Shoppers for this type of vehicle probably don’t expect a lot of excitement; in following, there’s not much enthusiasm to be found in the Veracruz driving experience. The 260-horsepower, 3.8-liter V-6 engine moves the Veracruz quickly if needed, by nearly all accounts, but the six-speed automatic transmission cancels out any remaining eagerness because of hesitant downshifts and lumpy operation.
The V-6 engine that's included with all Veracruz models delivers adequate, if not blistering, performance. Only a few reviewers criticized the engine for its sluggishness when accelerating from a standstill—although that might be more an indication of the Veracruz's heft. ConsumerGuide says, “A bit slow from a stop, Veracruz has acceptable power once underway.” Autoblog however notes that the V-6 "moves the 4,300-lb. Wagon without seeming to run short of breath."
In the performance area, the most complaints were associated with the six-speed automatic transmission. “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.” MyRide.com says, “Goose the gas pedal for an aggressive pass and a confused throttle or off-guard transmission causes a noticeable delay.” Autoblog notes differently, saying that the "six-speed automatic "shifts imperceptibly and kicks down quickly and smoothly when you put your foot in it." TheCarConnection.com's editors have noted that the transmission is especially hesitant and reluctant to downshift on steep grades, but pleasant on level ground, so that might explain the difference in comments here.
The transmission comes with Shiftronic, through which drivers can manually select gears; but even in the manual mode some reviewers noted that the transmission wouldn't let the engine reach its redline. “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 Hyundai Veracruz handles safely, but the dull steering feel manages to make it feel even heavier and than it is. Its smooth ride and safe, stable handling are commended, though few go so far as to say that it feels sporty or exciting. Popular Mechanics notes the steering’s “rather numb” feel on-center, while Cars.com says that the Veracruz has quite a bit of body roll (lean) on twisty roads. ConsumerGuide assesses, “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,” they say. Autoblog describes the steering as "nicely weighted with no center slop."
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.
Four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes give good stopping power, by all accounts, but according to Cars.com the pedal’s “mushy feel is a little disappointing.” They were the only ones to point this out.