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

Advertisement
Advertisement

Find an Autocar review

Back to top

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
15
Add a comment…
Mr£4worth 13 December 2011

Re: Hyundai Veloster

sirwiggum wrote:

ronmcdonald wrote:
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.

You had an ABS failure a year and 3 months from new, well below average miles!?! And you bought another!

And they still claim that VWs are 'reliable'??

Too right. I know three VW owners wtth new Golfs and Jettas that had total brake failure inside a few months of the cars going on the road. All 4 VWs I have owned have been dreadfully unreliable. I'd take a lot of persuading to risk it again.

sirwiggum 12 December 2011

Re: Hyundai Veloster

ronmcdonald wrote:
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.

You had an ABS failure a year and 3 months from new, well below average miles!?! And you bought another!

And they still claim that VWs are 'reliable'??

bungletastic 12 December 2011

Re: Hyundai Veloster

Wow! Can't help but think that 'NIC' does'nt like Hyundai as a brand, let alone the Veloster as a product.

'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.'

How is this car a gimmick?

What i see here is an attractive, fuel efficient alternative to the other drab vehiclse on our roads today.

People keept banging on about power, torque etc but in this day of age, these things are not as impotant as they were five years ago.

For the majority of people who buy a car, fuel consumption and annual road fund licence are the most important factor of any purchase.

I personally LOVE this car, cannot wait to drive it and look forward to seeing it parked on my driveway.

Congratualtions to Hyundai for continuing to produce cars that buck the trend on conventional style, cars that are better 'spece'd', better priced and better warranty than the competition.

Find an Autocar car review