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2019 Hyundai Santa Fe Pros and Cons at TrueDelta: Restyled SUV with great safety features, have owned since Oct 2018 now 4700 miles.

by dcnaatz



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I purchased a new Santa Fe AWD Limited 2.4L in Oct 2018. I need AWD to get through difficult winter roads conditions living on a curvy road in the SE MN woods plus for other midwest winter family visits. We did not need the turbo, the 2.4L is fine in the flat Midwest; dealer says 90 percent of sales here are not turbos but in a hilly area may be different. While I owned 2 Jeep Grand Cherokees in the past 18 years I no longer tow anything more than a wood splitter and never took them off roading, so a SUV with FWD based intelligent AWD is fine although I wanted the option to have 4WD lock at lower speeds on slippery roads. My wife wanted heated (real) leather seats and a power liftgate & power passenger seat, while I wanted Android auto & safety features. As we age the safety features (blind spot, fwd/rear collision, lane assist) were requirements along with excellent headlights. The Santa Fe Limited met & exceeded all our main requirements, here is a very early pre-winter snow review after 200 + mi of around town & some freeway driving.

Santa Fe Limited PROS

  • QUIET comfortable roomy interior w/excellent infotainment

  • Safety features easy to use. Auto stop at lights kinda weird but ok so far, responsive.

  • Like the easy to switch Smart mode, Comfort (ECO) mode, Sport mode which is sporty on this smooth 8 speed tranny.

  • 4WD lock operational up to 40mph in 2019s GREAT in snow

  • LED auto headlights excellent range, work fine on 2 lane roads

  • LOTs of hidden storage in rear under carpet (we got the hatch cover unfortunately it costs extra)

  • Hyundai warranty 5/60 full, 10/100 powertrain is the best. As brand rated 10/30 in CR reliability

    • Remote start & car status free with Hyundai internet control WORKS!

  • OWNED SINCE OCT 18, 98% positive! 2.4L works ok with 8 spd, put in SPORT mode if need more power. Some 2.4 GDI quality/longevity concerns; plan to trade b4 100k mi.

Reviewed: 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe

4dr SUV 185-horsepower 2.4L I4 8-speed shiftable automatic AWD

2019 Hyundai Santa Fe Love Letter

We love the car or would not have bought it, the PROs are in the Intro but ran out of room for considering which are more questions at this point


  • Jury is out on this 4 cylinder (I?d bet more on the RAV4?s owning a same engine in an older Camry) but it does have 10 more hp than Toyotas and the 8 speed tranny is excellent. Still 185 hp for a 3600 lb SUV, but compare to 235 hp for my 4600 lb Jeeps?

  • Never owned a Hyundai despite early Santa Fe or Veracruz being semifinalists during past drives when we bought Jeeps (but SF made in America, 40% Am parts too if it matters)

  • Hankook tires TBD, would have preferred Michelin

  • MPG so far 22 around town which is great compared to 14 in our Jeeps, but not stellar

I hope this truedelta site keeps going and will add more to this review later in winter after a few more thousand miles.


See pros & cons. Will add more after few mons winter driving, sure wish this site would continue!

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Response from LectroFuel

5:29 pm November 3, 2018

Good review! The recent 2.4L engines from Hyundai are pretty good. Around 2011 they were terrible and would seize within 50k miles sometimes. I think they had an extended warranty for those older ones. The 2.4L you have will probably last longer than the optional turbo engine.

The Santa Fe compares to the Toyota Highlander and Honda Pilot, not the RAV4. The Highlander's base engine is a 2.7L with 185 hp and the V6 on the higher trims, so these base engines aren't really speed demons and are very similar with their output.


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Response from pdautel

5:36 pm November 26, 2019

I have owned a 2019 Santa Fe 2.4L for about 16 months. I haven't had any problems. However, I recently received a notice from Hyundai that required me to have the dealer install listening software to detect possible engine problems.

The possibility of engine failure is concerning, even though Hyundai extended the warranty. Reluctantly, I have decided to trade it in. I don't know what I'll buy next....


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Response from Member1246

6:57 pm May 14, 2020

pdautel, I too have some concerns having this same 953 software engine patch installed 6 months ago. I think it's good to have some insurance to get an early alert before any possible engine failure but I plan to use my Santa Fe the next few winters for 1500 mile drives each way down south as a "snowbird". I don't want a breakdown in remote OK or northern AL wrecking my trip. I'm disappointed Hyundai still has some doubts in this engine after 8 years since we were told these problems were all resolved by 2015 or so. Not true. However your approach to trade it in is the most you can do and I do not plan to do that. I've only got 10,800 miles in 19 months so with limited COVID19 driving this year don't think I'll have a problem staying within 100k miles in 10 years of driving THEN I will trade. I still like everything else about the Santa Fe, just disappointed in TRUSTING Hyundai. My next probably won't be a Hyundai especially if it konks out on me during a winter drive. Good luck to you.


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