2015 Hyundai Veloster Review

Consumer Reviews
3 Reviews
2018
The Car Connection
See the nominees and vote »
2018
The Car Connection

The Car Connection Expert Review

Bengt Halvorson Bengt Halvorson Deputy Editor
May 27, 2015

The 2015 Hyundai Veloster is more sporty hatch than true sports car. Its design is sometimes a demerit, but that makes it no less unique.

The 2015 Hyundai Veloster is a sporty, smartly packaged hatchback with quirky, semi-futuristic design. Versatile, fun, and practical, the Veloster can also feel compromised—a jack of many trades, but master of none.

At the heart of the Veloster is its truly unique door layout. On the driver's side, there's a long door like one you'd find on a coupe. The passenger's side features two smaller front-hinged doors, while a useful hatch aids loading of large items in the rear. The design is nothing like anything else on the road, including the Hyundai Elantra and Accent form which it borrows parts. The exterior styling is distinctive, even if it's not everyone's cup of tea.

Inside, the Veloster continues the trend-bucking theme, mimicking a coupe at times and a hatch at others. The Veloster is quite spacious up front for two, even with the available sunroof or panoramic roof. As for the back seat and that extra side door, they're more playful than practical. Anyone larger than a child is going to find it tight back there. The Veloster just isn't meant to be a four-person commuter; think of it instead as a versatile two-door hatch, with rear seats that fold down easily to create a very useful cargo area. And there are plenty of bins, cubbies, and nooks for stowing away smaller items.

Review continues below

At the base level, the Veloster comes with a 138-horsepower, 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine teamed with either a six-speed manual or a dual-clutch automatic. Both transmissions are good enough for us to say that you should leave it to personal preference. It's a little short on torque off the line, but its EPA highway fuel economy of 37 mpg highway is excellent, and we saw more than 30 mpg in an extended test.

Go for the Veloster Turbo and it's a different story entirely; it packs a twin-scroll turbocharger, helping it generate 201 hp in all, a 195-lb-ft blast of torque on tap at low engine speeds, and a choice between six-speed manual and paddle-shifted automatic transmissions. The Turbo is good for 0-60 mph times of about 7.0 seconds or less, with just a slight dip in gas-mileage numbers.

Hyundai also offers a Turbo R-Spec model, which is aimed at people who want to be the only ones at a track day with mismatched doors. Relative to the Veloster Turbo, the Turbo R-Spec gets a stiffer suspension, different steering tuning, and a B&M sport shifter. Sportier interior trim and special badging are also included, and it's offered in just a few colors.

To complement the turbocharged engine's greater power, Turbo and Turbo R-Spec models get stronger brakes and stickier tires—which helps improve the Veloster's handling in general. We're not wild about the electric power steering; it's low on feedback, and weighty when it doesn't need to be, but it doesn't disrupt the Veloster's generally flat, crisp cornering, which gets unsettled only if it's pitched over bad sections of pavement.

At a base price of well under $19k, the 2015 Veloster stands out for its generous list of standard features. Audio features on all Velosters include a USB/iPod interface, RCA inputs, Bluetooth hands-free, and GraceNote music display technology that allows you to request music with voice commands. Upgrades on the Turbo model, which starts around $23k, include leather seats, big wheels and tires, a rearview camera, and more. Options include a huge panoramic sunroof, a navigation system, upgraded wheels, and a 115-volt outlet. Daytime running lights are a standard feature across the model line. And as part of the Blue Link suite of services, the Hyundai Assurance Connected Care service is included for three years regardless of the level of subscription.

If you opt for the edgy Turbo R-Spec, you'll do without some features. Push-button start and proximity key; the electroluminescent instrument cluster, side-mirror turn signals, and leather heated seats are among the many items deleted in this focused performance model.

There are few changes for the Veloster in 2015. Eighteen-inch alloy wheels have been added to the Style Package, and the Technology Package now includes automatic climate control.

9

2015 Hyundai Veloster

Styling

The Veloster is a genre-bender in concept, and it breaks convention in the fine details as well.

The Hyundai Veloster is a genre-buster by design. It dares to be a lot of things all at once: a sporty coupe, a versatile five-door, and a stylish oddity among small cars. It succeeds.

With two doors on the passenger side and a single, longer one on the driver side, the Veloster is more than a coupe—a three-door or four-door hatchback, depending on how you count. In any case, it adds plenty of personality. There's something adventurous and daring at work in its proportions, somehting present here that isn't in most other car designs. It's not quite beautiful, but if you want different this is your ticket.

Because of the base model's standout design, there's little need for additional adornment to make the Turbo model feel special. Differences include piano-black grille treatment, some side skits, and LED lighting front and back.

Inside, the Veloster is nearly as much of a trendsetter. The design avoids clutter, while looking sporty and remaining functional. A big engine-start button sits at the bottom of the center stack’s V—and just ahead of the shift knob—on all except the base and Turbo R-Spec models, while there are hints of a bike saddle in the center console, and the air vents are meant to look a bit like the ends of motorcycle tailpipes.

8

2015 Hyundai Veloster

Performance

The 2015 Hyundai Veloster is a sporty, generally fun-to-drive car; but it's not a sports car.

The Veloster uses the Hyundai Accent's powertrain as its basis. Humble beginnings, but the package makes a big difference. From there, it adds an available dual-clutch gearbox in the base model, as well as two Turbo models.

The base Veloster's 138-horsepower, 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine is cribbed directly from the Accent. Here, however, it's teamed with either a six-speed manual or a dual-clutch automatic, both of which are good enough for us to say that you should leave the choice to personal preference. The engine is a little short on torque off the line, but its 37-mpg EPA highway fuel-economy rating is excellent, and we saw more than 30 mpg in an extended test.

Go for the Veloster Turbo and it's a different story entirely. A twin-scroll turbocharger helps the engine make 201 hp and 195-lb-ft of torque, most of which is available at low engine speeds. There's a choice between six-speed manual and paddle-shifted automatic transmissions. The Turbo is good for 0-60 mph times of about 7.0 seconds or less, with just a slight drop in gas-mileage numbers.

To complement the Turbo's greater power, these models get stronger brakes and stickier tires—both of which help improve the Veloster's dynamics. We're not wild about the electric power steering; it's low on feedback, and unnecessarily weighty at times. Brake feel is excellent, though.

Opt for the R-Spec and you'll get a stiffer suspension than the Turbo model, different steering tuning, and a B&M sport shifter. here's definitely a sacrifice of some comfort, but not much of a performance gain compared to the regular Turbo.

You can throw the lightweight Veloster around tight corners, yet it stays composed over all but the most broken surfaces. Make a quick transition, and it simply hunkers down evenly, shifting its weight with no snap but an even, predictable attitude. The Veloster rides about as comfortably as any short-wheelbase car can, and Turbos don't fare much worse for their bigger 18-inch wheels and Kumho Solus KH25 215/40R18 tires.

6

2015 Hyundai Veloster

Comfort & Quality

You'll get less rear-seat space and tougher access versus anything with four doors, but it's a lot more useful than a coupe.

With its odd door setup, the 2015 Veloster is anything but conventional. Yet it manages to offer a surprising level of space and versatility, especially compared to coupes of a similar size. But like the doors, passenger comfort isn't distributed evenly throughout the vehicle.

The Veloster is quite spacious up front, even with the available sunroof or panoramic roof, which reduce headroom slightly. Tall drivers and passengers will fit just fine in the Veloster, because its seats adjust for a wide range of heights (though the base seat lacks a tilting bottom cushion) and since there's ample head room. Turbo Velosters have heated leather front seats, and an eight-way-adjustable power driver seat.

As for the back seat and that extra side door, they're more for show than practicality. Anyone larger than a child is going to find it tight in the rear seat, and getting in and out is made difficult as a result of the sloping roof and narrow door opening. The seats are okay for use in a pipnch on short trips, but it's better instead to think of the car as a versatile two-door hatch, with rear seats that fold down easily to create a very useful cargo area. And there are plenty of bins, cubbies, and nooks for stowing away smaller items. One versatility demerit is that the rear liftover height requires lifting items pretty high to get them into the otherwise useful hatch.

In a six-month stay with us, a 2012 Veloster proved itself a decent vehicle for weekend trips and longer highway hauls; wind noise often became an issue as we neared 80 mph, however. Turbos contribute a little more whine and bluster, but not an objectionable amount of added noise.

7

2015 Hyundai Veloster

Safety

The Veloster underperforms in some crash tests, but a rearview camera helps with visibility.

Even though it's a relatively low-volume model, the 2015 Hyundai Veloster has been tested by the federal government, and earned quite respectable scores; it doesn't do as well in IIHS testing, however.

In National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) testing, the Veloster earned five stars overall, with four stars for frontal impact and rollover.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) rates the Veloster as 'marginal' in the small frontal overlap test, 'acceptable' in side impacts, and gives it the top 'good' rating in the remaining three categories.

All 2015 Velosters carry a long list of safety features, including electronic stability control, anti-lock brakes with Brake Assist, and six standard airbags. Models equipped with the dual-clutch transmission get Hillstart Assist Control, to help keep the vehicle from rolling backward on standing starts up steep inclines. A rearview camera system and a driver's blind-spot mirror are included on all models.

Backup warning sensors  are available on the base version and standard on the Turbo; they're a big help, since the low-slung Veloster has huge blind spots to its rear three-quarters, a consequence of its wacky, innovative door treatments.

Hyundai's Blue Link telematics platform is also included. BlueLink includes a suite of safety services like Automatic Crash Notification (ACN) and SOS Emergency Assistance.

9

2015 Hyundai Veloster

Features

All the connectivity you need is here in the 2015 Veloster; and it's easy to use.

At a base price of well under $19k, the 2015 Veloster stands out with a generous list of standard features.

Audio features on all Velosters include a USB/iPod interface, RCA inputs, Bluetooth hands-free, and GraceNote music display technology that allows you to request music with voice commands. Options include a huge panoramic sunroof, a navigation system, upgraded wheels, and a 115-volt power outlet.

Hyundai's Blue Link telematics system is standard on all Velosters. Similar in concept to GM’s OnStar, BlueLink uses existing databases to provide directions and information for drivers via voice requests, and also includes safety services like Automatic Crash Notification (ACN), SOS Emergency Assistance, and Enhanced Roadside Assistance. Turn-by-turn navigation capability is available on higher subscription levels. As part of the Blue Link suite of services, the Hyundai Assurance Connected Care service is included for three years regardless of the level of subscription.

Just two option packages, Style and Tech, are offered on the base Veloster. Style models add 18-inch alloy wheels; a panoramic sunroof; leatherette seats; leather trim; alloy pedals; an upgraded Dimension audio system; and fog lamps. The Tech Package adds backup sensors; painted wheel inserts; a navigation system; push-button start; and a 115-volt outlet. Oddly, an auto up/down driver's side window is only included if you order the whole Style package. Otherwise, one of the most significant price choices is the Dual Clutch (DCT) automatic gearbox, which runs $1,250 more than the manual.

There's also a special-edition RE:FLEX model available, which builds on the Style package's equipment and creates its own look. RE:FLEX cars come with a choice of black or red leather upholstery, as well as projector headlights with LED accents, LED taillights, LED illuminated door sills, 18-inch chrome-look alloy wheels, chrome hood accents, chrome door handles, RE:FLEX badging, and different floor mats. The RE:FLEX is offered in Ice Pearl paint, which is limited to the package, as well as several other colors. The dual-clutch transmission is standard.

The Turbo commands a $4,500 premium over the base car, and in addition to the stronger engine and steering, stopping, and suspension improvements, it gets a host of add-ons. They include heated leather seats, LED headlight accents and LED taillamps, a 450-watt audio system and 18-inch wheels. Automatic climate control is optional on the Turbo, and daytime running lights are a standard feature across the model line. 

The Veloster Turbo also makes some package equipment standard, including parking sensors. The available navigation system and panoramic sunroof are options in an Ultimate Package. A six-speed automatic is a $1,000 option.

Also offered on the Turbo is Hyundai's first matte paint finish, complete with an owner care kit, priced at $1,000--and paired with the suggestion that only those who like hand-washing their cars should take on the maintenance of keeping the street look scratch-free. Otherwise, the matte finish can get polished by automatic car washes, ruining the look and requiring an expensive respray.

If you opt for the edgy Turbo R-Spec, you'll do without some features. Push-button start and proximity key; the electroluminescent instrument cluster, side-mirror turn signals, and leather heated seats are among the many items deleted in this focused performance model as compared to the regular Turbo.

There are few changes for the Veloster in 2015. Eighteen-inch alloy wheels have been added to the Style Package, and the Technology Package now includes automatic climate control.

8

2015 Hyundai Veloster

Fuel Economy

The 2015 Veloster is as fuel-efficient as a small sedan, yet it looks a lot racier.

The 2015 Hyundai Veloster manages to balance sportiness with urban-runabout utility, and that balance extends to its fuel efficiency. All models are able to hit 30 mpg in the EPA's highway testing.

The non-turbo Veloster is primed for good gas mileage with either transmission. It's rated at 27 mpg in the city, 36 highway with the manual, or 26 mpg city, 35 highway when equipped with the dual-clutch automatic.

Veloster Turbo models are less efficient. The Turbo is rated by the EPA at 24/33 mpg with the manual transmission; that drops to 24/31 mpg with the automatic. Because of the Turbo's high torque, Hyundai doesn't offer its efficient dual-clutch automatic on the more powerful Veloster.

Over a six-month period with a base Veloster, we recorded observed fuel economy of about 30 mpg.

Continue Reading

The Car Connection Consumer Review

3 Reviews
5 star
100%
4 star
3 star
2 star
1 star
Rate and Review your car for The Car Connection! Tell us your own ratings for a vehicle you own. Rate your car on Performance, Safety, Features and more.
Write a Review
August 18, 2015
2015 Hyundai Veloster 3-Door Coupe Automatic Turbo

Awesome, fun to drive

  • Overall Rating
  • Interior/Exterior
  • Performance
  • Comfort and Quality
  • Safety
  • Features
  • Fuel Economy / MPG
  • Reliability
I absolutely love the car it's great getting around the city and works great for road trips. I had my girlfriend test drive it before I bought it she said it was no different then driving her BMW. I've pushed... + More »
people found this helpful.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes
May 7, 2015
For 2015 Hyundai Veloster

Got a great car at a great price.

  • Overall Rating
  • Interior/Exterior
  • Performance
  • Comfort and Quality
  • Safety
  • Features
  • Fuel Economy / MPG
  • Reliability
Wonderful car. I've really enjoyed it. Gotten a lot of compliments about this car. It drives and looks great. I'd likely buy one again!
people found this helpful.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes
April 28, 2015
2015 Hyundai Veloster 3-Door Coupe Automatic RE:FLEX w/Black Int

Super Cool Car

  • Overall Rating
  • Interior/Exterior
  • Performance
  • Comfort and Quality
  • Safety
  • Features
  • Fuel Economy / MPG
  • Reliability
Love the way it looks, the way it drives, just a really cool car. Like it more every day. Get thumbs up from strangers.
people found this helpful.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes
USED PRICE RANGE
$8,998 - $19,999
Browse Used Listings
in your area
7.8
Overall
Expert Rating
Rating breakdown on a scale of 1 to 10?
Styling 9.0
Performance 8.0
Comfort & Quality 6.0
Safety 7.0
Features 9.0
Fuel Economy 8.0
Compare the 2015 Hyundai Veloster against the competition
Compare All Cars
Looking for a different year of the Hyundai Veloster?
Read reviews & get prices
Related Used Listings
Browse used listings in your area
See More Used