The Hyundai Veracruz is a larger mid-size crossover available only as a five door SUV. It has a front engine placement combined with front-wheel or four-wheel drive. Built using the Sonata platform, the Veracruz is the largest of Hyundai's crossover vehicles and was designed to replace the international Terracan model. While the Veracruz is Hyundai's largest crossover model, competitors offer more cargo and passenger space. The Veracruz has also lost standard and optional equipment as Hyundai tries to maintain a specific price range for the vehicle.
The Veracruz has a standard V6 engine producing 260 horsepower. The front-wheel drive Veracruz is expected to average 17 miles per gallon under city driving conditions, and 22 miles per gallon on the highway. The four-wheel drive Veracruz should make 16 miles per gallon in city driving, and 21 miles per gallon on the highway. The Veracruz seats seven people and will tow up to 3,500 pounds. Hyundai manufactures the Veracruz in South Korea.
Hyundai initially released the Veracruz for the 2007 model year. Critics found the Veracruz to be a respectable alternative to entry-level luxury SUVs, but were disappointed by the lack of horsepower. Hyundai has continued to refine the Veracruz's standard equipment by dropping some options to maintain its price point. The DVD system for the rear passengers was deleted for the 2011 model. However, Hyundai has also added optional features such as a navigation system to balance out the dropped standard equipment.
The Veracruz can be purchased with either GLS or Limited trim levels. Both trims include anti-lock disc brakes, stability control, and front and side curtain air bags as standard features. The GLS trim includes 17-inch alloy wheels, rear parking sensors, and a powered driver's seat. An audio system with six speakers, along with satellite radio and a USB interface for MP3 players, is included. Four-wheel drive GLS models have heated front seats available. An optional Premium package installs a powered liftgate and sunroof. The Limited trim includes the Premium package as standard equipment and adds 18-inch wheels, leather upholstery, and a 115-volt power outlet to it. A Navigation package, optional for only the Limited trim, installs a navigation unit and an audio system with ten speakers for surround sound. Bluetooth capability can be installed in either trim level as a standalone option.
Consumer Guide named the 2008 Veracruz one of its Recommended Buys. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has awarded the Veracruz multiple Best Safety Pick designations. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the Veracruz a five star rating for its front and side crash test results. Independent automotive reviewers have been impressed with the Veracruz's interior quality and price range, but have also criticized the model's driving performance as average at best.
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