$23,990 – $33,990
Good: Unique three-door design; Colour accented alloy wheels; Dual centre exhaust system; Turbocharged excitement.
Not so Good: Underpowered 1.6-litre petrol engine; Cornering and handling performance (non turbo).
Design and Engineering
Good : The Hyundai Veloster made its way to Australian shores in February 2012. Throwing all conventional design theories out the window. The new Veloster features a coupe like design with three doors instead of the normal two door design found in most sports coupes today.
The unique design features a single door on the driver’s side and two doors on the passenger side. The forward-hinged third door on the passenger side offers safe access for passengers.
In August 2012 the Veloster line-up got a little more exciting with the arrival of the Veloster SR Turbo.
Like many of Hyundai’s latest vehicles the Veloster adopts elements of Hyundai’s ‘Fluidic Design’. From the front the Veloster features Hyundai’s trade mark curved daytime running lights and hexagon shaped opening that makes up the bottom air vent and grille.
From the side the Veloster features black A-pillars and B-pillars creating a visor shape that wraps around the vehicle. The profile of the vehicle is sleek as the roof slopes from the front down to the rear of the car. There‘s also two bold crease lines that stand out from the side of the car adding to the overall unique design.
Also, not to forget the rear passenger door is somewhat concealed as the door handle is tucked away next to the c-pillar and rear passenger window, this gives the illusion that there isn’t actually a door there – pretty cool huh?
From the rear the Veloster features a wide stance that is emphasised by the flared wheel arches while the centred twin exhaust system gives the car a sporty look.
Meanwhile, the Veloster SR Turbo features the same funky three door design, however, Hyundai have not only hotted the engine up but also given the Veloster a very aggressive and sporty exterior treatment.
At the rear the SR Turbo features a massive rear lip spoiler, aggressive rear bumper and a pair of massive exhaust tips.
Not so good : We admire that Hyundai have taken some risks in designing something that goes against traditional design theories and it pays off. The Veloster looks fantastic, but does form outweigh function? For some people yes, but for the others who will be prepared to climb over the middle cup holders to get to the rear passenger seat behind the driver?
Interior and Styling
Good : Inside the Veloster features a very futuristic design. The centre dash features a 7-inch colour touch screen display that supports Divx, MP3, CD player and AM/FM radio, there is also AUX/USB audio input and Bluetooth connectivity for both handsfree phone operation and audio streaming. The sport bucket seats up front are very comfortable, the driver’s seat can be adjusted for slide, tilt and height with manual recline, plus electric lumbar support – so there shouldn’t be any trouble getting comfortable. The interior colour scheme is quite dull in comparison to the vibrant exterior colours on offer. Black, grey and silver are the main colours found throughout the interior. There are silver/metallic highlights on the doors, centre dash, steering wheel and around the air vents. Inside the SR Turbo features leather accented seats that have a ‘turbo’ motif that is stitched into both driver and passenger seats while the rest of the interior remains mostly unchanged.
Not so good : Interior styling is quite busy; there’s a range of highlight touches that seem to divert your eyes around the cabin. Larger occupants will feel rather claustrophobic.
Not enough differentiation between standard and SR Turbo models.
Good : The Hyundai Veloster is powered by a 1.6-litre in-line four cylinder petrol engine producing 103kW of power and 166Nm of torque when matched to a 6-speed manual or a 6-speed double clutch automatic transmission.
And, for the thrill seekers, the SR Turbo features a 1.6-litre direct-injected twin-scroll turbocharged petrol engine producing 150kW of power and 265Nm of torque when matched to a 6-speed manual or a 6-speed automatic transmission.
Over the course of a week we found the 6-speed double clutch automatic transmission was the better match for the 1.6-litre petrol engine. Acceleration is smooth and the double clutch automatic allows for quickly gear changes without jerking the car like some DSG applications. The steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters enable the driver to changes for a more engaged driving experience.
The same can be said for the SR Turbo,the 6-speed automatic (not dual clutch) felt like the better match for the turbo engine. While the manual transmission feels light and allows for quick gear changes it doesn’t feel as connected to the engine like the 6-speed auto box does.
Not so good : The 1.6-litre petrol feels like it could do with a few extra kW’s under its belt, lucky buyers have the option of the SR Turbo.
Ride and Handling
Good : The suspension set up in the Veloster feels like it is tuned more for comfort than cornering and handling performance. Over rough and pot marked roads the Veloster handles our unique road surface quite well considering it rides on massive 18-inch alloys.
However, when you start to push the car through corners at pace we noticed that the Veloster has a tendency to understeer.
The Veloster SR Turbo definitely feels sharper in the handling department while still maintaining a comfortable ride.
Not so good : Inner city driving was ok given that there are a few blind spots in the Veloster thanks to the steep roofline, however parking is made easy by the reverse camera and rear park assist.
Buying and Owning
Good : Move over Mini, move over Renault, because there is a new player that wants the title for the most unique and quirky design.
The three-door design is definitely a plus for the Veloster and the bold range of exterior colours also adds to the appeal.
The Hyundai Veloster has some serious on road presence and the with the arrival of the SR Turbo, the performance to go with it.
Not so good : We like the idea of the three-door design and the Veloster is a great car for singles or young couples but not so much for family’s as climbing across the rear seat may become tiresome.
However, if your energetic and slightly athletic the single rear door shouldn’t be a problem.