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Pros: The speedmatic transmission and all the cargo space. It had a lot of goodies for a good price.
Cons: low gas mileage and outside road noise was more then I expected.
Advice: Great SUV for driving quiet & comfort. If concerned with better gas mileage, drive conservatively or for car other then SUV. My 2005 Saturn Vue did not get advertised mileage, and external light fixtures came apart alot.I pretty much agree with Bill in Slidell, LA. I purchased the 2WD, 3.5L Sante Fe and it is the best car I ever owned so far. I verified a lot of the gas mileage stuff Bill talked about. I definitely recommend changing the air filter to a K&N Air filter for a better AMPG, it adds about 1-2 mpg per tank full of gas. I agree you have to drive fairly conservitive to obtain your best gas mileage somewhere between 55-60 mph and not doing any quick acceleration. You go much below 50 or above 75 and its not that great (15-17 mpg), seems to follow government AMPG curves pretty good. The speedmatic transmission allows you to go into manual settings between the 5 gears, if you use it in the city and go to the next higher gear, between 1-1/2 and 2 on the tach, that helps your fuel efficiency quite a bit too. The 2007 model is a 3.3L with about 2 miles better AMPG. This is a good change since the 2006 3.5L model has way too much power for its size, unless it is loaded with four or more passengers on average. The 2006, 3.5L is better for going up and down hills, like on 81 between PA and AL, then the 2007 model or any smaller size engine for that matter. If you get lock nuts on your tires, don't give up the wrench to service centers or you risk not getting it back. This car has plenty of people space for 5 and plenty of cargo space with sizeable hidden compartments under the carpet. I love my 2006, hope it don't break much. I did not get the extended bumper to bumber from Hyundai.
Pros: style and room
Cons: service dept.
Advice: have it checked out by a service tech before finalizing the dealI had only had the Santa Fe for a couple of weeks when I noticed that the steering wheel was shaking upon applying the brakes. I brought it in to the service dept. After looking at the vehicle they told me that all the brake rotors had rust on them! I stated that I had only had the car 2 weeks how could there be rust. I was told it was because it had been 'sitting'. I think this is just a line and I probably have a lemon. I had to beg for a loaner car so I could leave mine for repair, when a loaner car was negotiated at the time of sale. Overall, I am happy with the vehicle but don't think there should be rust on the rotors nor should I be without a vehicle while mine is in the shop. Not at all happy with the service dept.
Pros: Quality, Performance, Appearance, Great Warranty, but still recommend the Extended
Cons: Gas Mileage is average for SUV so far and Saturn Vue was much better
Advice: Best Buy for the buck, but choose the Saturn if gas mileage is important to youI purchased a 2002 Jeep Liberty Limited in 2002 with 3.7L for my wife. I purchased a 2006 Saturn Vue Limited with 3.5L for my daughter this year. I purchased the Sante Fe Limited 3.5L for myself. All three are front wheel drive SUVs and all three are comfortable, perform quite well, have excellent quality, and appearance is above average. I drove all three and I test drove the new 2006 Jeep Liberty and see no real differences from my 2002. The Jeep averages 15 mpg City/20 mpg HWY/16 mpg combined; The Saturn has about 2,000 miles on it and it is getting 20 mpg City/27 mpg Hwy/24 mpg combined; the Sante Fe only has 500 miles on it and the engine is not broken in yet, but is presently getting 17 mpg City/23 mpg HWY/17.8 mpg combined. I paid $895 for a dealer 7 year bumper/bumper extended warranty on the 2002 Jeep with a $50 deductable. I paid $1,695 for a dealer 7 year bumper/bumper extended warranty on the 2006 Saturn with a $50 deductible. I paid $1,195 for a Hyundai 10 year bumper/bumper extended warranty on the 2006 Sante Fe with no deductable. With that warranty it covers everything including paint, parts, labor, towing, roadside service, and rental car. I purchased the Saturn for $28,600, the Hyundai for $22,620, and the Jeep was $28,500 in 2002. The only negative I have with the Hyundai is the gas mileage, but the car has to be broken in for at least 3500 miles before you have a realistic idea of what kind of mileage you get. There are a lot of variables involved in determining gas mileage and all cars are based on doing 55 mpg on the HWY etc... The Saturn has a Sunroof and the Hyundai does not have a sunroof. Everything else is similar including the color and leather interiors. The Hyundai allows has a shiftamatic transmission which allows automatic and manual shifting of all five gears. I also test drove the smaller engine Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4 and neither was worth the money when compared to the Saturn Vue and Hyundai Sante Fe in my opinion. Again, I am happy with all three SUVs that I purchased so far, and my wife and daughter are happy with what they drive. Our 2002 Jeep was rear ended in 2003 by a large pickup truck and had about $8,000 of front and rear damage and could be driven home. The pickup truck was totaled and the car in front of us had moderate rear damage and could be driven. My Wife and Daughter were in front seats and both had serious shoulder and neck injuries that required them to go to the hospital. The Air Bags never deployed. We have not had any serious problems with the 2002 Jeep Liberty other then having to fill the 4 tires up with air much more then any other vehicle I have owned. The Saturn and Hyundai are still too new to make any maintenace statements at this time.
Pros: ABS, 4 wheel drive, warranty
Cons: Interior wasn't thought out very well, very cheap
Advice: The price isn't bad but if I could do it all over again I would have kept my Sonata or gone with a Toyota Highlander/4RunnerI owned a 2003 Hyundai Sonata previous to my 2006 Hyundai Santa Fe. I loved my Sonata, it had great features for a great price. My complaints about my Sonata were very small maybe even nit-picky. The body gapping could have used improvement, there was noticeable wind noise and the plastic look alike wood interior was a little cheesy. Naturally when I purchased my 2006 Santa Fe I expeced better quality since the vehicle has been out for a couple of years and Hyundai has had time to improve it. I must say that I am a bit dissappointed. The interior is very cheap. There are 4 or 5 different shades of grey on the doors, dash and seats and it is noisey while driving. The chrome accents look awful and smudge/scratch very easily. The stereo and speaker system is very cheap. There is also this awful rattling that comes from my gauges by the steering wheel(and I was told at the dealer ship it is from the dash board being put together so tightly and as the car ages and the dash board wears the rattling should stop). The ride is not as smooth or comfortable as my Sonata. It tends to float too much over bumps and has noticeable body roll going into corners. Sad to say that the 4 wheel drive cannot be turned off hence the gas mileage is not very good.
Cons: Typical SUV milage
Advice: Its a good SUV choice for a great price.My stepmother bought a SantaFe brand new in '01. I mocked her when she bought it. I have had it for the last 16 months and I don't have a bad word to say about it (except typical SUV gas milage.) My dad bought an '03 Pathfinder and regrets everyday that they didn't buy another SantaFe. I've driven both of my parents Pathfinder and Explorer - they are like driving a bus. The Santa Fe iss roomy, comfortable, and well equipped. The quality of these vehicles has come a long way.
Pros: The towing capacity
Advice: buy from Arbor Place Hyundai nice people to do business with.I purchased my Santa fe at Arbor Place Hyundai and wow what a great experience. You get free lifetime oilchanges and tire rotations with every new car purchase. And the price was 100 dollars better than anyone else and you get the oilchanges i just couldn't pass it up. Thanks guys