Hyundai's Veracruz offers 'extras' as standardsHyundai's new Veracruz is a stylish and luxurious vehicle that offers better performance and value than many competing models, says a spokesman for Gaddis Hyundai of Muncie.
Veracruz models began arriving at the local dealership a few weeks ago.
"Value is the big story with Hyundai," said Jim Raines, a sales representative at Gaddis Hyundai. "At a base price of $26,305, the Veracruz offers a lot for the buyer's dollar."
Many standard features on the base Veracruz GLS cost extra on most other vehicles, Raines said, citing the base model's XM satellite radio and three-zone automatic climate control as examples.
He added that the Veracruz offers more than features -- it also has the "feel" and performance of a luxury vehicle.
When Hyundai introduced the vehicle this past January at Detroit's North American International Auto Show, the company issued a statement saying, "Veracruz takes on the Honda Pilot and Toyota Highlander and beats them in terms of powertrain performance and standard safety features while adding sophisticated design, high-quality craftsmanship and seating for seven adults."
One of a growing number of "crossovers," the Veracruz has the appearance, space and driving position of a sport-utility vehicle, but it is built on a car chassis.
Raines said the crossover design appeals to buyers because it offers better handling and fuel economy than a truck-based SUV.
"SUV buyers as well as luxury car buyers would find that the Veracruz could meet their needs," Raines said. "Many potential buyers and car reviewers are comparing the Veracruz to the Lexus RX350."
The Veracruz has a standard "hideaway" third-row seat that folds flat into the floor, allowing the vehicle to carry seven passengers with the third seat up, or 40 cubic feet of cargo with the third seat down.
With the second-row seat folded down as well, the vehicle's cargo capacity increases to nearly 87 cubic feet. Raines said Hyundai's warranty program inspires confidence in buyers.
The Veracruz is covered by a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty and a five-year or 60,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty. Owners also receive free roadside assistance for five years and an unlimited number of miles.
"Compare Hyundai's warranty to any other warranty -- no one else can even come close," Raines said.
All Veracruz models have a 260-horsepower, 3.8-liter V6 engine and a "Shiftronic" six-speed automatic transmission. The Shiftronic feature allows the driver to shift gears manually if desired.
Gas mileage estimates are 18 city and 25 highway for front-drive versions of the Veracruz; all-wheel drive models are rated at 17 city and 24 highway.
Three Veracruz trim levels -- GLS, SE and Limited -- give the vehicle a base price range of $26,305 to $32,305.
Standard features on the $26,305 Veracruz GLS include three-zone automatic climate control, XM satellite radio, a six-speaker audio system with steering-wheel mounted controls, 17-inch alloy wheels and heated mirrors.
At $28,005, the SE model also has an eight-way power driver's seat, HomeLink garage door transmitter, fog lights, automatic headlamps and an automatically- dimming rearview mirror with an integral compass. In addition, the SE has larger 18-inch alloy wheels.
The $32,305 Veracruz Limited offers a leather interior, four-way power passenger seat, power sunroof, backup warning system, 314-watt Infinity sound system, power tailgate and heated seats.
Safety features on all models include front airbags, side-impact airbags, side-curtain airbags for all three rows of seats, stability control and front active head restraints that move forward in a rear-end accident to help prevent head and neck injuries.
By KEN WICKLIFFE
For The Star Press