The 2012 Veloster was conceived to be part sports coupe and part versatile hatchback, with a dash of something a little more adventurous and hints of sportbikes (motorcycles, that is), and the entire design speaks to that—although the Veloster can appear a bit more daring and 'out there' from the outside than it feels from inside. And in all, we consider the design of the 2012 Veloster to be one of this year's best.
Hyundai opted to make the Veloster a three-door coupe, with one on the driver's side and two on the passenger side. The rear door isn't quite normal-size; it's a bit smaller, and hinged at the front, unlike some previous efforts like the Mazda RX-8.
Perspective has a lot to do with how you see the Veloster's exterior, we found. From some angles, the Veloster appears to have the roofline of an abbreviated sport coupe, while from the side we see an unmistakable (yet more rakish) likeness to the Kia Soul, which also has blacked-out A-pillars and a roofline that peaks at the top of the windshield. And when seen from the back—or up above—the Veloster looks like a sexy grand-tourer—further enforced by the chunky wheelwells and just-perfect proportions. The available fog lights, further piano-black accents, and blacked-out moonroof help complete the look.
From the front, the Veloster looks most like the Elantra sedan, with which is shares a common foundation. But the blacked out lower airdam can be seen as the type of sinister grin you might carve into a jack o’ lantern—especially when you’re looking at a Veloster that’s the Boston Red (burnt-orange) hue, which is, by the way, only one of many American Apparel-like colors including Electrolyte Green, 26.2 Yellow, and Vitamin C.
While the Veloster flaunts it a little bit on the outside, there’s nothing ironic or faddish about the interior; what you get is an interior that truly blends some of the racy feel of a sports car with the versatility of a hatchback. Inside, too, Hyundai looks to sport-bike design—especially in the details of its instrument-panel center stack, which takes cues from motorcycle fuel tanks. A big engine-start button sits at the bottom of the stack’s V—and just ahead of the shift knob—on all except the base model, while air vents are meant to look a bit like the ends of bike tailpipes and the floor console has hints of a bike saddle.