Monthly Archives: June 2007 Names All-New Hyundai Veracruz As One of the Best Five Vehicles for the Summer Holiday Names All-New Hyundai Veracruz As One Of The Best Five Vehicles For The Summer Holiday

FOUNTAIN VALLEY, Calif., 06/01/2007 After reviewing more than 100 vehicles as possible contenders, has selected the all-new Hyundai Veracruz midsize crossover as one of the next best vehicles for this year’s summer road trip. The Veracruz, recently identified as the leading competitor in the sport utility vehicle (SUV) crossover segment at the Detroit Auto Show, was touted by as not only challenging the likes of Mazda, Toyota and Honda, but also capable of taking on some vehicles on the higher priced spectrum, such as the Nissan Murano and the Lexus RX350. According to, “The Veracruz doesn’t just show that Hyundai’s arrived — it shows it’s going places, too.” comments that the Veracruz has subtle yet elegant styling that is nice and upscale. The Veracruz won the award not just on its styling but that it is as flexible and comfortable as any non-minivan on the market. Most of the seats tilt slide or fold away and there’s a positively cavernous cargo compartment.

The all-new Veracruz, which has received outstanding reviews since its introduction in April 2007, comes with a standard 3.8-liter V6 engine, a third row seat, an AM/FM/XM Satellite Radio®/CD/MP3 audio system that includes six speakers, as well as plenty of advanced safety equipment. The Veracruz utilizes the latest in active and passive safety technologies, including standard Electronic Stability Control (ESC), an Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) with Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD) for impressive stopping distance for a vehicle of its size, anti-whiplash active front head restraints and six airbags with side air curtains that protect all three rows during side impacts. The vehicle also received the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) five-star frontal and side crash ratings in the sport utility vehicle segment.

To read’s full review of the Hyundai Veracruz, log on to and click on reviews.


Hyundai Motor America, headquartered in Fountain Valley, Calif., is a subsidiary of Hyundai Motor Co. of Korea. Hyundai vehicles are distributed throughout the United States by Hyundai Motor America and are sold and serviced through more than 750 dealerships nationwide.

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Hyundai Motor America Reports Record May Sales

Hyundai Motor America Reports Record May Sales

All-New Santa Fe Increased 101 Percent

FOUNTAIN VALLEY, Calif., 06/01/2007 Hyundai Motor America today reported sales of 43,885 for the month of May, up three percent representing the best May sales in company history. Hyundai’s all-new 2007 Santa Fe led the strong sales with an increase of 101 percent over May 2006. Our fuel-efficient 2007 Accent and the all-new 2007 Elantra kept the momentum going in their segments; the Accent increased almost 10 percent and the Elantra increased five percent over May 2006.

“We are pleased with our May results and are looking forward to a very strong finish in the second quarter. With consumer awareness of Hyundai’s quality, safety, and outstanding value on the rise, we are confident our sales growth will continue,” said Dave Zuchowski, Hyundai’s vice president of National Sales.

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 MAY/2007 MAY/2006 CY2007 CY2006
ACCENT 3,669 3,342 14,859 11,598
SONATA 12,147 17,035 52,578 75,622
ELANTRA 9,317 8,887 40,315 43,793
TIBURON 1,668 1,682 5,725 7,019
SANTA FE 7,930 3,942 35,912 18,033
XG350/AZERA 2,056 2,279 10,732 11,140
TUCSON 3,454 4,279 16,711 21,128
ENTOURAGE 2,544 1,068 8,467 1,194
VERACRUZ 1,100 0 1,928 0
TOTAL 43,885 42,514 187,227 189,427

2007 Hyundai Veracruz Limited – Short Take Road Test

2007 Hyundai Veracruz Limited – Short Take Road Tests

A really big bang for the bucks.

2007 Hyundai Veracruz Limited
The Highs: Silent, smooth; great
cargo capacity; plenty of “free”
creature comforts.
The Lows: Too much body roll,
slightly numb steering, obstructionist
parking brake.

Like the Tucson and Santa Fe before it, Hyundai’s third crossover SUV—and easily its largest—is named after a sunny tourist destination. In this case, the Mexican state of Veracruz on the Gulf of Mexico, a region renowned for umbrella drinks and for depleting the wallets of bleary-eyed Americans.

If the Veracruz likewise depletes U.S. wallets, it won’t be by much. The base front-drive GLS begins at $26,995; five trim levels later, this Hyundai tops out at $34,695. All ride on a stretched Santa Fe platform; all are powered by the 260-horse, 3.8-liter V-6 found in the Azera sedan; all come with a third-row seat; and all include an Aisin six-speed automatic, Hyundai’s first.

The Veracruz is aimed squarely at the Honda Pilot and Toyota Highlander, although its wheelbase and length are longer. It will also become a thorn in the sides of the Mitsubishi Endeavor, Suzuki XL7, and Subaru B9 Tribeca.

Our front-drive Limited test sample ($33,120) arrived with an alluring load of standard-equipment creature comforts: leather, an A/C-cooled center console, a sunroof, a tilting-and-telescoping wheel, a power liftgate, backup radar, a 315-watt Infinity stereo, stability control, and more.

Inside and out, the Veracruz emits a strong whiff of Lexus RX350—not a bad SUV to copy. Even the center stack, with its zillion buttons and switches, is Lexus-like. Three rotary HVAC controls would have simplified matters, but Americans nowadays equate complexity with luxury.

All of the Veracruz’s interior surfaces equal or exceed the finish of those in the Pilot or Highlander, apart from the cheesy “brushed aluminum” plastic on the steering-wheel spokes and center console. The front seats are firm and multi-hour comfortable, although the cushions could use more bolstering.

Fire up the Veracruz and what you notice first is what you don’t notice. There’s minimal road noise or engine noise, and the exhaust is as mute as Harpo. At both idle and WOT, the Veracruz is quieter than the Pilot or Highlander. Even the turn-signal stalk’s clicks are subdued.

Similarly Lexus-ish is throttle tip-in—gentle, gradual, almost lazy. Disable the stability control and you can churn the front Michelins for four feet at step-off. In the sprint to 60 mph, the Veracruz is 0.2 second behind the Pilot but 0.3 second ahead of a V-6 Highlander. Full-throttle upshifts are supremely smooth, and the V-6 evinces no peaks or valleys as it pulls to its 6500-rpm redline. Torque steer manifests only when you combine major throttle with a 90-degree turn. The standard-equipment manumatic proved so adept at matching revs on downshifts that we batted at it regularly on our handling loop. It still feels counterintuitive, however, to pull back for downshifts and push forward for upshifts.

Body roll is more pronounced than we’d like, but the upshot is a cushy ride.

2007 Hyundai Veracruz Limited – Specs

Except for a low seat cushion, the split middle bench is a gem—roomy for three and adjustable fore-and-aft by five inches. Yank one lever and the middle seat pivots forward to afford access to the third row, where a pair of adults can ride without complaint for, well, 20 minutes. With both rows folded flat, usable floor space measures about six feet deep and 45 inches wide—in total, an excellent 87 cubic feet, sufficient to swallow a bicycle whole.

Our beefs were few. The foot-operated parking brake hangs so low it sometimes rubs your shin. Rear visibility is diminished by the fat D-pillars. Although the speed-sensitive steering tracks like a champ and is nicely weighted, it doesn’t transmit much info about road textures, and your first warning of understeer is the stability control, which is aggressive about pulling out engine spark. At least you can turn it off. The underlying platform feels satisfactorily solid until you begin bouncing along muddy two-tracks, where our confidence would have been bolstered by the optional all-wheel drive ($1700).

Off the freeway, the Veracruz isn’t quite as engaging as the Pilot or Highlander, which are a titch more visceral, more hard-wired to the driver’s inputs. But the Hyundai’s ride, extra measure of isolation, and myriad standard features will be construed by many as a bonus layer of luxury. In fact, the Veracruz represents so much bang for the buck that Hyundai would do well to ditch its old flying-H logo, which still carries the “it’s all I could afford” stigma.

VEHICLE TYPE: front-engine, front-wheel-drive, 7-passenger, 5-door wagon

PRICE AS TESTED: $33,120 (base price: $32,995)

ENGINE TYPE: DOHC 24-valve V-6, aluminum block and heads, port fuel injection
Displacement: 231 cu in, 3778cc
Power (SAE net): 260 bhp @ 6000 rpm
Torque (SAE net): 257 lb-ft @ 4500 rpm

TRANSMISSION: 6-speed automatic with manumatic shifting

Wheelbase: 110.4 in
Length: 190.6 in
Width: 76.6 in
Height: 68.9 in
Curb weight: 4470 lb

Zero to 60 mph: 7.8 sec
Zero to 100 mph: 21.1 sec
Street start, 5-60 mph: 8.2 sec
Standing ¼-mile: 16.1 sec @ 89 mph
Top speed (governor limited): 122 mph
Braking, 70-0 mph: 185 ft
Roadholding, 300-ft-dia skidpad: 0.77 g

EPA city driving: 18 mpg
C/D-observed: 17 mpg

Car & Driver
June 2007

Five Hyundai Models Make Yahoo! Autos’ Top 100 "Green" Cars List

Five Hyundai Models Make Yahoo! Autos’ Top 100 “Green” Cars List

2007 Hyundai Accent, Elantra, Sonata, Tiburon And Tucson Models Rank High In “Green Ratings”

FOUNTAIN VALLEY, Calif., 05/31/2007 The Yahoo! Autos Green Center ranks the 2007 Hyundai Accent, Elantra, Sonata, Tiburon and Tucson models as five of the top 100 “Green” Cars for 2007. The vehicles listed online at were ranked on a scale of 1-100 based on the environmental impact of each vehicle. The Yahoo! Autos Green Center currently ranks more than 450 models in-market in the U.S.

On this year’s “green” cars list, two of the five Hyundai models listed by Yahoo! Autos ranked in the top 20. The 2007 Hyundai Accent GLS scored 75 out of 100 points. The Accent is certified as an Ultra Low Emission Vehicle (ULEV), delivering up to 37 mpg (automatic transmission/highway). The 1.6-liter dual overhead cam (DOHC) in-line four-cylinder engine that features four valves per cylinder with Continuously Variable Valve Timing (CVVT) give the engine a very broad powerband, coupled with high fuel efficiency and low emissions.

The 2007 Hyundai Elantra scored 76 out of 100 possible points. The Elantra is certified as a Partial Zero Emission Vehicle (PZEV) and is as clean as many hybrid electric vehicles. Elantra achieves this certification with its advanced 2.0-liter in-line four-cylinder engine that features DOHC and CVVT, to ensure improved fuel economy.

“This recognition of our clean, fuel-efficient powertrains demonstrates our commitment to the environment, just as our leadership in lifesaving safety technologies like electronic stability control (ESC) demonstrates our commitment to the safety of our owners,” said John Krafcik, vice president of Strategic Planning and Product Development, Hyundai Motor America. “More and more people are seeing Hyundai as a smart choice, and the Green Ratings from Yahoo! Autos reinforce that.”

Yahoo! Autos’ “Green Ratings” measure a vehicle’s environmental friendliness on a scale of 1 to 100, and factors in tailpipe pollution, greenhouse gas emissions, fuel economy and the manufacturing process. The “greener” a vehicle is, the higher its “Green Rating” will be, lowering its harm to both the health of the planet and humans. Numerous major environmental pollutants associated with a motor vehicle are covered by the “Green Rating,” including:

  • Greenhouse gases, primarily carbon dioxide (CO2)
  • Fine particles (particulate matter, PM)
  • Nitrogen oxides (NOx)
  • Hydrocarbons (HC)
  • Carbon monoxide (CO)

Yahoo! Autos’ Green Center provides consumers with a comprehensive, unbiased source of information, resources and community about green vehicles, including all technologies. The Green Center brings together industry information from experts as well as consumer-generated content from the Yahoo! network.

Hyundai Motor America, headquartered in Fountain Valley, Calif., is a subsidiary of Hyundai Motor Co. of Korea. Hyundai vehicles are distributed throughout the United States by Hyundai Motor America and are sold and serviced through more than 750 dealerships nationwide.

The 2007 Total Quality Awards

The 2007 Total Quality Awards™

Hyundai – 3, Toyota – 0; Perceived Quality the New Paradigm Says Strategic Vision

Monday, June 4, 2007

San Diego — For the first time ever, the Hyundai brand has produced the most leaders on Strategic Vision’s Total Quality Index™ (TQI), leading in three segments. The San-Diego-based research firm today announced 2007 results, based on the ratings of new vehicle owners in 19 product segments.

The only other brand to produce three leaders was Nissan. Hyundai Motors had a total of five leaders (the Kia brand earning two more), Ford Motor and BMW Group each earned three (one for BMW, two for Mini); GM, Honda, and Mercedes each earned two with Dodge, Lexus and Volkswagen each earning one. BMW repeated as the top scoring brand, the eighth time in nine years, and Volkswagen of America kept its claim as the best full-line corporation.

The Total Quality Index™ is the premier measure of new vehicle owner satisfaction. It asks buyers to rate all aspects of the ownership experience, from buying and owning to driving. Although Toyota improved overall with their TQI scores, the most significant change in 2007 is the lack of any Toyota brand segment leaders. Examining the number of problems or Things-Gone-Wrong per vehicle (the traditional definition of quality), Toyota and Lexus are still among the best. However, Toyota’s lead in this narrower definition of quality is now shared with other brands like Honda, Hyundai, Infiniti and domestic brands such as Ford. For example, the Ford Expedition EL enjoyed a very large lead and had fewest problems in the segment. Expedition EL owners recognized innovative changes, which are key to future domestic success.

“With automotive corporations now doing a terrific job in providing vehicles with minimal problems, the Cues of Quality (those product attributes that signal quality and create customer Trust) have a greater impact on the purchase decision. Perceived Quality has the power to change customer’s perceptions of a vehicle from being ‘interesting’ to eventually considered and purchased,” says Alexander Edwards, Strategic Vision President. “In the past, one could count the number of problems per vehicle; but for automotive customers today and tomorrow, a comprehensive and integrated perception of the ownership experience will be what drives the decision making process.”

“Even though Hyundai is often overlooked by the US customer, Hyundai’s success in 2007 is not surprising given its’ current products and press in leadership that is looking to the near and distant future with new designs from styling to powertrain,” reports Dr. Darrel Edwards, Founder and CEO of Strategic Vision.

Long time leader Honda Odyssey (five years in a row) has now been replaced by the Hyundai Entourage, Kia Sedona and Nissan Quest in a three-way tie for this segment. The Ford F-150 returns to a leadership position in this most tightly contested segment, tied with the Nissan Titan.

Buyers rated the following vehicles tops in their segments:

Segment Winner(s) TQI Score
Small Car Honda Civic
Small Multi-Function Volkswagen Rabbit
Medium Car Saturn Aura
Nissan Maxima
Large Car Hyundai Azera
Small Specialty Under $25,000 Mini Cooper
Near Luxury Car BMW 3-Series Sedan
Luxury Car Mercedes-Benz S-Class Sedan
Convertibles Under $30,000 Mini Cooper Convertible
Convertibles Over $30,000 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible
Minivan Kia Sedona
Hyundai Entourage
Nissan Quest
Small SUV Hyundai Santa Fe
Medium SUV Kia Sorento
Medium Crossover Dodge Magnum
Large SUV Ford Expedition EL
Near Luxury SUV Lexus RX 350
Luxury SUV Mercedes-Benz ML
Standard Pick-Up Honda Ridgeline
Full-Size Pickup Nissan Titan
Ford F-150
Heavy Duty Pickup Ford F-250/350

“Unlike last year, we’re seeing many new or redesigned vehicles not ranking near the top of their segments.” says Alexander. “These vehicles typically have the potential to deliver more rational and emotional elements which are relevant to buyers. Although the Honda Fit, Nissan Versa and Toyota Yaris all did well, they did not hit the same emotional chord which resounded in the DNA of the Volkswagen Rabbit buyers.”

Responses from more than 27,000 buyers who bought 2007 models in September, October and November of 2006 were used to calculate the Total Quality Index™. Strategic Vision has calculated TQI annually since 1995.

Since its incorporation in 1989, Strategic Vision has studied consumer and constituent decision-making for the widest variety of clients, including most auto manufacturers, Coca-Cola, American Airlines, Procter and Gamble, most advertising agencies. Its unique expertise is identifying consumers’ motivational hierarchies, including the values that shape perceptions and capture the customers’ emotional responses and drive behavior. The firm’s in-depth Discovery Interviews and ValueCentered Surveys provide comprehensive, integrated, and actionable outcomes.

Strategic Vision, Inc.

Hyundai Azera, Entourage And Santa Fe Named Best-In-Segment In Strategic Vision 2007 Total Quality Index

Fountain Valley, Calif., 06/04/2007 Hyundai Motor America produced the most segment leaders of any automotive manufacturer, according to Strategic Vision’s Total Quality Index™ (TQI), which measures total vehicle satisfaction among new car owners. Achieving the top slot in three distinct vehicle segments is a first for Hyundai. The Strategic Vision results released today placed the Hyundai Azera sedan atop the large car segment, the Entourage (tied with the Kia Sedona and Nissan Quest) in the top spot for the minivan segment and the Santa Fe on top in the small sport utility vehicle (SUV) segment.

Hyundai’s success in 2007 is not surprising given its current products and press, as well as its leadership team who is looking strategically to the future with new designs from styling to powertrain,” reports Dr. Darrel Edwards, founder and CEO of San Diego-based Strategic Vision.

The Hyundai Santa Fe beat out competitors such as the Toyota FJ Cruiser and Jeep Wrangler 4-door for the top spot. The Hyundai Entourage minivan, which tied for first with the Kia Sedona and Nissan Quest, beat out the Honda Odyssey for the top slot, a position held by the Odyssey for the last five years.

“The Strategic Vision Total Quality Index demonstrates that Azera, Entourage, and Santa Fe are high-quality vehicles with terrific appeal,” said John Krafcik, vice president of Product Development and Strategic Planning. “At Hyundai we stand for great design, quality, safety, and outstanding value….and these study results show that consumers love this recipe.”

The Total Quality Index is the measurement of new vehicle owner satisfaction. The Strategic Vision poll surveyed more than 27,000 vehicle buyers who bought 2007 models in September, October and November of 2006. Consumers were asked an array of questions about their ownership experience, including buying, owning and driving their new vehicles. The Index 2007 results were based on ratings of new vehicle owners in 19 product categories.

About Hyundai Motor America

Hyundai Motor America, headquartered in Fountain Valley, Calif., is a subsidiary of Hyundai Motor Co. of Korea. Hyundai vehicles are distributed throughout the United States by Hyundai Motor America and are sold and serviced through more than 750 dealerships nationwide.

Hyundai Veracruz vs Lexus RX350

Hyundai Veracruz vs Lexus RX350

Can you really compare an aggressive Korean contender to the class standard? We just did.

“Bring it,” said our contact at Hyundai. “We know we have a great price/value story in the Veracruz, but forget that. We want to take on the Lexus, straight up.” Okay, pal. You got it.

With its most recent round of product introductions, Hyundai has gone from price-driven alternative to legit player in several vehicle categories (the same can be said for corporate cousin, Kia). The designs, most of which now originate in Southern California, are clean and handsome, quality has jumped by leaps and bounds, and performance has come up to class average in most cases. The Veracruz (June 2007) is Hyundai’s newest crossover entry, slotting in above the Santa Fe with more room and features and a third-row seat.

Lexus’s RX pioneered the notion of the midsize, car-based, luxury crossover in 1999 and was Motor Trend’s first Sport/Utility of the year. That original RX 300 go a makeover, becoming the RX 330 in 2003, and the larger-engined RX 350 in spring 2006 as a 2007 model (our tester is a 2008). It remains the gold standard in the category and has spurred at least a half-dozen imitators.

From a brand standpoint, Lexus flies first class all the way. Hyundai established itself two decades ago with compact cars sold primarily on price and has been trying to upgrade from coach ever since. But the two end up meeting at the intersection of RX 350 and Veracruz Limited AWD.

The Limited is the top-drawer Veracruz combining every feature Hyundai has in its bin, plus all-wheel drive. The RX isn’t available in 2WD, and even a base-equipped RX 350 is lavish by comparison. But as equipped here, they both have all the stuff a luxury crossover buyer will want, including leather upholstery, heated seats, power everything, impressive audio systems, a comprehensive safety package, power rear liftgate, rear-seat DVD player/screen, 18-inch rolling stock, traction and stability-control systems, and four-wheel disc brakes with ABS. The Hyundai’s 3.8-liter V-6 is rated at 260 horsepower. Lexus’s 3.5-liter V-6 cranks out 10 horsepower more, but requires premium fuel to do so (the Veracruz runs on regular).

As tested here, the Lexus costs just over $10 grand more than the Hyundai, but packs a few goodies that the Veracruz can’t match. This RX has an optional nav system with backup camera, which would add $1500-$2000 to the price of the Hyundai—except for the fact that it doesn’t offer one. Hyundai says it’s coming before the end of this year. The RX also has adaptive HID headlights, real wood trim instead of the Hyundai’s plasti-wood, and a power retractable cargo-area tonneau. So some of that price gap is made up for by meaningful equipment. But the Veracruz gets a few swings in, too, with sweeteners like a 115-volt powerpoint in the cargo area, adjustable pedals, and a “coolbox” console.

You don’t have to stare too hard to figure out what Hyundai was looking at when it styled the Veracruz; think of it as an RX 350 at about 110 percent. Both are attractive, clean, and modern, devoid of unnecessary gingerbread. The Veracruz is 4.4 inches longer overall, riding on a 3.5-inch-longer wheelbase. It’s also 2.8 inches taller and four inches wider. The only layout difference is that those extra inches in all dimensions allow Hyundai to add a folding third-row seat, increasingly important to crossover/SUV buyers these days. And it’s a useful way-back seat, too; plenty of room in all dimensions for average adults. It’s split 60/40, and each panel folds with the flip of a lever. The second-row seat slides forward for easy access and is also adjustable fore and aft. With all seats folded, both carry a ton of stuff, although the Veracruz’s cargo bay looks larger than the 2.1-cubic-foot EPA volume difference between it and the Lexus indicates.

In terms of performance, the RX’s 10 more horsepower has about 400 fewer pounds to pull, so it wins all the acceleration contests. It’s ahead by a second on the 0-to-60 mark, and that differential holds most of the way through the quarter mile, where the edge is still eight-tenths of a second. Both engines are strong, relatively quiet (with the nod to the Veracruz), and have wide torque bands thanks to the variable valve timing. In the 60-to-0 braking contest, the Lexus stopped five feet shorter than the Hyundai, but since production tolerances between the vehicles often results in variances larger than that, call it a draw.

The Hyundai is the happier handler, though it’s 2.1 seconds quicker through our figure-eight test, which combines transitional handling, grip, acceleration, and braking. And it grips through the skidpad at 0.77 g versus the Lexus’s 0.68 g run. Is the Hyundai chassis that much superior? No. It’s the RX’s insistence in keeping you overly safe that electronically inhibited its performance. It sensed that our max-handling performance testing was impending accident doom and lit up the stability control at anything more than the slightest provocation. Beepers beeped, brakes braked, and the throttle was dialed out until the RX 350 knew we weren’t going to crash. This also was the case on our mountain road loop, even during moderate cornering. The Lexus computer wizards need to dial the electronannies back a notch or two.

In real-world driving, both do the job nicely and will take you and your occupants anywhere you want to go in comfort. Ride quality is about equal, although the Lexus exhibits less wind noise at higher speeds. Both have good steering and brake pedal feel. 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. The RX’s trans shifts more harshly under heavy load. The Veracruz turns in more confidently and steers in a more linear manner. When you bend the Lexus into a corner hard, it asks for a steering correction. If you overdo it, the RX calls into the stability controls.

The Veracruz’s center stack is a model of logic. Each portion of it is dedicated to its respective function: HVAC, audio, etc. The knobs and buttons are easy to understand and do what you want them to in a intuitive way. The RX’s are okay, too, but there are foibles, such as giving you a switch to control temperature, but insisting you go into the Climate portion of the nav screen to adjust the fan speed. Stupid. And why is the rearview-mirror adjustment switch hidden behind a door on the instrument panel? Both have high-quality, supportive seating, although we missed having separate armrests in the Hyundai.

Premium Japanese brands are known for using first-rate materials, boasting superior fit and finish. Korean brands have previously been known for none of the above. This pair demonstrates how narrow that gap has become. The Lexus is still the king here, using great surfaces everywhere and bolting them together flawlessly. The Hyundai uses components of nearly equal quality, assembled almost as well. The leather and vinyl on the seats didn’t quite color-match, the silver finish on the center stack doesn’t appear all that sturdy, and there were a few misaligned bits of trim. It’s in areas such as these where you can spot the difference in cost, although it’s not as great as the dollar spread might indicate.

If we accept that the Lexus’s brand cachet, dealer-service reputation, reliability reputation, and historically high resale value are worth the 25-percent premium, price is no longer an issue. So which should you buy?

The Lexus faithful won’t be moved by the Veracruz. They’re a loyal bunch and likely will replace their current RX with another. By doing so, they’ll get a sophisticated, high-quality piece that’s even nicer than their last one. I’ll serve them well and return the loyalty at trade-in or re-lease time. the RX 350 remains the category leader, and the Veracruz does little to impact that. But can you get most of the goodness at 20 percent off?


Equip the Veracruz properly, and it has the mojo to compete with the higher-priced vehicle. It doesn’t yet match the Lexus’s overall levels of polish, but it’s darn close, which makes it very nice indeed, measured against most other offerings. It drives well, rides with aplomb, and feels all of a piece. The Veracruz gives you that important third-row seat and plenty of cargo space, which is why most people shop this type of vehicle. The fact that it costs less is no longer an excuse to buy a Hyundai. It’s just a smart reason. If it’ the RX you must have, and the cost delta doesn’t matter, buy one and you’ll be delighted. Feel like saving some money for something that’s functionally as good and a well-conceived machine in its own right? Consider the Veracruz Limited, and you’ll be equally delighted. Keep the change.


Hyundai Veracruz Limited AWD

Does everything well and advances the brand. A nice blend of value and luxury touches.


Lexus RX 350

Still a well-polished piece, if you want everything that goes with the badge.

Hyundai Announces Pre-Owned Program

Hyundai Announces Enhanced Pre-Owned Program

FOUNTAIN VALLEY, Calif., May 30 — Hyundai Motor America today announced an industry first with its new Hyundai Certified Pre-Owned Limited Warranty, boasting a 10-year/100,000 mile powertrain warranty on used vehicles going back five model years with less than 60,000 miles. The enhanced pre-owned program and pre-owned warranty provides buyers with an added level of comfort and satisfaction with their vehicle purchase. The enhanced pre-owned program was launched to Hyundai dealers in May 2007, with warranty being effective from date of original sale.

Hyundai’s enhanced Certified Pre-Owned vehicle program will provide buyers with:

  • Powertrain 10 year/100,000 mile warranty
  • 150-Point Inspection
  • $50 deductible
  • Vehicles up to five model years old with less than 60,000 miles are eligible
  • Roadside assistance
  • Rental car coverage (up to $35/day for up to 10 days)
  • Towing coverage (up to $75 per occurrence)
  • Travel breakdown coverage (up to $375 per occurrence)
  • Diagnostics
  • Related damage for specific parts
  • Fluids
  • New car financing rates through Hyundai Motor Financing Company

“We are very excited to launch an industry first,” said Kimberly Walker, Hyundai Motor America’s national manager of Assurance Products. “Hyundai’s new vehicles feature America’s Best Warranty™ and adding the same level of value to our pre-owned vehicles is just another example of how Hyundai stands behind their vehicles.”

dditional options available to the Certified Pre-Owned Limited Warranty include service contracts such as the Hyundai Certified Pre-Owned Wrap Contract which raises the comprehensive coverage on non-powertrain components, Hyundai Vehicle Care Maintenance Program and Hyundai Road Hazard Tire and Wheel option.

Hyundai Motor America is working with Jim Moran & Associates, Inc. and its affiliated companies comprising the JM&A Group on this industry first, enhanced certified pre-owned program.

Hyundai Motor America, headquartered in Fountain Valley, Calif., is a subsidiary of Hyundai Motor Co. of Korea. Hyundai vehicles are distributed throughout the United States by Hyundai Motor America and are sold and serviced through more than 750 dealerships nationwide. Hyundai Motor America