2003 Hyundai Santa Fe LX 2.7 from North America

Summary:

Good car/bad service

Faults:

Transfer case went out at 94,000. Otherwise I did most of maintenance myself and even got 80K miles out of the tires. I changed the spark plugs and plenum gasket. I did the oil changes, rotated tires on a 3000 mile basis and changed the brakes myself. It was a very easy operation. I did have it into the dealer to have the transmission and transfer case oils changed and the belt changed. Hyundai refused to honor the warranty because I could not produce service records. The warranty people told me that the records needed to be from a Hyundai dealer, but, I got them to back off of that it had to be a Hyundai dealer. They told me that owners don't really do the work that they say that they do. I was very dissapointed with Hyundai's response on the warranty. They told me that the transfer case leaked. They were the only ones that touched it.

General Comments:

Otherwise the car has performed well and was comfortable. It was just very disappointing to get the poor response from Hyundai. If it were not for the local dealer and the warranty department, I would get a new one in a second.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 26th December, 2007

15th Sep 2008, 17:30

The dealer is perfectly entitled to declare the warranty null and void, if you (or non Hyundai employees) worked on the car during the warranty period.

3rd Aug 2010, 08:06

If the OP lives in the US, they are NOT entitled to deny warranty work due to the OP working on his own car. However, they are entitled to deny warranty work because of any damage a non-Hyundai employee may have done to the car. You can take your car any place you like, so long as the work has been done.

That said, it would be wise to keep a maintenance log with receipts the next time you own a car and do the maintenance yourself.

2003 Hyundai Santa Fe CRDI from Poland

Summary:

I like it and I will change for model 2005

Faults:

ALL OK !!!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 20th October, 2007

2003 Hyundai Santa Fe LX 2.7L V6 from North America

Summary:

Excellent

Faults:

Cigarette lighter.

General Comments:

Replacement battery.

The stock (OEM) battery is type MF 68 AH (600 CCA), which isn't readily available in the USA, and most battery companies don't list a replacement battery. The notable exception is Interstate, which specifies type 24T.

After considerable research, I settled on the EverStart MAXX-24FN, sold exclusively by WalMart for $62.28 with free installation. Specifications: 700 CCA, 875 cranking amps at 32 degrees F. Warranty:

3 years free replacement; 9 years prorated.

EverStart gets top ratings. It's distributed by Johnson Controls, which also makes several other top brands.

The EverStart battery fit perfectly with just a bit of trimming of the stock battery heat shield cover with scissors.

Significant upgrade from the stock battery. Highly recommended.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 12th August, 2006

24th Nov 2008, 17:38

Wal-mart told me it's the 124fs. Maybe both work.

2003 Hyundai Santa Fe 2.0 Diesel 2.0 diesel from UK and Ireland

Summary:

Funky SUV with amazing 5 year warranty

Faults:

Nothing.

General Comments:

OK SUV with amazing 5 year warranty. Cheap-ish to buy & run. Friendly dealer service. Loads of space.

Average on road handling - well, good if the road is smooth with no potholes - that excludes the UK, them!

Quite comfortable (much more car-like than a Suzuki Grand Vitara for example, and less bumpy too)

Loads of space, with OK performance for a heavy 2.0l vehicle (would tow my caravan better than a 1.9TDi Passat auto). OK turning circle, excellent brakes, medium weight steering.

This model has good "grunt" (plenty of torque) for towing, but its general performance is rather sluggish. If you don't tow, get the 2.6 petrol.

Cannot believe they have such a poor "predicted" reliability in the USA as mine and several other I know of ('03 on) have been faultless.

Lumpy wheel arches and bonnet scoop make it difficult to judge where the car ends when parking. Reversing sensors a must.

The only significant criticism I have is that both my wife and I suffered back pain from driving it (we're both over 50) - it seems impossible to get the right relationship between seat and steering wheel adjustments.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 8th June, 2006