A funky ride for the hip crowd.
The Hyundai Veloster is one of the boldest cars introduced in the industry in recent times. It’s basically the Korean firm’s interpretation of what a hatchback would be if styled as a coupe. As such, one of its most defining characteristic is the 1 + 2 door design, where the driver’s side has one long door (like a coupe) and the other side has two doors.
The front fascia of the Veloster carries the new corporate design found on the new Genesis coupe and the Santa Fe. The stretched out bottom grill design is carried to the sides as the grooves under the headlights are carved onto the bumper as well.
The headlights themselves are encased in large chrome housing with blackened highlights. There’s an LED strip at the bottom, and while they flow with the overall design of the hood and the fascia, they’re a bit too large for my taste.
From the sides, as the roof slopes down towards the back, the doors curve up a bit too much towards the end. While this is fine on the left side, as the driver’s door is long, on the right side it feels a bit strange when you notice the two doors. Admittedly Hyundai has done a great job of hiding the rear door, with the handle nearly invisible within the C-pillar.
From the rear the sloping roof looks nice, and the bulging bumper fits nicely over the flat tailpipes in the center. The Veloster could certainly do with some slight nips and tucks and a more free flowing design. I can see some nice design cues, but they’re hidden underneath the over-fashioned chunky styling.
From the inside the new Veloster is a real feast for the eyes. The leather seats on our full options tester unit were beautifully sculpted. The cabin inside is surprisingly roomy, in both front and back. This effect is obviously compounded by the panoramic sunroof.
The overall layout of the dashboard is similar to most recent Hyundai cars: a V-shaped central console with long a/c grills on either side followed by a three-spoked steering wheel with control buttons on it. The dials and the central screen have a cool blue, purple and black theme which gives the interior a very nice ambience.
While the buttons were good enough on the steering wheel, I found myself primarily using the high resolution 7-inch screen for most part. Using the entertainment system on the Veloster was a blast, Hyundai have done an excellent job of not only keeping the interface clean, but also extremely responsive. Whether it was connecting my phone over Bluetooth or switching radio stations, everything was done instantly. There’s a convenient USB and AUX input at the bottom where there’s a small compartment to keep you mobiles in.
With a 7.1 sound system the Veloster fills up the sound very nicely, sadly there’s a fair bit of road noise inside so you’ll have to bump up the volume quite a lot to have any meaningful auditory experience.
The Hyundai Veloster is powered by a 1.6-liter engine producing 138HP @ 6,300RPM and 167Nm of torque @ 4,850RPM. The engine is great from a standstill, but if you push it on the highway you’ll just a lot of grunt followed by an immediate sense of disappointment that the car isn’t moving as far as you’d think.
At just 1.2-ton the Veloster is quite light, and thanks to the rather firm suspension and McPherson struts up front, the Veloster handles surprisingly well. The 6-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission is decent in city driving and easy during traffic, helping give an average fuel consumption of 8L/ 100 km.
Like I said before, the Veloster has a firm drive, which can get uncomfortable if you’re driving over uneven roads for a long time. That said the young crowd at which the Veloster is marketed towards would certainly not mind this.
So the Hyundai Veloster has good driving characteristics, great fuel economy and a very nice interior, with an impressive entertainment system. A car of this size is obviously noisy inside, but with the ease of getting rear passengers through the third door and the overall spunk of the car it offsets the few bad things it has. The design outside is a hit or miss, however for college students or young working adults who don’t want to buy a Corolla or equivalent car, the Hyundai Veloster is a fun alternative.