Hyundai Santa Fe Towing Problems

The Hyundai Santa Fe is a favorite among SUV enthusiasts, but even the best have their quirks. If you’re considering this vehicle for its towing capabilities, there’s more to the story than meets the eye.

Join us as we delve into the lesser-known towing challenges of the Santa Fe and equip you with insights that every owner should know.

Let’s get started!

Hyundai Santa Fe Towing Problems

In short, the towing problems of the Hyundai Santa Fe that we listed in this guide are Limited Towing Capacity, Engine Strength Concerns, Owner Advisories Against Towing, Comparative Towing Deficiencies with other SUVs, and Potential Vehicle Strain during towing.

Let’s Dive in as we explore these issues in detail.

Towing Capacity Limitations

The Hyundai Santa Fe’s towing capacity varies depending on the trim and engine. For instance:

2.5L Inline 4-Cylinder Engine:

  • Towing Capacity: 2,000 pounds
  • Horsepower: 191 hp
  • Torque: 181 lb-ft
  • Fuel Efficiency: 25 mpg city/28 mpg highway (FWD) & 22 mpg city/25 mpg highway (AWD)
  • Available Trims: Santa Fe SE & SEL

2.5L Inline 4-Cylinder Turbo Engine:

  • Towing Capacity: 3,500 pounds (with trailer brakes)
  • Horsepower: 277 hp
  • Torque: 311 lb-ft
  • Fuel Efficiency: 22 mpg city/28 mpg highway (FWD) & 21 mpg city/28 mpg highway (AWD)
  • Available Trims: Santa Fe Limited, Calligraphy, and Calligraphy 2.5T with AWD

Without the trailer brakes system, the 2022 Santa Fe can only tow 1,650 pounds, regardless of the engine. This limitation can be problematic for owners who anticipated towing heavier loads, especially when considering the vehicle’s advertised capabilities.

Engine Strength Bottleneck

The SE and SEL trims of the Santa Fe have a limited towing capacity due to their engine strength. Their 191 horsepower, 2.5L, four-cylinder engine may not be powerful enough for more demanding towing tasks.

Our Recommended Solution: Avoid towing loads that approach the upper limit of your vehicle’s capacity. Overburdening the engine can lead to long-term issues. If you require more robust towing capabilities, consider upgrading to a trim with a more powerful engine or another vehicle model known for its towing prowess.

Recommendation From Owners Against Towing

Some owners of the 2020 Santa Fe Limited 2.0 Turbo have expressed concerns about towing with their vehicle. Despite Hyundai’s claims that this model has a 3,500-pound towing capacity, there are recommendations against towing a trailer with it. This has raised questions about the vehicle’s ability to handle such weights safely. Source

Lacking Towing Capacity Comparing Other SUVs

When compared to other SUVs in its class, the Santa Fe’s towing capacity is somewhat lacking. While the Santa Fe’s maximum towing capacity is well under 5,000 pounds, other SUVs, such as the Dodge Durango, Toyota Highlander, and Chevy Traverse, boast higher capacities.

Our Recommended Solution: If towing is a significant factor in your vehicle choice, it’s essential to compare various models and their towing capacities. Ensure the vehicle you choose aligns with your towing needs to avoid future disappointments.

Potential Strain on Vehicle

Towing near the upper limit of the Santa Fe’s capacity can strain the engine, transmission, and brakes. This strain can potentially lead to long-term issues or a decreased lifespan of these components.

Our Recommended Solution: Always ensure that the weight you’re towing is well within the vehicle’s recommended limits. Regularly service and maintain your vehicle, especially if you tow frequently. This will help in early detection of any potential issues and prolong the lifespan of your vehicle’s components.


Is there a risk of damaging the Santa Fe by towing near its maximum capacity?

Towing near the upper limit can put strain on the engine, transmission, and brakes, potentially leading to long-term issues.

Have owners reported any issues when towing with the Santa Fe?

Yes, some owners, especially of the 2020 Santa Fe Limited 2.0 Turbo, have advised against towing heavy trailers, even though the advertised capacity is 3,500 pounds.

What should I do if I frequently need to tow heavy loads?

If your towing needs consistently exceed the Santa Fe’s capacity, consider investing in a vehicle with a higher towing capacity or using a specialized towing service.

Final Thoughts

Well, there you have it, folks! The Hyundai Santa Fe, while a stunner on the roads, does have its towing quirks. But hey, don’t we all have our little challenges? If the Santa Fe were at a party, it’d be the charismatic one with a surprising karaoke weakness.

So, before you hitch up that trailer, just remember to give your Santa Fe a little pep talk. After all, we all need a bit of encouragement now and then. Safe towing and happy driving! 🚗💨

Ricardo Vaughn
Ricardo Vaughn

Vaughn is a seasoned off-roading expert and professional winch specialist. When he's not out on the trails, he shares his knowledge and experiences through his writing as a blog author in the off-roading and outdoor lifestyle space.

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