Best Bet
  • (4.5) 59 reviews
  • Inventory Prices: $4,478–$12,094
  • Body Style: Sport Utility
  • Combined MPG: 20
  • Engine: 185-hp, 2.7-liter V-6 (regular gas)
  • Drivetrain: All-wheel Drive
  • Seats: 5-7
2008 Hyundai Santa Fe

Our Take on the Latest Model 2008 Hyundai Santa Fe

What We Don't Like

  • Stiff suspension
  • Poorly executed steering-wheel adjustment
  • Popular options only available in packages
  • Backseat legroom

Notable Features

  • Redesigned for 2007
  • Optional 242-hp V-6
  • Five or seven seats
  • Electronic stability system
  • Impressive warranty coverage

2008 Hyundai Santa Fe Reviews

Vehicle Overview
One year after its redesign, the Hyundai Santa Fe gains a few more standard features at higher trim levels for 2008, as well as an available navigation system. The Santa Fe competes with other midsize SUVs, including the redesigned Toyota Highlander and the Subaru Tribeca.

The redesigned Santa Fe was bumped up from a compact SUV to a midsize in order to make way for the compact Tucson, a 2005-model-year addition. The new Santa Fe grew seven inches in length and, more importantly, now offers seven seats, all the better to compete with vehicles such as the Highlander. Trim levels include the base GLS, midlevel SE and top-of-the-line Limited.

Throughout its current product rollout, Hyundai's vehicles have gradually looked more and more like refined machines and less like the plasticky econoboxes the company put out in the 1980s and '90s. The Santa Fe is the best effort yet, with lines that flow gracefully into each other. Hyundai toned down its typical fender flare, and now there's just enough to give the vehicle character.

The 2008 Santa Fe, built in the Montgomery, Ala., plant that produces the Sonata, is 184 inches long, 74.5 inches wide and 68 inches tall, and its wheelbase is 106 inches.

Those exterior dimensions contribute to space for the seven seats available on various trim levels. The people in those seats were a clear priority in this vehicle, with such touches as an optional DVD player for the third row, dual climate zones and fan controls for the second and third rows. The Santa Fe Limited gains a standard moonroof and Infinity Logic 7 stereo. A navigation system — not previously available in Hyundais — becomes optional.

Hyundai says the third row has more legroom than a Honda Pilot or Volvo XC90. The company promises a sedan-like ride — felt most prominently in the third row — out of this car-based SUV; that means off-roading is unadvisable. If you have cargo needs, the third row splits 50/50, the second row splits 60/40 and both fold flat.

Under the Hood
Hyundai offers two engines: a 185-horsepower, 2.7-liter V-6 and a 242-hp, 3.3-liter V-6. The smaller V-6 makes 183 pounds-feet of torque and the larger generates 226.

The 3.3-liter engine will mate with a five-speed automatic transmission, while the 2.7-liter comes standard with a five-speed manual. An optional four-speed automatic is available for the 2.7-liter. Front- or all-wheel drive is available.

The Santa Fe is loaded with safety features: Six airbags, antilock brakes, electronic stability control, traction control, active front head restraints and a tire pressure monitoring system are standard on all trim levels.

Consumer Reviews


Average based on 59 reviews

Write a Review

Safe and Stylish it's a great value

by Shea Martin from Westlake Village CA on November 15, 2017

This car has been so reliable. It looks just like the more expensive SUVs while being much less expensive. Very safe vehicle.

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6 Trims Available

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Wondering which configuration is right for you?
Our 2008 Hyundai Santa Fe trim comparison will help you decide.

2008 Hyundai Santa Fe Safety Ratings

Crash-Test Reports

NHTSA Ratings

Based on Hyundai Santa Fe GLS

Overall Rollover Rating

NHTSA Ratings

Based on Hyundai Santa Fe GLS

Overall Rollover Rating
Front Seat
Rear Seat
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is part of the U.S. Department of Transportation. NHTSA provides vehicle safety information such as front- and side-crash ratings and rollover ratings. Vehicles are rated using a star rating system from 1-5 stars, with 5 being the highest.


There are currently 7 recalls for this car.

Safety defects and recalls are relatively common. Stay informed and know what to do ahead of time.

Safety defects and recalls explained

Service & Repair

Estimated Service & Repair cost: $4,100 per year.

Save on maintenance costs and do your own repairs.

Warranty Coverage





Roadside Assistance Coverage


What you should get in your warranty can be confusing. Make sure you are informed.

Learn More About Warranties

Warranties Explained


Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance like fluid top offs and oil changes, but a few brands have separate free-maintenance provisions, and those that do offer them is slowly rising. Bumper-to-bumper warranties typically expire faster than powertrain warranties.


Don't be misled a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty doesn't promise a decade of free repairs for your car. It typically covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like the driveshaft and constant velocity joints. Some automakers also bundle seat belts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don't cover regular maintenance like engine tuneups and tire rotations.

Roadside Assistance

Some automakers include roadside assistance with their bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranties, while others have separate policies. These programs cover anything from flat-tire changes and locksmith services to jump-starts and towing. Few reimburse incidental costs like motel rooms (if you have to wait for repairs).

Free Scheduled Maintenance

Some automakers include free scheduled maintenance for items such as oil changes, air filters and tire rotations. Some include consumables including brake pads and windshield wipers; others do not. They are typically for the first couple of years of ownership of a new car.

Other Years