2003 Hyundai Santa Fe LX 3.5L from North America


I can't believe it's as good as it is. Beats expectations


Nothing has gone wrong since I've owned it. I bought this from the original owner with really high mileage. The original owner maintained it religiously. So far everything has worked fine.

General Comments:

The build quality on this car is excellent. 16 years and 171,500 miles later and it runs and drives great. The only wear on the interior is the radio knob and chrome shifter plate. You see so many torn up and thrashed interiors when looking at used SUVs, especially those made by Chevy it seems. The leather is spotless here. This car still has the original Santa Fe floor mats, which are definitely worn, but still not in bad enough shape to want to replace.

My paint is great. It hasn't experienced the clear coat peeling that so many others have. Mine is Canyon Red.

All power items still work 100%.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 5th May, 2019

2003 Hyundai Santa Fe GLS V6 2.7 from North America


Sorry I picked this hunk of junk


Horrible isn't even the word for this vehicle, it has been plain awful. I will say that the SUV that I purchased was used, and that the previous owner obviously didn't take care of it in the first place, however, certain issues are just poor design or workmanship.

For one, the timing belt and pulleys are constantly squealing. Seriously it sounds like a pair of beavers are being hacked apart while accelerating under the hood.

Secondly, it doesn't like gas and the engine bay gets so flooded that it constantly stalls right after fill up. I've never had a car that didn't want gas. This one I have, I don't think someone would even want to steal. I'm very skeptical on ever getting another Hyundai vehicle again.

General Comments:

I take the year into consideration with normal wear and tear etc, but no good, which is an understatement!!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 23rd November, 2017

2003 Hyundai Santa Fe GLS 2.7L from North America


Versatile, reliable vehicle that handles all sorts of driving well


Crankshaft position sensor failed at 132000 miles, left front wheel bearing at 142000 miles. No other costs except routine maintenance, brakes and tires.

General Comments:

This is a 4 wheel drive SUV. It handles well in snow and adverse conditions, but is comfortable in highway driving. The seats and lumbar support adjustments for driver and passenger make long drives comfortable. I regularly drive this car from Boston to Tampa FL. The cargo space is generous and adaptable to loads with the folding rear seatbacks. I also tow a boat trailer without issue.

The Monsoon audio is fantastic! The air conditioner is the best of any car I have ever driven. I reasonably think this car will go 300,000 miles. I average 24 MPG highway, which is 90% of my driving.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 26th August, 2016

2003 Hyundai Santa Fe from North America


Trusty standby


Only general maintenance. One fog light bulb has gone out, a new set of tires, and the battery needed replacing. So far so good!

General Comments:

Handles pretty well! Our Santa Fe is front wheel drive, and with the right tires it still handles very well in the snow.

The only thing I do not like is that the driver's seat does not go back far enough. I am 6'2" so I feel a little cramped.

This was my wife's primary vehicle and she had no complaints. We got a minivan for our expanding family, so this is now an extra vehicle for us. Not the greatest gas mileage for the size, but still reasonable.

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

Review Date: 9th December, 2013

2003 Hyundai Santa Fe LX 3.5 from North America


Will NEVER own another Hyundai


Engine and transmission problems from day 1.

General Comments:

I bought a new Santa Fe in 2003.

At just 7 years old and barely over 100,000 miles, the engine quit. Hyundai only offered to sell me a new engine. Had 3 other Hyundais before this one that all had problems.

The Santa Fe is their biggest seller and if it won't last 7 years, how long will the rest of their line last?

I will never own anther Hyundai. It's all Toyota and Honda from here on. My daughter's Honda has over 200,000 miles and has never needed anything over than an oil change and regular maintenance.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 24th November, 2010

1st Feb 2012, 17:58

I agree, we loved our Sante Fe when we first bought it. The style and comfort, and just the overall look of this SUV is fantastic. But a little over 100,000 kms, everything started to fall apart.

Timing belt.. apparently they have to be replaced after 100,000kms. Who knew? Never heard of this before with any other vehicle I've owned.

In just 4 months, I've totaled $400 in towing expenses.

Replaced motor and clutch.

Now we can't wait to get rid of it. Will never own another Hyundai, no matter what model. I get shivers just passing the dealership.

24th Nov 2013, 21:46

Almost all modern vehicles require the timing belt to be changed as preventive maintenance: Santa Fe every 70,000 miles, our Toyota Sienna every 90,000. Save future trouble by replacing the water pump at the same time (it's removed to do the belt) as well as a coolant flush. Failure to change the timing belt will lead to it failing and causing internal engine damage (when the piston and valves try to occupy the same place at the same time). Carefully review all the scheduled maintenance - it will save you $$$ in the long run.

5th Mar 2015, 06:42

I'm guessing you had to replace the motor because the timing belt broke. Replacing a timing belt is not specific to Hyundais. Make sure you check the owner\s manual in whatever car you purchase next, as unless it has a timing chain, it will also require timing belt replacement.

Do not blame Hyundai for your failure to read the owner's manual. If that is all that went wrong with your car, I'd say you got good service before neglect reared its ugly head.