2012 Hyundai Veloster vs. Its Competition

2012 Hyundai Veloster
Bengt Halvorson Bengt Halvorson Deputy Editor

With its unique three-door-coupe configuration, combined with a wide-opening hatch, the 2012 Hyundai Veloster has a layout that breaks out from small, sporty coupe convention.

Compared to the Scion tC, which is probably the Veloster's most direct competitor, the Hyundai has a far more spacious, comfortable interior, with more usable cargo space and versatility.

The Scion, meanwhile, has a far torquier engine and feels stronger off the line, but it pays the price with fuel economy numbers that are nearly 10 mpg lower on the highway.

The Veloster has a power-to-weight ratio that's better than any of these rivals; yet its engine lacks low-rpm torque, which means it isn't necessarily going to feel the strongest.

The Honda CR-Z is also a rival to the Veloster; despite having a mild-hybrid system, the CR-Z isn't that much more fuel-efficient.

The Veloster feels closer to a sports car, with a balanced, surefooted handling feel, while having a more spacious interior and better long-distance comfort.

And finally, the Volvo C30 costs thousands more, yet its purpose (and market position) overlaps somewhat with that of the Veloster; the C30 is quicker, but the Veloster feels comparatively leaner and more nimble—and it's more versatile.

We also expect the upcoming Mini Coupe, arriving later in the year, to be a rival to the Veloster—although its price tag will be thousands higher—while others might want to consider the (also pricier) Mini Clubman.

2012 Hyundai Veloster2012 Hyundai Veloster
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2012 Honda CR-Z 3dr CVT EX w/Navi Side Exterior View2012 Honda CR-Z
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2012 Volvo C30 2-door Coupe Auto Angular Front Exterior View2012 Volvo C30
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2012 MINI Cooper 2-door Coupe Side Exterior View2012 MINI Cooper
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2012 Scion tC 2-door HB Auto (Natl) Side Exterior View2012 Scion tC
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Quick Specs
8.0
The 2012 Hyundai Veloster starts with niche appeal, but its impressive handling and strong, high-value feature set should play well to the mainstream.
7.2
The 2012 Honda CR-Z is the only hybrid sports coupe, but that's not quite enough for us.
8.0
The 2012 Volvo C30 has top-notch safety and style; but it's not as racy as it looks and not any more practical than it looks.
8.6
In all of its guises the 2012 MINI Cooper is fun-to-drive, uniquely styled, and with three standard levels of performance, there's an option for everyone.
7.6
The 2012 Scion tC is starting to develop an interesting personality, though it's still not very fast or exceptionally nimble.
MSRP From    
$17,300$19,695$24,950$19,500$18,575
Gas Mileage    
27 MPG City / 37 MPG Hwy31 MPG City / 39 MPG Hwy21 MPG City / 30 MPG Hwy25 MPG City / 37 MPG Hwy23 MPG City / 31 MPG Hwy
Engine    
Gas I4Gas/Electric I4Turbocharged Gas I5Gas I4Gas I4
EPA Class    
- TBD -Two SeatersCompactMinicompactCompact Car
Style Name    
3-Door Coupe Manual w/Gray Int3-Door Manual2-Door Coupe Automatic2-Door Coupe2-Door HB Manual (GS)
Drivetrain    
Front Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel Drive
Passenger Capacity    
52445
Passenger Doors    
3N/AN/AN/AN/A
Body Style    
3 Door CoupeHatchback2 Door CoupeCoupe3 Door Hatchback
Transmission    
ManualManualAutomaticManualManual w/OD
Detailed Spec Comparison
 2012 Hyundai Veloster vs. 2012 Honda CR-Z2012 Hyundai Veloster vs. 2012 Volvo C302012 Hyundai Veloster vs. 2012 MINI Cooper2012 Hyundai Veloster vs. 2012 Scion tC