Hyundai Santa Fe: What is the Most Reliable Model Year?

Alexandra Maloney
· 4 min read
Santa Fe is one of Hyundai’s most popular
. Sitting right between the compact Tucson and the larger three-row Palisade, the Santa Fe is a great-sized SUV. Plus, Hyundai has been updating its vehicles every year with more impressive features, engines, and sleeker designs to give drivers the ultimate ride.
But, what year is truly the most reliable for the Hyundai Santa Fe? The answer might surprise you, because it’s not the current model. If you’re looking for the best-rated, most reliable version of this car, the 2017-2019 models of the Hyundai Santa Fe are your best bet.
What year is truly the most reliable for the Hyundai Santa Fe? The answer might surprise you.

Hyundai Santa Fe reliability ratings

In its review and rating of all Hyundai Santa Fe models,
Consumer Reports
wasn’t overly impressed with the current 2021 model. While the current model did earn a
Top Safety Pick+
award this year, Consumer Reports found the car to be lacking in reliability.
Consumer Reports uses survey data and expert technical knowledge to determine the predicted reliability of new and redesigned car models for the current model year. For past model years, cars are given a reliability rating based on how they have performed in years since their release.
For the current 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe model, the predicted reliability measurement was only a 4 out of 5. The 2020 model has a reliability rating even worse than that, at a 3 out of 5. This indicates the 2020 model has not performed well in reliability over the course of the last year and a half.
Before the last two years, Hyundai Santa Fe was rated perfectly in terms of reliability. For the years of 2017, 2018, and 2019, the car earned a 5 out of 5 reliability rating. That means, if you’re looking for a reliable Hyundai Santa Fe model, you probably want to go back a few model years.

Price points for Hyundai Santa Fe

As it stands today, the most reliable Hyundai Santa Fe models are the years 2019, 2018 and 2017—and that could be a good thing for your wallet, too!
Since Hyundai Santa Fe has been coming out with new models, the prices have all trended upwards. The current 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe is priced between $27,000 and $42,450. Compare that to the prices of the earlier, more reliable models, and you’re looking at big savings.
The 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe starts at $24,300 and goes up to $33,750. For the 2018 model, average retail prices range from $23,325 to $31,125, and for the 2017 Hyundai Santa Fe, prices start at $19,525 and end at $26,725. With any of these models, trade-in prices will be even lower than the ones listed here.
While you won’t be getting the flashy new features with the earlier models, you will be saving money while purchasing a reliable vehicle.

Additional noteworthy Hyundai Santa Fe ratings

While the Hyundai Santa Fe models have decreased in their reliability rating, the cars have gone up in other rating areas. Before 2019, the Santa Fe was always rated at a 3 out of 5 in owner satisfaction, but in the last two years, this number has increased to a 4 out of 5 with the trend predicted to continue into 2021.
Miles per gallon (or, MPG) for the Santa Fe have also increased since 2019, an indication that Hyundai’s newer engines are paying off. In 2016-2018, miles per gallon as reported by owners was about 22. In both 2019 and 2020, this number has increased to an average 25 MPG.
Clearly, every model year of the Hyundai Santa Fe has a unique combination of advantages and disadvantages. So, if you’re thinking about purchasing this model car, it all comes down to what factors you value most as a driver.

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