2012 Hyundai Veloster: Six-Month Road Test
Through six months, we've appreciated its full-featured infotainment system, its styling, its maneuverability, its nimble, eager feel around town, and its child- or dog-friendly versatility. And it's likely that expense-talliers at our corporate offices in Palo Alto have appreciated its fuel-efficiency.
Over about 8,300 miles, we averaged 30.6 miles per gallon in our Veloster, in a mix of driving that we'd estimate to be about three-quarters on the highway.
I'd have liked to say that social media manager Joel Feder and I had put about equal miles on this car, but the truth is that with a more densely packed air-travel calendar (at least over the summer months when this car was with us), I covered only about 1,500 miles of the car's total miles with us.
A 40-mpg highway car—if you can drive 55
I drove the Veloster more at first, and when it neared the 1,500-mile mark I took it on a very careful 'economy loop'—with a combination of low-speed city stop-and-go, suburban boulevards, and 55-65-mph expressway driving—and averaged an excellent 41.4 mpg. In short then, we summed that the Veloster is a 40-mpg highway car in real-world driving if (and only if) you have a lot of restraint and can somehow restrict your driving only to the 55-60-mph range.
What we did note, repeatedly, through the Veloster's entire stay with us, was that this is a car that for whatever reason—aerodynamics, gearing, engine efficiency range, or a combination of all these reasons—is not a particularly fuel-efficient car at the 65-75-mph open highway speeds most Americans drive.
Mileage plummets with speed, and whenever we would have the discipline (or the necessity) to limit highway speeds to the 55-60-mph range, average mileage would rise toward the upper 30s. But as soon as cruising speeds were much over 70 mph, 35-mpg tank averages seemed like about the top end.