With its unique three-door-coupe configuration, combined with a wide-opening hatch, the 2012 Hyundai Veloster has a layout that breaks out from small, sporty coupe convention.
Compared to the Scion tC, which is probably the Veloster's most direct competitor, the Hyundai has a far more spacious, comfortable interior, with more usable cargo space and versatility.
The Scion, meanwhile, has a far torquier engine and feels stronger off the line, but it pays the price with fuel economy numbers that are nearly 10 mpg lower on the highway.
The Veloster has a power-to-weight ratio that's better than any of these rivals; yet its engine lacks low-rpm torque, which means it isn't necessarily going to feel the strongest.
The Honda CR-Z is also a rival to the Veloster; despite having a mild-hybrid system, the CR-Z isn't that much more fuel-efficient.
The Veloster feels closer to a sports car, with a balanced, surefooted handling feel, while having a more spacious interior and better long-distance comfort.
And finally, the Volvo C30 costs thousands more, yet its purpose (and market position) overlaps somewhat with that of the Veloster; the C30 is quicker, but the Veloster feels comparatively leaner and more nimble—and it's more versatile.
We also expect the upcoming Mini Coupe, arriving later in the year, to be a rival to the Veloster—although its price tag will be thousands higher—while others might want to consider the (also pricier) Mini Clubman.
|2012 Hyundai VelosterBrowse Used Listings||2012 Honda CR-ZBrowse Used Listings||2012 Volvo C30Browse Used Listings||2012 MINI CooperBrowse Used Listings||2012 Scion tCBrowse Used Listings|
|27 MPG City / 37 MPG Hwy||31 MPG City / 39 MPG Hwy||21 MPG City / 30 MPG Hwy||25 MPG City / 37 MPG Hwy||23 MPG City / 31 MPG Hwy|
|Gas I4||Gas/Electric I4||Turbocharged Gas I5||Turbocharged Gas I4||Gas I4|
|- TBD -||Two Seaters||Compact||Minicompact||Compact Car|
|3-Door Coupe Manual w/Red Int||3-Door Manual||2-Door Coupe Manual||2-Door Coupe||2-Door HB Manual (Natl)|
|Front Wheel Drive||Front Wheel Drive||Front Wheel Drive||Front Wheel Drive||Front Wheel Drive|
|3 Door Coupe||Hatchback||2 Door Coupe||Coupe||3 Door Hatchback|