonymous, FL (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe Limited 3.5-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

Alternator

"Part of previous problem"

Les S., ON (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe 3.5-L V6)

"Alternator was not charging the battery at the proper rate. It eventually killed the battery. The fix was to update computer software to increase the charging rate and replace the battery."

Sal M., AZ (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe SE 3.5-L V6)

"Alternator died, needed to be replaced."

Michael B., MA (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe Limited 3.5-L V6)

"Alternator went on way to work"

Anonymous, NL (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe GLS 3.5-L V6)
Battery (not hybrid or electric)

"Battery failed . replaced at 35 months"

Carl H., CA (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe Limited 3.5-L V6)

"Battery didn't have enough juice to start the car. This was not the original battery that came with the vehicle. Batteries in the South should be changed every 24-28 months due to the summer heat that wrecks a battery."

Anonymous, LA (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe 3.5-L V6)

"Failed early"

Anonymous, CO (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe SE 3.5-L V6)

Engine Cooling

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

What Owners Say

Antifreeze leaks

"a cheap part was damaged during a service. Coolant leaked out"

Anonymous, BC (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe Limited 3.5-L V6)
Water pump

"IN order the replace the water pump the whole front end must come out to get to it. This is a major job. It is almost a kin to changing a timing belt."

Anonymous, LA (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe 3.5-L V6)

"Water pump was leaking coolant - Dealer informed me they could not locate cause of leak; after asking them to verify once more, I am informed the water pump required replacement, a part they did not have in stock and had to wait two days to arrive"

Anonymous, ON (2012 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

Hydraulics (clutch master or slave cylinder)

"The Hydraulic coupler needed replacement and damaged the Differential."

Anonymous, ON (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe Limited 3.5-L V6)
Rough shifting

"After 4+ years of complaints a service bulletin came out on the rough shifting and the trans computer was reprogrammed decreasing the problem significantly"

Anonymous, IN (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe Limited 3.5-L V6)
Transmission sensor or solenoid

"Transmission started to buck and act odd."

Anonymous, NJ (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe Limited 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

Fuel gauge/sender

"Sending unit case cracked and needed to be replaced, smelled gas fumes in vehicle occasionally, vehicle operated ok , but waited one year and then fixed it for $900"

Anonymous, (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe GLS 3.5-L V6)
Sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor)

"We had an issue with a sensor whose symptoms were described in detail. Dealer said nothing wrong. Only when a Check Engine light came on would they diagnose a problem consistent with issues seen previously"

Anonymous, PA (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe Limited 3.5-L V6)

"Sensor did not trigger the physical port opening to enhance fuel mixing with air to aid in mpg."

Mike C., MN (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe GLS 3.5-L V6)

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.

What Owners Say

Doors or sliding doors

"Recently the back lift gate will not open. Thought it was frozen shut but it is not"

Anonymous, ON (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe SE 2.4-L 4 Cyl)
Tailgate, hatch or trunk

"Tailgate lift bar became separated from the frame of the car. Discovered the nut that holds the lift bar in place failed and fell into the frame of the car. Found out the nut is simply spot welded to the frame. The only way to fix was to weld out a portion of the frame to put a new nut in place. Feel this is a design defect of the vehicle"

Anonymous, AZ (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe Limited 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

Exhaust

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

What Owners Say

Other/unsure

"when the vehicle won't start/key won't turn b/c the steering wheel is not perfectly lined up with whatever it's supposed to be. happens without warning - obviously. extremely irritating - enough to not buy another one. huge frustration"

Anonymous, ON (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe 3.5-L V6)
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