Hyundai Veloster Video Review

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Below is a transcript of this video


The Hyundai Veloster is the boldest car in the Hyundai range – and the sportiest. The Veloster was designed for Gen Y, but will probably have broader appeal than that.

The styling? It’s distinctive – and that means, you’ll either love it … or you’ll think the Veloster looks like a tadpole with wheels.

One thing you can’t fault about the Hyundai Veloster is the price. You’ll drive away the base model Hyundai Veloster manual for under $28 grand – and that car is packed with standard equipment. You get 18-inch alloys and low-profile tyres, plus daytime running lights and a reversing camera – and that’s a real plus for precision parking and driveway safety around kids.

There’s iPhone connectivity and Bluetooth streaming for phone and music in the Hyundai Veloster, as well as steering wheel controls for audio, cruise and trip computer.

The Hyundai Veloster’s a very safe car, too – with six airbags across the range, plus electronic stability control, and even tyre pressure monitoring. It’s been independently rated by ANCAP with five stars for crashworthiness.

The top-spec Veloster + costs about $4000 extra, and the big-ticket add-ons there are a panorama glass roof, leather upholstery, and a smart key with engine start/stop button. You also get climate control air conditioning and colour-keyed highlights on the alloy wheels – but I’m not so sure those highlights are a real plus.

Veloster’s biggest quirk is: It’s got three doors – so it’s like a two-door coupe on the driver’s side and a conventional four-door on the passenger’s side.  Hyundai is dead keen to sex-up the safety benefit of that three-door configuration – the company says it’s safer because the passengers get in and out on the kerb-side. But really they’re just using the marketing department to rationalize quirky design after the fact.

Let’s take a look at the Veloster television commercial that was banned in Europe, which used the Grim Reaper to sell the benefit of that three-door design. (And bear in mind they drive on the other side of the road over there.)

The Veloster is powered by a 1.6-litre petrol engine with direct injection and variable valve timing. That technology gives the 1.6 a bit of a lift, but it’s still only just sporty.

If you’re looking for more performance there is a Veloster turbo in the pipeline, and we’ll bring you a full review on that as soon as it arrives, later in 2012.

You can pay $2000 extra for a Veloster with a dual-clutch transmission – which is like an amped-up automatic, but the six-speed manual is both better to drive and cheaper. As long as you don’t mind making all the decisions yourself.

The front seats in Veloster are pretty good – the buckets are supportive enough to keep you in place in tight corners, without being too restrictive. But there’s only two seats in the back, and the headroom and legroom back there mean the accommodation doesn’t really suit full-sized humans.

The interior design rates about eight out of 10 – there’s a bit of design for its own sake both inside and out, and the hard plastic surfaces inside are an unfortunate quality compromise. Some soft padding would be nice. Other than that, it’s all good.

Hyundai tuned the Veloster’s suspension specifically for Australia – and that makes the Veloster an engaging car to drive around corners, even if there’s not a great deal of power to put down on the way out. The steering and front end suspension is top-notch, but the rear isn’t quite so well sorted – and it tends to get knocked out of shape in mid-corner bumps.

If you’re in the market for a Veloster, you need to remember Hyundai offers great warranty protection – five years and unlimited kilometers, but the pricing structure adds almost $600 for metallic paint, which is tantamount to extortion in the cheap seats. So I’d watch out for that. Make sure you test drive the refined and incredibly popular Volkswagen Polo and the somewhat unsung Suzuki Swift Sport. They’re both examples of affordable sporty cars, and they’ll help you benchmark the Veloster, so you can make sure it’s the right choice for you.