Nearly all reviews we read commended the power available from the 260-hp, 3.8-liter V-6 engine. Only a couple of reviews mentioned a little sluggishness from standstill—for instance, ConsumerGuide said, “A bit slow from a stop, Veracruz has acceptable power once underway.”
An abundance of critics’ complaints centered on the six-speed automatic transmission. “Goose the gas pedal for an aggressive pass and a confused throttle or off-guard transmission causes a noticeable delay,” described MyRide.com. “In merging and passing situations the refined six-speed transmission can be a little reluctant to kick down into a lower gear,” agreed Kelley Blue Book, “but keep squeezing the accelerator pedal and the Veracruz rewards with enough power to get the job done.”
The automatic transmission has Shiftronic, which brings a manual shift gate by which drivers can manually select the gears one at a time, but there was also some criticism around how it worked. “All buyers will appreciate the manual shift control, though the Veracruz executes its own upshifts early, which serves to steal some fun,” said MyRide.com.
Reviews covered a mix of front- and all-wheel-drive models. The Veracruz’s available all-wheel-drive system sends power to the rear wheels when needed or can lock 50 percent of engine power to back.
Reviewers typically praised the Veracruz’s smooth ride and safe, stable handling, but few went so far as to say that it felt sporty or exciting. Cars.com reported that the Veracruz had quite a bit of body roll (lean) on twisty roads, while ConsumerGuide remarked, “Suspension tuning favors ride quality over handling response,” also noting the body lean in corners and the lack of steering feel. “Still, Veracruz never felt unstable, even on slick roads,” said ConsumerGuide. Popular Mechanics also mentioned the steering’s “rather numb” feel on-center.
Cars.com noted that the four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes had plenty of stopping power, but the pedal’s “mushy feel is a little disappointing,” although other reviewers didn’t single this out.
Relative to full-size SUVs, Kelley Blue Book pointed out, the Veracruz is much easier to park due to its shorter length and smaller turning circle.
When TheCarConnection.com took a Veracruz on a weekend camping trip, transmission hesitation was especially noticeable in the mountains, though it never bothered us on level ground. Even at high altitude, the V-6 had plenty of pep to haul three and loads of gear. Handling was, as reported, on the mushy side but safe. It should be noted that the Veracruz isn’t in its element even on unpaved roads, nor is it configured for extensive off-roading.