2009 Hyundai Veracruz

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2009 Hyundai Veracruz Review

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.

You'll Like This Car If...

The 2009 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.

You May Not Like This Car If...

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.

What's New for 2009

New Preferred and Premium packages are offered on the GLS trim, and the Limited trim is now available with black leather interior as well as a Black Diamond exterior package with chrome wheels later in the year.

Driving the Veracruz
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.

Proximity Key
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.

Power Liftgate
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.

2009 Hyundai Veracruz Details

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.

2009 Hyundai Veracruz photo

The 2009 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.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The standard equipment list of a 2009 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 trim 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.

Optional Equipment

The 2009 Hyundai Veracruz GLS is now offered with Preferred and Premium packages, which feature a comprehensive list of optional equipment that includes a,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 trim offers an LG navigation system and a 605-watt Infinity sound system.

Under the Hood

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.

3.8-liter V6
260 horsepower @ 6000 rpm
257 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4500 rpm
EPA estimated fuel economy: 16/23 (FWD), 15/22 (AWD)

Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

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