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Hyundai Santa Fe (2001-2006) Buying Guide

Hyundai Santa Fe (2001-2006)
Hyundai Santa Fe (2001-2006)Hyundai Santa Fe (2001-2006)Hyundai Santa Fe (2001-2006)Hyundai Santa Fe (2001-2006)Hyundai Santa Fe (2001-2006)Hyundai Santa Fe (2001-2006)Hyundai Santa Fe (2001-2006)Pictures shown may not represent exact model specified

by Richard Dredge

You either love or hate the styling, but you can't argue with the unlimited mileage five-year warranty that's standard on any Santa Fe sold after September 2002. A hit with bargain hunters everywhere, the Santa Fe offers great value and excellent reliability, but a driving experience that's acceptable rather than genuinely enjoyable.

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We LikeWe Don't Like
Value for money
Good to drive
Well equipped
Spacious cabin
Plasticky interior
Thirsty petrol engine
Key Dates 
3/01Santa Fe launched with choice of 2.4 or 2.7 V6 petrol engines, or a 2.0-litre turbodiesel.
1/02Automatic gearbox now optional on the 2.0TD.
2/03Range renamed; 2.4 is now GSi, 2.7 is the V6 CDX and the 2.0TD is the CRDT GSi.
11/04Sante Fe gets a facelift, with new nose and tail plus better equipment levels.
  • Fuel leaks common when fuel pipes split.
  • Fuel filter on diesel-engined cars can also break if overtightened, leading to leaks.
  • Juddering clutches are common on cars built before summer 2003. After this date, a modified flywheel was fitted to smooth things out.
  • Speedometer can stop working then start again for no apparent reason.
  • If there's a tow bar fitted, ask what the car has been pulling. If it's something very heavy, the brakes and suspension will have had a hard time, and the transmission too.
  • Look for signs of the car having been taken off road, especially evidence of grounding.

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