November 03, 2008
In a previous blog entry I mentioned that I had swapped the Veracruz out for the smart fortwo. The smart had an aux input and was more appropriate for the weekend I had planned. Plus I sort of like the smart.
I whined a little bit about the numb steering in the Veracruz offending me as a driver and left it at that. What I probably should have taken the time to mention was the steering feel being almost the same as what's found in Lexus vehicles-- one of the many elements of Lexus vehicles I happen to dislike. But that type of steering, along with the floaty ride and complete lack of road information transmitted to the driver are the kinds of thing that sells to people like my parents who happened to be visiting for the weekend and who happened to absolutely love the Veracruz
They loved the seat comfort and material. They loved the dash layout and color scheme. My mom wouldn't stop talking about the ride comfort, that she couldn't hear the engine or the wind no matter how fast we were going. My dad busied himself trying to take apart the wireless headphones for the rear seat entertainment..he's an engineer, don't ask.
They were sold. My mom is now considering the Genesis for her next car. (She says that now, but if I know her next time she goes to buy a new car she won't leave the GM lot empty handed...she never does.) And it turns out that after a few hundred miles of exploring California with reluctant tourists, I put aside my steering complaints and found a few things about the Veracruz that I was smitten with like these super handy, and cool when closed, storage bins. I had them filled all weekend. Never with cups.
August 20, 2008
I hopped into our Veracruz to run some quick errands and was immediately struck like everyone else by the cool lighting in our dark garage. It was a short lived awestruck moment.
As I started rolling along I noticed I had a very high level view of the car and I'm not even all that tall. I just thought it was a previous drivers setting and I hadn't fully adjusted the seat. But no, it was just the seat. I felt very uncomfortable at such altitude, like I was sitting on some large puffy cushion.
May 13, 2008
Strawberry fields forever. The Hyundai Veracruz was great for taking in the sights, but not the sounds.
There's a lot to love about the 2008 Hyundai Veracruz. On my recent trip from L.A. to Carmel, Calif., and back, I experienced hour after hour of comfortable seating, intuitive controls, and DVD convenience (Hyundai even includes two sets of batteries for the headphones, which store nicely in the second-row console). But while Hyundai attempts to mimic its more expensive cousins, there's a couple things about crusing in this car that bother me.
First, I like a quiet cabin, and the Veracruz had some pronounced road and wind noise. Granted, I was moving quickly most of the time, but even at 60 mph, I felt it was noisier than I like. By 80mph, it sounded more like a wind tunnel.
Second, while I don't want a too-soft ride, the Veracruz' abilities to absorb the bumps in the road were less than ideal. Case in point: I I was trying to right-lane it for a while, because I had already received a speeding ticket (see below). (At least the CHP officer was nice -- he chopped quite a few miles off the ticket because we were honest about our speed. There's a lesson for you.) But the right lane was a little rougher, presumably from all the truck traffic, and those bumps entered the cabin -- disturbing my sleeping kids. And as any parent can tell you: keeping the kids asleep is priority numero uno.
April 28, 2008
With Los Angeles in the throes of a heat wave, I reluctantly signed out our long term 2008 Hyundai Veracruz for the weekend. The crossover's air conditioning woes have been well documented in this blog, and the last thing I wanted was weaksuck A/C when the mercury is cresting the century mark. If I did, I would have signed up for the Ferrari 308, which is better looking and more fun to drive than the Hyundai.
But I was assured the Veracruz's air conditioning was no longer a problem, so I took the chance.
I had no need to worry. The Hyundai was perfect during the three days of super hot temps. The A/C worked so well it was freezing my kids out. "Daddy, we're cold," they said through shivering teeth. And this was only the way home from the Huntington Beach Dog Beach where we had been cooking in the sun for a couple of hours. Even my pooch, camped out in the cargo area, was kept comfy by the Hyundai's many rear A/C ducts mouted in its headliner.
Still, we couldn't spend the entire weekend in the cool confines of the Hyundai, so it also served as the go get vehicle for a home air conditioner. Photographic evidence of which is included. Love that power tailgate.
Scott Oldham, Edmunds.com Editor in Chief @ 8,150 miles
February 29, 2008
With plans for a ski day looming, I requested one of our SUVs and was given the Veracruz. Although the forecast for Big Bear (about 115 miles northeast of L.A.) was for clear and sunny skies with temps in the mid-50s and hence theoretically no slippery roads, I wanted to be prepared in case the weather took a turn for the worse. Having skied but four times since my arrival here eight years ago, I was not gonna be denied my skiing fix!
As it happened, the weather was great -- just as advertised. Getting to the ski area, however, involves about 15 miles of twisty, narrow two-lane, which is not exactly the Veracruz's cup of 10W-40. Though the Veracruz felt stable enough, something like a Mazda CX-9 would've been more fun, with its quicker steering and sport sedan-like handling.
But overall, the Veracruz was easy to like on the trip -- the heated seats and power lumbar support for the driver were nice on the way home and the ride was quiet and well cushioned. Minor gripes included the lack of water bottle pockets in the front doors and the washout of the clock's display up high on the center stack.
On another note, I checked my trip mileage, which averaged around 17 mpg. Our Veracruz is averaging just 16.3 mpg, against the EPA's combined figure of 18 mpg. I'd blame L.A. traffic and some lead-footed staffers for that.
John DiPietro, Automotive Editor @ 5,555 miles.
February 11, 2008
I like our new Hyundai Veracruz.
It drives nice and smooth, feels refined and is quiet on the road. The 260-horsepower V6 has sufficient power for its weight. It's seats and driving position are comfortable.
It's easy to climb in and out of, even for short people like me. And with Hyundai you get a lot for your money. So, our Veracruz is nicely equipped with leather seats and a premium audio system.
The heated seats are a little too mild for my taste but at least it has them. The headlights are rather dim. When leaving the office Friday night, I had to see the car's reflection to make sure they were actually on. It's not that they don't work, it's just that most vehicles today beam out like an exploding star.
It has its quirks. For example, the A/C system likes to sing along with the radio. I wouldn't mind if it wasn't so off-key. But it works quickly and the dials are clearly labeled and intuitive.
So far, I like it.
Donna DeRosa, Managing Editor