2008 Hyundai Veracruz Limited
A Lexus-like seven-seat SUV that should continue to convert Hyundai skeptics.
Plop down into the driver’s seat of the Hyundai Veracruz, and you’ll find yourself in the middle of a quiet, comfortable, content-rich revelation. With a smooth, competent powertrain and luxury touches everywhere you look, it’s not hard to convince yourself that you’re behind the wheel of a Lexus. That’s hardly a shock, of course, given that Hyundai chose the Lexus RX350 as the benchmark for its seven-passenger Veracruz, which is now the largest SUV in Hyundai’s lineup.
A Smokin’ Deal
We tested an upscale front-wheel-drive Limited model, but all-wheel drive is available on any trim level for a $1700 premium. Ours was $33,120, with the only extra a set of floor mats for $125. Those luxury touches we mentioned? Mood lighting, heated leather seats, a six-CD Infinity stereo, a power liftgate, a sunroof, and auto-dimming rearview and side mirrors are all standard. Granted, many of those items are optional on lesser trim levels, but even the base Veracruz includes second-row climate controls, satellite radio, six airbags, and defroster-equipped side mirrors for $26,995, $100 less than an entry-level Honda Pilot and $500 or so less than a similarly outfitted Toyota Highlander. (A base Highlander costs some $1500 less than a Veracruz but doesn’t include a V-6 or third-row seating.) Should you feel particularly self-indulgent, available packages will add anything from a rear-seat DVD entertainment system to an upgraded, 605-watt stereo to power-adjustable pedals to hands-free keyless entry.