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Hyundai Veracruz – Click above for high-res image gallery

While the Hyundai Veracruz is a perfectly competent vehicle, the upscale three-row crossover hasn't been selling particularly well, making it stick out like the proverbial sore thumb on the Korean automaker's otherwise white-hot sales charts. What to do? Well, Autoblog has learned that while the CUV will soldier on largely unchanged for another couple of years, it is almost certain to be replaced by a long-wheelbase version of Hyundai's popular Santa Fe.

The move is unusual for a crossover but not without precedent. In other markets, Nissan has added a stretched version of its well-liked, hard-to-pronounce Qashqai known as the Qashqai+2. Of course, other automakers have also offered extended-wheelbase models of their body-on-frame SUVs (think: Cadillac Escalade ESV) for many years.

At this time, it's not clear how much the next–generation model will be stretched to accommodate the third row, or what name the longer model will take, but it will almost certainly maintain the Santa Fe descriptor and styling in order to build nameplate equity and control costs. Oddly, the Santa Fe was itself offered with three rows up until it received a modest refresh for model year 2010, but that option was dropped due to a very low take rate. Presumably, buyers are looking for more space for third-row occupants, and a longer passenger cell will have buyers considering a next-generation three-row Santa Fe anew.

In other Santa Fe news, the CUV figures to be a prime candidate for the new lithium-polymer hybrid drivetrain that Hyundai has developed for the 2011 Sonata. While our sources won't confirm that the model will go gas-electric, they do admit that the company is keen to spread out development costs through added scale and they also acknowledge that the CUV's size would make packaging an easy and natural fit.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 4 Years Ago
      Well, they have updated most if not all of their products except the Veracruz. Change the name and bring in a new model.

      Why have a fake RX300 when you buy the real thing. Bring in a new up market model and it can sell well enough. Hyundai is getting into new territory and it has to do it carefully.

      • 4 Years Ago
      I bought a Veracruz to own a quasi luxury suv that was Hyundai's first real entry into higher sandards of fit, finish and mechanical sophistication.

      If they turn the Veracruz into a stretched sante fe, count me out next time. They need to maintain this vehicle in some distinct form from the plebeian sante fe to go along with the Genesis "line".
      • 4 Years Ago
      This is good. Build up the name Santa Fe and streamline for better productivity and reliability.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Good move. Further building the Sante Fe name equity can only help in the long run.
      • 4 Years Ago
      It isn't selling because it isn't marketed at ALL.

      Seriously, when was the last time you saw a commercial on TV with a Veracruz. It is a very nice vehicle that isn't selling due to neglect.

      I wonder what the MMC will bring for it.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Same goes for the Azera regarding advertisements. I haven't seen a commercial specifically for the Azera in years.

        And yea there sure has been an influx of '11 Sonatas on the roads. I guess styling does matter to the "mid-size" sedan market.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Hyundai should have marketed this more like a Chevy oops Chevrolet Traverse or Honda Pilot rather than try to go head-to-head with Lexus. No one considering a Lexus RX is going to park next to a decades-old Excel and enter the Hyundai dealership to look at this thing.
      • 4 Years Ago
      just make it look like a bigger tucson. it will sell.
      • 4 Years Ago
      It's probably smart for Hyundai to do away w/ the slow-selling Veracruz in favor of a LWB Santa Fe (esp. since the Santa Fe is due for a replacement).

      I wouldn't be surprised, however, if Hyundai is planning on developing a true luxury crossover to help fill out its luxury lineup if they proceed w/ launching their luxury brand in 4-5 years time.

      Hyundai is already working on a compact, RWD sedan (slotted beneath the Genesis) to be their "volume seller" and a crossover model would really cement their lineup.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Nothing new here.
      Previous minivans have often been available in a short and long wheelbase option.
      Next year they'll add rear sliding doors and lower them closer to the ground.

      Then the Minivan-SUV-Minivan cycle will be complete.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Nice way to cut costs.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Hyundai what? (Just kidding.)
        • 4 Years Ago
        Lexus RX300 what?
      • 4 Years Ago
      The Genesis hasn't been selling particularly well either, maybe they should replace that with a stretched Sonata.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Do you really have to REPEAT the same old, tired crap in every Hyundai thread?

        The Genesis sedan sells around at around a 1,400-1,500 monthly clip which is good for THIRD among RWD E segment imports.

        That's twice the sales rate for the Lexus GS and Infiniti M in 2009 and the Genesis sedan is outselling the new M thus far this year.

        Try remembering these facts for once (I know it's really difficult for your noggin) - so you no longer have to bore everyone w/ your insipid, inaccurate comments.
        • 4 Years Ago

        Haven't seen you for a while I thought you quit Autoblog.
        You never disappoint at disappointing do ya?
        • 4 Years Ago
        3rd best selling car in E segment.
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