in 2009 Affordable Midsize SUVs

Avg. Price Paid: $12,596 - $17,154
Original MSRP: $27,145 - $35,995
MPG: 16 City / 23 Hwy
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2009 Hyundai Veracruz Performance

This performance review was created when the car was new. Some links may no longer point to an active page.

Most test drivers are pleased with the 2009 Hyundai Veracruz's performance as a stable highway cruiser, but many point out that it's not very fun to drive. What really impresses the majority of reviewers is the Veracruz's lack of engine and road noise.

  • "Tuned more as a luxury cruiser than an apex clipper, the ... Hyundai Veracruz offers a pleasant drive, if not a sporting one. Handling is sure and predictable, and the ride is supple and very quiet." -- Edmunds
  • "The most notable characteristics of the driveline are quietness and lack of vibration. Helping with the former is carpet that has four layers of padding, whereas the latter is handled in part by semi-active mounts that actually harness engine vacuum to help offset vibration." -- Road and Track
  • "The bottom line is that this isn't a driver's SUV like, say, the Acura MDX. Like the Santa Fe, the Veracruz has been heavily focus-grouped. And it has the soft, comfortable ride and easy-steer handling that appeals to suburbanites." -- BusinessWeek
  • "Comfortable and car-like ride over most road surfaces, but there are a few unwanted body motions over washboard and cracked pavement. There is little difference in ride quality between a GLS with its 17-inch tires and the Limited with 18s." -- Consumer Guide

Acceleration and Power

The Veracruz comes with a 3.8-liter V6 that it shares with the Azera sedan and Entourage minivan. The engine makes 260 horsepower and 257 pound-feet of torque and is paired with a six-speed automatic transmission with manual shift mode. Though the engine has plenty of horsepower, some test drivers find it sluggish due to the Veracruz's hefty curb weight. But fuel economy is a plus. According to the EPA, the 2WD Veracruz achieves 16/23 mpg city/highway, while the 4WD model achieves 15/22.

  • "On the road, the Veracruz feels swifter than the heavier Outlook, but not as quick as the CX-9, even though it's slightly lighter than the Mazda." -- Cars.com
  • "Veracruz does not accelerate from a standstill as quickly as we would have expected, given the engine's horsepower rating." -- MSN
  • "We found the Veracruz to be happiest when the engine is spinning, and we expect it'll make the dash to 60 mph in less than 8.0 seconds." -- Edmunds
  • "Kudos to the Hyundai's six-speed automatic transmission. It has one more gear than does the Lexus's, shifts smoother without being mushy, and responds quickly to downshift demands." -- Motor Trend

Handling and Braking

The Veracruz features an independent MacPherson strut front suspension and an independent multi-link rear suspension that contributes to good ride quality for highway cruising. However, the SUV's vague rack-and-pinion steering and predictable ride leave much to be desired.

  • "Dynamically, the Veracruz is pretty forgettable, with little in the way of steering feedback and the kind of body control that discourages aggressive direction changes. Ride quality is decent enough, but the suspension clunks loudly over bumps and potholes." -- Automobile Magazine
  • "With a focus on serene cruising, its handling isn't as responsive as most rivals." -- Consumer Guide
  • "The steering feels squishy, and I sensed a fair amount of body roll going around curves." -- BusinessWeek
  • "Although the Veracruz answers the wheel with more liveliness than the Lexus [RX 350] can manage, a little weightier steering effort and more road feel would be welcome, even at the expense of some harshness." -- Edmunds

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