2012 Hyundai Veracruz Styling

8.0
Styling

With so many shoppers making the switch from big SUVs to almost equally large crossovers, carmakers have gone to extremes in defining a new look for these car-based utility vehicles. There's the passionately drawn Buick Enclave, for one, and the resolutely right-angled Ford Flex, for another. A few even resort to overt SUV styling cues to hedge their bets, even when it doesn't work--isn't that right, Honda Pilot?

The Hyundai Veracruz looks contemporary as a Lexus RX, but it's not a particularly distinctive vehicle. It's rounded in all the right ways, but we can't find many angles where the Veracruz is truly memorable to look at. It's good-looking, sure, but there isn't much detail applied to the sheetmetal. There's none of the drama infused into Hyundai's newest vehicles--like the Veloster, the Elantra, and the Sonata--just a big helping of tasteful curves that cut a straight line between bland and handsome.

The 2012 Hyundai Veracruz is rounded in all the right ways but memorable from few angles.
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.

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