Let me start by saying I really like this car it’s sleek coupe like looks, quirky 3 door design, 150Kw turbo charged engine, slick 6 speed manual transmission all combine to make car extremely fun to drive around whether it be in traffic on the highway and especially along some twisty roads.
Having driven the auto version of this car before I was extremely interested in how good the manual version was, I grew up on manual cars so I kinda do like it when I get one to review. My only issue is after a 25 year soccer career my ankles and knee’s are rubbish so I do have an issue driving manuals because after a week in one I’m a tad sore and ready to give it back.
The difference this time was I didn’t really want to give it back sure the manual was a bigger pain than an auto but after a week with this car I didn’t seem to be as sore as I normally am.
The Veloster can be had in 2 flavours normal which is powered buy a 1.6L naturally aspirated 4 cyl or the hot chilli version sporting a 1.6L direct injected turbo charged 4 cyl developing 150Kw and 265nM of torque. Both models look attractive but the turbo version benefits from a wide mouth grille, side skirts, rear diffuser, rear spoiler and trick exhaust that exits in the middle of the rear end.
Riding on 18inch alloy wheels and painted in this brilliant white paint called Storm Trooper (as certified card carrying Imperial TIE pilot this appealed to me a lot) this car is extremely good looking.
On the inside the Veloster Turbo has leather sport seats which are comfortable and offer good support when cornering one think strange I thought given it’s price was the fact the seat had only partial electric adjustment for the squab the back rest is manual adjustment also the seats don’t have a heating function something cars a lot cheaper have. The leather bound steering wheel is somewhat comfortable to hold but I thought it was a touch thin for my liking and contains buttons for the audio system, cruise control and the trip meter.
The Veloster Turbo is well specced and comes with cruise control, climate control air con, sat nav, keyless start and entry, panoramic sunroof, and full Bluetooth phone integration which worked well enough.
The dash is well set out and has carbon fibre like look to it, it also has gun metal grey highlights to set it apart from the standard model, the centre stack contains the audio system the Bluetooth was easy to connect my phone to and the hands free function works great. The audio system is up graded from the standard model and offers a decent sound while the system was fairly easy to use I found it was not as polished as other systems I’ve used. The Sat Nav in auto version I drove last was a bit and miss, but Sat Nav in this car worked a treat it was easy to use, gave clear concise directions and even has traffic alert which lets you know of delays on your route and will even find an alternate route around it.
The back seats are comfortable although leg room and head room is a touch limited my kids said they had just enough room in there I sat in the back seat while I did fit and had just enough leg room is was a little hard for me to get out of. I will applaud Hyundai for not trying to squeeze another seating position in there. The Veloster Turbo is a 4 seater there is a small console featuring cup holders in the between the seats which my kids loved a lot.
On the road is where the Veloster excels Hyundai have done a lot of work to tune the Veloster to local conditions and have done a great job at it the car feels extremely settled on any road surface, the suspension it is a touch firm so you do feel the little bumps at times but it’s definitely not uncomfortable.
The electric power steering is well calibrated and the steering offers a great amount of feel and directness it’s not sharpest car I’ve driven steering wise but really think you would have to be driving it at 10/10 for it to really be an issue this car is extremely fun to drive specially around corners.
The 6 speed manual transmission is wonderful I found the shifts slick the clutch action is light, the sports pedals seemed to be the perfectly speced for me even with my bad ankles I managed to do some heel toeing which I haven’t done in years.
Under the bonnet the 1.6L twin scroll direct injected turbo engine pumps out 150kW of power and 265Nm of torque which means the Veloster Turbo is no slouch the engine develops it’s torque down low in the rev range which means the engine is extremely tractable and very easy to live with in normal everyday traffic but then has plenty of poke when you need it. At freeway speeds it just lopes along in 6th gear with plenty in reserve in case you need it.
Fuel economy really depends on how you drive it being a turbo engine it will drink a little bit of petrol when your pushing it but drive it normally and you can return some decent figures, during week I averaged in the 10’s to high 9’s which I thought was good.
Safety wise the Veloster Turbo like you expect has received a 5 stars ANCAP rating and is packed full of safety features including 6 airbags, electronic stability control, traction control, ABS, with electronic brake force distribution, brake assist rear parking sensors and a rear view camera.
Like I said in the beginning I really like this car and after a week I really wanted more of it, it’s aggressive sporty looks combined with a decent amount of features, excellent safety levels, great performance and handling and more importantly offers a great driving experience which means this car delivers on the road.
It does have a couple of draw backs while the audio system works well it’s not as polished as some, the lack some features like heated seats, digital speedo which other brands seem to fit as standard on cheaper cars, which I found a touch puzzling considering it’s really well equip and full of features,and the sloping roof line does limit rear head room for tall people.
But none of them would be a deal breaker for me, the hot hatch market is very hotly contested and the Europeans have ruled the roost in the market for years, and while the Veloster Turbo is not quite up there power wise with some of the cars on the market it does offer an extremely good alternative.
I could easily have one of these parked in my driveway so if your after a hatch and want to stand out from the crowd you would be very silly indeed not to have the Veloster SR Turbo on your list of cars to test drive because this is really a good car and I liked it a lot. Hyundai also offer great peace of mind with their 5 Year unlimited km warranty, 3 years capped price servicing, 3 years free map updates and 7 years road side assistance.
To find out more about the Veloster SR Turbo visit Hyundai’s web site www.hyundai.com.au/vehicles/veloster-turbo and definitely get down to your local Hyundai dealer and take one for a test drive you will glad you did.