Hyundai Veracruz: Soon to Arrive in the States
Hyundai has developed a new SUV/crossover to go up against the likes of the Honda Pilot, Ford Explorer, and Mitsubishi Endeavor. In size terms, it falls neatly between the Pilot and Explorer, or between Mazda’s new CX-7 and upcoming CX-9. On sale in the States in December 2006 and being formally introduced to U.S. buyers at the 2007 North American International Auto Show in January, Veracruz has already arrived in the home market. Here are some photos of the Korean-specification model, from VehicleVoice and AutoPacific correspondents, along with some speculation and fact about what we think we’ll see here in three month’s time.
At first glance, the Veracruz styling is attractive and the expected equipment level looks to be competitive. We’re looking forward to seeing it in the tin, the real measure. As Hyundai product executions make solid strides in quality and overall look with each successive product, the Veracruz has potential to be one of the best Hyundai offerings yet.
Suspension, Powertrain, Size All Competitive on Paper
Exterior dimensions of the Korean-market vehicle (4840/1971/1750mm) are not likely very different from what we will see here. While it is larger than the Pilot and some other entries, it is still smaller than the new crossovers being launched by GM for 2007, the Saturn Outlook and GMC Acadia. By comparison, the Outlook is 5097mm long, the familiar Chrysler Pacifica 5052, the Explorer 4912, and the Pilot 4775. Veracruz will find itself among the larger mid-size crossovers, but not among the biggest.
This is a four-door, three-row, seven-seat vehicle with available all-wheel drive. Its independent suspension uses MacPherson struts and coil springs in front, with a multi-link coil spring setup in the rear. In the rear is a self-leveling system, to adjust for various vehicle loads.
Though an all-new 240HP 3.0L DOHC 24v V6 diesel is the primary powerplant in South Korea, in the States it will be offered only with the 3.8L DOHC 24v V6 launched in the Azera, mated to a six-speed automatic transmission just like the diesel. Diesel enthusiasts don’t get too excited, as the 3.0L is not scheduled for U.S. sales.
The Veracruz will carry the standard SUV-segment driving aids, including a ABS, an electronic stability system, and electronic brake force distribution. As Hyundai is developing a strong habit of offering front, side, and side curtain airbags as standard, the Veracruz is sure to do the same. The curtain airbags do extend to cover all three rows of passengers. Active head restraints are also on the safety-equipment list.
Feature Heavy SUV
We expect a long list of comfort and convenience features to be offered, in part because of the options available on the home-market version and in part because Hyundai is working hard to move upscale. The Veracruz gets the Hyundai Hideaway folding third-row system, introduced in the Entourage, as well as Xenon HID headlamps and LED taillights. A power-operated tailgate, a keyless entry and start system, ten-way adjustable driver’s seat with memory, two-stage seat warmers front and second rows, power adjustable pedals, headlamp washers, heated sideview mirrors with integrated turn indicators and puddle lamps, power sunroof, GPS navigation, rain-sensing windshield wiper, rear-seat DVD entertainment, dual-zone climate control, windshield wiper deicer, and tire-pressure monitoring system are all among the features expected to be offered in the States.