Thursday, September 5, 2013

Used Car Review - Hyundai Veracruz (2007-2012)

How about a Korean SUV for today, Myk Belmonte? The wish, is already answered my dear friend.

2007-2012 Hyundai Veracruz

It was back in 2012 that the K-Pop invasion exploded to unprecedented levels, thanks to the introduction of PSY's "Gangnam Style". Unless you were living under a rock for the whole year, I am definitely sure you are sick and tired whenever one plays it (from the FX you were riding to the tindahan down the street). But you can't deny that the dance steps is easy to master and you have been dancing to it during your Christmas party and even family reunions. Enough of PSY here.

In the case of the Hyundai Veracruz, it is the 'oppa' (oldest brother) of the Tucson and Santa Fe when it comes to the position in Hyundai's line-up and price. But when it comes to release dates, the Santa Fe is the 'sunbae' while the Veracruz is the 'hoobae'. Launched in October 12, 2006 in their home market, it replaced the truck based Terracan. It may be loved by journalists but the market didn't warmed up to this model, with a discontinuation being a result. The 7 seater Santa Fe (dubbed as Maxicruz) replaces this otherwise great SUV.

The Veracruz's introduction to the Philippines by Hyundai Asia Resources Incorporated had the general public and press media say 'omona' (that's oh my gosh) in either ways. I know that what they are saying lingers on your mind than Lee Seung Chul's "My Love" or B.A.P's "Coffee Shop". It had a stratospheric price and sold in limited quantities. It may come prepared but this didn't sell well than the least popular artist. It was silently dropped in Hyundai's line-up in 2012, with the extended version of the Fe appearing in some Korean specialist shops.

Value and Costs
So, you are a 'netizen' who wants to download k-dramas from Torrent and listen to the latest tunes in Youtube. If you are curious about the price of this vehicle, then you'll be surprised that second hand prices still linger in the million range. There is a reason for that, since this vehicle sold less than the number of Super Junior members (although I'm not sure). Checking out Korean surplus units is a viable alternative but please steer clear of units with a gasoline engine.

With Hyundai's extensive dealership network and even the proliferation of Korean specialist shops (like Fronte and Seiring), keeping your Veracruz in tip top shape is easy. Have your car regularly maintained and you get extra cash for concert tickets.

Exterior and Interior
It may look grand and expensive (despite having some cues from the second generation Santa Fe), but the face is a downer since it looks frumpy and definitely not good looking than Yoona of Girls Generation or Sungmin of Super Junior. Think of it as a Santa Fe and a Lexus RX placed in a blender.

Is the brand new price of P2.8M ones worth it? Well, with standard amenities including an Infinity sound system, leather seating, six disc changer, six airbags, moonroof, and an automatic climate control for front occupants, you get more for your money. The dashboard is solidly built but the wood panel is one panira moment on an otherwise great creation. Seating seven people is an excellent strength, which you can't fit all members of one group (having more than eight is the trend, mind you) and the second row can be adjusted forward. But 2NE1 and EXO would fit fine there. Folding the rear seats will give you more space for their luggage and even instruments, definitely a useful back-up vehicle.

Highlighting the Veracruz is the S 2,959cc V6 diesel which has 240hp at 3,800rpm and 462Nm at 3,500rpm. Definitely a monster in power, the V6 engine has enough to motivate the 2,092kg vehicle while not leaving a dent in one's wallet. Drive it slowly and it propels well, give it more push and the vehicle becomes a monster. Perfect for the chase scenes in those k-dramas.

Driving Impressions
If you have a senior member in the family, then the Veracruz is one good candidate since it is well behaved. Cruise in the highways, it becomes more of a boat no thanks to a super light power steering, boon in parking and a bane for triple digit speeds. There is a button for the 4WD system that splits torque 50:50 for those moments that you need it, but stay on the pavement rather than the rough road. Just enjoy the drive playing k-pop songs on the Infinity stereo system.

'Hwaiting~!' was the word when Korean car companies experienced poor quality in their vehicles. They fought on until it was improved. The Veracruz is not the vehicle to do 'aegyo' poses or 'selca' (self camera), but you want something practical but without swallowing your pride, this is one SUV to consider. Too bad, Brown Eyed Girls are more known than this car.

The Good:
  • More standard features
  • Monster of an engine
  • More space
The Bad:
  • Styling not for all
  • Limited market availability
  • Badge problems
The Pick: 3.0 GLS

Engine: 2,959cc S V6 diesel
Power: 240hp @ 3,800rpm
Torque: 462Nm @ 3,5000rpm
Fuel Consumption: 6-8km/L (city), 8-10km/L (highway)
Transmission: 6-speed automatic
Suspension: Front independent McPherson strut, rear independent multi-link (both sides with self leveling function)

Price (New): P2,808,000
Price (Now): P1,900,000-P2,000,000
Rivals: Kia Mohave, Honda Pilot, Mazda CX-9, Nissan Murano, Subaru Tribeca
On Sale: 2007-2012

Hyundai Pasig - (02) 672-3801
Hyundai Quezon Avenue - (02) 374-3911
Hyundai E. Rodriguez - (02) 727-6396

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