Sierras, photographer Brian Vance utilized the Veracruz to get him and five friends to the trailhead. "We piled six people into the Hyundai, plus a half-dozen hiking backpacks and a big load of groceries. It was tight, to say the least, but everything fit. We had two people in the front row, three in the middle, and one in the third row, with the right side of the third row folded flat. We slid the left side of the middle row up a bit (it sits on adjustable tracks) to give the third-row passenger a bit more breathing room."
With the Hyundai loaded to the ceiling, Vance notes its performance barely faltered, thanks to the refined and robust powertrain. "Perhaps what's most impressive about the biggest Hyundai sport/ute ever offered in the U.S. is the smooth and polished transmission. This six-speed might be the best automatic in the class, and even at wide-open throttle it transitions up or down to the next gear with almost no noticeable upset to the chassis. Paired with the 3.8-liter V-6, the Veracruz hauled our full load up the steep, long grade north of Bishop, California, at a steady 85 mph, with plenty of power to spare."
And while Vance also appreciates the Hyundai's perfectly sized tray located below the navigation screen-"It's ideal for holding my iPhone and iPod side-by-side"-he doesn't care for a few other interior details: "The blue, backlit buttons on the center stack are hard to see because of the hue of blue that's used. The biggest knob on the whole center stack is for HVAC fan control. The knob would be better used as the stereo volume control. There is no aux input for MP3 players .The nav screen is really bright at night, even at its dimmest setting. And the power-operated tailgate is really slow, maybe the slowest in class."
|2008 Hyundai Veracruz |
| Months/miles in service || 9/14,773 |
| Avg econ/CO2 || 16.0 mpg/1.21 lb/mi |
| Unresolved problems || None |
| Maintenance cost || $110.99 (oil change/inspection/rotate tires) |