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Six-Month Road Test Hyundai Veloster: The Cars And Coffee Challenge

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One of the first tasks we wanted to accomplish during our six-month road test of the 2012 Hyundai Veloster was to see how other car enthusiasts would react to the little Korean hatchback. And what better place to go than Portland's weekly car gathering in Tigard known as Cars and Coffee.

It took no time at all for the Veloster to start getting attention. As soon as we pulled in, people started staring and walking towards the car while we parked. Everyone wanted to know what it was and how much power it had. Once people learned how much power it had, they were slightly disappointed. Seems the consensus was much like ours when we first encountered the Veloster: It looks cool, but where's the power. We talked about how a turbo version is coming later this year, and how this model gets good fuel economy while still looking awesome.

An Audi S5 owner named Linh told us the Veloster is, "an absolutely awesome car for $22,000. Very versatile, and really what a hatchback should be." He continued to tell us, "the interior is amazing for a Hyundai at this price point. While the exterior is modern, some elements are bulbous." Linh told us how much he's looking forward to the turbo model later this year.

The owner of a BMW M Coupe actually commented that "the interior is so nice for a Hyundai, and those seats look nicer than the ones in my BMW M Coupe..."

After the first barrage of people checked out the Veloster, we met a man named Kent. It turns out Kent actually bought a Veloster for his wife three months ago, and they now have approximately 5,000 miles on it. Kent and his wife are from the baby boomer generation, and told us they love their unique hatchback. He mentioned visibility being an issue, but said the side mirrors do help quite a bit. Sometimes ingress and egress can be somewhat difficult at times due to having to twist your torso since the car sits so low. But Kent's major gripe? He feels the infotainment screen is too bright at night, even on its dimmest setting. Kent told us they are averaging 32-40 mpg in their Veloster depending on what kind of driving conditions they are in.

Cars and Coffee is a weekly gathering in Portland where car enthusiasts come together to look at each others cars, drink coffee, and chat. People range in age and what they drive, from baby boomers to millennials, to Porsche 911s and Nissan GT-Rs to Lamborghinis and Honda Civics, all are welcome to join.

It's worth noting that other than Kent who owns a Veloster, none of the people we talked to have driven a Veloster, yet. In our experience, while not fast, it can still be pretty quick when you keep the revs up. It's also quite a bit of fun.

So what was our overall experience like at with the 2012 Hyundai Veloster at Portland Cars and Coffee? For the most part people seemed to love the Veloster. Everyone said it was definitely a terrific value, with many enthusiasts liking the styling. Those who thought the exterior styling was over the top quickly admitted to liking the interior. The major disappointment was the lack of power, but the turbo model should fix that issue. Stay tuned as we'll be sure to take the Veloster back to Portland Cars and Coffee to get more impressions.

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Comments (6)
  1. After six month's ownership, this is all you have to say? Not very useful to others, if you ask me.

    I've had mine 7 months FWIW.

  2. David,

    We've only had our test car for two weeks. We'll have it for six months. Stay tuned for more.

  3. Where I live in Commie California, gas averages $4.39.9 cents per gallon. I thought this was a neat looking economy car? It probably has enough power for the mainstream.

  4. Bought the Veloster 6 days ago, and everyone that sees it loves it. The sporty exterior and leather-trimmed interior make it look like it should cost $10k more than it does. The technology is excellent too, 7inch LCD touchscreen, XM satellite radio, and Hyundai's version of OnStar called BlueLink. You can unlock your car by logging into your MyHyundai account or by using your smartphone. Hyundai will email you monthly reports on your car's status. There is a LoJack type recovery system built in too. If I have to pick a gripe, it is having to pay for some of the cool BlueLink features once the trial period ends in 6 months...I will have to evaluate the value of paying for this type of service after the free trial. 39.5 mpg ave on HW.

  5. I would like to drive on occasion up montain roads, mostly in the summer How does it handle driving up steep mountains?

  6. Mella, we actually just ended up driving our Veloster through the mountains. It handles the steep hills just fine, but you'll end up having to keep the engine speed (revs) higher, which will reduces fuel economy and increases engine noise inside the cabin. But the car had no issues maintaining highway speeds.

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