2013 Hyundai Veloster Comfort & Quality

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Comfort & Quality

Call it a sporty coupe, or a hot hatchback--either would be correct, since the wacky Hyundai Veloster has a door at the rear, two on the passenger side, and one on the driver side.

The most unusually configured four-door on the market, the Veloster's more versatile as a result of its layout, but the front seat's still a superior place for passengers, as opposed to the slight, tight back. Tall drivers and front-seat passengers, for example, will fit just fine in the Veloster, even those over six feet tall, because its seats adjust for a wide range of heights (though the base seat doesn't tilt its bottom cushion) and since there's ample head room. The available sunroof shaves off an inch or so of useful headroom, though. Turbo Velosters have heated leather front seats, and a power driver seat adjustable eight ways with lumbar support.

The interior's refined and exciting, but rear-seat space and access is compromised to the four-door layout.

Our advice is to leave the back seat for occasional human use and frequent fold-down duty. The extra side door does make it easier to pack in kids and even slight-framed adults, but the door opening is angled to accommodate the styling, and it's just tough for larger people to clamber in without difficulty. Once they're in, head and leg room won't be plentiful either; anyone over 5' 8" or so will feel cramped in the back.

Yet from the front seats, the Veloster feels unexpectedly airy and spacious—thanks largely to the roof's tallest point, which is just at the top of a rather high windshield (and the car tapers back from there). In terms of EPA interior volume—which, in all fairness, we’ve not found to be a very good gauge of how roomy an interior actually feels or is—the Veloster is best in class. But in this case, the Veloster really does feel quite a bit roomier inside than the Scion tC, and much more so than the Honda CR-Z.

The cargo area requires a surprisingly high liftover, but it’s deep and spacious, and the hatch glass doesn't become too much of a liability. Detach the cargo cover and flip the seatbacks down, and you have a pretty low, flat cargo area. It’s not quite flat, though almost. Smaller storage spaces are provided throughout the interior. There’s a large center-console compartment, split into two, and rather large door pockets that are separated by a divider.

The Veloster also shows promise as a decent vehicle for weekend trips and longer highway hauls; in an initial drive, we noticed surprisingly little road noise, with only a slight bit of wind noise at the top of the front pillar as we neared 80 mph. Turbos contribute a little more whine and bluster, but not an objectionable amount.

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