2004 Hyundai Santa Fe 2.0 CRDi from UK and Ireland


I love my ' Busty ', as I call her :)


Steering wheel grip rubber cracked/flaked-off early.

Boot luggage pull cover self repaired early.

Internal central locking switches act up rarely since ~45000 miles.

New alternator req'd at 90000mi.

New Clutch req'd at 113000mi.

General Comments:

Though lacking the more sexy EU cockpit design of my previous car, I am very satisfied with Hyundai's build quality and reliability.

I, being somewhat of a mid-life Petrol-Head, have made serious performance demands on my Santa Fe throughout her years with me, which she has satisfied. Indeed she looks ready to continue to please for many more years.

My son has grown up in the back seat and has given her the normal childhood trials which have also left her unfazed. Throughout all this her bodywork remains as beautiful and unblemished as the days of her youth.

Even though I regularly leave her starving for basic servicing, usually +25000 miles between visits, she has always accepted my neglect without complaint. I expect her to soon require some vital organ transplants as she ages, but feel assured she will take my future teenage son for his first solo ride.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 24th November, 2010

27th Jan 2011, 06:53

Good to see you are doing well with your vehicle. I am thinking of buying an older one of these with a high mileage, for towing a horse trailer.

Interesting review.

28th Apr 2016, 16:50

Busty is still riding on at 300,000kms :)

5+ years since my initial review, I still am a very satisfied owner.

The only non-service attention I've given her is replacing the injector nozzles tips, as the engine was stalling out while accelerating.

It would restart again after a short safety cut-out time, but was a shock to experience nonetheless.

I also had to touch up the paint around the rear wiper mount to fix a rust spot there.

2004 Hyundai Santa Fe LX from North America


Wouldn't trust it with my life


Loss of acceleration when accelerating. Has happened 6 times in the past year. Cost of repairs $4,000!!! Very dangerous, as five of the six times I was accelerating to merge onto a major highway.

General Comments:

While I enjoyed my car for the first 4 years, this past year has been horrendous. Have replaced the computer, but continue to replace sensors, one by one, without any improvement to the outcome.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 3rd February, 2010

2004 Hyundai Santa Fe from North America


Clutch trouble


Repeated clutch failure.

General Comments:

Judging by the comments on this site, and my experience, the standard transmission Hyundai Santa Fe seems to be a bad bet for clutch performance.

I've had three new clutches with just 48,000 miles on the vehicle. Hyundai refused to honor its vaunted 50,000 mile powertrain warranty on the second and third ones, and a respected local lawyer ruled in my favor at a Better Business Bureau arbitration hearing, awarding me about $900 that I paid a local shop for the repair. (Hyundai wanted $1400 for the work).

As is the case with others on this site, Hyundai cites "driving habits". Yet I have been driving clutch vehicles for 25 years, and the clutches have lasted an average of 60,000 miles.

Hyundai will also contest an outside shop's repairs, and claim that Internet comments - no matter how many - are not indicative of a problem.

Most recently, Hyundai sent both a lawyer and service manager to fight my small claims court case that it had failed to honor its warranty. They prevailed - unfairly and inexplicably in my opinion. Furthermore, I was chagrined to witness Hyundai spending that amount of money to quash a complaint, when it likely could have settled more cheaply by honoring its warranty.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 1st January, 2010

12th Oct 2011, 14:41

I would never buy a used Hyundai. My Sister-in-Law had a manual 2004 Sonata. The clutch went at 20k miles. They blamed her driving habits. Seems like Hyundai made some really bad clutches and refused to honor their 100K warranty. Awful.

My 1998 Honda Civic has 287k, never a clutch, water pump or timing belt. Has a little manageable oil leak, that's it. My 2004 Civic had a new engine put in at 214K. It had a cylinder head leak, but I decided to give it a new engine and a new clutch. The clutch had a lot of meat on it, and could probably have gone to 400k, but I put a new one in. Both of my Civics were used to teach my three daughters and some friends how to drive a manual transmission. Now that's some serious clutch abuse.