Hyundai Veloster Turbo Video Review


They've pumped up the testosterone. It's got a fat, black grille. They changed the exhaust pipes to round, and framed them in a race-inspired diffuser. There's round fog lights up the pointy end. You can even tick the box for the cheapest factory matte paint job available in Australia today. Just remember not to polish it - ever.

And then there's the engine – a twin-scroll turbocharged, direct injected 1.6 with almost 50 per cent more power and 60 per cent more torque than the atmo Veloster. The Veloster Turbo even gets bigger brakes and quicker steering.

But does it pass the gestalt test? Is the driving experience actually greater than the sum of its hormone-enhanced parts? Let's find out.

The new turbo engine doesn't exactly slam you off the mark; it all comes on in a rush once you get over 2000rpm. It's not scary-fast, but it is surprisingly quick. The outputs are actually quite modest – peaking at 150 kilowatts and 265 Newton-metres. But it still manages to pile on the pace, especially between the exit from the last bend and the entry to the next one. You'll need to stay ahead of the game, mentally, and keep at least one eye on your licence.

It’s easy to have too much fun, in this car.

The Veloster turbo manages to handle and steer really well, too. The ride's a bit choppy, but sporty performance cars are supposed to be like that. It’s crisp.

The rear end's not quite as well glued to the road as the front - you'll find out about that going hard over your first mid-corner bump, which could be quite interesting. But the steering's just right, and you don't have to worry about torque steer.

Hyundai has moved away from the dual-clutch transmission in the turbo. You can have either a six-speed manual or a conventional six-speed auto for two grand more.

There are some awesome colours in the range, including one called Young Gun, a metallic matte finish that winds up being about $100 grand cheaper than essentially the same colour on a BMW M3 Coupe, and a colour called Chameleon, which has a pretty neat flip in the paintwork – for a factory paint job. There’s also a pearl colour called Storm Trooper White, and I can already hear the lawyers acting for George Lucas planning the trademark infringement case around that. The white’s a no-cost option, but the other two quirky finishes will knock you back $1000.

Like the atmo Veloster, you get five-star safety, six airbags, the same ‘two doors on the left and one on the right’, confusion over whether you’re actually in a hot hatch or a sports coupe – and a list of standard features longer than your arm.

The best thing about the Veloster Turbo is the price. It’s $32 grand plus on-road costs for the manual. That’s just $3000 more than the standard car, which is an absolute bargain when you factor in the brake and steering upgrades as well as the amped-up engine.

It’s a real philosophical alternative to the new Toyota 86 and the Subaru BRZ. It's got the performance and most of the dynamic finesse, and the same kind of cred, only different. It drives from the other end, and while the Japanese pair drip with almost Pinninfarina styling, the Veloster dares to be different. It’s more of a rolling, science fiction prop. The kind of thing Scary Spice might design, on crack, for the next Transformers movie. Not that that's a bad thing.