Test Drive Hyundai Veloster Turbo – Review image

It’s called Veloster, a combination of velocity and roadster, and evokes the sporty characteristics of a sporty two-plus-two.

Unveiled for the first time at the 2011 Detroit Auto Show (non-turbo) and a year later, at the same auto show in Turbo form, this is a very unique car. It has 3.5 doors. This is a three door design, plus a rear hatch: one large door on the driver’s side, and two doors on the passengers’ side.  Very clever and I’ll tell you why. One: it keeps costs down while also adding a sporty curve ball to the equation; and two: it’s more practical than a normal hothatch..

Hyundai Veloster Turbo Artistic Image 1

Hyundai Veloster Turbo Artistic Image 2

Hyundai Veloster Turbo Artistic Image 3

Designed by Hyundai’s Namyang Design Centre, the Veloster Turbo boasts one big, Audi-inspired grille that combines some Aston Martin One-77 design elements under the headlights. Some says that seen in a rear-view mirror looks like a Nissan GT-R. On the back, I don’t know how to express myself – the trapezoidal exhaust design in that big black rear fascia piece make the car looks like a missile ready to launch.

Overall, the entire design is clean, very very aggressive and attracts the eye like a magnet. The 600 Eur matt grey paint is a must! (keep in mind that Mercedes charges more than 3700 Eur for something similar on a SLS AMG model, while BMW, 2500 Eur on a M3. ) The downside of that paint is that you need a lot of attention – you can’t wash the car in any automatic car wash; only hand-wash and you need to use only microfiber cleaning cloths. Hyundai will supply a car care kit and owner’s guide to any customer who checks the matte option box.

Engine, transmission, fuel consumption
Compared to the normal Veloster, the Turbo model comes with the same direct-injected 1.6 liter four-cylinder engine and … obviously …it has a twin-scroll turbocharger that boosts the power from 138 hp to 183 hp (137 kw). Nothing new here.
Torque? Well here’s the big news: 59 percent increase in torque over the naturally-aspirated engine! From 167 Nm to 265 Nm. That’s a massive increase and over 3.000 rpm feels great.

Hyundai Veloster 1.6 GDI-T Turbo Engine

How does it feel? It certainly feels a lot quicker than the base Veloster, but if you want the “fun” factor in the equation, you have to push hard the gas pedal, and over 3.000 rpm the car will respond with a very healthy acceleration. You may ask why over 3.000 rpm if the turbo kicks in from 1,500 rpm.

“There’s maximum quick boost at low rpm, and maximum horsepower at high rpm.” explains Michael O’Brien, Hyundai’s vice president of product planning and corporate planning.

What it probably lacks, is the explosive character when the turbo kicks in. Oh and yes – the sound! Where’s the sound Hyundai? You have those big exhausts!

What’s nice is that the low-end torque provides enough thrust to minimize shifting gears up and down on a twisty mountain road. In fact, the gear ratios in the six-speed manual gearbox were optimized for this turbo engine. It works very well, it’s a very precise gearbox, but is not a short gearbox as you might want from a sporty vehicle.

Driving the Hyundai Veloster Turbo

Officially, the South-Korean automaker says the average fuel consumption of the Veloster Turbo stands at 6.9 liters every 100 km, while in the city, the vehicle is burning 9.3 liters every 100 km. Tested for more than one week here are our values: approx. 12.5 liters for every 100 km in the city and about 6.7 liter at 90 km/h highway. At 130 km/h (3,000 rpm) with AC on, the turbo model eats 8.8 liters of fuel for every 100 km.

Handling, safety
The steering has a natural feeling, even if is electrically assisted. However, sometimes, it lacks of elasticity and remains stuck in corners. At high speeds is solid and pretty precise. Overall the handling is perfectly acceptable and the car doesn’t understeers much.

There’s almost no body roll effect even if the Turbo model has the same suspension setup as the normally aspirated variant. Yes, it has stiffer dampers, but that’s about all.  The suspension feels sporty enough, and the good news is that will not make you lose your snappers when the road gets bumpy.

What is to be noted is that, on bumpy roads, if you push the car hard in corners you may find out that the chassis is a little bit elastic … or at least this way feels.

Brakes have good pedal feel (you don’t need to push hard) and stopping power.

5 Stars. Tested by EuroNcap the little rocket achieved 5 stars, so in case of a crash it should behave quite well. Standard safety features include 6 airbags (Front, Front Side, Curtain Airbag, Side Airbag), ABS with breake assist, ESP, Hill-start Assist Control (HAC) (DCT transmission only – to help keep the vehicle from rolling backward on standing starts up steep inclines), Tyre Pressure Monitoring System and a rearview mirror that’s very important as the low-slung Veloster has huge blind spots to its rear three-quarters.

Interior, cargo space
Is this a sporty coupe or a hot hatchback? Well either would be correct since the Veloster has the third door at the rear. So it’s more practical than any other competitor. There’s plenty of space for the drive and front passenger even if they are over six feet tall (+ 1.8m) as the seats adjust for a wide range of heights. The heated leather sport seats are attractive and supportive.

On the back don’t expect a lot of head and leg room, but the access can be done with ease thanks to the back door.

It offers 440 liters of cargo capacity with the seats up and almost 1,000 liters (984 liters) if you fold down the back seats. Not bad – it easily best the Civic coupe, although the VW Golf GTI offers 1,295 liters with the back seats flat.

Veloster Turbo Cargo Space

Veloster’s cabin materials are class appropriate and the attention to details seems decent. You will find some cheap plastics here and there (mostly on the steering wheel commands), but overall, the entire cabin proves the efforts Hyundai made in the last couple of years to push the brand upmarket. For example the whole dash is made up of a patterned, matte hard polymer that looks and feels excellent.

Veloster's Interior

Hyundai Veloster interior driver view

Ergonomics are excellent too, as is outward visibility. A backup camera comes standard to help you park.

Our car was not equipped with a gps, but I suppose it’s the same navi unit found on other Hyundai models, which by the way is intuitive and easy to use. However, even so, Hyundai still installs a 7-inch color touch screen.

Audio sources include AM/FM Radio, CD, USB, Bluetooth streaming and a 3.5mm jack.  What I was a little bit disappointed was the graphics on the little LCD fitted on the dash between the gauges. It looks too rudimentary for such a car.

Like / dislike
This car has a lot of personality; it is very unique and sexy.  Hyundai was able to achieve good handling results without any major upgrades, and the price is correct from my point of view.

Plus: Great paint that doesn’t costs thousands (matte gray), unique design, practicality (3rd door), engine response over 3,000 rpm, build quality, large trunk and of course impressive standard warranty.
Minus: Not as sporty as it looks; headroom limited in the back and the body shell is not as rigid as that of the GTI.

Ford Focus ST, VW Scirocco, Peugeot RCZ, Mini Coupe S, Honda CR-Z.

Technical details Hyundai Veloster Turbo

Overall length 4,250 mm
Width 1,805 mm
Total height 1,399 mm
Wheelbase mm 2,650
Front track n/a
Rear track 1,574 mm
Seats No. 4
Fuel tank capacity 50l

Leg room 1st row: 1,114mm
Leg room 2nd row: 805mm
Head room 1st row: 990mm (945 w/ Panoramic Sunroof)
Head room 2nd row: 896mm
Shoulders room 1st row: 1,412mm
Shoulders room 2st row: 1,371mm

18” 215 /40R18V 7.5Jx18

Cargo area (SAE / VDA): 440 / 320

Steering: Rack and pinion with electric motor assistance; lock to turn: 2.78 turns
Minimum turning radius: 5.2m

Engine: 1.6 T-GDI
Type: 4 cylinder DOHC Euro 5
Displacement: 1591 cmc
Max power: 137 kw (184 bhp)
Torque: 137Nm (184 lbs ft) @ 5500 rpm
0-100 km/h: 8.4 seconds

Suspension front: McPherson strunt type
Suspension back: Torsion beam axle

Weights & Capacities
Luggage capacity seats up: 440 liters
Luggage capacity seats down: 984 liters
Kerb weight: 1,313 kg
Gross vehicle weight: 1,750

Fuel Consumption & Emissions
Urban 9.3 / Extra-urban 5.5 / Combined 6.9 (mpg: 30.4 / 51.4 / 40.9)
Co2 emissions: 157 g/km combined


3.8 / 5

January 11th, 2014