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From 2010 onwards Hyundai went with a different coupler. I am not sure of the difference between what the 2009 and earlier used. But the number of failure spiked a lot for the newer build. They function the same from what I understand but the part or make is different.

You lucked out on that call going to the dealer on it!!!
 

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I hear you and I opted for a Highlander for myself last year in the Winter. My daughter has taken a liking to my SF and expect she'll be keeping it. It was my 09 4x4 Compass North Edition or the SF. LOL
My wife and I both upgraded to newer vehicle. The 2nd Gen Highland is full time 4WD which is what i wanted. The new series has gone to a coupler as well as others and AWD type.

A driveline component like that should be robust. They exist but cost cutbacks to poorer model parts were used. Whether that has change in either SF or Sorento (same power train) I don't know.
 
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