This Car Review Is About: The quirky and different Hyundai Veloster. It’s finally received a much needed makeover and it looks more like a member of the Hyundai family than the odd-one-out visage of the now superseded model. It’s a three model range, with Veloster, Turbo, and Turbo Premium, the model reviewed. The Veloster is also a dedicated 2+2 seater.
How Much Does It Cost?: Hyundai’s website has drive-away prices, with $33,253 as a starting price for the entry level, $39,443 for the Turbo, and a starting rate of $43,048 for the Premium. The website appears to indicate zero extra charge for metallic paint. The Premium comes with a two tone roof option with Phantom Black or Tangerine Comet as the choices.Under The Bonnet Is: A 1.6L engine in capacity, complete with 150kW and 265Nm of torque. Both turbo models offer a seven speed dual clutch auto or six speed manual. The entry level Veloster runs a 2.0 Atkinson cycle non-turbo four and has a six speed non-DCT auto along with the manual. Those 265 Newton metres are available from 1,500 rpm to 4,500 rpm. Economy is quoted as 9.1L per 100km for the urban cycle, 5.6L/100km for the highway, and on the combined it’s 6.9L100km. That’s from the 50L tank in a chassis weighing 1350kg.
On The Outside It’s: Still the 2+1 plus hatchback rear shape. It’s been flattened, has the Hyundai signature tail light design of three strips in their individual enclosure, and it looks fantastic lit up. That’s with tinted lenses as well. The front loses the slightly bulbous headlights and now has the slimline LED lit setup. Wheels for the Premium are 18 inch in diameter and are a dark grey metallic colour. Rubber comes form Michelin’s Pilot Sport 4 range and are 225/40 in profile.It’s a pert little thing at just 4,240mm in length. It’s not tall at 1,399mm and offers plenty of shoulder room with a very handy 1,800mm of width. The wheelbase is 2,650mm and that adds to the sporty look and handling. Adding to the looks are the body additions front and rear. Up front a semi-gloss grille sits over a honeycomb grille air curtain, with subtle chrome highlights. The rear diffuser has extra width over the others and is complemented by a dark metallic finish on the lower bumper that sits around the centrally mounted twin exhausts. A small yet nifty touch is a hidden rear hatch opening button that’s integrated into the wiper housing and the locating of the left rear passenger door opener inside the rear door pillar structure.
On The Inside It’s: New Hyundai. That means classy fit, finish, and soft touch materials. Hyundai also show the other brands how to do it right with heating and venting for the front seats, a classy looking Performance Gauge screen with turbo pressure, G-Force meter, and torque output. This is accessed via an 8.0 inch touchscreen with DAB, Android and Apple app access. This tops a centre stack which is…busy to look at. It’s a little heavy in its layering, and the bottom layer which is the USB/Aux inputs are substantially more inset than the uppermost.For the driver a Head Up Display is fitted, and the binnacle below houses a pair of analogue dials. Naturally there’s the ubiquitous colour info screen and the tabs for this are on the right hand spoke of the tiller. It’s also a right-hand stalk for the indicator however Hyundai have fitted an intermittent mechanism for blinking. State laws in Australia ask for “sufficient indication” and a blinker that flashes just three time simply isn’t enough safe warning.
The gear selector has a red plastic insert on the rear and it looks as if it needs to be pressed, but it’s a fixed item. The selector itself is a straight forward and back mechanism, not a squiggly line as some do. There’s also Hyundai’s Drive selector button, and in Sport Mode (or tipped into Manual gear selection, which makes using the paddle shifts worthwhile) it brings a rev counter dial into the HUD’s information.Rear cargo is just, just, big enough for a weekly shop. The mechanisms to fold the 50:50 split-fold rear seats are on the shoulders of them however because the right side seat doesn’t have a door, it’s a touch fiddly to access and operate, And when folded the bottom of the seats don’t sit flush with the floor and the metal hooks stand proud. These, though, did come in handy by stopping a flat bottomed item from sliding, and the cargo net fitted also helped. Actual space is 303L seats up, and 1,081L seats down.The seats are set low due to the Veloster’s overall height. There is still decent room though, with the dimensions of 936mm and 911mm front and rear for head room, 1,433mm and 1,378mm shoulder room front and rear, providing better than expecting space to enjoy the cabin and the drive.On The Road It’s: An absolute hoot to drive. 265Nm doesn’t sound a lot, but coupled with a well ratioed auto and a relatively lightweight body, there’s more than enough zip to delight. Hyundai’s really spent some time working on the DCT’s biggest issue, and it’s one all companies have: lag between swapping from park to Drive or Reverse, and having the gear engage. However, practice shows that the lag can be minimised and it’s about how long the vehicle is stationary.
In a three point turn, so from Park to Drive to Reverse to Park, by bringing the Veloster Turbo to a complete stop quickly, it helps the DCT re-engage the chosen gear just that much more quicker and makes for a smoother progression from that moment of Neutral to gear.
Press it hard and there is some scrabbling of the front driven wheels before grip, or the traction control nanny, steps in to settle things down. Forward acceleration is good enough for the whole package but it’s not quite a neck-snapper as anticipated. What wasn’t also anticipated was the faint but audible “phut, phut” as the DCT does its thing and the engine lets the world know via the twin pipes. It’s an understated note and deserves more volume.Steering is rapid, light in the feel, and tenacious in how it has the front wheels responding to its command. That fore-mentioned three point turn is made a doddle to perform because of it, and on the highway the response is welcomed too. Feedback is plentiful and perhaps a little too much so for the untrained.
Suspension tune is firm, and the concrete ripples on sweeping bends ensure that every flake of paint has its height sent through to the driver’s hands via the steering wheel. It bang-crashes on the normal speed-humps yet soaks up the highway undulations without fuss. The weak spot of the Veloster is the brake feedback. There’s a harder than required shove to getting stopping done, and the pedal has a softer than expected feel when doing so.
What About Safety?: No problems here. Lane Keep Assist is on board and it’s perhaps a little too heavy handed, with the tiller all a-twitch in the driver’s hands. The intervention is, for our mind, just that too aggressive, it needs a smoother pull to straighten the Veloster Turbo Premium up. Torque vectoring is standard, as is Blind-Spot Collision Warning (BCW), Driver Attention Warning (DAW), Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist (FCA) including City / Urban (camera) and Interurban / Pedestrian & Cyclist detection (camera & radar). There is also High Beam Assist (HBA), Rear Cross-Traffic Collision Warning (RCCW) and Smart Cruise Control (SCC).
And The Warranty Is?: Five years and unlimited kilometres, with servicing costs and details here.At The End Of The Drive. It’s a far prettier car than the original, still has plenty of squirt, and handles as a sports oriented car should. It’s definitely roomy enough inside, however the heavy design of the centre stack, the insistence of the Lane Keep Assist to make its presence known, and the soft brakes pull the 2020 Hyundai Veloster Turbo Premium down a couple of notches. Don’t take that as saying it’s not fun to drive, it is, and it’s a lively drive too. Just as a sports oriented vehicle should be.