Full 2007 Hyundai Veracruz Review
What's New for 2007
The 2007 Veracruz is Hyundai's latest trip uptown. Slotting above the Santa Fe in terms of price and size, this midsize crossover SUV offers a 260-horsepower V6, luxury features galore and a roomy, well-trimmed cabin.
Perhaps the greatest automotive success story of the past quarter century, Hyundai once again climbs upmarket with the 2007 Veracruz. Who would've thought that the company that once peddled the misnamed Excel would become a full-fledged rival to Honda and Toyota? Thanks to recent giant leaps in quality, performance and styling, the change in respect for Hyundai has been phenomenal.
The 2007 Hyundai Veracruz is now the company's biggest SUV (it slots above the Santa Fe). As a true midsize crossover, it's aimed at well-known models like the Pilot and Highlander. But to ensure that the Veracruz is truly competitive, Hyundai's engineers and designers actually trained their sights on the Lexus RX 350 as their benchmark for performance, luxury appointments and overall comfort.
At first glance, the "aim-for-the-stars" approach might not seem to have resulted in much. Established parameters for this segment, such as a car-based structure, seven-passenger seating, V6 power, and front-wheel or all-wheel drive are all still firmly intact on the Veracruz. But in typical Hyundai fashion, the Veracruz simply offers more for less. The cabin is nicely finished with convincing wood-tone and metallic accents. In motion, the Veracruz reminds us of the Azera, Hyundai's flagship sedan, with its refined power delivery, smooth ride and minimal amounts of wind and road noise.
The midsize crossover SUV segment continues to be hot, as these vehicles have essentially replaced the minivan as the official family vehicle. Hyundai has a very strong entry with the Veracruz, as it delivers in the important areas of performance, comfort, safety, versatility and overall quality. And, of course, there's Hyundai's 10-year/100,000-mile drivetrain warranty and attractive pricing to sweeten the deal. Overall, we think the 2007 Hyundai Veracruz is worth serious consideration for shoppers in this segment.
Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options
The 2007 Hyundai Veracruz midsize crossover SUV is available in three trim levels. The base Veracruz GLS comes with 17-inch alloy wheels, full power accessories, air-conditioning, seven-passenger seating, cruise control, a tilt and telescopic steering wheel, keyless entry, a trip computer and a CD/MP3 audio system with satellite radio. The midlevel SE adds 18-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights, a power driver seat and auto-dimming mirrors. The range-topping Veracruz Limited comes with those features plus leather seating, heated front seats, a power passenger seat, dual-zone automatic climate control, a CD changer, a sunroof, a power tailgate and rear parking sensors.
Many of the features of the Limited are available via optional packages on the GLS and SE. Exclusive to the SE and Limited are a premium surround-sound audio system and a rear-seat DVD entertainment system. The Limited can also be had with power-adjustable pedals and steering wheel, rain-sensing wipers and a memory system for the seat and mirror settings.
Powertrains and Performance
All Hyundai Veracruz trims come with a 3.8-liter V6, generating 260 hp and 257 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed automatic transmission with a manual shift feature is standard across the board and buyers may choose between front- and all-wheel drive. The latter can be locked in a 50/50 front-to-rear torque split when the going gets especially slippery. Properly equipped, the Veracruz has a 3,500-pound tow rating, which is average for this segment. Fuel mileage estimates of 18 mpg city and 25 mpg highway for the front-drive model are similarly on par.
A full complement of safety features comes standard on all Veracruz models, including antilock disc brakes, traction control, stability control, front-seat side airbags, full-length side curtain airbags, front active head restraints and a tire-pressure monitor. In all NHTSA frontal- and side-impact crash tests, the 2007 Hyundai Veracruz scored five stars (the highest possible).
Interior Design and Special Features
Inside the Veracruz, the brushed metallic surfaces and faux wood-grain accents (there are three different styles of the latter) all look rich, while plenty of soft-touch materials add to the luxurious feel. The seating position for the driver is good, although the sloping angle of the rear side glass results in the usual blind spots.
Second-row passengers enjoy deeply contoured seats with a wide range of fore-and-aft travel, plus their own dedicated HVAC controls and air vents. The third row, also standard across the entire line, is rather flat, and it's cramped unless the middle row gives up some legroom by sliding forward. The third-row seat is split 50/50 and can be folded flat, as can the 60/40-split second-row seat. Fold them all down and total cargo volume measures 86.8 cubic feet.
Tuned more as a luxury cruiser than an apex clipper, the 2007 Hyundai Veracruz offers a pleasant drive, if not a sporting one. Handling is sure and predictable, and the ride is supple and very quiet. The steering action is noticeably light and a little vague on center. Performance is fine for the most part, with enough pep to satisfy most drivers. We estimate 0-to-60-mph acceleration to be about 8 seconds. The six-speed auto provides smooth gearchanges up and down the powerband, though, as we've noticed with other V6 crossovers, it can be slow to downshift when ascending a hill.