In-depth Reviews

Hyundai Santa Fe SUV - Reliability & safety

Hyundai has a reputation for reliability, and the Santa Fe has a long list of standard safety features

Carbuyer Rating

3.7 out of 5

Owners Rating

3.0 out of 5

Read owner reviews
Reliability & safety Rating

4.5 out of 5

Hyundai has built itself a strong reputation for reliability and customer support, and that's one reason that the brand has increased in popularity over recent years. With a generous list of safety equipment that’s standard or optional across the range, the Santa Fe should prove a safe family SUV, too.

Hyundai Santa Fe reliability

Until the latest Hyundai Santa Fe features in our annual Driver Power owner satisfaction survey, we've no definitive impression of how it will stack up as a long-term ownership proposition. However, Hyundai itself finished 13th overall out of 30 brands in our 2020 survey – an improvement over its 2019 result.

Hyundai owners weren't especially impressed by the design or style of their cars, inside or out, and few were overwhelmingly positive about ride, handling or performance, either. Fuel economy and running costs received more praise, as did practicality.

The best result, though, was for reliability, where Hyundai managed to beat every other brand in our survey. Only 13.1% of owners reported any faults at all with their cars during the first year of ownership, and that ironclad five year/unlimited mileage warranty provides further reassurance.


As the Hyundai Kona SUV, Hyundai Ioniq hybrid and Hyundai Tuscon SUV all received five-star ratings from independent crash safety experts Euro NCAP, it comes as no surprise that the South Korean maker has achieved another five-star safety rating for the Sante Fe.

However, the testing was not without fault. It was found that the Santa Fe models that included a panoramic roof showed a tendency for airbag faults, as they were being torn on deployment. Thankfully, Hyundai has addressed this. All production vehicles have been corrected and a recall for the cars that are already in circulation has been put in place. If you are one such owner, the recommendation is to contact the manufacturer.

The Santa Fe’s impressive standard crash mitigation technology helped it towards a strong Euro NCAP result; autonomous emergency braking is standard across the range, and the brand's SmartSense safety technology also includes rear cross-traffic avoidance assist.

Premium SE models boast a Blind Spot Detection system, which is also capable of applying the brakes on one side of the car if a blind-spot related accident is detected, in order to steer the car evasively in the event of a collision being detected. That top trim level also introduces Rear Occupancy Alert, a system that alerts the driver to any occupants – including children or pets – who might have been left in the vehicle when the central locking is activated.

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