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

"l 6 cylinder power and stable handling"

Anonymous, NY (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"Extremely boring ride. Does everything ok, does nothing extremely well."

Anonymous, AB (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"V6 is powerful"

Lawrence J., FL (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"I complained about stalling and then rapid acceleration very early and was not able to get a satisfactory answer. Later Hyundai made a software change the helped but I still had intermittent problems. The problem with the stalling has now practically disappeared."

Anonymous, MO (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"Has great acceleration. very good handling ability."

Anonymous, WI (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"This SUV has a pretty rough drive but its not a luxury car. I do like the acceleration and the handling is good in the mountains."

Gina S., CO (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"It has V6 and has huge get up and go. Easy to tow a camper."

Robert B., RI (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"Good power with V6"

Dennis J., ON (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"The engine threw connecting rod. There was a recall on this engine and the dealer did not tell me about the recall, nor, apparently analyze the engine for the problem."

Anonymous, MO (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"For a 6-cyl, this model year has outstanding acceleration even in mountainous terrain, and delivers excellent gas mileage. After this year, both Santa Fe models had worse mileage. Handling is very good, even on winding roads."

William M., CO (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"The v-6 has plenty of power for acceleration and never seems to be trying too hard. Handling is excellent for a SUV in this price range."

Danny R., GA (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"The car accelerates slowly--it is a 4 cylinder--but it cruises very smoothly and the transmission does a good job of selecting the right gear on hills and under load. It handles very well and corners without too much lean. It stops well and always seems to be under control."

Anonymous, KY (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"It accelerates quickly to get up to speed onto a highway. It handles well on the roads and does not roll much when turning."

John H., MD (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"dependable. Another note - the drivers side headlight must have an issue b/c I replaced it within the last year and it is out again now."

Anonymous, ON (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"Accelerates very well, but uses a lot of gas"

Anonymous, OR (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"Both are impressive in my 2012 and my previous 2007. Always feel confident and in control. Acceleration is immediate and quick."

William K., NY (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"Accelerationand handling both good."

Meg A., VA (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"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)

Comfort

Includes seats, climate control, noise, and ride

What Owners Say

"The Santa Fe has comfortable seats with good adjustments. The only thing lacking is a memory function. The ride is smooth and quiet, particularly for an SUV."

Aldo V., FL (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"Seats are very comfortable and are easily adjustable for a short person. Quiet and smooth ride."

Jerry A., NC (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"Not comfortable for long drives over 3 hours."

Anonymous, OH (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"Seats are comfortable. Noisy suspension"

John R., CT (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"The seats have no lumbar, terrible on long drives, road noise is ok and the ride is good."

L F., NS (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"I am tall I need more legroom"

Douglas A., CA (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"Poor seats"

Anonymous, MD (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"There is too much road noise and as the vehicle gets older, the worse it becomes."

Anonymous, CA (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"noise while driving has become more noticeable over time although nothing seems to be wrong with the vehicle"

Anonymous, ON (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"Seat are too small. Also, very firm."

Greg B., KY (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"The ride is excellent regarding maneuvers cornering, and controlling the car. I feel very confidant driving in it. Road and wind noise could improve. Tire noise and rough ride over bumpy roads can be annoying."

William K., NY (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"Drivers seat could adjust further back"

Harold V., TX (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"LITTLE ROUGH RIDE ON SECONDARY ROADS"

Donald B., FL (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"Quiet, seats"

Patricia C., MO (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"I found the head rests to be very uncomfortable in that they were pitched to far forward...I turned them around backwards to avoid neck strain...I’ve found this to be very common in many new cars."

Bret T., OH (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"Seats are comfortable and the ride is satisfactory; however, there is lots of noise from the suspension and larger bumps or potholes are not handled well."

Anonymous, KY (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"Seats are very comfortable and easy to adjust. My wife is short and she loves the way the seat elevates to give her a better line of sight. Seat heater is very soothing in the colder months."

Jerry A., NC (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"Very quiet ride, seats provide good support"

Dennis J., ON (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"Seats are very comfortable for short and long trips. Noise is average for an SUV. The ride is just about perfect."

Danny R., GA (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"Previously I have driven for many years a Lincoln Town Car. The ride was MUCH smoother, of course. Now if I'm hauling anything that could vibrate at a stop sign, the stuff really rattles. The bumps in the pavement are very obvious to passengers."

Anonymous, TX (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"Comfortable for a midsize Nd I’m 6’3‿"

Rodger R., MD (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"Very comfortable cabin & stable ride"

Anonymous, OR (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"Seat does not go high enough for me and I have to use a cushhion so I can see."

Robert M., FL (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"The most comfortable seats I've ever had in any car. Long drives, no problem, and I have a bad back! Even my passengers comment on the comfort of the seating. The ride is smooth and, for an older car, amazingly quiet"

Victoria S., CA (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"plenty of road noise even with new tires. the passenger seat had to be replaced due to the air bag sensor going out. drivers seat soft foam going away packing down not as soft."

Ron V., WA (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"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)

Value

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

What Owners Say

"Alot of bang for the buck. We were very satisfied with the reliability of the vehicle. It was very inexpensive to maintain. The service we received from Hyundai dealer was excellent. It was a very good purchase."

Anonymous, ON (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"Good up front cost for what you get. However, seats could be more comfortable for the long hauls (hurts back and back sides). One problem that we encountered is with the battery/charging system. We have put in a new battery EVERY year . . . that's SIX so far! since 2012. Also had the alternator fail at 60K. Starter failed at 120K."

Michael C., NV (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"Roomy and comfortable, good features/controls."

Meg A., VA (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"The Santa Fe handles well on the road, doesn't roll much, and handles well in wet road conditions. It is reasonably quiet inside, and you can store a lot of items in the cargo area."

John H., MD (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"Very fine auto - decent acceleration even in mountainous terrain, very good gas mileage, very comfortable, roomy inside, virtually no mechanical problems. Well worth the money relative to similar models. Unfortunately, in the next model year, Hyundai made the ingenious decision to move to two models of Sante Fe, one smaller and one much larger, with neither getting as good of mileage as this model year. Bad move."

William M., CO (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"It has been a very reliable car. It has enough room to carry luggage, bicycles (inside car) & golf clubs for 2 persons. Good driving view and enough clearance to drive through snow on flat surfaces (would have liked to have 4 wheel drive for driving on hilly roads in winter..."

Anonymous, ON (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"Not made with top quality parts. Too many things replaced which should last longer"

Douglas S., BC (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"the fuel mpg is very poor I stay in the 9-11 mpg around town. on a long trip no stops have had it in the mid 20s. the seating room is so tight that I can't have a baby car seat behind the drivers or passenger seat we have to put it in the middle."

Ron V., WA (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"We shopped around for similar vehicles but this one was $5K to $10K less for vehicles with the same features, power and handling. It's really hard to beat the value of a Hyundai. Which is why this is the second Hyundai we've bought."

Anonymous, AZ (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"A highly reliable SUV for the price. No major items to repair after 122,000 mi"

Rodger R., MD (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"I priced other SUVs and the Hyundai was the most reasonable. I have put on 60K miles and have never had a mechanical problem. Cost of maintenance has only been routine and required for warranty."

Anonymous, CA (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"Thousands less than a Toyota and great reliability"

Robert B., RI (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"Need a place for my purse and want an automatic open tailgate when approaching the car"

Marilyn K., IL (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"Competitive with higher priced SUV’s"

Patricia C., MO (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"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)

"Economical"

RODGER R., DE (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe)

Styling

How it looks inside and out

What Owners Say

"good performance"

Anonymous, NY (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe)

"Good"

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?

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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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