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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I bought my Santa Fe new 10 years ago, we now have 135K and it is coming up for a timing belt change. Haven't paid attention to the new models at all until we stopped at a dealer and started looking around... gosh things have changed!

We are empty nesters so looking at a SWB model, the sport. I am struggling with the notion of a 2.0T vs 2.4 NA engine. I don't want to start up a long ego fight over this, but seems like the 2.0T is plenty of power!

My existing Santa Fe weighs a lot more than the new ones, it is a 3.5L V6 with 200 hp and about 219 lbs torque. The performance for the 2.4 NA is pretty close to that. We are happy with the "zip" of our older model, do you think we would do ok with the 2.4 NA engine? What gets me with the turbo is that the "timing belt" was a surprise expense and I am thinking the turbo also has a surprise expense associated (accelerated sparkplug change, etc).

Appreciate any thoughts from existing owners. Is the turbo really worth it? Is the 2.4L adequate power?

Also, regardless of if you have this issue. The complaints on the '13 at the gov web site: www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov (forum won't let me format as a link as I am too new)..... anyway... it shows quite a few concerns about steering. THIS IS SIGNIFICANT and the most common complaint.

Have the Hyundai corporate people addressed this steering issue in the "14 adequately? Recalls? Those with the 13 that had complained, have you seen them resolve?
 

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I'd recommend you thoroughly test drive both - from stop to 60 or 70, off throttle response, etc. Take a look at the oil change interval on the 2.0T - if you do not self service the cost of required frequent oil changes may be important to you.

And the extra weight of AWD and Pano Sun roof should be considered in the engine choice. I live in CO and drive mtns and needed the extra power of the turbo. Check out fuel consumption threads as well - some on here say their older V6 Sante Fe provided marginally better fuel economy.
 

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I

Also, regardless of if you have this issue. The complaints on the '13 at the gov web site: www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov (forum won't let me format as a link as I am too new)..... anyway... it shows quite a few concerns about steering. THIS IS SIGNIFICANT and the most common complaint.

Have the Hyundai corporate people addressed this steering issue in the "14 adequately? Recalls? Those with the 13 that had complained, have you seen them resolve?
also on the steering - drive it and see if you can adapt or live with it - some early complainers I think since have, I've always been ok with it - it is electric steering and fairly numb and not the best implementation on the market but in my experience it steers the car just fine and to me not at all a safety concern.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
STEERING
I have electric steering on my second vehicle and like it, numbness isn't the issue. Seems like the complaints have to do with repeated service visits for drifting and customers being told nothing was wrong. TOO MUCH OF A PATERN in the data to say it wasn't an issue.

I was really upset with the hydraulic on my '04 and got charged an outrageous cost for replacing the hose (this is fresh on my mind as just did it about 12 months ago). Hyundai struggles with steering. I also had a new Elantra years ago and took delivery with the hose not even connected right at the factory and leaking. WONDERING if Hyundai has a pattern of LISTENING to customer concerns on steering and not telling them it is "nothing." I see a history here, the drifting has to do with alignment or some other engineering/electronic calibration and if they fixed it on the '14. There is no data on complaints yet on the '14.

TURBO ENGINE
I will look into the more frequent oil changes, that doesn't bother me though. I am sloppy with flipping out the air filters. It seems like that would be critical. ALSO, the spark plug change at 48K miles is ok ... if we have to go in and pay the dealer $700 miles to do it .... that would tick me off. Don't take this wrong, I also see a pattern of Hyundai "sneaking" in these service interval requirements for the warranty to be in effect. At least two dealers have also "padded" the required work with "recommendations" that aren't in the schedule.

It looks like the 2.0T are happy, that is good. The history is what I bring to the experience of the new purchase and how the company works. There is a low margin on the sale of a vehicle and the longer warranty can be a revenue stream for the dealer to get customers into the shop for "reassuring" them with expensive non-required labor expenses.

THAT SAID, I am still considering a Hyundai as I do like the long warranty. BUT IT ISN'T a freebie - it is designed to make a regular appearance in the service department and if you go elsewhere they want documentation. There are also loopholes. I had an alternator go out at 40K miles, they honored it and repaired. After 60K I had a sensor trigger, took it in as I thought it was a drivetrain issue. NOPE. PAID a ridiculous $350 that was a $85 sensor part. BE CAREFUL, they do get ya!!!
 

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if the dealer wants anywhere near that much to change plugs - I'd find another source to do it . Looks like a simple diy task to me, $ 700 is way too much.

Your best bet is to be educated on what service is really required to maintain the warranty, except for warranty I pretty much self service my vehicles but in the past a couple of times when I brought cars in for warranty work it didn't surprise me that according to the dealer I needed new brake pads and so on. For some this might be convenient to have the work done but it's not for me.
 

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This is intersting... the spark plug thing...
I am a 2.0T AWD owner, and was unaware that we had to do a sparkplug change at 48k - also, I have no idea what a turbo constitutes an "accelerated" spark plug change... as the turbo should have no effect on the sparkplugs. Turbo's run on the exhaust - have nothing to do with interior of a cylinder or the sparkplug... but i'll be double checking that first SP change for sure...

As for the steering issue, I don't know who's complaining about it, but there's hardly anyone on this forum that is. Since about two weeks before I picked up my SFS in February 2013, i've been on this site - and can count on one hand how many times steering has come up as a concern - if that.
Really, put it on sport setting - which is most people's preference, and you're set.

TURBO: The only way to go in my opinion. The SFS is a crossover, but a larger one at that. I used to sell cars - another company, but got to see that company release new cars/crossovers with smaller engines - and within weeks, you could see people's reactions on a test drive, or after purchase saying it was too small of an engine for that size of car.
It's all good to have a smaller engine, but when you have 4-5 people in it, or are driving 2 lane roads and need to pass - you'll be glad to have the turbo.
PS - the AWD only adds 220 pounds vs. the FWD - so when it comes to extra MPG's to run it... it's the same as having an extra adult in the car at all times... really no difference.

my 2 cents...
All in all, i've enjoyed the SFS.
 

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We have a 2.4 FWD, I have hesitated saying this before because I don't want to piss anyone off but I cannot see why you would need the turbo in this vehicle. The 2.4 has more than enough grunt to do sane passing without issue. From what I read on here it also gets significantly better mileage than the turbo. I raced cars for a lot of years and I am totally happy with it, it has all the power you need on a public highway. We tow a trailer with it and it has no problem at all doing that. If you want to do stoplight drags, well, that's another story, but for legal driving I can't imagine what the turbo adds. Add in the additional fuel, maintenance costs and stress on the engine and I'm doubly happy we got the 2.4. Just MHO.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
Thanks for these comments - especially from the 2.4L people. That is what I thought, the V6 on my current 3.5L Santa Fe is pulling the vehicle fine with 4 adults, cargo etc and I guess "power" is a subjective thing. I feel like the 2.4L torque and hp are nearly equivalent to my car now.

I am not surprised that some 2.0T people don't know about the spark plugs being changed (among another long list of things shared by both the 2.4 and 2.0T schedules). Sales people don't explain it, in fact I had to find the official web site and it wouldn't print out or copy. Call and ask the dealer's service department if you don't believe me. Ask them what the 48K mile scheduled service charge is - I don't know and only threw out the $700 (mea culpa) dollar. BET I am not far off though. My 60K mile charge on our older Santa Fe was $1600 that covered timing belt and a number of other misc stuff. But, hey it made it to 135K miles now.


Anyway, my point on engines - if the turbo has "hidden" charges (more $$ up front and more in the maintenance over the life of the vehicle), we should all lay it on the table. I personally wish they would have just stuck the V6 in the SPORT SWB model to begin with.

I've spent approx. $4,100 over the 10 years in scheduled (excluding oil changes) to keep my 2004 Santa Fe in compliance (and documented with dealer invoices) to keep it under warranty.

If you do the work yourself (change spark plugs should be easy), my advice is to buy the plugs from dealer (yes, they will be more expensive) and get your name put on the invoice. One time I had it done by an independent (Elantra was the car) and the service department said it wasn't torqued wrenched to spec and charged me $100 to "tighten and check"...


As for steering, I think if you search this forum you will see a few complaints about steering. I am not going to repeat here on the threads. This is well-documented safety issue by consumers... the feds and in a couple of other web sites on auto complaints also document 2013 steering issues. I am biased because of my experience with the hydraulic steering on two prior NEW CAR EXPERIENCES (ELANTA and SANTA FE) although those are older models. SEE, I am not bashing, I am a repeat customer if I follow though with the '14 purchase!

My electronic steering is well executed in a Ford Mustang. It has 3 settings just like the Santa Fe. I think it is the same vendor really. But, I wasn't talking about "firmness" or "road feel" or other subjective complaints. I was talking about DRIFTING. Jan-June of 2013 were the most complaints, look at the dates on the *.gov safety web site above original posting.
 

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Ok all, here I'am. I really dislike my new 14 2.0T. I test drove it on a local loop and that was it. Actually, I test drove a 13 for a little longer, then come to find out, after purchase that the 14 indeed handles poorly and the steering is all over the road. The springs have been changed from 2013 to be softer. The dealer has aligned it twice maxing the camber and adding toe to the front and rear. My biggest complaint is the unstable ride. This thing is riding on pasta noodles for springs. At highways speeds the body rocks so much side to side from environmental effects such as wind, truck eddy currents and of course road conditions. Anyway, I have opened a ticket with Hyundai but the dealer is only talking a good game. Minimal action. I will never buy another Hyundai...first and last.Traded my Toyota Venza V6 which was a dream to drive for this. I intend on selling this Korean reject within the year. I'd advise anybody not to buy the Santa Fe at this point. This vehicle with the tech package cost way to much for these type of fundamental car design issues. Here's the kicker to this story. I rented a Genesis for 3 days and it too handled like crap, road manners, steering and stability. All bad. That experience really tells the story to an end point. If the engineering was as good as the design team these cars would be of a better caliber. Quality comes from experience. Toyota, Honda, Nissan, Ford, GM and etc. have been hammering out problems like this for decades. Hyundai is just now learning how to tune suspension.....Sorry to be a downer for all you SF lovers. Anybody near NC that wants to make an offer....7,500 miles bought in October.
Anyway, I hope all of you enjoy your vehicles and get good service from them. This is just my experience and dissatisfaction with the brand.
 

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the turbo should have no effect on the sparkplugs. Turbo's run on the exhaust - have nothing to do with interior of a cylinder or the sparkplug.
you are only taking the turbine side into account. you are forgetting that the turbine, which runs on the exhaust - turns the compressor side. that compressor side creates a lot of compression. that compression is fed directly into the combustion chamber(the cylinder you speak of)

does a turbo affect a spark plug? yes. Higher Compression Ratios and Forced Induction will elevate spark plug tip and in-cylinder temperatures. BUT i am sure the plugs used were chosen to withstand the heat ranges/pressures. BUT then again..... we dont know for sure. if the manual calls for their replacement: it could be simply preventative measure, and it could be something they know- that we dont know(ie; the oem plugs simply wont last in this engine.)

anyway:
we got the 2.4L specifically to reduce maintenance costs associated with having a turbo, and future costs associated with turbo's in general, with over 100,000miles. prior to the SFS, we came from a rear wheel drive 2010 G37s, in 6speed manual, as well as a track-only sportbike racing background- yet we find the 2.4L to be just fine for daily life. good luck with your choice.
 

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This is intersting... the spark plug thing...
I am a 2.0T AWD owner, and was unaware that we had to do a sparkplug change at 48k - also, I have no idea what a turbo constitutes an "accelerated" spark plug change... as the turbo should have no effect on the sparkplugs. Turbo's run on the exhaust - have nothing to do with interior of a cylinder or the sparkplug... but i'll be double checking that first SP change for sure...
Well my manual calls for spark plug replacement at 22.5/45 k miles. Severe/non severe driving conditions. This could be for 2 reasons I can think of :

1) higher compression (boost) does create more resistance for spark and the plug change could be another precautionary measure as gap increases to ensure no cylinder miss at max boost.

2) Don't know if the 2.4 and the 2.0T use the same ignition system - if the 2.0T uses a higher powered system it can indeed wear the plug sooner. Again high compression via boosted engine means more resistance for spark so high compression performance engines often have/had stronger ignition systems, more electrical power = faster plug wear.

Plugs are cheap and it looks like a 30 minute job to change on the 2.0T.

I agree on the steering - a few owners seemingly had alignment issues but some of the early concerns about steering - haven't seen follow up posts that they still feel it's unsafe - so perhaps they have adjusted to the steering. IMO it's numb or lacking in feedback but so are many electric steering systems.
 

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TURBO: The only way to go in my opinion. The SFS is a crossover, but a larger one at that. I used to sell cars - another company, but got to see that company release new cars/crossovers with smaller engines - and within weeks, you could see people's reactions on a test drive, or after purchase saying it was too small of an engine for that size of car.
It's all good to have a smaller engine, but when you have 4-5 people in it, or are driving 2 lane roads and need to pass - you'll be glad to have the turbo.
PS - the AWD only adds 220 pounds vs. the FWD - so when it comes to extra MPG's to run it... it's the same as having an extra adult in the car at all times... really no difference.

my 2 cents...
All in all, i've enjoyed the SFS.
Also - there is no way that I believe the AWD only adds 220 lbs to the drive train - 420 is now legal in Colorado but I'd have to smoke a lot of reefer to believe Hyundai's numbers on that - just too many components.
 

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Also - there is no way that I believe the AWD only adds 220 lbs to the drive train - 420 is now legal in Colorado but I'd have to smoke a lot of reefer to believe Hyundai's numbers on that - just too many components.
meh.... its KINDA believable. lol we are not really talking about large parts here.

add a normal transfer case at around 35lbs-50lbs then a 10lbs propellar shaft, and a rear carrier(differential). most rear carriers now a days weigh in at around 50-100lbs. so we have: 160lbs if you add up 50+10+100. then add in 2 rear small CV-joints, and thats about 15lbs each at most. 190lb so far.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I am not a mechanic, but yea you are going to change plugs more often on a turbo. It has a higher fuel air ratio than a naturally aspired (NA) engine ! It runs a little hotter. I am sure the parts involved in terms of cam, seals and piston are engineered to take it though and the performance is really about those modifications. There is also going to be a bit more wear on the oil so that makes sense too.

The sway and steering issues cited above really concern me though as a prospective buyer. I thought maybe it was corrected in the '14 models. Anyone else have suspension and or steering that the dealer can't seem to nail?

Please look at my original post (top of this thread), not trying to start a war over engines. A thought: has anyone checked over there in that forum? I've lurked here on and off, went searching threads in this forum when I began to seriously consider a SFS.

As backdrop, I also own a new Mustang and know the difference between super and turbo charged, the fact is you should be told in sales or cycled through the service department when you buy the SFS so everyone knows the expectations for that 2.0T engine.

On the Mustang they use an oil brand Royal Purple ($15 quart) in the turbo/super charged engines. I think it is over kill for my NA Mustang, but don't even bother to write rebuttal. This is for another day.

Anyway still considering the SFS and the comments here. I just don't want to make a final decision on torque or subjective feel alone. Did you all know Ford is also having a few issues with the turbo Ecoboost engine?
 

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I complained about the steering issues early on this forum and was one of the first to post that Hyundai had changed the alignment specs per TSB that required more toe-in. My 2013 fwd 2.4 Sport was aligned to new specs and drives/steers good at this point..........not nearly as precise as my wife's 2014 Mazda CX5 though.
 

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Ok all, here I'am. I really dislike my new 14 2.0T. I test drove it on a local loop and that was it. Actually, I test drove a 13 for a little longer, then come to find out, after purchase that the 14 indeed handles poorly and the steering is all over the road. The springs have been changed from 2013 to be softer. The dealer has aligned it twice maxing the camber and adding toe to the front and rear. My biggest complaint is the unstable ride. This thing is riding on pasta noodles for springs. At highways speeds the body rocks so much side to side from environmental effects such as wind, truck eddy currents and of course road conditions. Anyway, I have opened a ticket with Hyundai but the dealer is only talking a good game. Minimal action. I will never buy another Hyundai...first and last.Traded my Toyota Venza V6 which was a dream to drive for this. I intend on selling this Korean reject within the year. I'd advise anybody not to buy the Santa Fe at this point. This vehicle with the tech package cost way to much for these type of fundamental car design issues. Here's the kicker to this story. I rented a Genesis for 3 days and it too handled like crap, road manners, steering and stability. All bad. That experience really tells the story to an end point. If the engineering was as good as the design team these cars would be of a better caliber. Quality comes from experience. Toyota, Honda, Nissan, Ford, GM and etc. have been hammering out problems like this for decades. Hyundai is just now learning how to tune suspension.....Sorry to be a downer for all you SF lovers. Anybody near NC that wants to make an offer....7,500 miles bought in October.
Anyway, I hope all of you enjoy your vehicles and get good service from them. This is just my experience and dissatisfaction with the brand.
Sorry to hear about your negative experience. That whole suspension issue sounds very strange.

I've had nothing of the sort with my new '14 2.0T AWD. I knew going in that the steering was numb, and accepted that (this is my wife's daily driver). I just leave the steering on Sport. We've taken it on several trips already and it drives quietly, firmly planted, with none of the body rock and roll you describe. It has even exceeded the expected MPG. I've been very attuned to all of the little things, as I'm a car fanatic and have owned many cars across the spectrum -- but never a Hyundai until now. This replaced her bulletproof Honda that will be tough to beat, so I keep waiting to be disappointed. So far, especially given the value and feature content when compared to Honda, Acura, Toyota, Lexus, Mazda, etc => no complaints. Holding breath....
 

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Ok all, here I'am. I really dislike my new 14 2.0T. I test drove it on a local loop and that was it. Actually, I test drove a 13 for a little longer, then come to find out, after purchase that the 14 indeed handles poorly and the steering is all over the road. The springs have been changed from 2013 to be softer. The dealer has aligned it twice maxing the camber and adding toe to the front and rear. My biggest complaint is the unstable ride. This thing is riding on pasta noodles for springs. At highways speeds the body rocks so much side to side from environmental effects such as wind, truck eddy currents and of course road conditions. Anyway, I have opened a ticket with Hyundai but the dealer is only talking a good game. Minimal action. I will never buy another Hyundai...first and last.Traded my Toyota Venza V6 which was a dream to drive for this. I intend on selling this Korean reject within the year. I'd advise anybody not to buy the Santa Fe at this point. This vehicle with the tech package cost way to much for these type of fundamental car design issues. Here's the kicker to this story. I rented a Genesis for 3 days and it too handled like crap, road manners, steering and stability. All bad. That experience really tells the story to an end point. If the engineering was as good as the design team these cars would be of a better caliber. Quality comes from experience. Toyota, Honda, Nissan, Ford, GM and etc. have been hammering out problems like this for decades. Hyundai is just now learning how to tune suspension.....Sorry to be a downer for all you SF lovers. Anybody near NC that wants to make an offer....7,500 miles bought in October.
Anyway, I hope all of you enjoy your vehicles and get good service from them. This is just my experience and dissatisfaction with the brand.
This seems to provide an excellent overall review of the Hyundai blooper they created with the new SFS. Ran into a 2014 SFS owner yesterday while getting gas and he had the same comments. He has been meeting with local Michigan dealer but with no improvements to date. Already looking for a replacement!
Sounds like the 2014 model has even gone further off course? Yikes!
 
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