Model Details

2003 Hyundai Santa Fe Consumer Reviews

4.2
Average based on 19 reviews
Comfort
Performance
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Value for the Money
Reliability
1-10 of 19 reviews

great for a teenager's first car

by from North Carolina on January 31, 2010

I bought this for my daughter's first vehicle - it's a good size and weight, and the 2003 had the full complement of airbags as well - important to me for a first time driver. It has good pickup and e...
I bought this for my daughter's first vehicle - it's a good size and weight, and the 2003 had the full complement of airbags as well - important to me for a first time driver. It has good pickup and enough power in the V-6 to get out of its own way, but the quick throttle tip-in on launch takes a bit of getting used to. It also provides excellent visibility all around - another important virtue since my daughter is short in stature. Overall, very pleased.
Comfort
Performance
Handling
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Features
Value for the Money
Reliability

Purchased a used car

Uses car for Just getting around

Does recommend this car

9 out of 9 people found this review helpful. Did you?

Great SUV and super price

by from Long Island, NY on May 18, 2011

Bought my 2003 Sante Fe base model- 4 cylinder and manual transmission - back in Dec. 2010 and It had 74,000 miles and cost me $5400 !!! Never will I buy a new car ever again ! This SUV is absolutly p...
Bought my 2003 Sante Fe base model- 4 cylinder and manual transmission - back in Dec. 2010 and It had 74,000 miles and cost me $5400 !!! Never will I buy a new car ever again ! This SUV is absolutly perfect inside and out and it was inspected and no problems at all. It even had the timing belt replaced at 60,000 miles which saved me $300. Nobody wants manual transmission anymore and everybody wants power, so I got this SUV way below what its really worth. I got this SUV to go up to my hunting property upstate and I'll be towing a small trailer with a small load and I'll be towing a 16 foot aluminum boat on another trailer, I don't need a super charged engine to do this kind of trailering. This SUV is very nice inside, nice speakers and cd player and all the controls are easy to reach and use.Outside its got a very nice design , looks great and it has a roof rack , nice ! Can't go wrong for $5400 , This SUV had absoultly nothing wrong with it . I was hesitant to buy from a used car dealer and for some reason he wouldn't let me have it inspected ? but it was inspected after I bought it and all is fine. Really lucked out on this one.
Comfort
Performance
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Value for the Money
Reliability

Purchased a used car

Uses car for Outdoor sports (hiking, cycling, etc.)

Does recommend this car

6 out of 6 people found this review helpful. Did you?

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE my Santa Fe

by from Virginia on April 29, 2011

I purchased my 2003 Santa Fe brand new, February 2003 with the intention of driving it until it rotted off the frame! 8+ years later I still love it! Though I was never really a fan of the exterior ap...
I purchased my 2003 Santa Fe brand new, February 2003 with the intention of driving it until it rotted off the frame! 8+ years later I still love it! Though I was never really a fan of the exterior appearance, it was recommended to me for all the features I was looking for. I researched it, test drove it and that was it, I fell in love...I no longer cared what it looked like. Over the years the look grew on me and I can't imagine driving anything else! It has a nice, smooth, quiet, comfortable ride, spacious back seat with lots of leg room, and I can load it up with large items...the cargo space fits much more than you can imagine! It was rated very high on safety but best of all, it has been incredibly reliable. I have never had any major problem and it has ~130,000 miles on it. I have had to change the tires once as well as the brakes one time for both front and back. The A/C compressor needed to be replaced last summer with the condenser needing to be replaced now. Again, it's 8+ years old, so I'm not complaining! I hope to have my Santa Fe for another eight years!
Comfort
Performance
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Value for the Money
Reliability

Purchased a used car

Uses car for Just getting around

Does recommend this car

5 out of 5 people found this review helpful. Did you?

Great SUV

by from Fort Wayne, IN on January 3, 2010

I purchased this used in 2005 with 45k miles, an SUV with more miles than I had planned, but this has turned out to be a great vehicle for me. In a typical week I cover 400-500 miles of territory and ...
I purchased this used in 2005 with 45k miles, an SUV with more miles than I had planned, but this has turned out to be a great vehicle for me. In a typical week I cover 400-500 miles of territory and have been very pleased with how this vehicle has held up. I've owned this SUV now for 4+ years and 145k more miles with virtually no cost other than regular oil changes and routine maintenance up to the last six months or so, when I've had a few major repairs. Don't like the 2007 style change (bigger) so I'm looking for a 2006 with low miles to drive for another 5 years!
Comfort
Performance
Handling
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Features
Value for the Money
Reliability

Purchased a used car

Uses car for Work

Does recommend this car

5 out of 5 people found this review helpful. Did you?

A great car to get family & personal things done

by from Kew Gardens, NY on October 7, 2011

If you need a car with a great engine. This is the one to drive. I recommend this car for the roomy interior. When you test drive it you will love it!
If you need a car with a great engine. This is the one to drive. I recommend this car for the roomy interior. When you test drive it you will love it!
Comfort
Performance
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Value for the Money
Reliability

Purchased a used car

Uses car for Just getting around

Does recommend this car

5 out of 5 people found this review helpful. Did you?

Not bad not great

by from Grand Junction, CO on August 23, 2011

I bought this car used and got what I thought was a great deal, but soon found out that it wasn't what I thought. The dealer told me that the a/c just needed charged but when I took it in I found out ...
I bought this car used and got what I thought was a great deal, but soon found out that it wasn't what I thought. The dealer told me that the a/c just needed charged but when I took it in I found out that the compressor is cracked= $2000! Needless to say I was not going to shell that out for a car I paid only $9000 for! With in the 1st 2 years of owning it I put almost $1500 into it without fixing the a/c. Aside from that, it has been a great car that is fairly reliable, I live in Colorado and it handles great in the snow and I don't even have any of the fancy handling. But in the long run, not a bad suv because it drives like a car and gets great gas milage.
Comfort
Performance
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Value for the Money
Reliability

Purchased a used car

Uses car for Commuting

Does recommend this car

5 out of 5 people found this review helpful. Did you?

best vehicle I have had

by from Little Rock, AR on December 31, 2010

I bought used in 2004 with 23000 miles. I never have to take it in. At 150,000 miles I finally had to replace the original battery... this year I also had to fix the air conditioner. I am not real cra...
I bought used in 2004 with 23000 miles. I never have to take it in. At 150,000 miles I finally had to replace the original battery... this year I also had to fix the air conditioner. I am not real crazy about the lifetime fuel injectors but I have said that I will drive this until it dies. I love it. 12-31-2010
Comfort
Performance
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Value for the Money
Reliability

Purchased a used car

Uses car for Commuting

Does recommend this car

5 out of 5 people found this review helpful. Did you?

Dependability

by from North Carolina on January 4, 2009

The best way to describe the Santa Fe is that its fun to drive. The front wheel drive provides excellent traction in all weather conditions. The ride is comfortable and visibility in every direction i...
The best way to describe the Santa Fe is that its fun to drive. The front wheel drive provides excellent traction in all weather conditions. The ride is comfortable and visibility in every direction is excellent. Hyundai delievers the performance and comfort of other SUV's in its class that costs much more.
Comfort
Performance
Handling
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Features
Value for the Money
Reliability

Purchased a used car

Uses car for Just getting around

Does recommend this car

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful. Did you?

Best Average for reliable SUV

by from Minneapolis, MN on March 20, 2009

Pros: Exterior styling, Power, room, quietness, price Cons: Stiff front setbacks, low rear seat, non-folding front passenger seat, The Bottom Line: Much improved SUV, definitely worth a look before bu...
Pros: Exterior styling, Power, room, quietness, price Cons: Stiff front setbacks, low rear seat, non-folding front passenger seat, The Bottom Line: Much improved SUV, definitely worth a look before buying another SUV. The Santa Fe I drove had cloth seats, Very comfortable. With front-wheel-drive, there is some torque steer under hard acceleration at low speeds, but not enough that many people will find it objectionable. Hyundai tends to favor relatively soft suspension tuning, and the Santa Fe does not aspire to provide the handling of a sports car. The steering lacks feel, and when pushed the Santa Fe plows. Yet lean in turns is not excessive and composure when the road turns bumpy is much better than in the past.The ride isn't entirely smooth, with the slightly busy, leadfooted feel that afflicts even better-than-average SUVs. Noise levels are markedly low, though. Under 40, it hardly feels like the Santa Fe is moving. Overall, the ride/handling compromise is pretty much where the average SUV buyer will want it.
Comfort
Performance
Handling
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Features
Value for the Money
Reliability

Purchased a used car

Uses car for Commuting

Does recommend this car

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful. Did you?

Nice car for the money

by from Bristow, VA on June 4, 2009

This vehicle drive nice, is a litterbit noise. It fell like a heavy truck. confortable even in the back seat.
This vehicle drive nice, is a litterbit noise. It fell like a heavy truck. confortable even in the back seat.
Comfort
Performance
Handling
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Features
Value for the Money
Reliability

Purchased a used car

Uses car for Just getting around

Does recommend this car

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful. Did you?