January 30, 2009
Thanks to fadetoblackii for this week's favorite caption.
Some other good ones:
After 16,274 miles, our paint began fading. Perhaps we should have waxed it once or twice.
Aw man...the dealer said this isn't covered under the warranty.
Clearly the best car money can buy.
It's a good thing we paid extra for that clearcoat.
What was your favorite?
Donna DeRosa, Managing Editor
January 30, 2009
This week's photo was taken by Kurt Niebuhr.
Our Senior Copy Editor Doug Lloyd suggested "It's better to burnout than fade away."
Can you beat it?
We'll post our favorite caption at 4PM (Pacific Time).
Donna DeRosa, Managing Editor
November 11, 2008
Here we are in the Veracruz. The guy up front in his Celica doesn't realize the light turned green.
We're patient... waiting at least 3 full seconds before laying on the horn to get his attention. The driver waves his hand and accelerates away from the light.
Man, that feels good. Glad we fixed the horn in this thing.
Mike Schmidt, Manager of Vehicle Testing @ 21,600 miles
November 07, 2008
"What if the police pull you over because your horn doesn't work?"
"What would happen if an absent minded pedestrian wandered in your way and you had to sound the horn to draw his attention to you?"
"Don't you want the horn to work so that you can honk at the girls in LA?"
"A non-operational horn is like tires without tread. Not important till you need it in a hurry."
We heard it all. And fixed the horn by popular demand.
So now the honker works again. Let's all take a deep breath in - - and exhale. Both horn assemblies were replaced under warranty, as was the blown fuse. We also had the oil changed and tires rotated for $57.44.
Mike Schmidt, Vehicle Testing Manager @ 21,547 miles
October 27, 2008
The horn still doesn't work on our Veracruz.
Josh Jacquot, Senior road test editor
October 15, 2008
My family has a seasonal cabin well north of Lake Tahoe that has to be closed for the winter. Well, winter is fast approaching so I raced the 9 hour drive up there to shut 'er down.
Thankfully I was handed the keys to the Veracruz. It had plenty of cargo room to stuff the extra anti-freeze, mouse traps, our extra warm blankets and food for our weekend in the mountains.
I got a late start, but the comfortable seats and quiet ride of the Veracruz were welcome luxuries. Also having XM to entertain me as my lady slept the entire way up was nice too. I got to listen to the ballgames and some political analysis from various sources. It might be rather desolate where my cabin is, but satellite radio keeps me in touch with the world.
Driving up the last of the mountain passes to my cabin, I kept my eye on the outside temp gauge which kept dropping. We arrived pretty late in the day to temperatures in the teens. The ground was frozen, the deck was covered with ice and it was windy.
I quickly went to work on what needed to happen on the exterior of the cabin before it got dark. When I stepped inside the cabin, it was noticeably colder. This wasn't going to be fun.
After draining all the water from the pipes and flushing them with antifreeze, dropping the mouse traps, shutting off the power and buttoning down the storm shutters we decided to ironman it back. We'd rather suffer for a little on another long drive than freeze the entire weekend in a cabin with no insulation.
Thank god those seats in the Veracruz are damn comfy with the added bonus of being heated.
Scott Jacobs, Senior Photographer
October 01, 2008
Our 2008 Hyundai Veracruz has a great interior, plenty of features and an attractive price. It's very competitive against other midsize or large crossovers, and I'd fully recommend it to someone shopping in this segment. But when I wonder if I'd buy one, the answer keeps coming back "no."
I think it's the styling. The soft and inoffensive curves put the Veracuz in the bland category, and the rear three-quarter look reminds me of an egg. This might seem like a petty thing to bring up, but if everything else is pretty much equal, I'd pay a bit more to get the classy look of our long-term Enclave.
Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor
September 22, 2008
Back in July, we reported that our Hyundai Veracruz's horn still wasn't working but that the dealership had ordered a part for us. Two and half months later, the Veracruz is still beepless. It seems that the Hyundai dealership never called to tell us the part was in, and we absent-mindedly let the issue fall off our radar.
Meanwhile, it seems we also, uh, forgot to get the 15,000-mile service done. At least the dipstick's easy to find and pull (oil: A-OK and dirty). A dealer visit will hopefully occur later this week.
Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor @ 17,167 miles
August 11, 2008
There was a time when you could see a Hyundai coming from a block or two away. It was usually identifiable by a huge cloud of white smoke billowing out from the tailpipe. They were the laughing stock of the highway. The parking lot pariah. I wouldn't have driven one if you paid me.
Fast forward 20-something years and here I am, getting paid to drive a Hyundai. Not only is there not any smoke, but there's leather, a decent stereo, climate control, heated power seats and a comfortable ride. In the old Excel you could count how many times the pistons smashed into the valves before punching them out of the head, but in the Veracruz, you'd have a heck of a time noticing if the car was idling. It's very smooth and very quiet.
Our Hyundai does not stand out or distinguish itself from any other CUV on the road. It has the manners of any other decent car. It blends in. And looking back at Hyundais of old, I think this is exactly what it needs to do.
Kurt Niebuhr, Photo Editor @ 15,208 miles
July 07, 2008
There's a lot that I like about our Hyundai Veracruz. We could start with its ride quality. The SUV feels luxurious on the road, with a suspension tuned to make bumps, ruts and other road irregularities disappear like they were part of a Houdini magic trick. The going is soft but not too soft; there's enough road feel to keep it from feeling like a cruiser for the geriatric set.
In fact, the Veracruz's universal attention to luxury had me thinking of another favorite SUV of mine, our Buick Enclave. Both are similarly impressive in their competence, but there's one big difference that separates them: price. A base Veracruz goes for $29,900, while a base Enclave will set you back $33,220.
Warren Clarke, Automotive Content Editor @ 12,431 miles
July 03, 2008
What?! The horn on the Veracruz is still busted? (Oh, the part has been ordered from the dealer and it will be here soon. Any day now...) I discovered the broken horn during last evening's commute as I tried to alert a fellow motorist of my presence when he to tried to occupy the same parcel of Interstate 10 that I currently inhabited. I pounded the center of the wheel and - Crap! - got nothing. In non-confrontational Japan the horn is used to say Hello!, Goodbye!, and Thank you! The auto horn is never used in an aggressive manner, or as a punitive measure. This isn't Japan.
Albert Austria, Sr Vehicle Evaluation Engineer @ 12,403 mi
June 24, 2008
The Hyundai Veracruz seems like a forgotten player in the large-ish crossover game. This isn't surprising given its badge and that it has to contend with the excellent Mazda CX-9 and three excellent triplets from GM (with a quadruplet on the way) -- and not only in the marketplace, but in our long-term fleet as well. Quite telling is the Veracruz's fewer amount of miles compared to our Enclave and CX-9 (they all showed up around the same time). However, the number of miles isn't an exact science, so perhaps we've just been overlooking the Veracruz.
If the Hyundai has a major weakness it's size, specifically in regards to the third row. I'm 6-foot-3 and fit in the aftmost rows of the Enclave, CX-9 and new Pilot. In the Veracruz, my head is tilted to the side and my knees are parallel to my sternum. This is yoga, not sitting. Five years ago, the Veracruz actually would've been quite spacious compared to the contemporary Honda Pilot and Toyota Highlander, and with the rest of its impressive docket of driving dynamics, features list and interior quality, it would easily be the class leader. Today, though, the market has moved larger without a hit to power or fuel economy, so how much does the Veracruz's size hurt it?
Recently, the Edmunds.com editors collected a group of three-row, large-ish crossovers together for an impromptu comparison and the Veracruz was amongst them. The big Hyundai impressed many and won some fans, but you'll have to stay tuned on the Edmunds Strategies Blog in two weeks to find out how we ultimately stacked them up. You may be surprised.
James Riswick, Automotive Editor @ 12,077 miles
June 09, 2008
Almost a month ago now, Joanne reportedthat the horn in our long-term Hyundai Veracruz wasn't working. We changed the fuse and were back in honking business, that is, until this weekend, when the horn went MIA again. We're starting to think that this isn't a fuse issue anymore. Sounds like it's time for a dealer visit.
Before I took the keys to the Veracruz for the weekend, Vehicle Testing Coordinator Mike Schmidt warned me that the front passenger door was being temperamental and not always opening when asked to do so. I kept an eye out for that, but the door opened for me every time I tried it over the weekend. Maybe these horn and front passenger door issues are being caused by a gremlin who doesn't multi-task well.
Bryn MacKinnon, Senior Editor, Edmunds.com @ 10,707 miles
May 27, 2008
We've passed the 10,000 mile mark on our Hyundai Veracruz.
Some thoughts on this large crossover SUV:
drives like a minivan
seats are comfortable
easy to get in and out
good visibility in all directions
A/C works quickly and no longer hums
no AUX port
nice power liftgate in a car this price
Donna DeRosa, Managing Editor @10,003 miles
May 14, 2008
More on our California coastal trip in the Hyundai Veracruz.
We were about to head home from gorgeous Carmel when we discovered the horn wasn't working. Not making a single sound, no matter how hard or where you smacked it.
The horn is an important safety feature. And my honey was getting nervous.
"Shouldn't we take it to get fixed before we get on the road?" he asks. No way, I said. I'm not spending hours in a dealership before we start a 6+ hour road trip. Granted, a broken horn might be a sign of an electrical problem, but everything else seemed to be working fine... I decided to take my chances.
I made it home without a hitch. But we'll get the Veracruz checked out and report back on the cause of the horn malfunction. At less than 10,000 miles, it's a weird thing to happen.
-- Joanne Helperin, Senior Features Editor, @ 9200 miles
April 14, 2008
When I hop into a new vehicle I usually become more attune to seeing others just like it on the road. But this hasn't really happened yet for my time in our Hyundai Veracruz. So I was wondering: Has the vehicle's conservative styling made it relatively invisible, or is it that there aren't many Veracruzs on the road yet?
Hyundai reports that it sold 3,800 Veracruzs for the first three months of 2008. For comparison, Buick sold 11,712 Enclaves and Mazda sold 6,729 CX-9s during the same period.
Styling or sales? Maybe it's a bit of both.
Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor @ 7,321 miles
February 27, 2008
I took my first drive in our 2008 Hyundai Veracruz last night. The first thing I noticed is that I like walking up to the Veracruz. Its face is pleasant, maybe a little derivative of the current-generation Lexus RX, but still distinct. This is my favorite face in the Hyundai family. Not surprisingly, driving the the Hyundai Veracruz reminds me a lot of our long-term Azera. Aside from some extra wind noise, it's a serene experience and the ride quality is extremely forgiving. Handling, of course, is not on par with the CX-9's, but I like the way the Hyundai's soft suspension manages weight transfer. It's very predictable. I'd feel just as comfortable with a Veracruz on a back road.
However, I recently had the pleasure of driving a current-gen Honda Odyssey again, and its dynamics are so accomplished, I'm not sure I could justify spending more on a Veracruz -- no matter how much I like its face.
Erin Riches, Senior Editor @ 5,245 miles
February 05, 2008
I'm always amazed by new vehicles that have the latest safety technology but still have terrible sight lines -- as though visibility isn't a safety factor. So I was particularly impressed with the 2008 Veracruz.
The shot above shows the driver's view of the rear window from the rear-view mirror. I was parked at the curb at the time and got a terrific view of the entire street behind me. Had both second-row head restraints been raised instead of just one, I still would have seen clearly. While this may seem unremarkable at first, it was significant enough for me to notice it. This, in contrast to complaints I've heard about the Volvo XC90. Despite Volvo's legendary reputation for safety, it has rear blind spots that drive the soccer moms crazy.
The Veracruz' side view mirrors were quite large, and the front windshield also offered an excellent view. I felt like I had a good idea of what was happening 360-degrees around me. Add in the excellent crash test scores and standard safety equipment, and you get an overall feeling of security -- something buyers of crossovers (yours truly included) list as a top priority. Next time, I'll try it with the third row raised as well.
Joanne Helperin, Senior Features Editor @ 3,496 miles
January 28, 2008
The big question: Is this Hyundai Veracruz as "nice" as the Lexus RX 350 upon which it was benchmarked? My initial (apprehensive) impressions may be found in this first drive, but some more time behind the wheel of our new 2008 Hyundai Veracruz has provided mixed results.
I'm not particularly fond of the ride. Over smooth pavement, the ride is quiet and, well, smooth. Presented with seams or recently created potholes, the Veracruz gets all stiff-legged and boomy. The ride remains within tolerable levels, but the steering shudders slightly and the sound the suspension transmits into the cabin reminds me that I'm not in a Lexus.
Also, I've noticed the air-con pump makes a groaning sound that varies with the speed of the engine. The whirrrrRRRRRRrrrr is especially evident at parking lot speeds where there's little else to be heard, and disappears when the A/C is shut off. The engine is so quiet that it's sometimes difficult to tell if it's running which makes the groan so noticeable. I popped the hood to see if the serpentine belt was loose, but the compressor is buried so deep that I couldn't see if the belt was slipping. Next time it goes in for service, we'll make sure the system is not mal-adjusted.
Chris Walton, Chief Road Test Editor @ 3,684 miles