Auto Review: Hyundai’s dynamic Veloster Turbo
By Bill Heald - ReminderNews
Featured Article - posted Thu., May. 2, 2013
If there’s one real fault with sport coupes, it has to be a lack of versatility. The true representatives of the breed are light, lithe compacts that are first and foremost entertaining to drive. That said, they also have a few practical attributes facilitated by their smaller size, like good fuel economy and the ability to take up very little space both in parking lots and garages. Yet the same qualities that make these cars so much fun also restricts their usefulness when you need to haul things like people, pets or possessions. But there are always some exceptions to the rule, and the Hyundai Veloster manages to sing the song of the sport coupe while cleverly maximizing the space that’s available to increase its practicality. The Turbo version is even more enticing, as it boosts the performance while maintaining the features that make it so unique.
The most interesting design element in the Veloster coupe is the fact that it has a third door behind the passenger seat for easier access to the rear seat. This relatively simple change to the conventional two-door makes a big difference to the car’s personality because it makes it all the more useful. But let’s face it: this is first and foremost a sports car, and the Turbo version builds on an already fun-to-drive platform. The package doesn’t just include a turbocharged engine, either, although the 1.6-liter, 201 horsepower Inline Four is certainly the centerpiece of the car. We had the six-speed manual transmission (a six-speed automatic is also available), which enabled the front-drive coupe to charge to 60 mph in a tick over eight seconds and proved very precise and satisfying during rapid shifting. Direct injection technology heightens both performance and efficiency, and intake and exhaust plumbing is tuned to sound more entertaining. Handling is also sharpened as the electric power steering gets changes to the final ratio and overall calibration to work in concert with the standard 18-inch Kumho Solus performance tires. Ride quality is on the firm side, and can get harsh over really rough stuff, but the Veloster Turbo responds quickly, corners flat and holds its line well. Braking performance is excellent overall, with stops from 60 mph averaging 114.5 feet.
The interior of the Veloster Turbo is cozy but comfortable, and the Turbo’s seats get unique stitching and stout leather along with good lateral support. The instruments reside in what Hyundai calls a “Supervision Cluster” featuring clear analog gauges and a trip computer, supplemented by a central 7-inch touchscreen display. Controls are logical and easy to master, making the driving environment familiar from the first time you fire the car up. The rear seats suffer from limited headroom but otherwise are usable, with entry facilitated by that clever passenger-side rear door. Notable options included the Ultimate Package with a Navigation System, Panoramic Moonroof and back-up camera.
The 2013 Hyundai Veloster Turbo is EPA rated 24 MPG city/35 highway, and including options, our sticker came to $26,320.