Hyundai Veloster

The Hyundai Veloster is as unusual and interesting as its name. Built on the Elantra platform, this three-door hatchback marks a bold entry into the hatchback market. Yes, you read that correctly, three doors, not two, and a hatchback door—three side doors. Hyundai manages this by placing a longer coupe door on the driver’s side and two shorter sedan-like doors on the passenger side. The idea here seems to be a ""have your cake and eat it too"" plan by offering sleek coupe styling with sedan-like convenience. No word yet on the lack of symmetry’s impact on the psyche of car buyers.

More on the Hyundai Veloster
Hyundai Veloster Origins

This car intends to compete with the Honda CR-Z Hybrid, Scion tC, and Mazda MAZDA3. The Veloster offers more practicality than the CR-Z with almost as good a rating in fuel economy. It has more style than the tC and MAZDA3. This should help it in its chosen market. While it occupies the same general class as the Mini Cooper and the Volkswagen Beetle, it is not meant to be a premium automobile like them, and therefore costs noticeably less.

If the unusual three-door arrangement isn’t off-putting, this provides a viable choice for those seeking a hatchback with respectable fuel economy, a fun driving experience, and the practicality associated with hatchbacks. The low price, unique character, and surprising amount of features should not be overlooked.

About the Hyundai Veloster

As already noted, the exterior presents some bold styling for the purposes of aesthetics and practical convenience. The three-door scheme and overall body styling really do catch the eye. Honestly, the front end looks like it’s going to eat something, and the headlights have the appearance of an aggressive predator. The car has some acceleration to it, but Hyundai’s designers may have oversold the performance possibilities with the heavily stylized look.

The base Veloster can have one or two option packages added on. The base model comes with 17-inch alloy wheels, LED accent lights, heated mirrors, and a rear spoiler. The Style package adds 18-inch wheels, fog lights, a chrome grille surround with black highlights, and a panoramic sunroof. The Tech package adds to the Style package with automatic headlights, rear parking sensors, and a rear-view camera. Hyundai offers side graphic stickers to further personalize this hatchback.

The Veloster contains a 138-horsepower, 1.6-liter, direct-injection four-cylinder engine that drives the front wheels. A six-speed manual transmission comes standard, with the option for a dual-clutch six-speed automatic with paddle shifters.

Hyundai Veloster Features

The quality of materials used for the 2012 model’s interior meet expectations given the price. Despite the lower cost (i.e. plastic) materials prominently used, the style and design of the inside are rather nice and do not look cheap. The seats offer comfort, but the backseat lacks the space typically found in a hatchback.

On the inside the base model boasts an impressive list of features including air-conditioning, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, cruise control, full power accessories, Bluetooth, and a six-speaker sound system with a CD player, satellite radio, an auxiliary audio jack, and USB/iPod connectivity. The base model even includes is a seven-inch touchscreen that comes with Pandora connectivity via an iPhone and Hyundai's BlueLink telematics system. The Style package then throws in a premium eight-speaker sound system, leatherette upholstery, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob. Add the Tech package on to that and get a navigation system, keyless ignition/entry, and a 115-volt outlet in the center armrest bin. Buyers should know that some of these features share similarities with the fee-based OnStar.

Standard safety features on the 2012 Hyundai Veloster include anti-lock disc brakes, traction and stability control, front seat side airbags, and full-length side curtain airbags. Hyundai's BlueLink, a fee-based service much like OnStar, will provide SOS assistance and crash notification. In terms of performance, this mean-looking little hatchback handles in mannered fashion and provides a rather comfortable ride for a smaller and cost-conscious car. But the low-power, small engine provides slow acceleration even for this class of automobile. That doesn’t mean it isn’t fun to drive. It does mean that a driver should think twice about how much room he needs to pass another car, or a horse-drawn carriage, for that matter.

To emphasize, the ride remains good for this class of vehicle; some may find it a bit too firm, but that firm ride goes hand-in-hand with the handling that makes the driving experience better than average. Just don’t get into any drag races and enjoy the twisting and winding roads. The fuel economy rating comes close to hybrid standards with 28/40 mpg city/highway.

Select a Hyundai Veloster Year

2013 Hyundai Veloster

Hatchback, Sports

A 2013 Hyundai Veloster is a very unique vehicle.

2012 Hyundai Veloster

Hatchback, Sports

The 2012 Hyundai Veloster is an all-new model offered by Hyundai. The small hatchback has an added third door on the passenger side for easier access to the back seat. The Veloster features a multi-function seven-inch touch screen display, which is equipped with Pandora Internet radio, video game connectivity, and hands-free Bluetooth. The all-new 1.6-liter engine gets up to 40 mpg, better highway fuel efficiency than the hybrid Honda CR-Z.

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