|Motorsportchannel.com recently got the Hyundai Veloster, courtesy of Hyundai-Sime Darby Motors. When the Hyundai Veloster arrived here in late 2012, the Coupe set an impression of a car with a 1+2 functional door layout and rather fluid aerodynamically-savvy contours all around. Its target market is generally young urbanites who prefer a car that’s out of the ordinary.|
The Hyundai’s Veloster’s front fascia features the signature hexagonal front grille with a short overhang and tapered bumper. Being a car for the young adventurous type, the two-place sculpted bonnet with black mesh air scoops and LED headlights are all part of its dynamic appeal. The car’s side profile include the panoramic sunroof, plus the “Fluidic Sculpture” character lines, protruding wheel arches, chrome door handles and wraparound lights.
From the rear, the glass hatch and dual-centered chrome exhaust tip give the Coupe a wide stance. Then there’s the high-mounted ‘wing-type’ LED combination lights and spoiler. Standard 17-inch wheels are fitted on the regular Veloster MT or AT, while 18-inch wheels are reserved for the Veloster Gamma AT Premium version.
Hyundai Veloster: From the inside
Interior-wise, the car highlights a center stack that resembles the Ford Fiesta’s center stack closest. The interior dashboard, layout and metallic trimmings all take up elements of motorcycle parts, as testified by Hyundai. Important interior highlights include six-speaker audio system (only the Premium version has added features like the Bluetooth connectivity and added speakers), a 7-inch LCD touch screen, switches on steering, kerbside door, a hidden hinged rear door, and interestlingly, the Blue Max application that simulates Eco-drive mode. In all, the Veloster is built rather sturdy on the inside, however the cabin’s feel was not perfect as wind and road noises were apparent during long journeys on the highway at speeds of 110 km/h and above. Our test unit had the signal stalk on the left and not on the right like most Japanese counterparts. Additionally, the customary keyless entry, push start and folding side mirrors were all there.
Powered by a 1.6-liter MPI D-CVVT/DOHC Gamma engine and 6-speed manual or automatic transmission, the Veloster has a peak output of 132 PS at 6,300 rpm and torque of 158Nm at 4,850 rpm. Our test unit was a manual 1.6 CVVT (chain driven not belt, hurrah) and had a gross weight of 1,170 kg, which is considered reasonably light. Our test car had the 6-speed gearbox which more than made up for its lack of engine capacity. Most manufacturers are trying to flatten out their torque at around 3500 rpm, but not for the Veloster. That’s where the six gear comes in. It’s an economic gear in our experience. The sixth is there to maximize fuel efficiency by allowing you to maintain cruising speed at a lower rpm. It’s not there to give you a higher top speed. The Veloster had no problems feasting on our local RON 95. Hyundai parts are also relative reasonable in the country, though the writer would assume the Veloster to still be a bit pricier, as it’s not really a regular variant. On average after testing the car to close to 1000 km, fuel consumption averaged at 14.5km per liter. This is around B- segment car level consumption, which is pretty very decent indeed.
Our writer denoted that the smaller engine on the Veloster was a major let down, albeit the the six speed gearbox and Coupe-like appearance. The Veloster handled decently thanks to the 17-inch rims and relatively light body structure, but the engine capacity couldn’t quite keep up to the bargain. The ‘key and lock’ 6-speed shifter with appropriate gear changes made it a luke warm hatch but not yet a hot hatch, according to the tester. Since you need to hit 4800+ rpm for maximum torque, shifting down two levels from your current gear, would launch this car into a sprint. So it was quick, but as we would say it’s no hot hot hatch, as the engine lacked the ‘oomph’ to match the need for speed.
The Veloster is equipped both front and rear with McPherson Struts which seems to be capable of stabilizing the car at high speed cornering. Our test unit gave quite a lot of tyre squeals on hard corners, but the wheels stayed planted to the roads. But one thing was obvious was that this was a light car, with chunky 215/45 R17 tyres, which helped give it additional traction and manoeuvrability. Overall, the Veloster was a fun drive as the test driver was able to shift fast through the gears to get maximum accelerations whenever needed. A turbo engine would definitely do the Coupe a lot of good!
There were a few occasions where the tester did brake the car from high speeds and felt that it began to pull to one side. At higher speed, this was a bit dangerous, like someone pulling or jerking your steering at speeds of 130 km/h and above. The anomalies were due to these reasons stipulated by the writer; the Veloster brakes were uneven or possibly a weight distribution issue from the car’s 1+2 configuration with a third door at the rear. The Veloster clocked just 15,000 km when the writer got the car.
On a positive note, the Hyundai Veloster is an un-expensive and relatively reliable hatchback if proper maintenance schedules are followed. Further, Hyundai has managed to increase market shares everywhere in the world, thanks to its proven corporate mission and attested reliability when it comes to producing cars. The Veloster might not be the Korean marque’s crowning glory but overall they have made a mark in the industry with the Sonata and Santa Fe variants.
Apart from the braking issue mentioned above, the Veloster has these pertinent safety features to compensate: all round disc brakes, driver and passenger airbags, ABS, and for the auto version, Electronic Stability Program (ESP), Vehicle Stability Management (VSM) and Hill Assist Control (HAC).
Hyundai Veloster, Price and Availability
The Hyundai Veloster is offered in six colors, Green Apple, Sleek Silver, Sonic Silver, Veloster Red, Vitamin C and White Crystal at these prices: the Veloster Gamma 1.6 M/T RM116,901, Veloster Gamma 1.6 A/T RM121, 901 and the Veloster Gamma 1.6 A/T Premium RM132, 90` OTR, all on-the-road with insurance including 5-year or 300,000-km warranty.