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2003 Santa Fe

Consumer Reviews

2003 Hyundai Santa Fe

$1,261 - $5,609  MSRP Range
2003 Hyundai Santa Fe

Review Score

4.3 out of 5 stars

4.3

27 Reviews
85% of drivers recommend this car
Score Breakdown
4.5 out of 5 stars Comfort
4.4 out of 5 stars Value for the Money
4.3 out of 5 stars Interior Design
4.3 out of 5 stars Reliability
4.1 out of 5 stars Performance
4.4 out of 5 stars Exterior Styling

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What Drivers Are Saying

1 - 10 of 27 reviews

5 out of 5 stars

best vehicle I have had

by cozycottage from Little Rock, AR on Fri Dec 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 crazy about the lifetime fuel injectors but I have said that I will drive this until it dies. I love it. 12-31-2010

5 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
5 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsReliability
5 out of 5 starsPerformance
5 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a Used car

Uses car for Commuting

Does recommend this car!!

30 out of 30 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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4 out of 5 stars

great for a teenager's first car

by sicemdawg from North Carolina on Sun Jan 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 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.

4 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
4 out of 5 starsInterior Design
4 out of 5 starsReliability
5 out of 5 starsPerformance
3 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a Used car

Uses car for Just getting around

Does recommend this car!!

27 out of 27 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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5 out of 5 stars

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE my Santa Fe

by Santa Fe lover from Virginia on Fri Apr 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 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!

5 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
5 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsReliability
5 out of 5 starsPerformance
4 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a New car

Uses car for Just getting around

Does recommend this car!!

19 out of 19 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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5 out of 5 stars

Great SUV

by Sales Person from Fort Wayne, IN on Sun Jan 03 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 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!

5 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
5 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsReliability
5 out of 5 starsPerformance
5 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a Used car

Uses car for Work

Does recommend this car!!

11 out of 11 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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5 out of 5 stars

A great car to get family & personal things done

by Mr. Mom from Kew Gardens, NY on Fri Oct 07 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!

5 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
5 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsReliability
4 out of 5 starsPerformance
5 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

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?

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5 out of 5 stars

Best Average for reliable SUV

by Cageeys Cars from Minneapolis, MN on Fri Mar 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 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.

5 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
4 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsReliability
4 out of 5 starsPerformance
5 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a Used car

Uses car for Commuting

Does recommend this car!!

8 out of 8 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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5 out of 5 stars

Powerful and Safe

by River Addict from California on Thu Jan 02 2014

I loved my 2003 Hyundai Santa Fe. I bought it used and beaten up, but gave it some TLC and it turned out to be a wonderful car. I have 4 big dogs and I go to the river 1-2 times a week to exercise them. The cloth interior of the car was the most manageable I have experienced in any other car I've had. The fur just vacuumed off. When I would go to the river, I would go off road and the 4WD was awesome and powerful. I didn't play with it, I simply drove over rocks and dirt to get to my secluded river spot. I was just in an accident involving a Ford Fusion rear-ending my Hyundai at 45 mph into a Dodge Durango that was turning. My Hyundai was totaled, but I came out of it with just scratches. The front of my car and trunk were smashed and 3 out of 4 doors dented, but inside the front and back seats were in perfect condition. I know that if I had had any passengers in the car they would have been just as okay as me. It's really comforting to know. Thank you, Hyundai.

5 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
4 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsReliability
5 out of 5 starsPerformance
4 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a Used car

Uses car for Off-roading

Does recommend this car!!

8 out of 8 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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5 out of 5 stars

Great Car To Drive And Reliable

by DesertDriver from California on Mon Jul 09 2018

I bought this car 3 years ago for my wife for a special project in the high desert with mountainous dirt raods. She was a bit isolated and I wanted a car that would make through a year without a problem. I checked the reviews on this car and decided to find a good one. I drove 5 Santa Fe's and found one that was in good condition and drove solid. If the car was taken care of, like mine, it will last a long time. Plenty of power and space for your stuff.

5 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
4 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsReliability
4 out of 5 starsPerformance
4 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a Used car

Uses car for Having fun

Does recommend this car!!

8 out of 8 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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5 out of 5 stars

Dependability

by Flyboy from North Carolina on Sun Jan 04 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 is excellent. Hyundai delievers the performance and comfort of other SUV's in its class that costs much more.

5 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
5 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsReliability
5 out of 5 starsPerformance
5 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a New car

Uses car for Just getting around

Does recommend this car!!

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

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4 out of 5 stars

Terrific Mini-SUV

by Santa Fee Fan from STL on Sat Dec 23 2006

I've loved this car/SUV. It's got the space of an SUV with the mileage of a car. Never had any problem with it other than a failed windshield wiper washer fluid pump which the dealer changed out free on warranty in 20 mins.

5 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
4 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsReliability
4 out of 5 starsPerformance
5 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a Used car

Does recommend this car!!

4 out of 4 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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Our Take on the 2003 Hyundai Santa Fe

Despite the recent public backlash against sport-utility vehicles, you can still buy one legally in California.

And if you want to feel good about your purchase, you might want to look at a Hyundai Santa Fe -- the no-guilt SUV. My test Santa Fe was the 2003 GLS, a $20,099 front-wheel driver only a small step above the base GL, which starts at $17,549. In a world chock-full of $30,000-and-up SUVs, the Santa Fe is a genuine bargain.

The tested GLS was not dressed up; the only option was an $85 rear cargo tray. What was included for the five-seater's 20-grand and change was noteworthy:

Standard features included steel-belted radial tires, a four-speed automatic gearbox that also enables the... Read More