Hyundai Veloster is a great option if you are looking for a hothatch with a unique design. Hyundai kept the main design element in new generation Veloster, which there is no rear-left door, not even as an option. However, new generation Veloster looks so good, even I would say it is one of the best-looking cars in its segment. Hyundai improved overall design of the Veloster, as the previous gen looks like an ugly duck.
Speaking of the hot hatch segment, new Veloster has to compete with some serious rivals, such as Mini Cooper S, Honda Civic SI, Golf GTI and Ford Fiesta ST. Second generation Veloster comes with 1.6 liter turbocharged and the direct-injected four-cylinder engine, which produces 201 horsepower and 195 ft-lbs of torque.
Although almost all cars produce similar power in this segment, Veloster has a flat torque curve from 2000 rpm all the way up to 6000 rpm. It is surprisingly lightweight, and you feel it when you are driving, as it is really nimble on the road. Paired with 6-speed manual transmission and short gear ratios, it is really fun to drive it daily.
With the new generation Veloster, structural rigidity is increased with the new multi-link rear suspension, which is getting harder to find it in newer cars. Hyundai also added gas pressurized struts. It comes with 225/45/R18 Michelin Pilot Sport 4 summer tires, and it definitely helps with overall cornering ability. The car handles great on the street with torque vectoring control feature. TVC acts like limited slip differential which electronically applies braking force to the inside front wheel when you drive it hard. Although it is a more cost-effective solution rather than using a real limited slip differential, but it works really well in public roads. Overall riding quality is really good and on par with the other sporty hothatches.
Interior & Features
Interior design and quality are the most surprising part for me. A few years ago, Korean cars were not able to compete even with their Japanese rivals. It is not the case anymore. Of course, you would not expect luxury features or high quality in this segment, there are lots of hard touch plastics in Veloster, but it feels sturdy and there are no panel gaps on the dash. It would be better if they used soft-touch plastics, however, this is not a deal breaker for potential buyers. Other than that, you will find heated seats, steering wheel, leather seats, heads-up display, Infinity sound system, and navigation system in the top trim.
What Hyundai makes really good is the infotainment system. Screen resolution is great, software looks modern, and it has all the information driver may need. It also comes with Satellite Radio, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. My opinion is infotainment system in the Veloster makes the biggest difference against its rivals, and it is really easy to find what you are looking for.
Overall, Hyundai Veloster is not only a hot hatch for spirited driving, but also it can be great daily car with its features. It starts at $20,999 and goes up to $28.899 MSRP. We think it is priced fair and it offers great bang for the buck. It may not be the best option for families, as it has to sacrifice rear passenger area due to its coupe design, but the rear-right door helps people utilizing rear seat area. If you are not into driving a manual, you can choose 7-speed DCT transmission which is $1000 extra.
Article and photos by Dan Gunay