Monday, April 02, 2007

Hyundai Offers A Little Bigger Crossover With Its Veracruz

Hyundai offers a little bigger crossover with its Veracruz

First Look

The 2007 Hyundai Veracruz, introduced earlier this year at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, is now in dealer showrooms.

2007 Hyundai Veracruz SE
  • Base price: $28,005
  • Price as tested: $33,170
  • Drivetrain: Front engine, front drive
  • Engine: 3.8-liter V-6
  • Horsepower: 260
  • MPG: 18 city, 25 highway
  • Curb weight: 4,266 pounds
  • Built: Ulsan, South Korea
It's a bigger crossover than the automaker's Santa Fe, with a larger 3.8-liter V-6 engine.

The Veracruz, at 15.9 feet long, is 6.5 inches longer than the Santa Fe. It's also an inch taller and 2.2 inches wider.

The Veracruz comes in three trim levels: The entry-level GLS, the mid-range SE and the luxury Limited. All-wheel-drive is available in all three trim levels.

I took a front-drive SE for a quick drive. Its ride and handling compare to other high-end mid-size crossover vehicles.

The 260-horse engine gives it good acceleration, and the six-speed automatic gets the most from that available power. The Veracruz is available with Hyundai's Shifttronic manual control, which lets the driver manually shift the transmission up or down one gear, within limits.

Upgrades on the SE include 18-inch wheels, leather-wrapped steering wheel, automatic headlights and a center console that can be cooled.

The model I drove had the optional leather interior, part of a package that added $3,350 to the sticker. The seats are comfortable, and the high seating position gives a good view of the road. The seats are heated - a nice feature to add with leather seats in Michigan. The package also includes a backup warning system.

The Veracruz seats seven in three rows, and the second row is divided. The seat back on each side can be folded, or with a one-hand control, the seat back flips forward and the whole seat slides forward to allow access to the third-row seats.

XM Radio is standard on all Veracruz models, along with rear-seat climate controls, electronic stability control and traction control systems.

One nifty feature is a mood light - a soft, blue-toned light placed between the interior lights in front of the sunroof. Just the thing when you need a little light, but don't want to blast your night vision with one those bright white lights.

The Veracruz is made in South Korea; 84 percent of the parts are from Korea, 6 percent from the U.S. and Canada, with transmission parts from Japan.

Sunday, April 01, 2007
By James M. Miller

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