Advice for buyers
What should I look for in a used Hyundai Santa Fe 4x4?
Reliability is one of the Santa Fe's main strengths. On early examples, the clutch on manual gearboxes could sometimes judder, but the problem was solved in mid-2003 by fitting a modified flywheel. That is pretty much the sum of the car's known faults.
Even so, it isn't designed for serious off-roading, and any Santa Fe that has been used for proper mud-plugging is likely to have sustained damage, so check for any signs of abuse, especially underneath.