Hyundai Veloster gets more velocity for 2013

Hyundai’s Veloster created a huge buzz in 2012. Was there finally a snazzy coupe that delivered that elusive sporty feeling at a really good price?

Yes and no. Yes, the price was right and the looks were good. No, the four-cylinder didn’t deliver the punch for some so it was a base hit instead of a home run.

2013 Hyundai Veloster
2013 Hyundai Veloster

For 2013, Hyundai’s added a turbo option that turns this single into a triple.

Let’s talk about the looks. Hyundai is bold in its styling adventures and the Veloster is as bold as they go. It’s a hatchback with three other doors. One is hidden on the passenger’s side to make back seat entry easier. Other cars have tried this with about as much success. It works but it appears more of a  gimmick. That said, the overall look is eye-catching, especially the widemouth grill for the turbo. It makes the car look menacing.

The interior is youth oriented. The gauge cluster looks like a pair of goggles. No need to worry, everything is easy to see. The rest of the dash looks like most other Hyundai cars – clean and well organized. The buttons fell good to the touch and seems sturdy.

The front seats are snug and are embroidered with the word turbo. The backseat is a bit cramped and lacks headroom. Typical for sports and sporty cars.

The addition of the turbo gives the Veloster a 63 boast in horsepower and a noticeable 77 pounds-feet of torque increase.

Thats sounds massive until you see the 1.6-liter turbo makes 201 horsepower and 195 pounds-feet of torque. Still better than the base engine but maybe not as much as I’d like.

Driving impressions for me are skewed toward good. I say that because I expect a harsh ride from a sporty car. Some may find the Veloster too harsh but I point you toward the car’s real target market – young folk. Retired Floridians may like the base care for its great gas mileage but it’s the youth that will appreciate the turbo’s added oomph and sticky handling.

Well, it’s sticky for a sporty car. You can have a bit a fun in the corners and smile as you scamper down an open stretch of highway at decent speed. Sports car? No. Entry level sporty car is more accurate.

My only real gripe is the car’s gas mileage. I didn’t get close to the car’s 29 combined mileage. It only holds 13.2 gallons of fuel so stops seem for frequent.

Interior aimed at youth market
Interior aimed at youth

The Veloster turbo comes with much standard equipment: traction control, stability control, air, power package, ABS with brake-force distribution, four wheel discs, Hyundai Blue-link telematics, seven-inch touch screen, six-speed automatic with paddle shifters, leather wrapped steering wheel, leather seats and push button start. That’s at the $22,950 base price.

My test car added a $2,300 Ultimate package with a panoramic sunroof navigation system and backup camera. Hyundai also added summer tires at $1,200. Not a big deal in most of North Carolina, but anywhere there’s snow or ice you’ll have rotate these with all-season tires.

My as-tested price came in at $27,520. There are many cars in that price range, not just sporty cars, either.

Still, I can say easily that none of those vehicles look like this. There’s always something to be said about being different. This Hyundai says a great deal.

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