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77 Reviews
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Despite its flaws, 2003 Santa Fe is a stable SUV worth considering.

The 2003 Hyundai Santa Fe lx is a decent economical SUV that is hampered by a number of engineering flaws that affect it is performance. Mechanically, it is fairly reliable and somewhat fuel efficient for a vehicle of it is kind. One of the most severe engineering problems with this vehicle, however, is the way that the engine is designed, particularly with the fuel pump - which is subject to strain due to it is being designed to push fuel up into the engine block rather than pulling the fuel up from above - and a flaw that can cause the spark plug caps move out of place over time. Other problems arise from the airbag sensors being located in the front cabin seats themselves, making it impossible to address faulty sensors without replacing the seats themselves. However, despite these flaws, the 2003 Santa Fe has above average handling for an SUV, and is far less top heavy than other vehicles of it is type.

- William K

It looks horribly ugly, but drives very nicely. When it wants to drive nicely that is.

I recently bought it used, and it has needed a thousand dollars worth of repairs just to simply get it back on the road again. The check engine light has come back on again, and I think it will probably cost me another thousand to fix whatever's wrong under the hood. I bought this vehicle as I was told that my Ford was going to cost more to fix than it was worth. Honestly, I think I should have stuck with the Ford. I would already have a completely fixed, safe vehicle for less than I've spent on the Santa Fe to repair it and purchase it second hand.

- Abigail J

The Santa Fa has easy handling, and a nice comfortable ride. Good for the money.

It rides good, gas mileage is fair, but it is and older car. It's not big enough, I have a german shepherd and it's by no means large enough, or high enough for my dog. Storage space is okay, I guess it depends on how much space you need. Love having the roof rack, it's a necessity for us, my husband can tie his fishing rod case on there and it works quite well. The biggest issue is whenever it rains the ride is VERY sluggish, it feels like it's going to stall, and sometimes it does. We"ve kept up with maintenance but still have this issue.

- Susan W

The sound from the radio is amazing, and is a great feeling.

My car is a baby blue Hyundai Santa Fe. I bought it used from a dealership where I live. I've had it for going on a year, when I first got it I love the how much space it contained for the future outings I would have with friends and family. The seats are very fluffy and comfortable to sit on, it came with a sunroof so it give that extra air flow through the car. So far it runs really well, only thing is my cv joints need a replacement. Over all I really like my vehicle and maybe because it's just my own, I appreciate it so much.

- Edwin G

Hyundai Santa Fe review. The after the warranty review.

My Santa Fe has been a nice car. Unfortunately when it hit 103,000 miles iv had nothing but trouble out of it. From the window motor going out to the air conditioner crashing, alternator when out..All within about 2 months..It is cost me more to fix it than the trade in value of the car is worth. At this point I just decided to run it until it just stops but I was pretty disappointed seeing as the warranty goes out at 100,000 or 10 years.

- Savannah R

The car is good cosmetic can be improved.

It drive good. Starts great the ac is messed up one window wont let down other than that it's been a good dependable vehicle. Repairing part is hard to get to. But it is reliable. The paint peels off and all the door handles broke the passenger side can only be open from the inside the heater is very good during winter months even though this vehicle has these problems I recommend this vehicle because it's a good vehicle overall

- Charles H

Reliable and economical SUV

My Santa Fe is very reliable, any repairs or maintenance are not overly expensive. Rides nicely, very happy I have 4 wheel drive, just feels safer, actually did save my passenger and me, when I had a blow out, going 70MPH. Will never not have AWD. Great storage space. I understand the newer noodles have more driver and front passenger space. My only complaint, being tall, is lack of legroom for the driver.

- Jessica M

Very comfortable and reliable!

The 2003 Hyundai Santa Fe is a great vehicle! It is very roomy and comfortable. One of the most reliable vehicles we have ever owned. We bought it out right for around $3, 000. Well worth it. We have used it for family vacations. We go to Valdosta at least once a month and it travels really well. Also good on gas! Highly recommend for families of 5!

- Jessie S

Hyundai Santa Fe is a great deal.

I have had this car for 16 years and it still runs great. I have only had minimum repairs over the years, even after the 10 year warranty. I love the way it handles in bad weather and the gas mileage (18-20 around town; 22-25 on the highway) is good. I would definitely buy another Hyundai Santa Fe the next time I am in the market for a new car.

- Marcia F

My Santa Fe: Perfect for my Colorado lifestyle

My Santa Fe is a great car for the life that I live. I live in Colorado, and can take my car camping, hiking, and pretty much anywhere I need to go. I also love how fuel efficient my car is, especially for it being a small SUV. Finally, I can fit four extra people in my car, which makes it great for taking trips with friends or my three dogs.

- Helen H

My 2003 blue Hyundai Santa Fe is a reliable and dependable vehicle.

My Hyundai has really surprised me with being the best vehicle I have ever owned as far as being reliable, great on gas, and never left me sitting. I was skeptical at first, but wouldn't trade it for the world now. I am very glad I made the decision to go with my Hyundai and tell all my friends about how great my vehicle is.

- Rebecca E

Super reliable and affordable!

Great on gas, reliable, has never left me stranded. Overall a great vehicle! I have had it for over 10 years and it still runs great. I would recommend it to anyone. I love the look of the car. Besides the body, the interior is very nice as well. Besides all of that, it is not too bad in the snow so that is a plus.

- Jennifer A

My vehicle has had nothing more than regular maintenance.

My vehicle has never needed anything more than regular maintenance. It is extremely reliable, and I have had it for almost seventeen years. I am so thankful that I chose my Hyundai Santa Fe. It looks like a brand new vehicle and it drives like one, too. If I had it to do again, I would choose a Hyundai Santa Fe.

- Debbie P

Smaller SUV that's stylish and great on gas.

I love the style and look. It's a small SUV so easy to drive. It's a 4 cylinder so it's good on gas, it rides smooth. I drive a lot for work and compared to my coworkers it doesn't have a lot of problems. Parts are not that expensive. It's small enough but also has plenty of room in trunk and seating areas.

- Shannon S

I love my vehicle very much.

I like my car very much and it get me to and from places I need to go. It is ride very good the tires is very good the it hold my family and dogs. My can may be old but it ride like a new car I will not trade it for nothing. My dogs love ride in it and I go fishing stores and so that is why I love my car.

- Jackie D

The one most important thing about my car is it gets me where I need to go.

My a/c takes a little bit to be cool because it sits outside the garage. My door handle on the passenger side pops off every now and then. Seats are comfy. It has a smaller engine than other Santa Fe’s because it is a 2003. It has 4 doors and automatic windows and back windshield wipers. Lots of space.

- Emma H

The car is unreliable and you Won't feel safe in it.

The car always has starter issues, alignment is always off. Loud engine sounds and squeaky rotation when driving. Car gets louder when the air conditioning is on. The features are out of date and CD player no longer works. There is no AUX you have to purchase a Bluetooth player if you want to play music.

- Caroline C

The body of the Santa Fe is a unibody

I have had very few problems with my car but I have always taken it to reliable repair shops. I always get my oil changed when needed which I think helps with the performance. I have changed the timing belt and just normal wear and tear things like breaks. It has always been a good running car for me.

- Laurie W

03 Hyundai Santa Fe review

I love it it's been a very reliable car so far, runs like a champ only problem I've had is with the tail lights wiring, has tons of room for my 3 kids, ac works good heat works good, did have a small problem with airbag light for no reason but other than that I think it could run a few more years

- Nicole S

Reliable good on gas. But paint on it was really bad.

Handles well in bad weather. Gets good gas mileage. Parts are easy to find but can be expensive. Vehicle has been somewhat reliable. I had to repaint the vehicle because the clear coat and paint started chipping away after a few years of owning it. The interior has stayed in pretty good shape.

- Frank P

A pretty good little vehicle

Overall it's a very well made vehicle. Have had little to no major problems over the course of ownership. It used to be my brother's vehicle and he drive it back and forth from Arizona so its seen some miles. It's easy to get in and out of and loads up nicely for camping trips or grocery runs.

- Chris H

It is very old there is 205,000 miles on it.

It's very old I believe there may be an oil leak. When I drive my steering wheel shakes, the radio turns on and off on It's own. I was driving one day and my tire carrier fell off the back. I do like how much room and space there is I feel good driving it and not like I'm too low to the ground

- Natasha N

2003 Santa Fe Hyundai - white with grey leather.

It is super comfortable with the leather seats, but does not get too hot since the leather is grey! It is great for long car rides, and hold 5 people with a spacious back area for storage. The gas mileage is not great, but it is okay! Overall it is a great car, and will drive for a long time.

- Amber V

Amazing sounding speakers

My Hyundai Santa Fe gets great gas mileage. This car is a everyday driver... no real mechanical problems other than replacing the starter. Plenty of room and all around great family car. Excellent for running errands and easy to parallel park... not to big and not too small but just right

- William W

Beautifully maintained 2003 Santa Fe.

I have had transmission and brake issues, but the SUV has been very reliable and extremely comfortable. I have power windows, new tires, tinted windows, roof rack, low miles on the engine, cloth seats, and automatic transmission. I drive long distances and have never had any problems.

- Holly S

It seats a lot of people and there is plenty of trunk space

Gas pedal is sticky sometimes, gas mileage is not that great, it's not the most comfortable, the speakers only work on the right side of the car, it isn't the most reliable car to be honest. I would not buy one in the future. It's rough on the road and it needs a new wheel alignment.

- Kyle M

Electronic problems amplify in a car with more electrical needs. Also, smogging and registering an SUV is more expensive, as is gas. It's definitely a strong car, but you pay for it.

I love that I can carry a lot of passengers and haul things. However, most are f my day to day activities don't need those things. It has some kick in the engine and it has done well for years. It is old enough that it needs some maintenance and I go without some perks, like AC.

- Kate G

Rust never sleeps on Santa Fe.

The air conditioner has not worked for the last 3 years, rust spots above both rear wheels, brake system has been redone a few times, the rear wheels cannot be aligned because of rust problems, front suspension, brakes, rotors and support arms have all had to be replaced.

- Steven S

a lot of mechanical issues.

Great storage space. Has a bad grind with somewhere and no one can find it is it has a kill switch. It does not go over 20 mph right now. Doing an oil change on it is annoying because you have to take the skid plate off. It has comfortable seats. I like the 6 CD changer.

- Jewel B

It is a stable vehicle that operates well for new drivers or first car owners.

The Santa Fe I got was a hand me down from my uncle. I was ok since I didn't have a car at the time. This car is pretty decent and has a medium size trunk and space to hold five people. The tires my vehicle had horrible traction on wet street markings, grass and dirt.

- Zachary W

2003 Hyundai Santa Fe. Every feature is easy to access.

Hyundai Santa Fe is the vehicle I drive. I am disabled therefore there is a lift on the rear of the car to carry my scooter around. My vehicle is very reliable. It is good on gas. The vehicle has plenty of room in the rear of the car since it is a hatchback.

- Lynda S

2003 and still running well

The air bag stays on and the check engine light comes on if I don't tighten the gas cap. It gets decent gas mileage and the seats are comfortable. The front speakers no longer work. I like all of the cup holders and the middle console has two compartments.

- Regina S

It Is Compact But Quite Roomy...

My Sante Fe Is So Wonderful Especially In The Winter Time Due To The Heated Seats. It Also Even Though It Is A Small SUV Allows Me Carry Many Things In The Rear And Fold The Back Seats Down For Extra Storage Space.. It Gives A Very Smooth Ride...

- Dorothy O

It is very spacious and great for families who do not wish to purchase a minivan.

I like the room it provides for my kids and i. Whenever we go on road trips, like trips to the beach, I know that space is not a factor I have to worry about. I also appreciate the experience it provides when driving for long periods of time.

- Prince D

Its space is great for families who do not wish to purchase a minivan but also require space for their kids..

What I really enjoy is the space the car provides for my kids and I. It is great for when we take long trips like going to the beach. I know that if any problem were to arise within the car, I know space would not be one of them.

- Prinze D

A reliable and dependable car that gets you places!

For the age of the vehicle it remains dependable and reliable. There is always the typical routine and repair stuff. Currently the car has almost 250,000 miles on it and it still gets me places to where I need to be

- Randy H

That it has always been reliable. I've only had to replace the usual like tires brakes oil change ect

Very good on gas for a 6 cylinder.I have never had to do a major repair. I have had to bring it in twice for factory recalls. I had some options like cruise control ect. but I rarely use them

- Kim L

my vehicle is not road safe right now, the major problem is the brakes randomly locking up on me

my 03 hyundai santa fe has break issues, a broken front windshield, no state inspection sticker. the front bumper is held on with zip ties and duct tape and it has around 180,000 miles on it

- Jason J

Had some new wiring done.

I love my vehicle because it's comfortable and reliable for my family. It's a great privilege to have a car that is functional. The one thing I dislike about my car is it's a little older.

- Nova V

When I am driving you can always by self assuring.

My car provides me with an accurate means of automobile transportation a price that works for me, while meeting all the qualities required by other passengers on the road a the same time.

- William P

The thing i value most is it is reliability.

It is comfortable to drive, low maintenance, and easy to park. It handles well & does not have a lot of distracting technology. The engine cowling makes some maintenance more expensive.

- Stephanie D

Reliable and trustworthy.

This make and model is very reliable and trustworthy. You still see a lot of them on the road even though they are over 15 years old. I have 220k on mine with only basic maintenance.

- Tom T

Great reliable engine and transmission.

Engine is great. . Big V6. . Still gets near 26 miles to gallon. . . Cold a. C. . . Have 140k and still going. AWD. Gets me out of the snow all the time. . Great sound system. . .

- Edward E

It is very reliable. It has lasted a long time for me without breaking down a lot.

I like that the car is pretty reliable. What I don't like is that it cost so much to get the air conditioner fixed. Other than that I really haven't had any problems with it.

- Brian D

It gets you from point a to point b.

I am too tall, so if the car rolls, I am history; apparently, the particular year of this car has the most expensive parts. Otherwise, it is been an overall good car.

- Jennifer B

Besides external things that might go wrong the engine and transmission are very reliable

Great vehicle..Cold air..Great gpu. Around 26 highway..Will need some maintenance when vehicle gets up in years. Possible timing belt. Sensors ..but overall great suv

- Edward s

That this is dependable and reliable and inexpensive transportation

I like that my Santa Fe is reliable and that it has 213,000 miles and still runs well. This vehicle has been a good one and I am pleased with my purchase.

- Jana B

It has a lot of room in the back for a lot of shopping bags

My vehicle works overall except that the paint job just sucks. It peels off every year and it just looks unpleasant to have it with the paint fading away.

- Ashley V

This vehicle allows you to manually shift gears

This vehicle will go any place we choose to take it. It has been extremely reliable and is fun to drive. We purchased it used and have been very pleased

- Dee W

It has great gas mileage!

My car is a very reliable daily driver. I have had very little problems with it since I bought it used. Only issue I have had is the starter going out.

- Kylie C

Old style Sante Fe review

Love the design of the Sante Fe. Mine is older style so not sure how newer version is. Has plenty of amenities that make it feel like a fancier car.

- Andra C

It is reliable. The car has a high safety rating. It has good gas mileage.

I like the seats. They are very comfortable. The size is just right. It handles great. What I do not like is there is no air conditioning.

- Bonnie F

good on gas and it's a small vehicle for a good first time driver

i have an 03 hyundai santa fe, luxury version including leather interior and sunroof, and heated seats. the main problem is the converters

- nicole g

Takes a lot of gas, mileage is terrible.

My car does not get good gas mileage, at all. The interior design is roomy. The engine and motor and all the parts keep needing repairs.

- Heather B

It is a durable suv with good handling and good looks.

I love that my car has lots of storage space. I also enjoy the sunroof and the comfy interior. I wish the gas mileage was a bit better.

- Sarah J

Great SUV plenty of room. Great family vehicle

Car is in excellent shape everything works great it has 181000 miles on it great fuel economy. I will get another 10 years out of it

- James C

It is a good, dependable model.

It is roomy, for sitting and there is a good amount of cargo space in the back. It drives well; I really do not have any complaints.

- Ruth B

If taken care of oil changes brakes tires it's a good model you buy.

Runs great but has recall issues. Is worth the money because I haven't had any major issues that I had to pay out of pocket for.

- Kim L

It is a great family car and easy to load and unload all the kids sports gear

Love that it is an SUV, love that it is high off the ground. Hate that the middle seat does not have a shoulder seat belt

- Tammy H

I suppose it has lasted a long time, but it is wearing down terribly.

Rack and pinion and power steering is bad. There is also no ac and poor gas mileage. I do like how there is so much room.

- Sara R

They are worth the money because they last if you take care of it.

My vehicle was bought used from a dealership. It is very reliable and hasn't had too many problems for how old it is.

- Pam R

Good on gas and doesn't take a lot to fill up

I like the style and the color. It rides nice and handles well, good space in the trunk and overall comfort is great

- Candy S

excellent all around car for everyday driving and long trips

The turn radius so great in this car and it so excellent on gas but there are some parts that could be better made.

- Dennis A

It gets very good gas mileage.

The color is ugly light blue. It is a very reliable car. It gets good gas mileage. It sits to low on the ground.

- Shanna C

It seems to run forever without problems that you would find in other makes.

It runs and runs and I hardly have any problems with it. It handles great in snow and gets great gas mileage.

- Aron S

It's a decent vehicle for all-around use.

It has lasted for several years more than was expected. Mileage isn't fantastic, but it's not too bad.

- Greg M

Very Reliable Car.I love it.

My car is very wonderful to me, It has been very reliable since 2003. I would like to buy another one

- Jessica M

If you do the maintenance on the car, it will last.

I love the vehicle because it was made to last. I have 324,000 miles on and it is still running.

- Amelia P

It's durable. A good SUV used for multiple purposes.

Nothing is perfect, but this one is really good. Over 250,000 and it's doing well.

- Greg n

My Santa Fe has been reliable after 15 years it is still performing well and has required only normal maintenance .

Have had my Santa Fe for 15 years it has been reliable and is still performing .

- Renée W

This is a dependable car that I use often. Great capacity for carrying items.

Dependable. AWD. Good in the snow. Decent off-road. Goofy Looking

- Eric B

it's old and needs to be replaced

it's 15 years old now so it doesn't run as smoothly as it used to

- stephanie C

Car has a good strong engine. I feel safe in my car

car Is getting older. More car repairs, otherwise no complaints.

- Kerrie B

Reliable well made and comfortable ride

Very reliable it is getting old but i can count on it

- Robin W

It's mine and I like driving it. It gets great gas mileage

I like the size. There isn't anything I don't like.

- Bobbie D

never had any motor problems

good value -low maintenance- great body style

- MICHAEL G

I get about 27 miles per gallon and it has a 16 gallon tank so I only have to fill up maybe twice a month. I also really like the hidden storage in the trunk. I can store two heavy blankets

I really like my Santa-fe

- Taylor W