2019 Hyundai Veloster Turbo Review with video
-Base Price: $20,999 Cdn + taxes and fees
-As test price: $28,999 Cdn + taxes and fees
-Average fuel economy over one week of testing: 9.4L/100km (Sport mode, mostly)
-Competitors: Volkswagon GTI, Ford Focus ST, Honda Civic Si
Hyundai Launched the Veloster in 2011, and the reaction was a bit…. mixed. I know among my circle of friends people were excited about the idea of a potential new hatch entering the market, but what we ended up getting in the first gen Veloster was a bit lack luster. Some people loved it, no doubt, and the concept was certainly unique, but it definitely didn’t light everyone’s fire. Fast forward to 2019 and Hyundai have now released the 2nd gen of the Veloster, and the impressions are improved, and with the introduction of the high performance, buzz worthy Veloster N, the car has gained much credit from the driving enthusiast community. Now, unfortunately this model that we have is NOT that 275 Horsepowered N version of the car,
but also not the mild mannered base Veloster that puts out 147 Horses, This is the right in the middle, Veloster Turbo that gives a nice, driveable, sporty, 201 Horses, and 195 pound feet of torque. It’s available with a 7 speed dual clutch transmission, or in our case, a 6 speed manual, which if you ask me, is the way to go. The clutch does feel a little long, and the throw’s of the stick aren’t as tight as I wish they’d be, but it’s still really fun to drive. It has two drive modes, normal and sport, and the when you hit the button you get a nice little kick from it. It makes the car seem a bit snappier. Normal mode feels a bit more subdued and maybe a bit more comfortable for daily driving. This model, the turbo, get’s some perks that the base model doesn’t like LED headlights, a proximity key, and the option to upgrade to performance oriented tires. You can also upgrade to the Turbo Tech Package, which gets you Infinity speakers (they sound great) an 8 inch touchscreen instead of the standard 7 inch, rain sensing wipers, and a heads up display. For me, the sound system is worth it, the rest I could do without. The base model Veloster starts at just $20,999 Canadian, this guy that we’re driving, comes in at $28,899 Canadian before taxes and fees, and the Veloster N starts at $34,999. Hyundai are saying to expect 7.8L/100Km/h here, but in our real world test, we averaged a bit more at 9.4 L/ 100Km/h, but I’ll admit that the sport button was on more often than not.
Back to how the Veloster looks for a second…. As I mentioned before, I think it’s much improved over the previous generation’s model. It’s still a bit quirky, but the car is sleeker and less in your face with it’s styling, while still maintaining it’s individuality. I like the big front grill, and the stance of the car, love the black rims, and the exhaust tips coming out the center of the rear end, and all the little red accents that the turbo model gets are a nice hint at the performance that’s hidden in the car without being too over the top. It wasn’t an immediate love the first time I laid eyes on, but it’s definitely grown on me.
The red accented theme from the outside continues into the interior, where things are basically on par with what you’d expect. It comes across as pragmatic with a touch of cool. Like the exterior, the red accents tip you off that the car is a somewhat suped up, but not at the cost of practicality. The amount of storage and layout of the console is fine, you don’t get a tonne of room, but it’s a little car. In the back we get this center console between the seats instead of a 5th seat belt. It’s a fine idea, but I’m not sure how practical it is, especially when you’re considering how it would work with kids. If you only have one or two, it does make sense. Driving position feels great and I found it easy to find my place in the car despite the seat being 100% manually adjustable.
Everything you need from here is nicely within reach. The gauge readouts are clean and sporty, but also straightforward and simple. Nothing confusing or difficult to navigate here. Controls for seat and steering wheels heaters are right where they should, as was the start button, and thank you Hyundai for the hand brake! Sunroof, not huge, but I’m glad it’s there, and one thing that stuck out to me, it’s so funny to reach for your window controls in the drivers door and find three switches instead of 2 or 4. Not a big deal either way, and obvious why it’s like that, the car has 3 doors, but it’s just one of those things that made me go “Oh yeah…” everytime I used it. In our decibel test, the Veloster came in at 65 Decibels at 100Km/h on Dry Roads.
Infotainment system is great, Apple carplay and Android Auto are standard, and the button layout works really well here. this is an area that Hyundai have really done well in. I’ve driven quite a few other cars of theirs, and the system is well laid out and practical, and just works. The touchscreen is responsive, but I find that I barely ever use it because all of the buttons are so easy to reach and use. Bluetooth connectivity here was great, never had any issues with it dropping out, and the call quality was good. I also LOVE the wireless charging pad, a big convenience item here. Its one of those things that I didn’t really think I’d care about until I used one. Wireless charging in your car is awesome. I also really like how the home screen shows you two things at once, both navigation and entertainment, for example, and the steering wheel controls are well laid out and useable. All around this an area where Hyundai excels. Nothing too flashy, just good looking, well working, and reliable stuff.
Standardized rear facing car seat, as you might expect, it’s a small car so not huge, 29 inches from the back of the front passenger seat to the glovebox, So not bad for the size of car, but I’d hesitate to put any full sized adults back here for too long. Kids maybe, but the space makes most sense for occasional short to mid length trips. Standardized trunk test, it’s actually pretty decent, The trunk is quite deep, and everything fit relatively well and easy in here, and we were still manage to keep this privacy cover intact when closing the hatch. Take this out and you get even more space. The rear seats are also 60/40 split folding, so you have some flexibiliy there should you find yourself wanting to move anything a little bigger.
And all of this of course bring us to the real clincher here for me. The 3 doors. When I was showing the car to people over the week, even though its been on the market for nearly a decade, people were surprised to see this. I feel like it’s a statement thing, but in reality, it’s more frustrating than anything else. Like, I would put my daughter Sloan in the car seat on the passenger side, and then go around to put something on the driver side and just get frustrated that there isn’t a door there. Yes, you could slide the drivers seat forward, but if I wanted to do that I’d be looking at an actual 2 door. As well, putting passengers in through here would mean that need to slide across this plastic console, which doesn’t seem like the easiest or most convenient thing to do. Again, maybe fine for kids, but I wouldn’t ask any adults to do it. The whole thing feels like a compromise that just doesn’t really work. I’d love for Hyundai to turn the Veloster into a true GTI or Focus ST competitor, with 4 doors and a little more power. Now, there’s the Elantra GT, it has the same power as this car, and gets the 4 doors, but give me that with engine from the Veloster N, and now we’re talking. For the record, this car exists, it’s called the i30N, but only in Europe. Hyundai, please bring it here.
So all in all, its a decent little car. Cheap to own and run, reliable, and lots of fun to drive. I think it would be a stretch to own one for a large family, andI think I’d find myself getting furstrated at the door situation more often than not. That said, if it was a 2nd car for my family, and most of the time it was just me driving it, commuting or whatever, and perhaps took passengers on the odd occasion, it could work, and the bonus there is that you’d love your drive to work almost everyday. Like I said, the fun factor here is really high. Imaging that N version with the extra 75 horses gets me excited, and driving it might just put me over the top. If you’re looking at the Veloster, This one is fun, but I’d want to know what that extra power feels like, just to be sure.
Family Wheels report card:
Family Wheels driver comfort score: 3/5
Family Wheels interior layout score: 3/5
Family Wheels infotainment system score: 4/5
Family Wheels interior noise score: 3/5 (65 dB at 100 kms/h)
Family Wheels performance score: 3.5/5
Family Wheels rear passenger score: 2.5/5
Family Wheels trunk score: 3.5/5
Family Wheels fuel economy score: 3.5/5
Family Wheels build quality score: 3.5/5
Family Wheels value score: 4/5
Family Wheels overall score: 33.5/50= 67%