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I want to preface this review of the 2017 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport Turbo with a few housekeeping items. I believe that anyone considering this vehicle should be made aware of all of these issues, as Hyundai has been anything but forthcoming. And for current owners, this may be useful for you, as well.

1. Before deciding to jump on a new or used 2017 Santa Fe, check your state's Hyundai dealerships to see how many used 2017 Santa Fes (and even Tuscons) they have in stock. Now, note how many of those have fewer than 10k miles on them. And even more alarming, how many of them have fewer than 5k miles.


2. Any repository dedicated to providing user information and data on vehicles (i.e., NHTSA) has countless reports detailing the exact same issues. These issues are unique to the 2017 models, which should raise even more red flags to any potential customer.



3. Hyundai likes to recycle model years for two+ years at a time, meaning these issues with the 2017s will persist (and might even worsen) in the 2018 model year. Given that Hyundai refuses to acknowledge the mounting evidence against these vehicles being safe and sound (similarly to how they denied the safety issues with their Sonatas [and kept using the same engines in their other vehicles] which ended up in a class action lawsuit being won by consumers), these issues will continue to be built into these vehicles until someone dies or is seriously maimed due to these faults.


4. Hyundai knows exactly what these issues are and they're telling their dealerships to keep quiet about them. I cannot prove definitively that corporate is instructing them to lie on diagnostics paperwork (though their "mechanics" talk their way out of every persisting issue, even when it can be replicated), but I can attest to one dealership admitting there is a huge issue with these vehicles but that they are not allowed to disclose what it is. Of course, that hasn't stopped Hyundai from selling them.


5. Take careful notice of the financing deals Hyundai has offered this year. It has fluctuated from 0% to 0.9% for the last several months. A local dealership has even started financing 0% for 84 months. Let that sink in--0% for 84 months. Why is that? Because they're hemorrhaging money on this defective fleet and they need the sales. For those who didn't know, Hyundai didn't meet their sales goals last year, which was pretty indicative of the quality of the vehicles they are selling right now. And as a brief aside, these issues began cropping up last year, so it's not like Hyundai is blissfully unaware.

6. There are currently 87 complaints (and growing) with the Auto Recalls for Consumers website (www.arfc.org).

7. When dealing with corporate, I was told that, "...Things are really backed up [sic] in the review department." I'm not really sure why the person assigned to my case admitted this, but that pretty much sums up the quality of these vehicles in a nutshell.



8. Lastly, look at the KBB value of the 2017 model year Santa Fes. They are selling for almost $40k brand new (though many dealerships have been slashing prices to clear out the stale inventory) and have depreciated to being worth $25k off the lot. That's almost a depreciation of 50%! That's not normal depreciation, which tends to be around 12–15% until the new model year rolls in. This is OFF THE LOT.


Now that I've gotten those bits out of the way, this was my personal experience. Note: All of these issues occurred withing the first few days of purchasing the vehicle, all the way until I sold it (two months later).


The vehicle constantly failed to accelerate properly, whether from a dead stop or from 50 MPH to 60 MPH. It struggled to get up to speed (or even up to 20 MPH), which caused daily close calls. The engine redlined during each of these struggles, no matter what mode (normal, eco, sport) the vehicle was in. I have nearly been t-boned on numerous occasions because of this issue. Eco mode made this vehicle almost undrivable, as it never got up to speed and would redline just by hitting the gas. Normal mode was marginally better, but barely drivable. Sport mode (which its name is a complete joke) was the best mode, but again, these issues happened in all three modes. I tried turning off traction control, as that seemed to help some people, but it only helped occasionally, and never completely erased the issue. If you have to start turning features off to make a vehicle perform as it should already, there is a huge problem.

Addressing the redlining situation, the first time it happened, it hit over 7000 RPMs, and immediately thereafter, the cabin filled with a burnt smell. After that, I would hit at least 6500 RPMs just trying to get to 40 MPH on a daily basis. When one of Hyundai's "mechanics" was in the vehicle with me, it hit over 6500 RPMs, and he told me, "That's normal." At one point, I was about to be hit from an oncoming vehicle (there is a highway in the middle of my route that is only punctuated with two stop signs, and oncoming traffic is going at least 55 MPH), I had to floor the gas, and it barely got up to 20 MPH, leaving a mere few feet between my side panel and a truck's bumper).

The vehicle does not properly shift automatically. When cruise control is activated, the vehicle will stumble and linger in an inappropriate gear, and will takes as long as 15 seconds to either up or downshift, and usually that's after bring the vehicle to a complete stop. When cruise control is not activated, the same issue occurs, but it has lingered as long as 20 seconds before finally up or downshifting. This happened every day I drove it. When I took it in to the dealership, the mechanic said that it's because the engineers designed the 2017 fleet to idle to "save gas". I have it documented in a report they released to me and corporate. So to all who are dealing with this issue, it appears that Hyundai did this intentionally and knowingly. And rather than admit this is a huge and dangerous flaw, they are pushing the company line of it being intentional and safe, while putting thousands of lives in constant danger.

One of the more terrifying defects in the vehicle is its sensors and autonomous braking system. I first noticed my sensors malfunctioning when the autonomous braking system kicked in while I was driving next to a jogger. She was on the sidewalk, and I, obviously, was on the street. She was not, in any way, in front of me. The next time this occurred, I was on the highway doing 55 MPH, when the vehicle once again abruptly braked, as it sensed a school bus in the right lane next to me (and on the same side as when it sensed the jogger). I was fortunate enough to not have anyone behind me, but none of us will always be so fortunate. It could have caused a pretty serious accident, and I, by way of my malfunctioning vehicle, would have been at fault. The last time this occurred was shortly before I got rid of it. I was again going down the highway at 55 MPH, and a vehicle next to me, on the same side, braked to turn right. My vehicle braked abruptly, causing a near miss for the line of vehicles behind me. Luckily, I was ahead of them enough to slam on the gas and recover. That same day, however, a deer ran out in front of me (15 minutes later, in fact) from the same offending side. Of course, the braking system did not react, but I did and narrowly avoided an accident. So clearly, the system is defected and rendered useless.


Aside from overt safety issues, the entire infotainment system turned off and would not turn back on until I restarted the car (first week of owning it). Over the next two months, Pandora would not properly load and I would have to use my actual phone to play music rather than the interface built to do so for me (creating another potential safety issue). Twice, when directing the infotainment system to make calls, it would not comply and would idle (the microphone was perfectly operational, as the phone calls I made prior and after this situation were in perfect working order)...again, I toggled via my phone and not the infotainment system built to accommodate this function. These issues refused to clear until the vehicle was restarted. However, the issue with Pandora happened on almost a daily basis and I captured several screenshots.

And lastly, the vehicle would say the gas tank was full 2 to 3 gallons short of actually being full.

I immediately reported all of this to corporate, and had to send my vehicle in for diagnostics three times. I asked, on numerous occasions, if I could send it to a real mechanic who was not associated with Hyundai in any way, as they are unbiased, and corporate never answered me on that. You can read into that what you will. During the first visit to Hyundai's service department, the "mechanic" said there was nothing wrong. When I rode with him, the vehicle began struggling to accelerate and shift, and then he changed his story to the mock neutral mode nonsense that Hyundai never confirmed.

The second visit was a mess; they didn't bother checking the correct systems (they checked lane departure versus the front sensors, radio instead of Apple CarPlay, and they completely ignored the gas tank issue). So of course they documented it as being fine, but of course those things were fine--they were never not fine in the first place.

The third time was the last time I dealt with Hyundai's service department, as it was clearly the worst. As previously stated, the "mechanic" I rode with tried to tell me that redlining is normal. I don't know if he actually believes that, thinks I'm stupid enough to believe it, or if corporate told them to purposely dismiss all of the issues I had, but he had the nerve to say it. And I was lucky enough to catch it on video. The next thing the service department tried to tell me is that the sensors being sensitive is how these vehicles are being designed--that they're too sophisticated for their own good and that it sensing people or vehicles next to me is totally normal. They actually tried it. Not that it should require any debunking, but my new vehicle has no issues whatsoever alerting me to things next to me unless I'm parking. Lastly, the same "mechanic" tried to tell me that there's nothing wrong with the fuel tank and that he refused to even look into it. He tried to say that I was over-filling it. I could understand that logic if it had been a fraction of a gallon; but three gallons? That's not normal. I found his dismissive attitude interesting, because again, I owned the exact same vehicle and I never had any issues with the fuel tank. In fact, I did some research of my own, and read that this issue could be indicative of bigger issues relating to the restriction in the evaporative emission control system.

Another few items to note:

  • Gas mileage was atrocious on this thing. When driving in sport, I would never get above 18 MPG. When driving in normal, I would get about 20 MPG.
    • My current vehicle has a supercharged V6 sport engine, and I have gotten between 22 and 27 MPG, depending on whether or not I'm driving in normal mode (not even eco mode!) or am driving a little more "spirited" in sport mode. I am getting drastically better gas mileage in a sport SUV than a Hyundai SUV--that should, in and of itself--give cause for pause.
  • I have owned nothing but Hyundais for almost 15 years, so I'm not a brand basher. The terrible performance of this vehicle came as a complete surprise to me. I have always talked the brand up, even getting my husband to convert. Now I regret it.
    • Also worth noting is that I had an identical vehicle to this, only it was a 2015, that I traded in. I never had any of these issues with my 15. Further, I never would have traded it in (I did so for the added safety features, as drivers in my town are notoriously terrible) had I known a fraction of what I know now. This is precisely why I wanted to detail my experiences.
  • In dealing with corporate, my case manager tried to get smart with me, telling me the vehicle was a dual clutch. I advised him that it was not, and that there was no way I would have gotten a dual clutch with all of the stop and go traffic in my town. He continued to argue, and said he would "send some literature over" to "educate" me.
    • For those of us who know anything about Hyundais, we know that the Tucson has a EcoShift dual clutch transmission, and the Santa Fe has a dual continuously variable valve timing (D-CVVT) and gasoline direct injection engine. These are not the same thing, or even close to being the same thing.
    • When I presented him with this information and asked where his information was confirming that the Santa Fe had a dual clutch, he played stupid (well, I guess it wasn't an act) and never presented it, because that information doesn't exist.
    • With all of the issues Hyundai's dual clutch is causing them the last thing they would do is add it to more of their vehicles.
In closing, I hope that this information is helpful to those considering this vehicle, as well as a sanity check for anyone dealing with similar issues and being brushed off by Hyundai.

The best advice I can give is this:

  • Record and document everything. If this means installing a few cameras, do it. While corporate may have the gall to ignore video and photographic evidence, a lawyer will not.
  • Install a dash cam for your safety and sanity. If/when your vehicle malfunctions, you will want evidence that it was a vehicle malfunction and not driver negligence. That has already happened to some 2017 Santa Fe owners.
  • Contact corporate--flood them with your complaints! Many people decide not to contact corporate, hoping that the dealership will be able to help. Hyundai has no intention of helping any of us--they are directing their dealerships to ignore the problems. So interface with corporate and demand answers and assistance. And if that doesn't work...
  • Consult with a lawyer. Many lawyers will give you free legal consultations, and can explain your state's lemon laws.
  • If you can, get rid of it. I know this is not a feasible option for everyone, and that the financial hit is significant given the depreciation of these vehicles, but if you can, consider it. Personally, I took an absurd financial loss to offload this vehicle, and it was well worth it.
Good luck, and stay safe.
TSZ



















 

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What did you get to replace this vehicle? I have the 2015 Limited Ultimate, the 3.3 motor is nice, The only issue I had 2 months back was the ECM fried while I was driving freeway at 60mph, and had to make it to the shoulder..called a tow truck. So far I am happy with my santa fe XL.
 

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What did you get to replace this vehicle? I have the 2015 Limited Ultimate, the 3.3 motor is nice, The only issue I had 2 months back was the ECM fried while I was driving freeway at 60mph, and had to make it to the shoulder..called a tow truck. So far I am happy with my santa fe XL.
I ended up with an F-Pace, and I've had nothing but great experiences with it. I've not had anything close to the issues I had with the Santa Fe. I think I mentioned this previously, but my 15 Santa Fe was a rockstar. No complaints with it whatsoever. Hang on to your 15 until Hyundai decides to take responsibility for the engine and transmission issues! I'm glad it's been good to you.
 

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I've got the 2017 SF Limited Ultimate, 3.3L engine. and other than having the radio replaced I've had no other problems.. Just passing 10K miles and getting 18-20 mpg in city driving (15 - 17 when towing), and 23+ non-city.. Hopefully will continue to be problem free.
 

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I've got the 2017 SF Limited Ultimate, 3.3L engine. and other than having the radio replaced I've had no other problems.. Just passing 10K miles and getting 18-20 mpg in city driving (15 - 17 when towing), and 23+ non-city.. Hopefully will continue to be problem free.
I really hope so, too! It seems like the V6 is performing better than the 2.0 turbo overall. Keep us posted if anything comes up, but I'm sincerely hoping it doesn't.
 

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Kind of wish i read this before a week and a half ago.
I just purchased a 2017 Santa Fe Sport (non turbo)

So far all I've noticed is the lack of acceleration power. It is noticeably better in sport mode.

The issues you were describing were in your turbo correct? If so, do you know of any issues in the standard 4 cylinder engines?

Also I did not get the tech package or package with the lane departure or brake assist so it looks like I dodged that one.

Thank you very much for this info btw.
 

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Kind of wish i read this before a week and a half ago.
I just purchased a 2017 Santa Fe Sport (non turbo)

So far all I've noticed is the lack of acceleration power. It is noticeably better in sport mode.

The issues you were describing were in your turbo correct? If so, do you know of any issues in the standard 4 cylinder engines?

Also I did not get the tech package or package with the lane departure or brake assist so it looks like I dodged that one.

Thank you very much for this info btw.


Yes, my experience was with the turbo engine, though I have seen several people in various forums also mention the issue is present in the non-turbo model. If I had to venture a guess, I would say it is a software issue, coupled with a few engineering fails. They are trying to make the vehicle more fuel efficient, but in the process, have stripped away basic functionality.


I sincerely hope you don't encounter some of the more frustrating issues I've dealt with. Stay safe, and keep us posted if anything changes!
 

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TSZ,

Thanks for the detailed post. I'm so glad I decided to buy the 2015 sport I'm currently leasing instead of purchasing or leasing a 17 or 18. I have the 2.4L version, AWD, and the only problem I had with it, so far, knock wood, is an issue with an AWD coupling that would expand after the vehicle was running for a while. It would rub on the back underside of the car and make a noise. Took four trips, over four months, to two different Hyundai dealers to figure out. That was when I first leased it in early 2015. Decided to keep it because I'm living in the Houston area and AWD models are few and far between. Didn't want to take a chance and get a 2WD model and then find out I'm relocating back to NJ/Northeast. After reading your post, boy, am I glad! I test drove a leftover 2017 sport turbo 2WD, and it drove fine, actually too fast for my lead footed driving, would definitely get into trouble with the law driving it :). Hope this 2015 holds out. Previously had a 2007 Nissan Murano that started leaking from the transfer case after 130,000 miles; Nissan dealer service dept. claimed they never heard of this situation. Forums for Nissan Murano had hundreds of posts about it, Nissan denied any problems. Sounds like Hyundai's taking the same road as Nissan - deny, deny, deny. I wish you best of luck with your new vehicle. And again, thank you for your posting to warn others.
 

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No problem here

Interesting and sad read here. But this is my experience...
Bought my 2017 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport Ultimate 2.0T in Oct 1016. Now have 26,361 miles on it.
Absolutely NO issues at all. 99% of the time I run it in the eco mode. Acceleration is great and tourky. No 'red-line' issues. Gas mileage in all of 2017 averaged 25.05 MPG combined hwy-city.
Maybe I'm lucky or a few folks are unlucky?
The dealers in my area are not overstocked with Santa Fe's new or used.

I had the 2.0T in my 2011 Sonata and loved it so much, had to get it again.
 

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2017 sfs

We bought a 2017 2.0T Ultimate on Nov. 30, 2017. We now have 21K miles on the vehicle and its performance has been flawless. Nothing done other than 5K oil changes along with cabin and air filters at about 18K miles.

I did have issues with wheel balance when new but road force balance seemed to take care of that issue.

We don't drive in Eco mode, never even really tried it.

The only item I can see taking care of while still under warranty is that the rear hatch support struts don't seem to open the hatch completely.

I'm sorry others have experienced problems with their new cars. So far, I guess we've been lucky.
 

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New member here. I just purchased a new 2018 Santa Fe Sport 2.4L. After driving a new RAV4, Kia Sportage, Nissan Rogue, and Honda CRV, I decided on the SFS. I was looking for the best new 2018 SUV for a great deal, so the SFS won out.
I liked the 5yr/60K warranty, the dealer was great to work with and has nice facility. I only drive about 5,000 miles a year and keep it in the garage, so hopefully it will still look good when I trade it in a few years from now.
If I have any issues, I'll be sure to post.
 

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Over 8 months since my last post regarding Santa Fe health, and our 2017 SF Limited V6 3.3L continues to perform without any problems... had 15k service in Dec.. so far it couldn't be a better experience (unless the gas mileage were better) LOL, average 19.4 since I bought it....
 

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My Santa Fe Sport 2015 just redlined on me a few days ago with this same issue, the dealership said they couldn't replicate the issue and nothing was showing up on their computers. I live where I have to pull out onto highway traffic and don't want to have that feeling again, I'm going to start shopping for another car today. Makes me sad because otherwise, I love this car and bought it new in 2015 and other than an injector going out the first year (Hyundai replaced all 4 for me then) I haven't had any other issues. Thank you for the write up!
 

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Hey folks, Canadian here interested in a 2018 SFS Limited, but being the current proud :frown owner of a Ford Focus with the automated manual tranny, the last thing I need is more transmission headaches. As we discovered with Ford, having a warranty doesn't help if they won't admit your problem exists. Which of course means they have no fix. We have two warranties on our clunker, and neither will pay out as there are no trouble codes, even though it's just stopped working 3 times now as we're driving down the road - no power. Oh wait, a flaky transmission control module not throwing a code - shocking. And when it did, we were too slow to get to the shop and the code disappeared when the dummy brain didn't get the crashing computer signal after a bit.

Enough ranting about our currrent problem: one reason why we liked the SFS was the standard slushbox tranny, which has in basic form been around for many decades (not so much for computer controlled clutches). So I was wondering if there is a software update that has fixed this issue.

Have there been any software updates for these transmission controllers?
 

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Hi TSZ ... That is some list of problems you have. I bought my wife a 2017 Santa Fe Sport, 2.4L in May of 2017 and to date, it has been pretty good. Other than the right mirror not moving out when I adjust it to drive it, the other issues are annoyances rather than problems. First, I refuse to own a turbo. If they offered a super charged engine, I would make sure I had one, but not a turbo. Anyway, I notice on very rare occasion, it will stumble if you come to a quick stop and then accelerate. This can not be duplicated - I've tried. It is VERY intermittent. Another annoyance I noticed is the shifting from 5 to 6 is dragged way out unless I am in ECO mode. Sport and Normal modes do not up-shift as I think they should. I just keep it in ECO. No acceleration problems like you mentioned you have. Also Cruise Control will downshift when going downhill, trying to keep the set speed. Engine RPM up to 4000+. We use this vehicle for long trips, which is the reason I traded the 2013 we owned. I only unloaded that because of the engine recall. I didn't need to throw a rod in the middle of a dessert!! The 2013 was a great vehicle and we had zero problems with it. This 2017 is not my favorite but I will put up with the little problems, as I know if I take it to the dealer they won't fix it or they will make it worse. The mirror I can fix myself, as this is not foreign to me.


These vehicles are built very well. They are solid compared to the GM's I've bought over the years. I think you just got "The Thursday Lemon" and I wish you luck going forward.


Jack
 
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