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2012 Hyundai Veracruz Road Test Review - Road & Travel Magazine's 2012 SUV Buyer's Guide

2012 Hyundai Veracruz Road Test Review

by Martha Hindes

2012 SUV Buyer's Guide - Road & Travel's Top 10 Picks

Acura RDX

Honda Pilot

Buick Enclave

Hyundai Veracruz

Ford Explorer

Subaru Tribeca

Collectors alert. Sometimes you get one last chance to get the auto or truck you've really been wanting. If you've been eyeing the 2012 Hyundai Veracruz sport utility vehicle, better get going. You won't have an opportunity to buy one after this year.

It isn't that there's anything wrong with the larger, seven-passenger Veracruz, with the aspirational sounding name. Even though the styling hasn't had a major upgrade for a bit, it's still attractive looking, nearly luxurious inside, is exceptionally usable and carries a price tag worth a second and third look. There are other factors at play here that deal more with an auto industry landscape somewhat saturated with good, wonderfully-functional SUVs. Hence the decision by Veracruz's Korean parent, Hyundai, to let go of the vehicle that has been its flagship truck entry. The companion Santa Fe SUV gets boosted to a seven seat, long wheelbase version next year to replace the Veracruz.

That leaves a bit of a very nice automotive bargain for the remainder of 2012. And one we believe is well worth checking out what one can get for a $28K, front-drive GLS entry price, where competitors are in the mid-30s range. How about a 260-horsepower 3.8-liter V-6 engine and six-speed automatic with Shiftronic for sportier driving. And a real third row of seating when passenger loads exceed five. Add to that leather wrapped steering and shift knob, power driver's seat with power lumbar support, active headrests, fog lights, automatic headlamps, temperature controlled center console storage  We'll just say here that there's much more on the list. We're running out of breath repeating it. Storage space remains good even with third row seating in use.

One can forget being quite as thrifty by opting for All-Wheel Drive and adding about a $2K Premium package that includes sunroof and power tailgate. The more upscale Limited edition kicks off at $34,495.

If you think its impending departure means nothing was changed for 2012, you'd be wrong. A new, more imposing grille face was added to enhance its already good looks. New 18-inch “hypersilver” wheels enhance the handsome body style. And second row heated seats become standard on the Limited edition that also now has Alpine navigation available.

 The low emissions classified Veracruz turns in mileage numbers of 17 city/22 highway in front drive or 16/21 with AWD, in contention with many competitors.

Our recommendation? Bargain hunters: Ready. Set. Go...

For more info on Hyundai brands, click here.