Why? Well, first there are all the reasons we point to in our full review of the Veloster—including its genre-busting good looks, capable handling, and impressive infotainment system. It was one of our 2012 Best Car To Buy Nominees, after all. Secondly, it's a vehicle that quite simply fits in well with the lifestyles of both of our Portland Bureau correspondents—that's me, and our social media manager Joel Feder—and we'll be chaperoning the Veloster through six months of 'ownership.'
Incidentally, Hyundai agrees about Portland; it's where the automaker decided to launch this model for the press late last summer, when we took our first drive in a Veloster.
In any case, our Six-Month Road Test starts now: We just took delivery of a Vitamin C (read: smoky orange) 2012 Veloster. Ours has the all-new EcoShift DCT (dual-clutch) automated manual transmission, and is pretty much loaded, with the Style Package (panoramic sunroof, premium audio, 18-inch alloys, and all sorts of dress-ups) and the Tech Package (backup sensors, a rearview camera, navigation system, Proximity Key, push-button start, and a 115-volt outlet). Altogether, the bottom-line price: only $22,645.
Our Veloster is rated at a Portlandia-friendly EPA 29 mpg city, 38 highway, and we're especially eager to see what we can manage. We might hypermile it some of the time just to see what it'll do; but mostly, we'll just drive it on everyday city errands and weekend road trips, as if it were our own.
Our editorial director Marty Padgett and I have both chaperoned long-term vehicles at the major monthly magazines, but our aim with this half-year test is different. We won't try to run the Veloster ragged, put 25,000 miles on it in a few months, or conduct instrumented testing repeatedly on it. Nor will we install a slew of aftermarket accessories, or use it as a chase vehicle for photo shoots of more 'interesting' vehicles. Instead, we hope to bring you details about the things that we don't always get to do on the weekly test drive—like to fully use cargo capacity; or to use BlueLink telematics; the Veloster's well-integrated Pandora music streaming; and its XM Data services.
We have the logbook started. Now you tell us: what else? Please comment on what you'd like to see us examine, test, or know more about—either in the Veloster, or using it as a point of comparison—and we'll be following up with lots of updates...as well as some hijinks.