Is it bland, or is it classically handsome?
The 2011 Hyundai Veracruz isn't the visual shock that Ford's Flex is, and it doesn't resort to the creases and folds of SUV stereotypes like the Honda Pilot does. It's simply a good-looking vehicle without much detail outside. Hyundai patterned the Veracruz after the Lexus RX crossover of old, and its sleek and flowing sideview shows the lessons were learned well. What's lacking, overall, is the sense of drama Hyundai's injected into its latest cars. The Sonata, the Veloster and the Elantra all grab eyeballs with daring crests of metal and dashes of chrome, while the Veracruz simply blends into the background.
The 2011 Hyundai Veracruz lacks a sharp visual character, but it's pleasantly rounded and smooth, outside and in.
The Veracruz is more sure-footed inside, where upscale details and attractive, soft-touch surfaces carry the crossover into a higher plane than you'll experience in the grainy Pilot. It's more like the Toyota Highlander, with subtle curves and flowing lines enveloping the front passengers very mildly. It's a functionally fine workplace too, with big controls and clear divisions of authority, with gauges front and center for the driver, climate and audio controls up high on the center stack where the passenger can read and see them as well. A piece or two detracts from the overall warmth--the windshield reflects a dash piece pretty starkly--but nearly everywhere else, the Veracruz shows how big a leap Hyundai's made in quality feel and perception with its latest products.