Performance » 7
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PERFORMANCE | 7 out of 10
“In merging and passing situations the refined six-speed transmission can be a little reluctant to kick down into a lower gear”
“the engine gets a bit wheezy in the mountains”
“Body roll is more pronounced than we'd like, but the upshot is a cushy ride”
Car and Driver
Reviews read by TheCarConnection.com cover a mixture 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.
The 2009 Veracruz’s automatic transmission has Shiftronic, which brings a manual shift gate by which drivers can manually select the gears one at a time, but there is some criticism around how well it works. “All buyers will appreciate the manual shift control, though the Veracruz executes its own upshifts early, which serves to steal some fun,” says MyRide.com.
The majority of critics' complaints, in fact, are 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,” observes MyRide.com. “In merging and passing situations the refined six-speed transmission can be a little reluctant to kick down into a lower gear,” agrees Kelley Blue Book, “but keep squeezing the accelerator pedal and the Veracruz rewards with enough power to get the job done.”
When it comes to the 3.8-liter, 260-horsepower V-6 engine, most reviews are favorable, with only a few criticizing the engine for its sluggishness when accelerating from a standstill. ConsumerGuide says, “A bit slow from a stop, Veracruz has acceptable power once underway.”
The Veracruz isn’t described as sporty or exciting, but its smooth ride and safe, stable handling are commended, though few go so far as to say that it feels sporty or exciting. ConsumerGuide remarks, “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,” says ConsumerGuide. Popular Mechanics also mentions the steering’s “rather numb” feel on-center. Cars.com reports that the Veracruz has quite a bit of body roll (lean) on twisty roads.
The Veracruz’s four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes possess plenty of stopping power, according to Cars.com, but the pedal’s “mushy feel is a little disappointing.” However, other reviewers don’t single this out.
Kelley Blue Book points out that relative to full-size SUVs, the Veracruz is much easier to park due to its shorter length and smaller turning circle.
During a weekend camping trip, TheCarConnection.com’s editors note a transmission hesitation that is especially apparent in the mountains, not on level ground. Even at high altitude, the V-6 has plenty of pep to haul three and loads of gear. Handling is, as reported, on the mushy side but safe.
The 2009 Hyundai Veracruz doesn't dazzle anyone with its sport-sedan performance or off-road prowess, but it does possess enough gusto for most people.