Six-Month Road Test Hyundai Veloster: The Cars And Coffee Challenge

April 16, 2012
One of the first tasks we wanted to accomplish during our six-month road test of the 2012 Hyundai Veloster was to see how other car enthusiasts would react to the little Korean hatchback. And what better place to go than Portland's weekly car gathering in Tigard known as Cars and Coffee.

It took no time at all for the Veloster to start getting attention. As soon as we pulled in, people started staring and walking towards the car while we parked. Everyone wanted to know what it was and how much power it had. Once people learned how much power it had, they were slightly disappointed. Seems the consensus was much like ours when we first encountered the Veloster: It looks cool, but where's the power. We talked about how a turbo version is coming later this year, and how this model gets good fuel economy while still looking awesome.

An Audi S5 owner named Linh told us the Veloster is, "an absolutely awesome car for $22,000. Very versatile, and really what a hatchback should be." He continued to tell us, "the interior is amazing for a Hyundai at this price point. While the exterior is modern, some elements are bulbous." Linh told us how much he's looking forward to the turbo model later this year.

The owner of a BMW M Coupe actually commented that "the interior is so nice for a Hyundai, and those seats look nicer than the ones in my BMW M Coupe..."

After the first barrage of people checked out the Veloster, we met a man named Kent. It turns out Kent actually bought a Veloster for his wife three months ago, and they now have approximately 5,000 miles on it. Kent and his wife are from the baby boomer generation, and told us they love their unique hatchback. He mentioned visibility being an issue, but said the side mirrors do help quite a bit. Sometimes ingress and egress can be somewhat difficult at times due to having to twist your torso since the car sits so low. But Kent's major gripe? He feels the infotainment screen is too bright at night, even on its dimmest setting. Kent told us they are averaging 32-40 mpg in their Veloster depending on what kind of driving conditions they are in.

Cars and Coffee is a weekly gathering in Portland where car enthusiasts come together to look at each others cars, drink coffee, and chat. People range in age and what they drive, from baby boomers to millennials, to Porsche 911s and Nissan GT-Rs to Lamborghinis and Honda Civics, all are welcome to join.

It's worth noting that other than Kent who owns a Veloster, none of the people we talked to have driven a Veloster, yet. In our experience, while not fast, it can still be pretty quick when you keep the revs up. It's also quite a bit of fun.

So what was our overall experience like at with the 2012 Hyundai Veloster at Portland Cars and Coffee? For the most part people seemed to love the Veloster. Everyone said it was definitely a terrific value, with many enthusiasts liking the styling. Those who thought the exterior styling was over the top quickly admitted to liking the interior. The major disappointment was the lack of power, but the turbo model should fix that issue. Stay tuned as we'll be sure to take the Veloster back to Portland Cars and Coffee to get more impressions.

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