2008 Hyundai Veracruzin'
August 06, 2008
Just got back from a 2,000-mile round trip to Sunriver Oregon and have a few thoughts and photos to share. Things got off to a rough start as we were to enjoy a three-day rafting/camping excursion starting in Happy Camp, Calif. As the moody photo above shows, the wild fires still raging in Northern California put a kybosh on the Klamath trip. We discovered the Veracruz's recirculation mode on the HVAC system was up to the task. We didn't smell any smoke until we popped the door open to phone the rafting company (there's no cell service in Seiad Valley). With only a grey-white sky and an orange sun at noon, we had no choice but to push on.
After a single night in oh-so-cute Ashland Oregon, we made a bee-line up Hwy 97 to Sunriver. Interesting side note: As our Veracruz is without sat nav, we relied solely on printed Google Maps for our A-to-B reckoning. Hey, guess what? Google Maps are not fool-proof, just fool-resistant, as one set of directions told us to use a road that the gentleman behind the counter at a General Store said was for "Serious off-roaders -- y'know, like 4-wheel drive thrill-seeker stuff." Ah, nope, not us.
It was still a very long day for our 4-year old in the second row. She discovered Mary Poppins (and now has practically memorized it from start to finish) thanks to the Veracruz's rear entertainment system. Can you say Supercalifragilisticexpyalidocious?
Truthfully, I wouldn't even have attempted such a long drive without some sort of child-mellowing device. Side note: I didn't discover the set of I.R. headphones concealed in the armrest until I flipped the other part of the second-row seat back up this morning for the major vacuum job at the car wash. Toppins a Bag! We could've simultaneously listened to XM channel 51's 30 Days of Coldplay(ed to death) all the while.
Sunriver was beautiful and restful, and I'd recommend it to anybody for a family vacation. On the way home, we stopped in Old Town Sacramento, Calif. With most of the tourists put to bed, and most of the flamboyant signage obscured by night, those couple of city blocks do a convincing job of portraying the wild west beginnings of California.
In the end, the Veracruz racked up 2,002 miles and averaged 18.8-miles per gallon while running the AC full time with at least 200 pounds of luggage, and about 300 pounds of passengers. The best tank took us 402.2 miles on 19.968 gallons for a 20.1 mpg best. Only after looking up the Veracruz's fuel capacity here at my desk (20.6 gal,) did I discover we were a mere 9.1 miles from running out of fuel. Also, the on-board "Range" indicator stops giving an estimate at something like 30 miles, but the self-generated average it supplies is nearly spot on. Our experience showed it varies by between 0.1- and 0.9-mpg to the true mpg we later calculated.
Chris Walton, Chief Road Test Editor @ 14,900 miles