How Long Do Hyundai Santa Fe Last?

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Providing its users with a lot of value, the Hyundai Santa Fe is the company’s first Sports Utility Vehicle and has amassed a lot of reputation.

During the middle of the lineup’s lifespan, the models saw a considerable dip in quality which was swiftly recovered in recent years.

When browsing through all the models and trims of the Hyundai Santa Fe, the first question that should come to your mind is how long do Hyundai Santa Fe last?

This is a question you should not worry about, as this lineup of cars can last more than 17 years if given proper maintenance and 13 years at the minimum, which translates to 200,000 to 250,000 miles.

While it is completely possible that the Hyundai can last 20+ years, to further prove that it can happen, I will go over how the Hyundai Santa Fe Compares to other vehicles in its category and any questions you have may have on the series.

What Is the Average Life Expectancy Of A Hyundai Santa Fe?

Learn everything about the Hyundai Santa Fe life expectancy

On average, you should expect 15 years of service from the Hyundai Santa Fe, assuming that you drive it in good conditions, give it decent care and drive 15,000 miles a year.

This should give you a total mileage of 225,000 miles which is right in the middle of the above range.

Various owners of this lineup have also stated that the car has been in use for 20+ years without any major issues, which also favors the lineup’s life expectancy.

However, the Hyundai Santa Fe has a lot of models working against it, which hurts this reputation as they contain various problems which negatively affect the lifespan of the vehicle.

Take good care of the car. You should see an improvement in the car’s lifespan, which is why, later in this article, I will also talk about different habits and things you should adopt to increase each component of your Hyundai Santa Fe so that it does not suffer from these issues.

Does Hyundai Santa Fe Last Longer Than Other Similar Vehicles?

Most vehicles can easily output 10+ years of service but eventually break down, suffering from a plethora of issues that result from the end of the car’s lifespan.

These issues are too costly and annoying to be constantly fixing, which is why it is better to just buy a new car at that point.

The Hyundai Santa Fe has already earned a good reputation for being a car that can last well over ten years but let’s see how it holds up against other cars, which are also in its category.

I will be comparing three different vehicles, all of which are quite similar to the Hyundai Santa Fe. I will compare them on features and aspects which directly affect their longevity.

1. Hyundai Santa Fe Vs. Nissan Rogue

Starting these comparisons off first, the Nissan Rogue is a Japanese-produced compact Sports Utility Vehicle competing with the Hyundai Santa Fe since 2008, making it a good car to compare with.

  • The Hyundai Santa Fe offers 50,000 more mileage than the Nissan Rogue, which, at max, can only last 200,000 miles.
  • The Hyundai Santa Fe and the Nissan Rogue mostly share the same reliability rating across various reports.
  • The Hyundai Santa Fe has had comparatively fewer problems when compared to the Nissan Rogue, which has had a lot of issues spanning most of its models.

Based on these comparisons, the Hyundai Santa Fe is more reliable than the Nissan Rogue as it beats it out in both categories and shares the same reliability score.

All this goes in favor of Hyundai Santa Fe.

Related: How Many Miles Will A Nissan Rogue Last?

2. Hyundai Santa Fe Vs. Toyota RAV4

Another Japanese manufactured compact Sports Utility Vehicle.

The Toyota RAV4 is another well-known and prominent SUV that makes a well-deserved competitor to the Hyundai Santa Fe.

  • Most sources say that the Hyundai Santa Fe and the Toyota RAV4 share the same lifespan and can cover the same amount of miles, ranging from 200,000 to 250,000.
  • While the Hyundai Santa Fe and the Toyota RAV4 share the same reliability rating, the Hyundai Santa Fe is slightly more expensive to repair. However, this is due to the difference in the size of the vehicles.
  • The Hyundai Santa Fe has comparatively fewer problems than the Toyota RAV4, which has a lot of problems in most of its models.

When seeing these comparisons, I have to recommend Hyundai Santa Fe. It has much fewer problems and complaints than the Toyota RAV4.

Even though this car may be cheaper to repair, it has a much higher chance of getting problems, making repairs very expensive.

Related: How Many Miles Can A Toyota RAV4 Last?

3. Hyundai Santa Fe Vs. Mazda CX-5

Comparing a car that does not differ in size from the Santa Fe, this one is a mid-sized Sports Utility vehicle from a Japanese company and is quite famous.

  • According to most sources, both of these have the same lifespan. However, some claim that the Mazda CX-5 lasts less than the Santa Fe.
  • Finally defeated, the Mazda CX-5 beats the Santa Fe regarding reliability. The price of maintenance and repairs is also in favor of the Mazda.
  • Apart from a few models, the Hyundai Santa Fe has much more issues than the other one, which only has two problematic models.

Compared to the Mazda CX-5, the Santa Fe has met its match, as the vehicle can be more reliable overall and provides the same lifespan as the Hyundai Santa Fe.

Related: How Many Miles Will A Mazda CX-5 Last?

Life Expectancy Of Hyundai Santa Fe Car Parts

Most of the time, a car will never reach its maximum lifespan. This is because close to the end of its life expectancy.

The car will start to experience various component problems and malfunctions, which may be too costly and uneconomical to carry out repairs on.

These components each have their lifespan, which changes depending on the environment the car is ridden in and the behavior of the driver.

To get the most out of your car, you have to make sure that every component of your car is in perfect condition.

I will now talk about a few significant parts of your Hyundai Santa Fe and ways you can make sure they last longer.

Average Lifespan Of Hyundai Santa Fe Brake Pads

Most sources are unanimous on this that the Hyundai Santa Fe’s brake pads are capable enough to last an average of 50,000 miles which is pretty standard for most vehicles.

At a minimum, you can expect a total mileage of 30,000 miles and a maximum of 70,000 miles.

The Hyundai Santa Fe, however, is also partially marketed as an off-road SUV, and depending on certain trims of the car, it might be perfect for off-roading which means that it will cause a lot of wear and tear to the brake pads, which will most likely lose their effectiveness well before 70,000 miles.

To make sure that your brake pads can last as long as they possibly can, you should first try to get high-quality brake pads that are good for off-roading and wear out less often.

Avoiding off-roading entirely can also help you reach the brake pad’s full life as they are exposed to less wear.

Average Lifespan Of Hyundai Santa Fe Battery

The maximum amount of time most high-end cars can expect out of their battery is six years, after which they will no doubt need to be replaced.

The Hyundai Santa Fe, unfortunately, does not reach this mark, averaging a battery time of around four and a half years which is still quite respectable.

This time may vary according to the owner as different climates, and driving habits can have a huge effect on the battery of the car.

To this end, you should make sure that the battery is always kept in an environment where the temperature is well maintained.

Especially if you are in colder climates, as the lower temperature can slow down the reaction happening in the battery.

You should also attempt to drive your Hyundai Santa Fe at least a few times a week and for a decent amount of time, as this allows the battery to retain its charge.

Average Lifespan Of Hyundai Santa Fe Tires

Similar to the brake pads, the tires of the Hyundai Santa Fe will wear out way more if you take the vehicle for off-road journeys.

If you stick to the road, the tires should be able to hold up for three years. Careful & steady driving can help increase this up to 4 years; however, this might be pushing it.

Off-roading, the Hyundai Santa Fe, will have the biggest negative effect on the tires, as does simply driving it on rough roads and jagged terrain as the rugged terrain will cause prominent and sometimes uneven wearing, which can actively worsen the experience of riding in the car.

As stated for the brake pads, adopting a slow and steady driving style where you avoid sudden and hard brakes and avoid off-roading can significantly increase the life of your tires.

Regular maintenance, pressure adjustments, and check-ups can also help raise their lifespan.

Average Lifespan Of Hyundai Santa Fe Transmission

According to various reports, the transmission of the Hyundai Santa Fe should be able to last around 13 years.

This means that the transmission should be good for traveling at least 200,000 miles before it needs to be replaced or repaired.

This is a pretty good lifespan for transmission, but unfortunately for many Hyundai Santa Fe owners, the series is no stranger to transmission issues such as hesitation and stuttering, which can damage the other system of the vehicle and just as easily develop into transmission failure.

This can end up being a very costly repair.

To avoid situations like this, it is best to take your Hyundai Santa Fe to the mechanic the moment a situation like this occurs, as fixing it as soon as possible can prevent it from escalating.

Regular maintenance is also good for increasing its lifespan, which involves the changing of transmission fluid.

Average Lifespan Of Hyundai Santa Fe Spark Plugs

When compared to other vehicles, the Hyundai Santa Fe has much longer-lasting spark plugs, which can last a minimum of 60,000 miles.

Many dealers and prominent figures state that the optimal time to replace the spark plugs of the Hyundai Santa Fe is around the 95,000-mile mark, which translates to more than six years.

You could stretch this out to 100,000 miles, but that would be pushing it to its limits.

Keeping the sparkplug well maintained and cleaned is the best way to get the most out of the spark plugs.

This is done by cleaning the light deposits and the plug cleaner and looking for any sorts of deposits that you should remove.

Another way you can make sure that the spark plugs last long is by keeping the engine well maintained, as the engine condition also affects the spark plugs.

Average Lifespan Of Hyundai Santa Fe Key Fob

The Hyundai Santa Fe’s key fob is quite simple and elegant and operates like most key fobs of other vehicles.

Most Hyundai Santa Fe key fobs should last you three years at the minimum and four years at the maximum.

This will depend mostly on how much you use the key fob and how hard to press the buttons.

Pressing the buttons too hard can lower their life or even damage them, which can force you to repair or outright replace the key fob.

The battery of the key fob is the real thing to note as that is the main thing you will have to replace after 3 to 4 years.

The key fob itself is very durable and should function properly as long as you keep the battery alive.

What Is Good Mileage For A Used Hyundai Santa Fe?

The Hyundai Santa Fe is a fairly reliable car if you make sure to get a good model.

If you are in the market for a used Hyundai Santa Fe, then getting one that is below 75,000 mileage should be perfect as it should not have any problems and still have enough life to last you a decade.

If you end up getting a model which has a lot of issues with its name, then you should have some money on hand as some of these models can have very costly issues, and problems arise as early as 90,000 miles which is very early into the lifespan of the car.

How To Increase How Long Your Hyundai Santa Fe Last

While I have listed a lot of different tips and methods which you can use to improve the lifespan of your car’s components, there are still various ways you can increase the life of your Hyundai Santa Fe.

Here I will mention a few things which can help increase how long it lasts:

  • Regular servicing and maintenance.
  • Keep the car protected and clean.
  • Visit the mechanic as soon as a problem arises.
  • Monitor fluids and filters and add/change them accordingly.

Following these tips, along with the ones mentioned throughout the article, your car should be able to last for years to come.

Problems That Limit The Life Of Your Hyundai Santa Fe

The Hyundai Santa Fe has had a good streak of models in the last few releases, but this was not always the case for the series.

From the year 2007 to 2014 and a couple of models afterward, the Hyundai Santa Fe’s problem count skyrocketed.

Here are a few of these issues which you can expect:

  • Engine Failure.
  • Inaccurate Fuel Gauge.
  • Air Bag Problems.
  • Transmission Hesitation and Stuttering.
  • Soundless Speakers.
  • Paint Peeling Off.
  • Fuel Sensor Malfunction.

These problems have been mostly fixed in recent models; however, the older models which were affected by these problems had these issues raise very early on, some as early as 1,000 miles which is just unacceptable.

Proper care can reduce the impact and occurrence of these issues, but it is very optimistic to assume that your car will not get any of these issues at a later stage which is a huge downside for the series as they can seriously hurt the lifespan of the car.

Related: Hyundai Santa Fe Starting Problems

What To Look For When Buying A Hyundai Santa Fe

All models of the Hyundai Santa Fe provide their owners with an unparalleled sense of luxury and comfort, all for a great value.

However, this does not mean that you can always look for more.

As car manufacturers are producing more and more models with varying features, here are some things you should look for:

  • Spacious 3rd Row seats.
  • Less Problematic Model.
  • Low Mileage and usage (if buying used).
  • Fuel-Efficient Model.
  • Vehicle Service History (if any).

Many models of the Hyundai Santa Fe come with an additional 3rd row, and some of these models are laughably lacking in space.

Make sure that whenever you buy a vehicle, you view it personally and see what you are buying.

Purchasing one of the recent models may be a good approach as these models have a lack of issues that will benefit you in the long run.

If you are getting a used Hyundai Santa Fe, then getting it at low mileage and requesting the vehicle service history will also help in making better choices if you intend to purchase the vehicle.

Related: Best And Worst Years For Hyundai Santa Fe

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. Is The Hyundai Santa Fe A Reliable Car?

Taking into account the amazing reliability score of the Hyundai Santa Fe and seeing how it has made a lot of improvements in recent times, it is safe to say that, for the most part, this lineup of cars is a very reliable one.

However, certain models of the Hyundai Santa Fe are prone to various problems.

This hurts the reliability of some of the models in the lineup; however, for the most part, the Hyundai Santa Fe is a pretty reliable vehicle.

Q2. Does Hyundai Santa Fe Have A Lot Of Problems?

The Hyundai Santa Fe is a great lineup overall, but a huge chunk of the series has been plagued by models which have a lot of problems that you are better off avoiding.

These problems, which include the early engine failure, paint issues, and fuel gauge problems, are just a few of the many issues surrounding the series.

While recent models are relatively problem-free, a good part of the series is infested with problems.

Q3. Is It A Good Idea To Buy A Used Hyundai Santa Fe?

The models released in the middle of the lineup of the Hyundai Santa Fe are some of the most problematic ones, which I do not recommend buying, especially when you are getting them used.

If you are getting any model which doesn’t range from 2007 to 2014, you are making a good choice as the Hyundai Santa Fe is a marvelous Sports Utility Vehicle that offers a lot of quality and performance, which it delivers for a great value.

Q4. Does Hyundai Santa Fe Rust Easily?

Certain models of the Hyundai Santa Fe are known for their rust-related issues.

Sometimes this issue is so severe that people have reported holes in the frame of their Hyundai Santa Fes, which poses a very big reliability issue that not many mechanics will approach.

While others have claimed the problem is so bad that it could potentially fracture.

The company has warned customers about this, but no recalls have been made. Depending on your location, you may have to rustproof your vehicle.

Q5. Is Hyundai Santa Fe Expensive To Maintain?

I have mentioned above that the Hyundai Santa Fe has had a few issues over the years, which hurt its reliability.

Assuming you do not have to deal with these concerns, the Hyundai Santa Fe is a very reliable and comparatively cheap SUV to repair and maintain as it can easily beat the repair costs of its competitors by a good margin.

This, however, can very easily be flipped if a major problem or issue arises, which is not uncommon considering the record of the lineup.


The Hyundai Santa Fe is a pretty reliable car when it boils down to the basics.

While it has a good amount of models which will make you question how long do Hyundai Santa Fe last, you should be able to see at least 13 to 17 years of service before you are forced to buy a new car.

Certain models of the Hyundai Santa Fe are better off being avoided as they are full of issues that will no doubt prevent you from reaching this range, but if you buy models which avoid these problems and are generally well praised, you will have yourself a long-lasting car for generations.