2004 Hyundai Santa Fe Reviews and Owner Comments

2004 Hyundai Santa Fe owners review and rate their 2004 Hyundai Santa Fe.

2004 Hyundai Santa Fe (34 Reviews)
Body, Interior & Misc.
Drive Train
Electrical & Lights
Exhaust & Emissions
Heating & Air Conditioning
Suspension & Steering
Login to Review This Car
Not very good at engine broke down its a 2.4 litter at 140.000 miles
For the record....BEWARE!!! We purchased this LEMON OF a car in 2013. It was out of commission for 2 stinking years, beginning 2 months after purchase. Engine problems...seriously dangerous...just plunking out in the middle of busy traffic. Out mechanic tinkered with it for 1 year plus....he had a stroke. To another friend mechanic...he had another Santa Fe pulled apart...piece by piece...mirrored our problem. Thought it was it dies in traffic. AGAIN. POS....Money pit!!! Someone working on third shift, and drunk put this LEMON together...NEVER EVER WANT TO LOOK A A HYUNDAI EVER AGAIN.
I bought my 2004 V6 2.7 in 2011 at 80,000 mi. It now has 167,700. Not positive if I am the second owner. I love my Santa Fe and will purchase a newer model when I'm done with this one. I have maintained regular maintenance and up till now no serious . Only issue was tail light burninig out frequently. It appears to have had some body work before only noticed when i took the light off to replace the bulb. Light compartment itself seems to not seal properly and will hold water after a hard rain or car washing. Now the radiator has a leak and seems the fan doesn't kick on. But other than that I replaced the ac condensor at 135,000 and berings at 166,000. Still the most reliable vehicle I have ever owned. Great gas mileage. Definitely plan to be a Santa fe driver for a long time.
I bought a gently used 2004 Santa Fe in April 2006. It had 30,000 miles and 1 previous owner. It has been the best car I ever bought. It now has 144,000 miles, and I only now had to replace the original brakes, which is really astonishing. I maintain it properly, change the oil when appropriate, and generally pamper it. The first 4 years I owned it I drove mostly highway miles, but since 2010 I have driven mostly city miles. There is a problem with the paint (black) peeling off the hood and roof, but I lived in Louisiana for 4 years where the sun is pretty hard on car paint, which explains a lot. I have never had any serious mechanical issues. One of the rear tail lights fell off when a small plastic clip broke, and the seat belt alarm goes off when I turn right in below freezing weather while my purse is sitting on the passenger seat (kinda weird) and the driver's door won't lock with the remote any more, and the window tinting peeled off, and the rear hatch struts are starting to lose their hydraulic power (will be replaced next year) and the rear hatch cover broke and was not replaced because a new one is way too expensive and I could not find a used one, but these are insignificant issues. It runs like a dream and is the most comfortable car I ever drove. I would buy the exact same car again if I could.
loved my car when I first got it but over the past three years I have had many issues with my engine, electrical, and it shutting down randomly. The curse control buttons broke within the first year that I had bought the car (2009). The dashboard lights never stay on. The window control panel on the divers door doesn't always work all the windows. And the other control panels sometimes don't work too. Engine wise, I am not sure the real reason why it breaks down and has a hard time getting up to speed sometimes but its becoming more frequent.
I purchased this car new 2004 6cyl 3.5L. It has been the most dependable vehicle I have owned. Only one major problem when a local mechanic installed a timing belt incorrectly and had to get dealership to correct it. Keep it maintained and the car will last. Occasional part replacement is normal for any vehicle. This vehicle has NEVER left me stranded.
Bought it new on a snowy day in jan problems till 140000 had to replace cat converter.ran great other than reg maint till 200000 then had automatic tran switch for air and heat sometimes turns ofg and then back on.oh yea did replace front drive shafts at around170000 shafts were still good but boots were split and leaking greese.I've owned this hyundai going on 11 years. Its been a dear ole thing.I've thought about replaceing it a few times but haven't because no matter the repair price ots still much cheaper than a new car I guess ill keep it as long as spare parts can be bought.yea 04 santa fe base model 4 cylinder automatic is a good ole car jist stay on top of maint and oil change and just ride on. Crank sensor waterpump were changed out some years back but this kinda stuff wears out on all brands of cars and trucks
Best car Ever! It always starts & rolls Great! I am the 3rd owner. I got the car in 2011 w/about 123,000 on it. It now has 140,000, The ONLY issues I have had are with my electric front windows. I simply got that fixed! I recently got a new timing belt, Left front axle replaced. I do however have a small power steering leak. I just use No leak power steering fluid & no longer have any issues. I will get it replaced eventually. I get an oil change every 3000 miles. My only complaint is the PAINT, my vehicle is white & the paint has turned (on the back of the vehicle) but I have noticed this with Several other Santa Fe's. I will DEFINITELY always buy Hyundai! I love my car! btw, Today 08/01/2014 there was a RECALL on 2001-2006 Santa Fe to replace the coil spring in 20 states look it up, just in case it applies to your vehicle.
AC will freeze you out. Gas mileage is around 20/21 mpg in town, 24/25 on the road, not what I would like for it to be. Handles very well. Had this car about a year now and need to have timing belt changed, previous owner "thinks" it was new when he bought it two years ago. I know it needs a tune up and that may help my MPG issue. It has 120000 miles on it.
This vehicle has been a lemon since day one. Bad A/C switches, Bad exterior Paint. Bundled cables in engine compartment issues. Seat Belt & Seat issues. Terrible gas mileage. 11 mpg. Just had injectors cleaned. no change. Wish we would have bought a Rav4 or 4 Runner from Toyota. Planning to trade this in soon on a new car purchase. Too many problems to list here. Just want it gone.
I have had my 2004 Hyundai 3.5 V6 for 4 years. Everything is breaking on it. I am having engine trouble, transmission trouble, rear end problems. Many things have been replaced and it has become a big lemon. It still needs $1,000s in repairs. It has 142,000. My friend has a 2003 with 210,000 miles and has had no major problems. Just my luck. I wish Hyundai would have been the vehicle for me, but I will not look at another brand. This is suppose to be such a good vehicle according to brand and yearly ratings. I am very disappointed as I cannot afford to fix or get another vehicle.
I just get the car and I am having some problem
My 2004 Hyundai Sante Fe GLS (with V6 3.5L engine). Is still going strong and has 412,000 miles on it! This is the truth. Actually, it doesn't belong to me anymore I gave it to my daughter at 372,000. Its still only costing her the regular maintenance costs battery, rotors, starter, belts, and now tires. I love that car - I wish I'd bought another one. All you have to do is keep it lubed and it'll rung forever! I was trying to get it to 500,000 miles.
This vehicle seems to have been made of no name poor quality parts. Premature failure of timing belt causing crank position sensor to fail before total destruction of engine. Too many ball joints tie rod ends and wheel bearing failures until I installed quality brand name parts. Now with new timing belt, tensioners idle pulleys, water pump, etc, there is a engine bottom knock. Seem like a main or counter balance bearing. All this with only 135,000 miles. The vehicle is very functional and I gave Hyundai a try because I wanted a standard transmission. The vehicle is very practical and I really like its ride and roominess but Hyundai missed the boat on RELIABILITY. For 2004, this vehicle is a terrible value.
Brought it new, now have 166k miles oil change every 3500 miles, transmission services as scheduled, timing belt changed out at 100k. my only problems to date has been power steering pump at 165k dash clock and some paint on the hood and back hatch. I see the paint problem often and will be writing Hyundai a letter to see if I can get paint out of them.

I currently own 4 Hyundais. All dealer serviced and very happy with all of them
Bought My 2004 Santa Fe 3.5 about 6 months ago.. No complaints on the car at all.. Most reliable car i have had... got it with 280,000 miles on it, and it now has 288,000 mils in it.. I bought it from my mechanic, the original owner bought it new, had it serviced at my mechanics shop every time.. oil changes on time and kept it clean.. people see my car and think it is like a 2010 how clean it is.. i had it in another mechanic shop to do the oil change only because mine was on vacation, he told me he has never seen a Hyundai with 284,000 miles on it, with an engine in such great shape.. i will be doing the timing belt soon just to have it replaced,.. but i love the car... they say they can last up to 500,000 miles :) hope every one else likes there's..
I bought this vehicle (2.4L 4cylinder, front wheel drive) used with 29,000 miles 2 years ago. It now has 53,000(4/17/2012) miles. The only repairs made so far were because of the mechanic at the Subaru dealership not installing parts correctly, total cost of repairs were less than $200. I hand wash and vacuum the vehicle every other week. So far no maintenance cost other than what I said above. Just oil changes and tires. Outside trim still looks great, inside shows wear but not too bad. This vehicle has never left me stranded or stuck off road anywhere, very reliable. Only problems right now is the popping sound coming from front suspension every now and then (probably needs new gas shocks and struts), nasty smell when first turning on A/C, and after putting in drive after not driving for a while the transmission or something has a jerk to it. Ive had the transmission fluid changed and looked at and no problems with transmission.
I bought my 2004 Santa Fe new and have made sure to use synthetic oil since driving it off the lot. I have replaced the brakes twice and the timing belt 165,000 miles. My only real gripe is a fuse will go out every three months. My 2000 Tiburon had all kinds of problems (all covered by warranty) with stereo and transmission. It had 155,000 miles when it was totaled in 2009 by a Silverado on the driver side door. My 2002 Santa Fe had 85,000 miles when it was totaled in 2004 by a Dodge pulling a trailer hit us head on on our side of I-10. Except for the cracked glass from the airbags you couldn't tell on the inside that you had been in an accident. My 2009 Sonata has 88,000 miles and I haven't had an issue. I have been a Hyundai driver for 12 years and think every one should own one!!
I'm 16 yo and just "inherited" our families 2004 Hyundai Santa Fe with a V6, 2.4 liter engine, and 126,000 miles. We are the only owners of the car and haven't had any problems with the car. Sure there are the normal cosmetic issues attributed to it being 8 years old. The only things we've replaced were the timing belt at 100,000 miles, the speed and mile tracker, and the spark plugs only as a precaution. It still runs strong and I love driving it. The only reason I can see for people not having a good experience is because they don't take care of their vehicles.
2005 Sante Fe Windshield Washer do not work, Fuses are new, hoses are clear need a new washer motor. how much is this repair going to cost also har rear wiper
2004 Santa Fe. 60,000 Miles.
So far:
seat fabric is wearing out fast.
Water Pump is failing (which is why I came here).
Trim pieces have fallen off the outside of the car.
The windows don't go down any more (Except the driver window).
The lights got stuck "on" one time and burnt out the battery. (note the lights auto-turn off when you take out the keys). They didn't.
The A/C won't turn off tonight - try to turn it off and the contols short out and flash on and off.
We've had seal failures cause us have to replace some part or other that cost $800 I can't find the record now of what it was.
Replaced timing belt due to horror stories we found on the internet.
Tires that come with the car wear out real fast in Phoenix desert heat. Fair enough.
Sister in law bought same car, same model, same year, and her A/C has failed already and had to be replaced.
I really despise this car.
I see most people here have negative feedbacks on the santa fe . Ours is the 4cyl. 2.4 engine . Don 't know if it ' s the reason why , but we ' re up to 230,000 KM and never had any problems . Only had regular maintenance on it . Changed front and rear brakes once , timing belt at 117,000 KM ...
bought used with low mileage...the dealer has had in the garage more then i have...first two years, lets see. timing belt, throttle body, every sensor, stuck throttle and drove through garage, brakes didnt stop it. eats gas and wife drives it like a old lady..tune up took 2 days because you have to take half the motor apart to get to the rear plugs.......will never buy another Hyundai...EVER.....dont buy one they will suck you I'm a master technician with over 34 years under my belt....this car sucks...
Hyundai should be embarrassed to sell such crap. With less than 30,000 miles on it I have had problems with back seat breaking, wont fold down, wiper motor problems, passenger side window does not roll down, runner boards, its worse than any American car.
I bought the 2004 santa fe in 2010 with 29,000 miles. It has been a year now and it is at 38,000 miles. So far no problems and has been very dependable. My driving includes city roads, country roads, and interstates. The suspension does make weird noises every now and then when going over rough terrain. The transmission is sluggish and sometimes wont go in gear. The interior has nothing special and is very plain/bland. It has plenty of room. The cup holders are very small and will not hold anything without the drink tipping over. It has a 4 cylinder engine and still gets bad gas mileage (22mpg average). The vehicle does NOT have ABS or traction control. 0-60mph in around 11 seconds. Driving on interstate (70mph) is smooth except on windy days. The car rides smooth from 0-100mph. You have to fight the car at higher speeds because it is light and sits up high. Brakes do not grip well and takes longer distance to stop. When the brakes are wet they make a loud sounds and do not grip well at all. Overall the car is overpriced for what you get. I would not recommend this vehicle to anyone unless you live in the city and drive very little.
I own a 2004 Hyundai Santa Fe... it now (June 2010) has 109,000 miles on it and is still such a wonderful vehicle. I like that it is a SUV but yoiu wouldn't know it if you judged by the MPG this SUV gets. I frequently take a trip that is just a little over 500 miles round trip and evrey time when I have completed the trip I have a quarter tank of gas (maybe a little more) left. I fell in love with this car the first time I drove it. It has never given me any problems. Would I buy another? Absolutely!
The worst car I will hopefully ever own. Horrible a/c system, if you are riding in the back you don't get any air...Replaced o2 sensor 3 times, fuel filter 2 times, difficulties with the transmission. Would not recommend purchasing.
The 2004 Hyundai Santa Fe is the worst car I have ever owned!!! It's been nothing but a huge money pit. I will NEVER Buy another or reccomend a Hyundai to anyone. I will tell anyone that listens all of the issues that I've had with this car so that I can hopefully prevent them from making the same mistake I did by buying one.
I absoultely love this car. It had some issues at first with the cadillac converter and manifold, but they got it fixed and everything's good now.
This is the best vehicle i have ever bought! Knock on wood never had a problem with it! I would buy this suv over and over again. I have had it for 6 years now. I have never been unhappy with it!