Shopping for a new Hyundai Veracruz?
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It's conservative to a fault, and there's a good reason: the Hyundai Veracruz has been around since 2006, and it's due for a replacement.
Though it hasn't had the major model changes that have grown the Toyota Highlander into the full-size ranks, the Veracruz still can make sense for families that need three rows of seating and a low sticker price.
We're giving the Veracruz a rating of 7 here at FamilyCarGuide. It's plenty big enough for the average family, but when compared to the class acts of the crossover segment of today, it's shy on room, some important features, and the elusive personality that oozes from vehicles like the Ford Flex.
Inside, the Veracruz can seat up to seven passengers in three rows, but it falls behind those three-row competitors because of its curvy silhouette. It's a spacious place in the front two rows of seats, and step-in height is perfect, but the space surrounding the third-row seat is pared down to kids-only size as the Veracruz' draped rear roofline dictates. With the rounded rear end, it's not much of a surprise that the Veracruz has about 13.4 cubic feet of storage space in back, on the small end for big crossovers. The second- and standard third-row seats do fold almost flat, for times when cargo hauling takes priority over carpooling.
The Veracruz has tallied some initial, strong safety scores, but they're not all in. It gets a "good" rating for front and side-impact protection from the IIHS, but the NHTSA has not yet recalculated how the crossover does in its own tests, under its new scoring system. Curtain airbags and stability control are standard, and so are rear parking sensors, but there's no rearview camera option in the Veracruz, and no blind-spot monitors.
Even on the infotainment side, the Veracruz shows its age. Bluetooth is a dealer-installed accessory, though it's a decent integration. It has a good set of standard features, from power windows to climate control and satellite radio, but there's nothing nearly as advanced as Ford's SYNC system, or even the safety-and-security Hyundai Blue Link telematics system. A USB port is an option--it's standard on the cheaper Sonata sedan--and if you want the optional GPS system, you'll have to give up the USB connection.
The handsome Veracruz is no styling standout, but it's pleasantly smooth and rounded. The interior has the occasional foible, but it's built to a near-Lexus standard.
Lastly, performance is middle of the road, exactly what it should be for the rough equivalent of a minivan. The Veracruz comes with a 260-horsepower V-6 and a six-speed automatic transmission, with an option for all-wheel drive. Fuel economy is midpack, and handling is soft, with predictable lean through corners and a quiet, fuss-free demeanor in nearly every other driving mode.For more on safety, features, utility, performance and styling, see TheCarConnection's full review of the 2011 Hyundai Veracruz.