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Used SUVs are great for so many reasons, but one of the biggest is reliability. When you buy an SUV that’s been around for awhile, you have a better idea of how likely it is that it’s going to hold up over time. If you’re in the market for one of the most reliable used SUVs out there, you might want to consider the Hyundai Santa Fe. It’s a top-notch SUV with great reliability ratings – except for one model year. While the Santa Fe may be a fantastic SUV, the 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe is one model year that you probably want to skip. Here’s why.

A white 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe in the woods.
2021 Hyundai Santa Fe | Hyundai

The 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe’s reliability is less-than-average

The 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe has a reliability rating that’s not so great. Consumer Reports awards vehicles a reliability rating of 1-5 and the 2021 Santa Fe only scores a 2/5. A lot of the lower ratings are due to the Santa Fe’s exterior durability. For example, the paint/trim gets a 2/5 for reliability and the body hardware gets a 3/5. In addition, the power equipment and in-car electronics also get a 3/5. The 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe also has minor transmission ratings, causing it to get a 3/5 for the transmission minor’s reliability rating.

These reliability ratings are in contrast to the 2018, 2019, and 2020 Hyundai Santa Fe. Each of these Santa Fe models has an overall reliability rating of 4/5. Of those, the 2018 has the worst scores for brakes (2/5) and power equpment (1/5).

Owner satisfaction of the 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe is just so-so

Okay, so the 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe isn’t predicted to be so reliable. Is that such a bad thing? It appears it just might be, as Consumer Reports gives the Santa Fe only a 3/5 for owner satisfaction. Since this score is determined by surveys that Consumer Reports sends out, it’s probably a pretty good reflection of how happy people are to have bought the 2021 Santa Fe.

68% of current Santa Fe owners would buy their SUVs again and overall, they’re pretty happy with its comfort, giving it a 90/100. They’re also happy with its styling, awarding it an 85/100. The driving experience is rated decently, at a 64/100, but the value is just a 58/100.

The 2018 and 2019 Hyundai Santa Fes are two of the best used SUVs you can buy

Both the 2018 and 2019 Hyundai Santa Fes are among the best used SUVs you can buy. They’re each tied for first place on U.S. News’ list of the 77 best used SUVs (with the 2019 Kia Sorento). Not only that, the 2018 Santa Fe receives other top honors from U.S. News, including the #1 Used Midsize SUV $25k and up, as well as #1 in 2018 Affordable Midsize SUVs. It’s also the #1 Used SUV with 3 Rows $25K to $30K.

The 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe is the second Santa Fe to take the top spot on U.S. News’ list of the best used SUVs. This is an incredible testament to the Santa Fe’s excellence. The 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe is the #1 2019 Affordable Midsize SUV as well as the #1 Used Midsize SUVs $25K and up. The 2019 Santa Fe is also the top SUV on the 2019 Affordable SUVs with 2-Rows and the #1 2019 Affordable Crossover SUVs. It’s roomy, comfortable, and has a super nice interior.

Since the used Hyundai Santa Fe’s reliability varies depending on which Santa Fe model you choose, it probably makes sense to go with a year that’s supposed to be reliable. Both the 2018 and 2019 Hyundai Santa Fes are a great choice. The 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe, on the other hand, is one SUV model you just might want to skip.


Skip the “Tepid” Version of the 2022 Hyundai Santa Fe