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2009 Hyundai Veracruz Review
The Veracruz is Hyundai's top-of-the-line SUV in both size and luxury, and offers impressive credentials in this highly competitive class. This year it loses the mid-range SE model, but adds the main features to an improved range of GLS option packages. Hyundai has been working hard to upgrade their image over recent years as makers of quality vehicles. This year's Veracruz confirms that with its surprising level of performance, luxury and style which positions it favorably right alongside the Lexus RX 350, Honda Pilot, Toyota Highlander and Chevrolet Traverse. This seven-seater family vehicle is one of Hyundai's most expensive vehicles, but still manages to be great value considering the quality of the finish and the multitude of standard features which many other manufacturers leave in options packages. Add to that its extra long Hyundai warranty to confirm its reliability, and the 2009 Veracruz is well worth considering if you are shopping for a mid-sized family SUV.
2009 Hyundai Veracruz Performance
There is just one powertrain on the 2009 Veracruz, and that is the 3.8-liter V6 which generates 260hp and 257lb-ft of torque. It is mated to a six-speed automatic transmission that includes Shiftronic for manual gear changes and although it can be slow to shift down gears, it seems to provide enough oomph for most situations. The acceleration is brilliant once it gets going, but the heavy weight behind the Veracruz means it has a bit of a lag after pressing the pedal which can be frustrating. Fuel economy is unspectacular at 15/22mpg city/highway driving.
This engine is featured in both the GLS and Limited editions of the 2009 Veracruz and both are available with either front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. The all-wheel drive system sends the torque to the wheel with the least traction, or it can be locked into a 50/50 split between the front and rear for maximum traction. But don't get too excited about off-road driving adventures, because this all-wheel drive is really only suited for all-weather conditions.
As with most of the Hyundai SUV family, the Veracruz is tuned more towards family comfort than sporting performance, and there has been plenty of criticism over its unresponsive steering and excessive body roll around corners, thanks largely to the soft suspension. However our experience is that even though it may not be the most fun SUV on the road to drive, it offers a solid driving experience that will suit most families just fine and as a highway cruiser it is as good as anything else in the class. One of the best features of the Veracruz is the blissfully silent ride that is on par with many European premium vehicles. Hyundai has been working hard at minimizing external noise recently, and it has paid off by giving the Veracruz a real luxury feel.
2009 Hyundai Veracruz Interior and Features
As with most of the new generation of Hyundais, the interior styling of the 2009 Veracruz is upmarket and stylish, featuring soft touch interior plastics and well-fitting buttons and joints.
Standard on the GLS model is a CD/MP3 player with satellite radio and iPod jack, dual-zone air conditioning and steering-wheel mounted audio and cruise controls. Upgrade to the Limited model for a true luxury experience and you get high quality leather upholstery, heated and powered front seats with memory, a power liftgate, backup warning system, HomeLink universal remote control, premium 10-speaker Infinity stereo system with 6-CD changer and standard sunroof. Options packages abound and include a miniature refrigerator in the center console for cooling drinks, wireless telephone system, navigation system and rear seat entertainment.
Seating is comfortable and roomy, and although this is not the most spacious SUV in the class, the second-row seats provide enough head and legroom for two adults or three children easily. The third-row of seating is really only adequate for children, but can be easily folded flat into the floor for extra cargo space. With the third-row up, cargo space is very limited at just 6.5 cubic feet and significantly less than some of the competitors.
2009 Hyundai Veracruz Safety
Hyundai has become leaders in the safety field in recent years, and the Veracruz gains a perfect five stars in government crash testing for front and side impact situations, and a 'top pick'? recommendation from the Insurance Institute. Standard on all models is stability control, anti-locking brakes with brake assist and traction control, which work together to give maximum control in emergency situations. Active head restraints are included to prevent whiplash, and front, side and full-length curtain airbags are standard.
- Electronic stability control, ABS, brake assist and traction control
- Active head restraints on first and second row seats
- Front, side and side curtain airbags
- Tire pressure monitor
Overall the 2009 Hyundai Veracruz is proof of how far Hyundai has come in improving the quality of their vehicles over recent years. The Veracruz competes comfortably with vehicles like the Lexus RX350 which are more expensive and less equipped, and is well worth adding to the shopping list if it is a stylish family-friendly SUV that you are after.
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