From £17,236
The Hyundai Veloster is practical and well equipped, but not as dynamic as a Scirocco or Astra GTC

Our Verdict

Hyundai Veloster

The Hyundai Veloster wins on practicality, price and standard kit but lacks the dynamic talent and appeal that a coupé should have.

7 December 2011

What is it?

The Hyundai Veloster is an over-engineered solution to what is, at best, a negligible problem. In an effort to attract customers from two disparate segments, Hyundai has employed an unusual 1+2 door configuration (one large one on the driver’s side, and 2 smaller ones on the passenger side) to distinguish the Veloster, in both form and function, from its competition.

Beyond that unfamiliar arrangement, the car is rather conventional fare. It shares a platform blueprint with the current five-door Accent doing the rounds abroad, and gets a stock MacPherson front strut, torsion beam axle rear suspension setup.

The engine options are simple enough: there’s just one – the 138bhp 1.6-litre four-cylinder GDI petrol unit mated to a six-speed manual gearbox (although Hyundai’s first dual-clutch automatic is an option).

As you might expect from Hyundai, the kit list is generous even on the entry-level model tested here. A 7-inch touch-screen media centre featuring iPod and Bluetooth connectivity features alongside climate control, automatic headlights, heated door mirrors and reversing sensors, all for the £17,995 asking price.

What’s it like?

First things first: that door. Yes, access has been improved. But only marginally. There should be plenty of room for an extra entrance – the Veloster is slightly longer than a five-door Golf – but thanks to the design limitations of its swept-back coupe profile, the constricted rear opening insists you adopt an awkward shape to gain admission.

The tapered posterior means that taller passengers are going to find their heads brushing the roofline, but otherwise its commodiously hatchback-like in the back. It isn’t unpleasant either. Hyundai is becoming a hugely proficient at crafting budget interiors from subtle styling and shrewd material choices, and the Veloster is another prime example of that recent trend.

The similarities to an orthodox hatchback continue out on the road, where the car is content to amble along in companionable fashion. The ride quality is well-judged when it’s not faintly lumpy, refinement is generally up to scratch and the nasal four-pot is appropriately perky where it ought to be.

Issues only appear when you endeavor to take the congenial controls by the scruff of the neck and extract some enjoyment from the Veloster. Despite gaining some weight, the slow, powderpuff steering remains unresponsive and resolutely uncommunicative at speed – especially through the first few degrees of lock. Coupled to an evasive front end and surprisingly unsettled stability under heavy braking, attempts to push on can quickly become wearisome.

Should I buy one?

Your admiration of the Veloster concept is likely to hinge on whether you consider the project a commendable stab at producing something different or, alternatively, see it as a superficial and cynical attempt to hijack new sales ground with flagrant gimmickry.

We’re not entirely sure whether either argument deserves the high ground to itself, but there is a nagging suspicion that the Veloster’s component parts don’t quite add up to an entirely satisfying whole.

As a hatchback the car loses a door, but gains only a modicum of style; as a coupe it gains a door, but doesn’t acquire the extra measure of dynamic talent that would have earned it a genuine shot at the Volkswagen Scirocco or Vauxhall Astra GTC.

Undeniably, the Veloster is practical, economical, brilliantly built, well-equipped and seriously good value for money. But Hyundai’s familiar attributes aren’t guaranteed to secure it lasting success in a marketplace just as concerned with desirability and driver reward.

Hyundai Veloster

Price: £17,995; Top speed: 125mph; 0-62mph: 9.7sec; Economy: 43.3mpg; CO2: 148g/km; Kerbweight: 1185kg; Engine: four cyls, in-line, 1591cc; Power: 138bhp at 6300rpm; Torque: 123lb ft at 4850rpm; Gearbox: six-speed manual

Join the debate

Comments
16

9 December 2011

Saw a couple of these around the time of the MTV awards, as they were sponsors. Dutch plates.

Look good in the flesh, lower than they look in the photos.

The RHD arrangement should have the 2 doors on the passenger side, unlike the German MINI Clubfoot effort.

The warranty is not to be sniffed at either. The days of the Pony and Stellar are long gone.

18 March 2013

Door Hanger printing refers to company that will turn out up door hangers to promote your business. Many people make use of the internet to promote their business.

 

http://www.emanprinting.net/door-hanger-printing.php

9 December 2011

I didn't like the concept very much, and although this isn't different at all, I actually quite like it. I think that I am just grateful for a small, practical and affordable sportscar.

9 December 2011

Coupes or at least coupe like vehicles need one of two (preferably both) to succeed. Looks and performance / handling.

Looks as far as this car is concerned are debatable. The design is clean enough and different enough from the norm but it is not what anyone would call a beauty. The engine also seems to cover the same bases - it does a job but it's hardly going to set the world alight. The same too with the handling.

If you consider this cars spiritual predecessor, the "Coupe", this car appears to be a retrograde step in both areas (although that car's 2.7 V6 lump was never the greatest, it did offer some character).

The one area of the market this may succeed in (and this may have been Hyundai's intention although I've never seen it published), is the used Mini market, the sort of customer who likes the idea of the little BMW but either can't afford it or finds it's practicality limited.

Overall, I think it could just do with a bit more polish in all areas, then it could be something that would be desirable in it's own right.

 

 

It's all about the twisties........

9 December 2011

there appears to be a price/performance mismatch here. the article describes it as good value for money. sorry i cant see that. 18K for a car which has the one and only plus feature that it has more doors on one side than the other.

Its not particularly stylish, or quick, its not a very good drive. the access from the extra door is poor. it all seems an awful lot for something very dull. There are many more entertaining cars for less, and some much better for not much more. either way i cant see why you would have one of these unless those doors mean you just have to have it.

10 December 2011

[quote artill]the article describes it as good value for money. sorry i cant see that.[/quote]

I agree. If you are in this market you are looking for abilities that the Veloster doesn't have. How many times are you going to have someone in the back seat, and how many times are they going to say "Wow, I have my own door! (Providing I'm on that side and providing I can get into a sufficiently foetal position to use it)". The dull steering and handling will count every time.

11 December 2011

We live in St. Petersburg Russia and my wife is chief accountant for Donghe who are part of the Hyundai family building the Solaris - which is still "for Russia only" - so I have a few insights to the products and the company. First of all you have to consider their other half - that is Kia. They are clearly trying to define two segments - that being Kia is for the young and sporty single/newly married and half a child (u know what I mean) - whilst Hyundai is trying to stuff into the upper middle class 2+2 segment. Like everything Korean its a bit confused in conception but the end product always gives excellent value for money - brilliant fit and finish - decent economy and loadsa kit. They top it all off with a warrenty which buggers all the opposition. By the way - close friend bought a Toureg recently - after delivery he spent two days deciphering their warrenty - which really is ONE YEAR - you have to read the small print!!!

11 December 2011

[quote petrolheadinrussia]By the way - close friend bought a Toureg recently - after delivery he spent two days deciphering their warrenty - which really is ONE YEAR - you have to read the small print!!![/quote]

Couple of points: 1. Can you explain what makes the VW one year? 2. Do you think the same applies to Hyundai and Kia? For example in Kia's 7 year, unlimited miles warranty your audio system is only covered for 3 years. It's covered for 5 years with Toyota. As with any warranty, you should read it BEFORE purchase.

I like the wording of Hyundai's warranty: Excludes 'Noises or vibrations of low amplitude or frequency, which are considered to be representative of the characteristics of the vehicle.' Excuse me, it sounds like some trim has come loose, can you fix it? Sorry mate, that's just your car's 'character'.

As with any warranty you have to read the small print but as a VW owner I have to agree their warranty (same with Audi) isn't as comprehensive as others. That said I had an ABS failure about 3 months outside the warranty - my car had always been serviced by VW and I was well below average miles. The bill was going to be almost £1800. I contacted the dealer who said VW normally makes some sort of contribution. Without any prompting VW actually made a 100% contribution. Just one of the reasons I bought another VW.

11 December 2011

Styling wise I really like it, though i agree the previous coupé especially in its last form was better looking, regarding the performance for pound, isn't it cheaper than similarly powered sciroccos? and wasn't there reports of a higher powered turbo version? as for how it drives i'll check that out myself as i'm no expert driver so would probably enjoy it inspite of the report.

11 December 2011

[quote ronmcdonald]As with any warranty you have to read the small print but as a VW owner I have to agree their warranty (same with Audi) isn't as comprehensive as others. That said I had an ABS failure about 3 months outside the warranty - my car had always been serviced by VW and I was well below average miles. The bill was going to be almost £1800. I contacted the dealer who said VW normally makes some sort of contribution. Without any prompting VW actually made a 100% contribution. Just one of the reasons I bought another VW.[/quote]

Off topic, but good to hear some companies are reasonable about this sort of thing. For the past 7 years I have owned consecutively, a couple of MINIs: At less than two years old my latest one developed a noise from the rear suspension, and duly the rear anti-roll bar hangers were replaced under warranty. At just over 3 years old, and now 3 months out of warranty the same fault (in my opinion) developed, so I contacted the local dealer. Even though the car had only done 24000 miles, and as far as I was concerned was suffering from the same fault as before, I was told "warranties don't last for ever you know", and that they would charge me a £90 + VAT diagnostic charge to see what the problem was, then may consider some sort of goodwill payment if they thought the fault was connected to the previous one. Knowing the appalling level of after sales service offered by this dealer I didn't fancy some long protracted dispute, so I went to my local independent, who drove the car round the block, confirmed the fault was what I thought, and duly did the repair for less than it would have cost for the diagnostic at the BMW dealer.

I really like the product, but the poor after sales service and attitude towards the warranty is seriously putting me off getting another model from the same manufacturer.

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