Daily Archives: May 2, 2007

Hyundai Motor America Reports April 2007 Sales

Hyundai Motor America Reports April 2007 Sales

FOUNTAIN VALLEY, Calif., 05/01/2007 Hyundai Motor America today reported April sales of 39,137. The all-new 2007 Santa Fe showed strong gains over the previous year, posting an 85 percent increase. However, sales were down 4.6 percent from Hyundai’s record April sales in 2006.

“The industry continues to be very competitive,” said Dave Zuchowski, Hyundai’s vice president of national sales. “We are encouraged with the sales increase of our all-new 2007 Santa Fe and our premium sedan Azera and are confident our sales growth will continue across all models, despite the fact overall consumer spending is down for the first quarter of 2007.”All Hyundai vehicles sold in the U.S. are covered by the Hyundai Advantage, America’s Best Warranty. Hyundai buyers are protected by a 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty, a 5-year/60,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty, a 7-year/unlimited-mile anti-perforation warranty and 5-year/unlimited-mile roadside assistance protection.

CARLINE APR/2007 APR/2006 CY2007 CY2006
ACCENT 2,918 3,491 11,190 8,256
SONATA 10,434 15,716 40,431 58,587
ELANTRA 8,166 9,121 30,998 34,906
TIBURON 1,154 1,674 4,047 5,337
SANTA FE 6,743 3,639 27,982 14,091
XG350/AZERA 2,812 2,601 8,676 8,861
TUCSON 3,653 4,657 13,257 16,849
ENTOURAGE 2,697 126 5,923 126
VERACRUZ 650 0 828 0
TOTAL 39,137 41,025 143,342 147,013

Newcomers: 2007 Hyundai Veracruz

Newcomers: 2007 Hyundai Veracruz

When Hyundai announced pricing of its all-new seven-passenger Veracruz-starting at just $26,995-Toyota no doubt breathed an irritated sigh of discomfort, especially considering its seven-seat V-6 Highlander, which offers less horsepower and standard equipment, costs nearly $500 more. And Honda? Probably feeling a bit squirmy, too-its Pilot, equipped with fewer horses and goodies, runs almost $700 extra.

More for less is a persuasive formula that’s proved of great value, so to speak, for Hyundai. Yet it hasn’t garnered the brand-copious comparison-test victories in this magazine. Hyundais often come close, but while high on value and warranty, they’ve tended to register a notch lower in such categories as handling and refinement. That said, with each new model the gap shrinks.

While we’re not ready to declare the Veracruz as the Hyundai that bridges the gap-we’ll wait until we can conduct an extensive comparison evaluation-it certainly offers the credentials and dynamics seemingly to be that vehicle. Hyundai sure thinks so. At the press launch near San Diego, the Korean challenger brought along a Lexus RX 350 for comparison. Target: Toyota? Make that Lexus.

The Veracruz crafts a compelling argument as an easy-on-the-pocket RX 350. For roughly $11,000 less, the Hyundai offers more torque (257 pound-feet versus 251) and nearly as much horsepower (260 versus 270) from its 3.8-liter Lambda V-6, while providing two additional seats and an extra cog in its tranny, thanks to a new Aisin six-speed manumatic. Styling? As fresh and clean as the bod of any Lexus sport/ute, with a front fascia that suggests the RX and a rakish D-pillar like a Honda CR-V’s.

The Hyundai Veracruz’s interior is as Lexus as, well, a Lexus, based on the luxuries in our Limited test vehicle. Senior photographer John Kiewicz notes, “Were you to remove the Hyundai logo from the steering wheel, then look around at the Veracruz’s interior, would it make you think you were in a new Lexus? Absolutely.”

Dimensionally, the Veracruz, at 190.6 inches long, 76.6 wide, and 68.9 tall, closely copies the Honda Pilot and the upcoming 2008 Highlander and is a smidge longer than both. Third-row room is paramount in these minivan alternatives-at least the idea of it-and the Veracruz delivers ample space for kids and enough freedom for six-footers on a jaunt. Moreover, access to the third row is trouble-free, as the second-row cushions and seatbacks move forward for easier ingress and egress. And with the second and third rows folded flat, cargo room, at 86.8 cubic feet, dwarfs that (83.3) of a Mercedes-Benz GL450.

Besides wanting a dozen or so additional pound-feet of torque, more responsive on-center steering, and an integrated nav system (Hyundai says this option will be available later in the year), we came away impressed with the Veracruz. Three model trims-base $26,995 GLS, midlevel $28,695 SE, and flagship $32,995 Limited-allow a wide breadth of budgets and tastes, with each level available in front or all-wheel drive, the latter at a $1700 premium that includes an Intelligent Torque Controlled Coupling and a lock mode for a 50:50 torque ratio. The GLS is packed with six airbags, stability control, active front head restraints, rear-seat HVAC controls, heated sideview mirrors, 17-inch alloys, and a six-speaker MP3/XM audio system. Move up to the SE for some sporty flavor, and Hyundai tacks on 18-inch wheels, foglamps, a power driver’s seat, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, and a cooled front center console. Got more greenbacks in the wallet? Then opt for the Limited, which adds leather upholstery, heated front seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, a sunroof, an ultrasonic backup warning system, and an Infinity audio system with a subwoofer. Options include an Entertainment Package (rear-seat DVD system with eight-inch LCD) and an Ultimate Package (power-adjustable steering wheel and power tailgate).

The Veracruz is a formidable player in the seven-passenger crossover segment and will no doubt be a strong contender in next year’s Sport/Utility of the Year competition. Every automaker, not just Toyota and Honda, should be nervous.

By Ron Kiino

2007 Hyundai Veracruz
Base price $26,995-$34,695
Vehicle Layout Front engine, FWD or AWD, 7-pass, 4-door SUV
Engine 3.8L/260-hp/257-lb-ft DOHC 24-valve V-6
Transmission 6-speed automatic
Curb weight 4300-4450 lb (mfr)
Wheelbase 110.4 in
Length x width x height 190.6 x 76.6 x 68.9 in
0-60 mph 8.0 sec (est)
EPA city/hwy fuel econ 17-18/24-25 mpg
On sale in U.S. Currently