New & Used Hyundai Veloster: In Depth
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The Hyundai Veloster is a compact hatchback with an unusual style and a highly unusual door game. The Veloster may look like a hatchback or even a coupe in driver-side profile, but from the passenger side, it strikes a four-door pose.
The Veloster's 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.
MORE: Read our 2015 Hyundai Veloster review
Based on the latest Elantra sedan, but fitted with the same 1.6-liter direct-injection four-cylinder engine from the smaller Accent, the Veloster is the first vehicle in Hyundai's lineup, globally, to offer the company's dual-clutch transmission. Its handling is very 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.
For those who really do want and need more power, a turbocharged engine is also available in the Veloster, along with a sport-tuned suspension, revised steering and brakes, and 18-inch wheels and tires. The Turbo nets 201 horsepower and offers a choice of six-speed automatic or manual gearboxes.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.
The Veloster comes with a standard 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 is priced in the mid-$20,000s.
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 more than $26,000.
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.
In 2014, Hyundai added a Turbo R-Spec model, aimed at the intersection of track-curious drivers and fans of asymmetrical doors. Relative to the Veloster Turbo, the Turbo R-Spec gets a stiffer suspension, different steering tuning, and a B&M sport shifter, but it omits some features, like pushbutton start and proximity key, the electroluminescent instrument cluster, side-mirror turn signals, and leather heated seats.The Veloster changes only slightly for 2015. Eighteen-inch alloy wheels have been added to the Style Package, and the Technology Package now includes automatic climate control.