2002 Hyundai Santa Fe V6 from North America


Like the car, but too many trips to the shop for the mileage to ever buy another


I have had my Santa Fe since 2002. Right at the beginning I had problems with the serpentine belt and after two trips it was replaced. I have had a sensor replaced and the battery went bad. Recently the differential seal had to be replaced... lucky the oil change guy told me about it. The car is in the shop now because of intermittent engine failure after fill up with gas... probably another sensor. The shop tells me that they don't know what's causing it and will get back to me. I am missing a bike ride because I don't have the car! I really like the car because I can carry and move stuff and I can take a couple of bikes on the inside. It rides well and the mileage is better than other SUVs. But the spate of repairs makes me rethink ever buying another Hyundai I am very happy with the dealership. They are professional, courteous, and never a problem. I changed the service dealership because the one I bought from was terrible rude and ignorant. I suppose I am lucky to live in a metro area where I had a choice. I would buy from the current dealership in a minute, but doubt I would buy another Hyundai. My last car was a 1990 Oldsmobile with a V^that had 263,000 miles on it when I sold it and the mechanic said the engine was still fine. Did I have repairs...yes, but after 150,000 not like the 55,000 I have on the current Hyundai. I was told there was a reason that Hyndai has a 100,000 warranty and I guess now I believe it.

General Comments:

Like the car, but too many trips to the shop for the mileage to ever buy another.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 27th October, 2005

1st Aug 2006, 15:27

Does anyone have problems with their Santa Fe in these areas?

1) Battery replacement

2) Alternator replacement

3) Headlamp replacement

4) Wiper motor replacement

If you do, please describe your situation, purchased condition, miles the problem first occurred, and fix.

3rd Aug 2006, 05:51

Sorry to say, but alternator failure and battery replacement is usually related. Especially if the alternator/regulator have been giving low voltage over a period of time or high voltage, "cooking" the battery. Many shops will replace battery in case of alternator failure, just to be sure. This is usually the right thing to do. Anyhow, batteries are wear items and degrades after some years. Batteries should be replaced after approx 5 years depending on application. Especially replace if you drive in cold weather where you need the extra cranking power. But if you have to replace batteries regularly, there are probably some underlying problem with the cars electrical system. Also remember if you do not use your car regularly, the battery will degrade quickly. Then buy a 30$ maintenance charger that you hook up when you do not use your car.

12th Aug 2006, 20:41

My 2002 Santa Fe was excellent -- absolutely no problems -- loved it so much I replaced it with a 2003 (which I still have).

22nd Jan 2007, 12:28

I have a 2002 Santa Fe and have now replaced the alternator and battery twice!! First time was in April 2005 and now again in January 2007. Car has 56K miles right now. I have been charged (on a pro-rated basis) for the battery both times despite the fact that the bad alternator caused the battery to fail. I will be speaking with Hyundai shortly about this unacceptable situation.

4th Apr 2008, 22:35

I have 4 Hyundai, all purchased at the end of 2001. 2 Santa Fe, 1 Tiburon, and 1 Elantra! I have been thrilled with each one. Regular check ups...that's it! Fabulous cars. I drive the Santa Fe and especially like that model and size.

2002 Hyundai Santa Fe GLS 2.7 litre V6 from North America


Judging by some of the very positive reviews, maybe I just got a lemon


Car was good for about 20,000 kms, then everything seemed to go wrong.

Replaced front brakes twice, rear brakes once.

Motor sputtering and stalling - replaced censor.

Replaced ball joints.

Replaced transmission censor.

Bad paint.

Windshield wipers only worked half the time.

Weak battery.

Even with new battery, often wouldn't start in cold weather.

Terrible ventilation (always fogged up).

Knocking in front end - replaced struts.

Etc., etc., etc.

General Comments:

The Santa Fe is a good concept, but the quality just isn't there.

The Sonata chassis probably isn't robust enough for a SUV body.

I bought it for the price, but I should have stayed with Jeep. Saved on purchase price, but ended up paying more than the difference in repairs. The majority of the problems listed above were not covered by the warranty.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 13th October, 2005