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2007 Detroit Auto Show: Hyundai Veracruz


Hyundai Marches on…
Instead of smoke, Ice Capades (Mercedes-Benz) or a TV chef (like Bobby Flay Chrysler used to introduce its “Bread and Butter” 2008 minivans), Hyundai chose a duet of classical guitars to open for the release of the 2007 Hyundai Veracruz. It seemed to fit the mood, as diversion from the real star would have been a mistake. The 2007 Hyundai Veracruz looks like a winner.
At AutoPacific we have a phrase that describes when the makers of a vehicle seem to have done their research well and worked hard to make sure that their vehicle was developed with the customer in mind. We call it “checking all the boxes”. The development of the Veracruz fits this description.

Listening to John Krafjic rattle off the features for this vehicle was like listening to a must have list for SUV purchasers:
• 3.8-liter V6, with 263 HP
• Six-speed automatic transmission
• All-wheel-drive
• Better highway MPG than a Honda Pilot
• More cargo volume than the full-size Mercedes-Benz GL
• Quieter inside than a Lexus RX 350
• A single-latch, simple-to-use 50/50 split fold-into-the-floor seat (I’ve been in the back. Tight but not a joke.)
• Optional 600 watt Stereo
• Standard XM satellite radio with 3 months of free access
• Five Star rating for front and side impact
• While pricing has not been announced, expect it to start under $30,000

After spending a few minutes in the Veracruz at the show, it’s pretty evident that Hyundai’s target is clearly upward. Like the Azera, Veracruz pushes further towards the likes of Toyota, and even Lexus. Nice material selection, good fit and pleasant styling that will likely still look good after the payment coupon is empty.
When we reported on the Azera, the question arose about it’s competitive set. “Is this Hyundai a true luxury vehicle?” While both the Azera and the Veracruz lack a true luxury brand and dealership network, it’s safe to say that both vehicles are pushing into the luxury segment. Some comparisons to MDX and RX350 are fair. In addition, Hyundai has made tremendous advances in vehicle satisfaction and quality. If the Veracruz continues in this direction, we can expect Hyundai’s US sales to continue their ascent.
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