New & Used Hyundai Veloster: In Depth
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The Hyundai Veloster is a compact four-door hatchback whose styling is targeted to attract the younger crowd. The doors aren’t quite where you'd expect them to be, either: the Veloster looks like a coupe from the driver’s side but a sedan from the passenger’s side.
To learn about the latest version of the Veloster, read our 2014 Hyundai Veloster review.
An unusual three-door layout—with a larger door on the driver's side and two smaller ones on the passenger side—helps with cargo-loading or wedging passengers into the backseat. While the Veloster's cabin is spacious and airy from the front seat, the back seats are definitely just for kids, or very short occupants, as headroom is very limited. Rear seats are best folded down, where they form a flat cargo surface; the hatch is very wide-opening, although there's quite a liftover at the back.
Based around underpinnings from the latest Elantra sedan, but fitted with the same 1.6-liter direct-injection four-cylinder engine from the smaller Accent, the Veloster takes established mechanicals yet manages to drive quite differently than either of those mainstream models. And although it offers a standard six-speed manual, it's the first vehicle in Hyundai's lineup, globally, to offer the company's all-new Dual Clutch (DCT) automated manual transmission. Its handling is also phenomenally good (thanks in part to a different rear geometry and stiffer tune), with impressive grip and poise, though its steering could use better weighting and more road feel and—some might consider this more of an issue—the engine is sorely lacking in low-rpm torque. Provided you keep the revs up, the Veloster shows its other, perkier personality.
Hyundai delivers to that young, sophisticated buyer set exactly what it wants, with standard items including a seven-inch touch-screen interface, Bluetooth hands-free connectivity, built-in Gracenote display technology, and a USB port to connect and access iPod media via voice controls. XM NavWeather and other data services are included with a premium sound system, as are a rearview camera and backup warning system, and navigation, push-button start, and a 115-volt outlet are included if you get a fully loaded Tech Package Veloster. Even then, a fully loaded, normally aspirated Veloster totals less than $23,000.
For those who really do want and need more power, a turbocharged engine is available in the 2013 Veloster, along with a sport-tuned suspension, revised steering and brakes, and 18-inch wheels and tires. With 201 horsepower and available six-speed automatic or manual gearboxes, the Veloster Turbo carries a base price of more than $22,000, with a raft of added standard equipment including heated front seats, leather upholstery, a 450-watt sound system, and BlueLink, Hyundai's mobile-app and connectivity suite, which enables audio streaming and voice control over some systems. A navigation system and panoramic sunroof are bundled into an option group that brings an automatic-equipped Turbo to just over $26,000, and a matte-grey finish can be had for $1000--along with an owner-care kit and a recommendation for hand washing only.
The 2012-2013 Veloster is one of a set of vehicles found to have overstated fuel-economy numbers. The EPA has tested both model years and lowered its gas-mileage ratings, to a maximum of 37 mpg highway for the Veloster, and 35 mpg for the Turbo. Owners can register with Hyundai to receive reimbursement for the gas consumed above and beyond expected levels; more details are found at HyundaiMPGInfo.com. For our own real-world take on the car, including its gas mileage returns, read our six-month road test.