By KBB.com Editors
While Hyundai is quick to point out that its three-row crossover has more cargo room than a Mercedes-Benz GL and a quieter highway ride than the Lexus RX 350, actual competitors for the Veracruz are more mainstream people-movers like the Honda Pilot and Toyota Highlander. Still, the premium-like Veracruz stood up very well to the RX 350 in back-to-back test drives organized, admittedly, by the Hyundai folks. Some have even suggested that Hyundai may have been a little too optimistic in its reliance upon the RX 350 as a source of inspiration. But we remember hearing similar criticisms when Lexus introduced its flagship LS sedan, in which some saw too many hints of Mercedes' S-Class---and that seemed to work out okay for Lexus.
The 2008 Hyundai Veracruz distinguishes itself from three-row competitors like the Honda Pilot and Toyota Highlander with premium-like accommodations, a less rugged shape and feature-based value.
Traveling with a car full of people and their luggage may be rather tight, as cargo room behind the third-row seat is under seven cubic feet. That's nearly four cubic feet less than the Toyota Highlander and nine cubic feet less than the Honda Pilot.
The Limited trim receives the majority of the upgrades for 2008, along with an optional navigation system designed by LG, a first for Hyundai.
Driving Impressions With its car-like unibody construction and four-wheel independent suspension, the Veracruz combines smooth, stable and exceptionally quiet highway cruising with as much around-town agility as is fair to expect or...require from such a vehicle. The Veracruz is also among the most nimble three-row vehicles in any parking lot, thanks to a turning circle and an overall length similar to a typical mid-size sedan's. In merging and passing situations the refined six-speed transmission can be a little reluctant to kick down into a lower gear, but keep squeezing the accelerator pedal and the Veracruz rewards with enough power to get the job done. Our time in the Veracruz included everything from short commutes to interstate road trips, and it never failed to impress us as effortless and comfortable.
The Hyundai's remote-sensing unlock and start feature allows you to get in and go without ever touching the key that remains in your pocket or purse.
A feature that seemed like such an indulgence only a couple years ago---and one we wouldn't have expected on a Hyundai---has become one of the features we miss the most when driving any vehicle with a liftgate that is not powered.
While Hyundai claims the interior of the Veracruz was inspired by boutique hotels, it's obvious the Lexus RX 350 was also a source of inspiration. That the Veracruz has more interior cargo volume than the Mercedes-Benz GL says more about the Mercedes than it does about the Hyundai, which offers a touch less room than the Honda Pilot. The third-row seat is about as accommodating as others in the category---best for kids, doable for adults---but when the third row is occupied by people the Veracruz offers little remaining room for cargo. Premium-like touches include soft-lined bins and consoles and ambient spotlighting. An available air-conditioned center console keeps food and drinks chilled.Exterior
The 2008 Hyundai Veracruz is roughly the same size as the Toyota Highlander and Honda Pilot but doesn't share those models' more traditional SUV proportions. Dual chrome exhaust outlets, a rear spoiler and available 18-inch wheels don't impart a sporty appearance as much as they defend against blandness. Side mirrors with integrated turn indicators and puddle lights are a nice touch. The Veracruz performed well enough in government crash tests to receive ratings equal to those of its best competitors.
The standard equipment list of a 2008 Hyundai Veracruz GLS includes a six-speaker AM/FM/XM/CD/MP3 audio system, air conditioning, rear-seat climate controls, steering wheel audio and cruise controls, power windows/locks/mirrors and remote keyless entry. The Limited adds remote-sensing unlock and start, adjustable pedals, rain-sensing windshield wipers and memory settings for the driver's seat, exterior mirrors and steering wheel. Standard safety equipment includes front, front-side and three-row side curtain airbags plus electronic stability control and a sophisticated braking system.
The 2008 Hyundai Veracruz features a comprehensive list of optional equipment that includes premium 315-watt and 605-watt audio systems, backup warning system, power liftgate, 115-volt power outlet in the cargo area, rear-seat DVD entertainment system, glass sunroof, heated front seats and a power driver's seat. The Limited offers Hyundai's first navigation system.
Hyundai's sophisticated powertrain comprises an all-aluminum V6 with continuously variable valve timing, vibration-reducing electronically controlled engine mounts and a six-speed automatic transmission (the Honda Pilot and the Toyota Highlander have five-speed transmissions). The Veracruz is offered with either front- or all-wheel drive.
260 horsepower @ 6000 rpm
257 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4500 rpm
EPA estimated fuel economy: 16/23 (FWD), 15/22 (AWD)
By Alex (AR) on Tuesday, April 16, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 6,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Sweet, quiet, smooth, fun."
Cons: "None come to mind. Maybe cooled seats - ?"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Remarkably nimble in the twisties - is this really an SUV?? Comfy & quiet (unlike our three noisy Santa Fe's, which we also loved, anyway). I have loved many cars over the years, from a VW camper to a Chevy Vega GT to a Healy 3000 Mk. III to a Buick LeSabre to my Crossfire, etc. May sound goofy, but this is the first car I've ever loved that I swear loves me back (I know, anthropormorphisization!!) Get one while you can, is all I can add."
2 people out of 2 found this review helpful
By Fran (AZ) on Tuesday, April 02, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 52,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Great price and extremely comfortable to drive"
Cons: "No Ipod hookup"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Bought this vehicle used in 2008. I normally trade my vehicles every couple of years, but not this one. I love everything about it and would highly recommend it to anyone looking for a nice size SUV with all the upgraded features at an affordable price."
By Steph (CA) on Monday, April 01, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 36,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Lumbar support, quiet, all seats in back fold flat"
Cons: "gas mileage is only around 17 mi/gal"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I previously had a Santa Fe, but needed to turn in a lease and they made me a deal on the Veracruz. I thought it was too big but needed another car quickly. Now, I love this car! I love the option of having 7 seats! The seats all fold flat too, We went camping and found it was too cold, so we laid all the seats down and slept in the back of the car - it was awesome! The driver's lumbar support is superior to every car I've driven and all the controls on the steering wheel are so convenient. The car is super quiet and comfortable - even in the back seats where they have their own air controls. Too bad they stopped making this model - it's awesome!"
By Lore (AR) on Sunday, March 03, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 46,222overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"As with so many products I find, if I like it, they discontinue it. I bought this car off the showroom floor so it has lots of power features, XM radio, power sun roof, etc. and NO feature has ever failed. They are a little pricey, the most I have ever paid for a vehicle, but it was such an appealing auto at the time, that I couldn't resist. Even though it was an impulse purchase, it has presented no problems. to the contrary, it has been awesome."
1 person out of 1 found this review helpful
By coffeegirl (VA) on Tuesday, October 16, 2012
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 62,000overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "Looks nicer than mini van, 3rd row seating"
Cons: "Road noise"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"We bought this car, used, in 2009. My husband got in a car accident this past Saturday and this car kept him safe through a horrible accident in which the car went off the road, hit the ditch and flipped--he walked away uninjured. All of the air bags went off and the seat belt stayed secured. He says he would definitely buy a Hyundai again (this is our second) because of this. Overall we were satisified with the car. I did have a few quarrels though such as the battery dying easily. I jumped my car about six times the past year due to a light being left on. Once the caution lights were left on for about two hours and my battery died. That was very frustrating! I also did not like that my wheel wells were rusting--all four of them! I looked at other peoples cars and never seen them have this problem. I am not sure why they did that. I did feel there was a lot of road noise in the car when traveling (maybe roof rack?) and a window that whistled and could never seem to get fixed by the hyundai dealership. Also, buying tires for this car are expensive...they take a special size--bought four new ones last year for $800.00 and that was the best price I could find. We really liked the third row seating for extra riders but it is a tight area for adults and hard for them to get into the seats. Overall, we had a good experience would definitely buy a Hyundai again! I had the Tuscan then traded it for this one. I did not want to trade in because I LOVED the Tuscan!!! Loved it even more than this one and would def give it ten stars. But had to upgrade due to growing family. Hope this helps!;)"
11 people out of 11 found this review helpful
By Duane (GA) on Friday, October 12, 2012
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 35,800overall rating 3 of 10rating details
Pros: "Rides well and fairly quiet."
Cons: "Poor quality, lousy dealer support."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"Recurring problems with front end, has needed 2 alignments after less than 36000 miles, ate up Michelin tires, dealer claims can't find any problems. Also lights cut out unexpectedly, cruise control speeds up by itself, door handle broke (they are plastic). Will never buy a Hyundai again."
8 people out of 12 found this review helpful