The Veracruz is Hyundai's third and largest SUV. Slotting just above the midsize Santa Fe, the Veracruz competes with varsity players like the Honda Pilot and Toyota Highlander — though you wouldn't know that by listening to Hyundai. In key areas, the automaker compares its flagship SUV with the Mercedes-Benz GL450 and Lexus RX 350 — luxury models that cost thousands more.
Based on a lengthened Santa Fe platform, the Veracruz comes with seven seats and a torrent of standard safety features. Trim levels include the base GLS, midlevel SE and upper-crust Limited. A 3.8-liter V-6 is standard, and all-wheel drive is optional.
Swooping curves and two-tone bodywork define the Veracruz, which emulates styling themes set by Hyundai's other SUVs. If flowing lines are your thing, the Veracruz will be a hit. Those who prefer blockier forms — like the Lincoln MKX or anything Cadillac — should look elsewhere.
Upscale elements include chrome window and grille surroundings, 17-inch alloy wheels and exterior puddle lamps. Standard on the Veracruz SE and Limited are fog lights, 18-inch wheels and automatically dimming outside mirrors. An optional rear parking system uses proximity sensors embedded in the bumper.
At 190.6 inches long, the Veracruz is slightly longer than the Pilot (188.0) and Highlander (184.6).
Three rows seat up to seven. Up front, a broad dashboard incorporates vertical air vents and a metallic finish for climate and audio controls. Blue backlighting illuminates the instruments, dashboard controls and even the cupholders.
Standard features in the Veracruz GLS include keyless startup, a six-speaker CD audio system and a tilt/telescoping steering wheel with audio and cruise controls. Ratchet things up to the fully-loaded Limited, and the list includes power front seats, heated leather upholstery, dual-zone automatic climate control and a 605-watt surround sound stereo. A navigation system is not available, but Hyundai says one will arrive later in 2007.
Hyundai says the Veracruz has more cargo room than the GL450, and its cabin is quieter than that of an RX 350. The third-row seat folds flush with the floor, as do those in the Pilot and Highlander.
Under the Hood
Hyundai borrowed the Veracruz's 3.8-liter V-6 from its Azera sedan and Entourage minivan. In the Veracruz, the engine makes an estimated 260 horsepower and 257 pounds-feet of torque. It works with Hyundai's first six-speed automatic transmission. On the highway, the automaker says the Veracruz is EPA-rated at around 25 mpg.
Standard safety features include four-wheel-disc antilock brakes, traction control and an electronic stability system. Side-impact airbags for the front seats and side curtain airbags for all three rows are also standard, as are active front head restraints.
Cars.com Expert Reviews
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|Scott Burgess||The Detroit Newspapers||April 18, 2007|
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|G. Chambers Williams III||Star-Telegram.com||January 18, 2007|
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