Comparison: 2008 Lexus RX 350 vs. 2007 Hyundai Veracruz Limited AWD

Comparison: 2008 Lexus RX 350 vs. 2007 Hyundai Veracruz Limited AWD

It should be common knowledge that the Lexus RX 350 and the Hyundai Veracruz Limited are in different classes, bought by different people for different reasons, but that didn’t stop Motortrend from comparing the two vehicles in their latest issue.

Let me save you the farce, the Veracruz is declared the winner of the two, simply by placing inordinate weight on a questionable concept of value.

Compared, the Hyundai rings in at $10,000 less than the Lexus, yet it lacks a navigation system, a backup camera, adaptive HID headlights, to speak nothing of the lower interior quality. These are not small differences: the Navigation feature alone would add $1500-2000 to the price of the Vercruz — that is, if it was even available as an option.

Perhaps the strangest part of the comparison was the criticism of the RX 350’s safety features:

Is the Hyundai chassis that much superior? No. It’s the RX’s insistence in keeping you overly safe that electronically inhibited its performance. It sensed that our max-handling performance testing was impending accident doom and lit up the stability controls at anything more than the slightest provocation. Beepers beeped, brakes braked, and the throttle was dialed out until the RX 350 knew we weren’t going to crash. This also was the case on our mountain road loop, even during moderate cornering. The Lexus computer wizards need to dial the electronannies back a notch or two.

Makes absolutely no sense to me, this vehicle isn’t a sports car, it’s a people mover. Wouldn’t the additional safeguards be considered a plus rather than a minus?

Really, dragging the RX 350 into a comparison with what is essentially a cheaper knockoff, then basing the final verdict strictly on “value”, seems inappropriate for a major car magazine. How would the Veracruz compare to the BMW X3, I wonder?