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.

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

"Short wheel base and top heavy., not a sports car..."

Anonymous, MT (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"Lots of good rebates."

MARGARET K., PA (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"Ongoing issue with dropping gears when at a certain speed in certain situations. This is a known problem with this car but the dealers dismiss it. Can be a hazard as car shifts into coast when changing lanes at @ 40MPH on the highway."

Anonymous, OH (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"The Santa Fe soars up mountain highways. It handles really well. I like the back windows too--I can see out of them."

D B., BC (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"Noisy when driving in traffic"

Anonymous, IL (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"It rides like an old truck."

Anonymous, NC (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"The car is great on all subjects"

L B., IL (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"excellent power and excelleration"

GARY F., OH (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"It has the 3.5 V6 engine. It has extremely good acceleration and handles very well."

HAROLD H., TX (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"For a 4 bagger it's quick"

Anonymous, IN (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"The acceleration is decent, however, the Santa Fe feel too light and tingy for a crossover"

JEFFREY Z., PA (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"There are blind spots caused by the back seat backs that make it more difficult to back up as compared to other vehicles I've driven (i.e. sedans and mini-vans)."

DAVID F., SC (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"4 Cylinder engine is adequate but not over powerful."

LARRY A., UT (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"This is a front wheel drive car. When you "jump" on the accelerator, the front end literally "fishtails", because the drive power is uneven to each front wheel. In some cases, this could cause the driver to lose control. My 2003 Mazda Tribute also has front wheel drive, and actually more horsepower than the Hyundai. However, the full power acceleration is even to both front wheels, and the car is much more stable..."

Anonymous, HI (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"accelerates with ease."

Anonymous, AZ (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"The initial acceleration is touchy. The Santa Fe does not accelerate smoothly. No matter how carefully you try to accelerate, it has a tendency to "leap" off the starting line. Annoying. It also has a tendency to roll after putting it in park. We took it to the deal or and they did not seem to see it as an issue. I have never had a car roll this much after putting it it park."

ED J., CA (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe)


Includes seats, climate control, noise, and ride

What Owners Say

"for a person of my age and stature (6ft, 200lbs) getting in and out of the car is an issue. this car offers a comfort level that meets those needs, and provides a comfortable ride and decent climate with easy to adjust controls. road noise is average at street and highway level. rear seat passengers (2) have plenty of leg and head room with easy access. center of the bench is only suitable for a smaller person or child."

Anonymous, CA (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"Driver's seat will not go back far enough. Otherwise, comfortable."

Anonymous, TX (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"Heater fan failed couldn't drive for a week awaiting new motor installation"

SCOTT L., NY (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"The power drivers seat is great. The lumbar support is perfect."

BLANCHE B., PA (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"There is a significant a punt of rod noise when driving. The air conditioning works but it never gets cold to the point where I need to turn the air off or down. It also takes a long time to het up in the winter."

Anonymous, NY (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"Unless you are the driver, this is the most uncomfortable vehicle I have ever ridden in. Seats are hard, head rest is like a rock. At highway speeds there is a high-pitched squeal like a hearing aid that needs to be turned down. As a back seat passenger, it feels like Mr. Toad's Wild Ride and there is no leg room for the tall person in the back. On the plus side, the heated seats are quite nice."

Anonymous, KY (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"A bit noisy. A bit short and top heavy but has not been a problem."

Anonymous, MT (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"There is nothing bad about the Hyundai cars this is our third one and we loved all of them never a problem and my 2004 looks and runs like new. One also has to maintain a car to keep it in good running condition"

L B., IL (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"Everything about the car is good except for the ride...its terrible. You feel every bump in the road, even small ones; which is why i wont purchase this or recommend it to a friend."

Anonymous, MA (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"The Santa Fe ride feels somewhat like a truck"

Anonymous, NH (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"seats seem a little to firm to the point of not being very comfortable"

GARY F., OH (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"Climate control is too controlling. I cannot seem to have fresh air flowing without having to worry about what temperature setting is. For example, when entering into a rain shower that drops the outside temperature, the system will start blowing warmer air to reach the previous temperature setting. I cannot seem to disengage the temperature setting."

DICK C., FL (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"Front strut springs started making noise while turning, fixed myself with some lubrication."

Anonymous, OH (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe)


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

What Owners Say

"Great value no problems"

CHARLES D., IL (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"Overall value is far superior to any other car I've owned. Best car purchase I've made."

Anonymous, NC (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"The car has performed very well. We have had a noise issue with the steering system which after a recent fluid change seems to have finally corrected itself. It took over a year and about 15 days in the shop to correct this. Hope it stays that way.Otherwise the car has been a very good buy. A little heavy on tires.Good on Gas.Have done several long trips and enjoy the ride and handling."

PAUL C., CA (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"I bought it used so I got a fairly new vehicle that will retain its value for a reasonable price"

Anonymous, MB (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"Mileage was inaccurately portrayed."

ANN R., TX (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe)


RODGER R., DE (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe)


How it looks inside and out

What Owners Say

"good performance"

Anonymous, NY (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe)


Anonymous, NB (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"It looks sporty while retaining its ability to be very functional"

Anonymous, MB (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"I always liked how it looked but it is still looking good even after 4 years. It is holding up very well."

Anonymous, WI (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"This was the sell-off of the old style hyundai Santa Fe, I much prefer the newer style"

JOHN M., ON (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe)

Would you buy this car again?

2012 vehicles
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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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