For those of you who followed along with us on our great American road trip in the Six-Month Road Test Hyundai Veloster, we know you've been wondering: what's it like to drive the Veloster for more than 500 miles in one sitting? After spending nearly three weeks driving the Veloster across the country, we can now answer that question.
In a one sentence response: It's better than we expected. Going in, we had fears regarding cargo capacity, visibility, and comfort. Our fears turned out to be unfounded.
The seats were all-day comfortable. Now, I'll admit that I'm only 26 years old. So my back doesn't ache quite as quickly as some others might, but the seats are supportive with enough bolstering to keep you from moving around, but not too much to the point where it pinches. These aren't track seats, they are just well designed.
And while the seats are supportive, we have a warning about the material used to cover them: don't drive without a shirt on. Ok, so I didn't actually drive without a shirt on. But I was driving for about an hour at one point and my left side started to feel weird. We pulled over and I realized that when I slid into the car during the last rest stop, my shirt caught on the bolster and raised up a little. This exposed my skin to the fabric to which my body weight then pressed against it for an hour. The fabric, as we've noted before, is unique in texture and somewhat coarse in design. While this made it so dog hair didn't really get caught in the weave during our dog test, it kind of makes an inprint on your skin if exposed and pressed against the seat. Making it uncomfortable. We really wouldn't recommend driving the Veloster without a shirt.
In daily driving we've noted the visibility issues caused by the sleek design. But on a long road trip these issues didn't bother us as much. The side mirrors are large enough that we didn't have massive blind spots when merging, and forward visibility is good with the short hood and small A-pillars. Though, it was still annoying that some vehicles can become distorted when seeing them through the curved rear glass. To the point where one time in the past, what we thought was a GMC Yukon was actually a cop in a Dodge Charger.
Back to space, there was more than enough room for all the luggage. In fact, my wife was surprised when we put all the bags in the car how much space was left. We figured there would be no room and I wouldn't be able to clearly see out the rear window. My view was unobstructed and we were able to haul everything we needed, and then some.
We've told you the Veloster isn't fast. In fact, it's far from it. But it is fuel efficient and that, at times makes up for the speed. Passing a semi on the highway is not one of those times. The Veloster feels peppy off the line, but loses steam as you climb past 30 mph. At highway speeds when passing a semi on a two lane road, well, we'll say this: plan your passes accordingly. It has the passing power, but don't think you are just going to "drop the hammer" and blow past that semi. It won't happen like that. Now, if we were driving the Veloster Turbo, then we'd be having a different discussion.
Our largest gripe about the road trip in the Veloster? Road noise. There's a ton of it. We believe it's due to a lack of sound deadening. If you lift up the rear cargo mat, you pretty much just see bare metal. That's the floor pan. There's no insulation. Nothing to keep the sound or vibrations out. When your tires are spinning on the road keeping you at highway speeds, this can create quite a lot of noise, which makes it way into the cabin of the Veloster.
If you've been keeping track, we already told you about our average fuel economy on the trip, which we found to be acceptable. And we've also told you about the reactions we received from people along our drive.
So back to the original question: what's it like to drive the Hyundai Veloster for more than 500 miles? Pleasantly surprised is what comes to mind, if we are being honest. While the car's size and driving dynamics may be more suited to around-town driving, there's no question that the Veloster is more than capable, and comfortable, when tasked with taking a cross-country road trip.
After reading our impressions, would you want to take a cross-country road trip in the Hyundai Veloster?