We've talked before about the fact that the Korean automakers have made great strides in engineering, content and quality over the past decade. In a recent Motor Trend comparison test, the new-for-'07 Hyundai Veracruz was even pitted against the Lexus RX350. Lest you see some humor in that match-up, know that the Hyundai won. Given the $10,000 price disparity between the two, the Lexus just didn't offer enough to take the title in those editors' minds. And we can see what they mean. This new SUV is pretty attractive, powerful and feature laden.
One of the biggest shortcomings, though, was the lack of any kind of navigation system available in the Veracruz. In fact, Hyundai hasn't offered a navi in any of their cars in the States. Until now. For 2008, the Veracruz has received a few upgrades, including that all-important sat/nav system everybody was hoping for. It's an LG unit that is available on the Veracruz Limited. And better yet, Bluetooth connectivity is now available on all trim levels. This is the first appearance of in-dash nav in a Hyundai in the U.S., and it's about time. Some may argue the virtues of in-dash navigation systems versus third-party ones that are less expensive, but to be a player in this market an automaker at least has to offer an in-dash nav system, and now Hyundai does. Throw in previously optional features that are now standard on the Limited, like memory seats and proximity keyless entry, and it's hard to imagine that the vehicle's sales will slow.
Follow the jump for the full press release about the 2008 Veracruz.
[Source: Hyundai via TheCarBlogger]
2008 HYUNDAI VERACRUZ ADDS NAVIGATION
FOUNTAIN VALLEY, Calif., When introduced in 2007, the all-new 7-passenger Veracruz took the auto industry by storm, raising the bar on what consumers could expect in the premium, midsize crossover segment. Building on that momentum, the Veracruz gets even better for 2008, adding an all-new navigation system, designed for Hyundai by LG, one of the world's leading electronics manufacturers.
NEW EQUIPMENT HIGHLIGHTS FOR 2008
· LG navigation system
· Previously optional equipment on Limited model, now standard
- Memory settings for power driver seat, exterior mirrors and steering wheel
- Power tilt/telescopic steering wheel
- Adjustable gas and brake pedals
- Proximity key with immobilizer
- Rain-sensing wipers
- 115-volt power outlet
- Lighted door scuff plates
Also for 2008, the Veracruz Limited model adds several high-demand features to its long list of standard equipment. This equipment includes: memory settings for the power driver seat, exterior mirrors and steering wheel, power tilt/telescopic steering wheel, adjustable gas and brake pedals, proximity key with immobilizer, rain-sensing wipers, 115-volt power outlets and lighted door scuff plates.
A unique blend of substance, luxury and style, the 2008 Hyundai Veracruz targets the Honda Pilot and Toyota Highlander, while offering the kind of upscale amenities and premium craftsmanship found in the Lexus RX350 and Mercedes-Benz ML.
BOLD AND BEAUTIFUL
The Veracruz demonstrates Hyundai's product expansion and global design evolution through its continued use of organic forms to create a refined and luxurious exterior appearance. Fluid lines, which combine with integrated headlights and taillights, help create a unified aesthetic for the vehicle.
Up front, the sculpted bumper creates the appearance of additional height. Three-tiered headlights complement the design. The grille combines a flat-lined upper chrome bezel and a curved lower bezel. Distinctive character lines and a fast profile enhance the stylish, yet functional imagery of the vehicle. Adding to its appearance is the Veracruz's seductive beltline, which ascends from the wraparound headlights, around the tapering body, then down to the prominent tail lights. Chrome trim is strategically applied to highlight some of Veracruz's design features, but also works to create an elegant, luxurious presence for the vehicle. The prominent wheel arches house 17- or 18-inch wheels.
Smooth and solid in its stance, the Veracruz even impresses as it departs. The integrated rear fascia has a sculpted section that blends seamlessly into the sides of the tail lights. The tail lights angle towards the character line highlighting the rounded back glass and dual exhaust tips. A rear spoiler enhances the Veracruz's sporty profile.
Inside, passengers are coddled in a rich, sophisticated environment inspired by boutique hotels. The result is an interior that could be found in the finest luxury sedans, thanks to intelligent ergonomic engineering, intuitive design, and superior craftsmanship by Hyundai designers and engineers. Hyundai has crafted a winner, combining space with elegance and including conveniences that exceed expectations.
Every major component of Veracruz has been designed to reduce cabin noise below that of the whisper-quiet Lexus RX350. To isolate outside noise, Hyundai applies acoustic dampening sheets to the doors and unibody, a steel plate beneath the engine and four layers of carpet padding. Engine noise is reduced through an electronically controlled engine mount, a multi-curvature dash, custom hood insulation and a pillow tripod joint, which lessens vibrations from the driveshaft at idle.
Seating for seven adults is made possible because of Hyundai's standard Hideaway™ third-row seat. Access to the third row is simple with the flip of a lever to slide the second row forward. Additionally, a well-thought out design means cargo space is abundant in the Veracruz. Although 9.7 inches shorter than the Mercedes Benz GL, the Veracruz still has more cargo volume.
Available dual-zone climate controls for driver and front-seat passenger further enhance the Veracruz's luxury credentials. Second- and third-row passengers enjoy a new level of comfort, due to B-pillar-mounted adjustable vents, rear HVAC controls and roof-mounted vents.
Brushed metal accents and blue backlighting for all interior gauges, switches and buttons highlight the modern, integrated interior design. Even the front cupholders are accented with blue light to aid nighttime driving, while soft blue lighting in the overhead console provides subdued mood lighting. Hyundai's focused attention to detail can be seen throughout the interior – console bins and the glovebox are lined with soft flocking material. Powerpoint caps, seatbelt buckles and cupholder inserts are color-keyed for design harmony. Soft-touch, high-quality materials, low-gloss surfaces and zero-tolerance fits are used throughout the interior.
An AM/FM/XM Satellite Radio®/CD/MP3 audio system includes an internal 172-watt amplifier and six speakers and comes standard in the Veracruz GLS and SE. The 315-watt Infinity® AM/FM/XM Satellite Radio/CD-changer/MP3 audio system with subwoofer and external amplifier is standard on the Limited trim and optional in the SE. Audiophiles with even more demanding tastes will be impressed by the Infinity AM/FM/XM Satellite Radio/CD-changer/MP3 audio system that includes a 605-watt external amplifier, 10 speakers and Logic 7® surround sound available on the SE and Limited trim levels.
The new LG navigation system available on Limited models includes touch screen functions, point-of-interest features for all entertainment needs and audio/visual prompts to assist in getting drivers to where they want to go. Other thoughtful convenience features include a proximity key, rain-sensing wipers, auto dimming exterior mirrors, mirror-mounted approach lights, adjustable pedals, memory settings for the power driver seat, exterior mirrors and steering wheel, backup warning system, power liftgate, and a rear-seat entertainment system that includes a DVD player and eight-inch overhead LCD.
On the street, the new Veracruz offers capable, fuel-efficient performance courtesy of a modern 3.8-liter DOHC V6 engine. It delivers 260 horsepower and 257 lb-ft. of torque. To maximize torque across the rev range, the engine utilizes Continuously Variable Valve Timing (CVVT) on the intake valves and a Variable Intake System which helps cylinders breathe efficiently at both low and high RPM. The engine has an aluminum block and cylinder heads for light weight and thermal efficiency, and features a steel timing chain with no scheduled maintenance.
To reduce vibration, the engine rides on newly developed semi-active engine mounting, which consists of three passive mounts integrated with a controllable element, rpm sensor and solenoid valve. The active mount is vacuum-activated to offset engine vibrations. In fact, Veracruz has less idling vibration and noise than the Lexus RX350.
To help put the power to use, the engine is mated to an Aisin six-speed gearbox with SHIFTRONIC® manual control. The transmission offers silky smooth shifts and a wide spread of ratios that ideally suits the engine's capabilities. Drivers can access the SHIFTRONIC feature by moving the gear selector into a separate gate. Pushing the selector forward or pulling it rearward will shift the transmission up or down sequentially, adding to driver control. An LED readout on the instrument panel shows the gear that is in use. The transmission uses an integrated transmission control unit and low noise gears that help reduce friction.
All of this powertrain technology is put to efficient use in the Veracruz, which achieves a new EPA highway fuel economy estimate of 16 city/23 highway in front wheel drive models, and 15 city/23 highway in all wheel drive models, exceeding the smaller, less powerful Honda Pilot. Veracruz also delivers clean air, with a Low Emissions Vehicle (LEV) classification.
Hyundai engineers benchmarked the best crossovers in the world before designing Veracruz's unibody and four-wheel independent suspension system. The rigid chassis and suspension geometry were specifically designed to deliver a supple, confident ride and help isolate the passenger cabin from imperfection in the road. The underpinnings are supported by a MacPherson strut front suspension and multi-link rear suspension system.
Upfront, reverse L-shaped lower control arms and high caster angles provide superior steering feel and excellent straight-line stability. Large subframe bushings improve the ride and isolate unwanted noise, vibration and harshness. All four wheels are controlled by coil springs, fade-resistant, gas-charged dampers and front and rear stabilizer bars. The Veracruz GLS is equipped with 17-inch, five-split-spoke aluminum wheels and 245/65R17 tires, while the SE and Limited trims ride on 18-inch, five-spoke aluminum wheels and 245/60R18 tires. Add in rack-and-pinion power steering, with a tighter turning radius than the shorter-in-length Lexus RX350 and Nissan Murano, and the end result is a vehicle with precise steering and handling, and a well-controlled yet comfortable ride.
AVAILABLE ELECTRONIC ALL WHEEL DRIVE
Hyundai has added an Intelligent Torque Controlled Coupling All Wheel Drive (AWD) system to propel Veracruz through the elements. Using wheel speed sensors to monitor the road and the driver, this electronic system can sense when and where more torque is required and route it there automatically. Power is transmitted to the rear wheels through a multi-plate clutch without any extra effort from the driver. An AWD lock mode can be engaged with the touch of a button, providing a 50:50 torque ratio when needed at low speeds.
SOPHISTICATED SAFETY SYSTEMS
The 2008 Veracruz embraces both active and passive safety with a host of leading-edge technologies. The vehicle's advanced engineering provides a high level of precision during all aspects of driving, and is anchored by standard Electronic Stability Control (ESC), the industry's most important new safety technology. By continually analyzing road speed, steering input, throttle position, lateral yaw rate and other factors, an onboard microprocessor determines if the vehicle is starting to understeer or oversteer, and automatically engages one or more brakes. The system also reduces engine output to help the driver maintain the intended path.
In addition, Veracruz adds large four-wheel disc brakes with a 10-inch tandem brake booster and an Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) with Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD) for impressive stopping distance for a vehicle of its size. Brake Assist, which is also standard, maximizes braking force when an emergency stop is detected.
Veracruz's passive safety features are equally impressive, beginning with six total airbags, including advanced dual front airbags, front seat-mounted side-impact airbags and roof-mounted side curtain airbags for all three rows of seating. In addition, active front head restraints help prevent whiplash. All seating positions feature three-point seatbelts, while the second and third rows also feature adjustable head restraints. Security is provided through a standard alarm system and available engine immobilizer.
To absorb impact to the passenger cabin, Hyundai engineers optimized crumple zones and reinforced the architecture's rails, side sill frame, floor cross-members and center pillars. These reinforcements have been tested thoroughly in laboratory and computer simulations. Veracruz has received the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's (NHTSA) top five-star crash test rating for frontal and side impacts.
Convenient Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children (LATCH) points allow child seats to be secured in the second-row seats. Additional standard safety equipment includes a Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS), which alerts drivers if one or more tires are under inflated. An illuminated readout on the dash lets drivers know the exact tire needing inflation so corrective action can be taken.
THE DIFFERENCE IS IN THE DETAILS
As with all Hyundai vehicles, Hyundai put a great deal of thought and attention into every aspect of Veracruz. One touch opens and closes the available power tailgate, and the proximity key means no more fishing for keys with groceries in hand. Approach lights, sometimes referred to as "puddle lamps," can save your best pair of shoes. An integrated memory system returns the driver's seat to a default setting. Equipping the rear bumper with backup warning sensors makes parallel parking a snap. Aerodynamic wiper blades improve visibility, and two-way nozzles, each with four streams of fluid, provide for remarkably clean windshields. Making wireless phone calls in your Veracruz is easy using optional Bluetooth® wireless technology.
The Hyundai Veracruz comes in three distinct trim levels: The well-equipped GLS, sporty SE and premium Limited.
Veracruz GLS comes well-equipped with a 3.8-liter V6 engine, six-speed automatic transmission, ESC, ABS, rear spoiler, 17-inch alloy wheels and seating for seven. Also standard is a 172-watt AM/FM/XM Satellite Radio/CD/MP3 audio system (which includes three months of complementary XM service), air conditioning with cabin filter, steering wheel audio/cruise controls, heated power side mirrors with approach lighting and side turn signal repeaters, front solar glass and rear privacy glass, remote keyless entry, and power windows and door locks. Interior safety features include active front head restraints, dual front airbags, front seat side-impact airbags plus side-curtain airbags. Other useful features include a Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS), a trip computer and a tilt and telescoping steering wheel. The Hyundai Hideaway™ third-row seat folds flat into the floor and is split 50/50, and the second and third row have their own roof-mounted vents and HVAC controls. The optional Premium Package adds a power tilt/slide glass sunroof, power driver seat, heated front seats, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, and backup warning system.
VERACRUZ SE – A SPORTIER FLAVOR OF VERACRUZ
In addition to all GLS equipment, the SE includes standard 18-inch alloy wheels, power driver seat, electrochromic auto-dimming rearview mirror with compass and HomeLink®, as well as front fog lights. A streamlined roof rack, center storage console with Cool Box functionality, auto-dimming exterior mirrors and automatic headlights are also standard equipment. An optional Premium & Leather Package adds a power tilt/slide glass sunroof, power tailgate, leather seating surfaces, heated front seats, 115-volt power outlet, a 315-watt Infinity audio system with CD changer and backup warning system. The available Entertainment Package (requires Premium and Leather Package) features a rear-seat entertainment system with an eight-inch LCD monitor, 605-watt Infinity AM/FM/XM Satellite Radio/CD-changer/MP3 audio system with Logic 7® surround sound and conversation mirror.
VERACRUZ LIMITED – PREMIUM FEATURES, OUTSTANDING VALUE
Veracruz Limited includes all of the equipment found standard on the SE and adds standard leather seating surfaces, heated front seats, power front passenger seat, automatic temperature control, a 315-watt Infinity audio system with CD changer, power tilt and slide glass sunroof, power tailgate, chrome door handles and brushed metal door sill scuff plates. New for 2008 are more standard Limited features, including power-adjustable pedals, power tilt and telescopic steering wheel, memory settings for the power driver seat, exterior mirrors and steering wheel, blue backlit sill scuff plates, a 115-volt power outlet, a proximity key and rain-sensing wipers. An optional LG navigation system is offered for the first time in 2008, packaged with a 605-watt Infinity Logic 7 surround sound audio system.
A rear-seat DVD entertainment system, which features an eight-inch LCD monitor and an Infinity AM/FM/XM Satellite Radio/CD-changer/MP3 Logic 7 surround sound audio package, is also available.
The 2008 Hyundai Veracruz is protected by the Hyundai Advantage, America's Best Warranty™. Coverage includes five-year/60,000-mile bumper-to-bumper protection, 10-year/100,000-mile limited powertrain warranty and seven-year/unlimited mileage anti-perforation coverage. In addition, Veracruz buyers receive 24-hour roadside assistance coverage at no extra charge for five years (no mileage limit), which includes emergency towing, lockout service and limited coverage for trip interruption expenses. There is no deductible on any of this coverage.
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.