VERACRUZ ACROSS THE POND – The Hyundai ix55


Think back to the origins of Hyundai’s largest utility vehicle, the Veracruz, and you’ll remember the pronouncements from major auto news and opinion sources that the Hyundai Veracruz may well be better than the Lexus RX350. If it wasn’t the better vehicle; it surely was the better value. 

In North America, the Hyundai group has given the Veracruz a tag-team partner in the large three-row SUV segment. Allow the Veracruz to be the softie while Kia picks up customers looking for a tough SUV with the Borrego. On the other hand, in Europe people are very uninterested in something as brutish as the Borrego 4×4 but, despite narrow streets and high fuel prices and emissions regulations and image problems, crossovers still hold appeal.
Finally then, Hyundai has decided to send the Veracruz to Europe. Ah, but not as the Veracruz. The large Hyundai will become the ix55. Mated to a six-speed automatic, the 3.0L turbodiesel in the ix55 will generate 237 horsepower and 333 lb-ft of torque. Contrasted with the 3.8L gas-fired V6 we see in North America, that’s a loss of 23 horsepower but a gain of 76 lb-ft of torque. Better news is on the economical front: the diesel should help the ix55 travel about 25 miles on a US gallon of gasoline. That’s about 7mpg better than the 3.8L Veracruz.
Like most manufacturers sending a vehicle into the European market, Hyundai says the package has been re-tuned. The dynamics should better reflect what customers Across The Pond are looking for, “with updated suspension and a more direct and feel some steering set-up resulting in engaging and spirited ride and handling characteristics”.
Imagine the 3.0L diesel in the Genesis. Now that’s more like it.