Relatively new to the American automobile marketplace, Hyundai made a brake through in 1986 with the release of its hugely successful subcompact Excel. Since the late-1980s, Hyundai gradually expanded its scope into every possible car segment: subcompacts, compacts, sedans, coupes, hybrids, and SUVs. It’s made its way to becoming a respected car builder known for quality, reliability, and performance.
The 2008 Hyundai Veracruz holds the distinction of being the largest and most expensive car yet built by the Korean auto-maker. At nearly sixteen feet in length, the seven-passenger 2008 Veracruz contains such an ample helping of amenities to position itself alongside some the well-regarded SUVs in its class, from Acura to Lexus. Add to this a more-than-capable 260 hp 3.8-liter V-6, and it turns into a worthy SUV option at an excellent price.
Body Styles: SUV
Engines: 3.8-liter V-6
Transmissions: six-speed shiftable automatic
Models: Veracruz GLS, Veracruz SE, Veracruz Limited trim
Introduced as an all-new model for the 2007 year, the 2008 Hyundai Veracruz Limited trim gets most of the changes with optional equipment now being offered standard while Hyundai’s first navigation system is an option for the Limited. The SE receives a few alterations as well: 115-volt outlet and a power-operated tailgate.
Depending on the buyer's perspective when it comes to a car’s exterior, most reviewers fall somewhere between ""clean attractiveness"" and ""unrivaled dullness"" when it comes to the 2008 Hyundai Veracruz’s look. Modeled largely after the Lexus RX 350, the Veracruz is a virtual showcase of easy flowing lines as opposed to other SUVs that opt for a blockier body shape. In defense against its attackers who think of the Veracruz as being boring, Hyundai did its part to evoke the opposite: side mirrors with integrated turn signals, twin chrome exhaust pipes, puddle lights, 18-inch alloy wheels, and a sporty rear end spoiler.
Handsome interiors packed with plenty of fun gadgetry adorn all three trims of the 2008 Hyundai Veracruz. Soft saddle-leather interior, intuitive-friendly instrumentation, a no-nonsense simplified central console, and plenty of comfortable spaciousness throughout make for an all-around desirable package.
The base GLS comes standard with cruise control, climate control, trip computer, CD/MP3 with satellite radio, heated front seats and a sunroof. The mid-level SE trim adds a leather-wrapped steering wheel, cooled center console, power tailgate, and an eight-speaker audio system. The Limited contains all that plus dual zone climate control, touch screen navigation, rear seat entertainment system, and a ten-speaker Infinity Logic 7 surround sound system. In terms of cargo space, folding down the second and third rows of the Hyundai Veracruz ups the available on-board room to an impressive 86.8 cubic feet.
Performance & Handling
All three of the 2008 Hyundai Veracruz’s get its power from a 3.8-liter, V-6 engine that’s good for 260 hp and 257 lb-ft of torque: a good amount of gusto but lacks a little given its 4000-pound plus curb weight. A bit slow out of the gate, the Veracruz takes just over eight seconds to reach 60 mph from a standstill, but once it gets going, it cruises quite well at highway rates. One notable feature that hasn’t escaped any industry reviewers has to do with the Veracruz’s noticeable lack of engine/road noise. Helping to keep vehicle vibration to a minimum is the Hyundai’s semi-active mounts designed to lessen any engine vacuum noise, plus its four layers of floor padding.
Loaded with the expected top-notch safety features, the four-door all-wheel-drive Hyundai Veracruz offers ample protection throughout, being awarded the highest ratings by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Anti-lock brakes, triple-row head airbags, dual-front side mounted airbags, child seat anchors, height-adjustable headrests with whiplash protection, stability/traction control, anti-theft alarm, and electronic brake force distribution covers only a fraction of what the 2008 Veracruz offers its passengers.
EPA Fuel Economy
Veracruz: 16/23 mpg city/highway
- Loads of standard amenities
- Strong vehicular structure
- Excellent crash-test results
- Respectable engine power
You Won't Like
- Lack of interior space with all three rows in use
- Okay steering capabilities
Stands tall as a high-tech, feature-friendly, cross-over SUV.
If You Like This Vehicle
- Lexus RX 350
- Honda Pilot
- Toyota Highlander