By KBB.com Editors
The Hyundai Veloster is a highly-styled hatchback with a unique third door on the right rear side. Its looks and name seem to imply velocity, but the debut model with a small 4-cylinder engine didn't have the power that some drivers craved. The 2013 Hyundai Veloster solves this with the addition of a turbocharged version that packs significantly more punch. In either form the Veloster is surprisingly fuel-efficient, being EPA highway-rated at up to 37 mpg in non-turbo form and up to 35 mpg with the Turbo. A modest starting price and generous warranty give further appeal to the Veloster, but its 4-person limit and awkward rear-seat access may turn off some buyers.
If you want a small car that's huge on style and fun to drive, yet also fuel-efficient and won't cost a fortune to buy, the Veloster should be on your short list. In Turbo form, the car has the power to back up its looks.
If you need to carry more than three other people or regularly plan to put passengers in the rear, the Veloster's seating can pose a challenge. In regards to style, the Veloster's character is young and hip, compared to the more sophisticated and polished nature of the Volkswagen Golf or GTI.
2013 marks the introduction of the Hyundai Veloster Turbo, a more powerful version of the Veloster, which remains in naturally-aspirated form. In addition to the souped-up engine, the Veloster Turbo features unique front and rear styling, bigger wheels and more standard features, including leather seats. Hyundai's first use of a matte gray paint will also see its debut on the Veloster Turbo.
Driving Impressions Driving a Veloster is like a tale of two cars, depending upon which engine is under the hood. In standard versions, the car's acceleration and passing power are just adequate....The Veloster Turbo, on the other hand, is a real hoot. And, even with 201 horsepower from its little 4-cylinder engine going to the front wheels, torque steer is not a problem. Both versions of the car are rewarding to drive when equipped with the short-throw, easy-to-shift 6-speed manual transmission. The majority of buyers who opt for the automatic will be treated to smooth shifts, and Turbo versions with that transmission benefit from the addition of a Sport mode for swifter acceleration. The Veloster holds its own on twisty roads, and its suspension is even good enough to keep the car composed on an autocross course. The Veloster is a capable partner on highways, though it might feel cramped for larger drivers on extended trips. When it comes time to stop, the Veloster's standard 4-wheel discs do the job admirably, with the Turbo version receiving slightly larger hardware. The Veloster's rear visibility is impeded by a blind spot over the right shoulder and a horizontal beam bisecting the rear hatch.
The sophisticated twin-scroll turbocharger is just what the Veloster needed to be a truly hot hatch. The icing on the cake is that the extra power doesn't penalize when it comes to fuel economy.
Nothing can be more aggravating than having to navigate multiple screens to make a car's interior cold quickly or tune in a radio broadcast. With the Veloster's easy-to-reach and highly-discernible button layout, you'll have none of that stress.
Techy but tasteful are the operative words here. At front and center in the cabin is a standard 7-inch touch screen that acts as the command center for all things audio or, if so optioned, the easy-to-read navigation system. The front seats offer good comfort and support for this class, but taller passengers will likely find the two back seats cramped. With 15.5 feet of space, the rear cargo area can easily swallow luggage, and the back seats fold to accommodate larger items. Turbo versions receive unique accents and leather seating, with the driver's seat featuring lumbar support.Exterior
With a long and low profile, large wheel arches and a sloping roof, the 2013 Hyundai Veloster stands out from the automotive crowd. Both versions have twin tailpipes, but those on the Veloster Turbo are larger and circular. The more potent Turbo is further differentiated by a gaping trapezoidal grille opening, foglights and ground effects. Naturally-aspirated versions ride on 17-inch wheels and Veloster Turbos have 18-inch alloys with chrome inserts. Perhaps the Veloster's most defining feature is its third door, on the right rear for access to the rear seating area. Buyers who opt for the $1,000 Matte Gray must sign a disclosure basically saying it requires extra care, including hand-washing.
2013 Veloster models are well-equipped, with a 7-inch multimedia touchscreen, cabin air filter, 6-way driver seat with height adjustment and Internet radio-ready AM/FM/satellite/CD system with 196 watts and six speakers. Hyundai's Blue Link telematics system offers access service and infotainment features, and can alert an owner if whoever is driving goes beyond a certain speed or designated perimeter. A 6-month trial is included, with a subscription offered thereafter.
Major options for the 2013 Veloster are bundled into two packages: Style and Tech, each costing around $2,000. And, it must be noted, to get the Tech Package you also must purchase the Style option. The Style Package adds a panoramic sunroof, 450-watt 8-speaker audio system and leatherette surfaces. The Tech Package includes a navigation system with rearview camera, backup warning sensors, automatic headlights and a convenient 115-volt outlet to power electronics. The well-equipped Veloster Turbo models are offered with just one available option group, the $2,500 Ultimate Package, which adds a panoramic sunroof, navigation and other features.
Standard 2013 Velosters have a 1.6-liter 4-cylinder engine that puts out 138 horsepower. With this engine, the revs need to be held higher to keep the power at an adequate level for spirited driving or passing. Much more satisfying in this car is the twin-scroll turbocharged version; while the displacement is the same, that small engine is able to churn out 201 horsepower, more than enough to move the lightweight Veloster with enthusiastic quickness.
1.6-liter inline 4
138 horsepower @ 6,300 rpm
123 lb-ft of torque @ 4,850 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 27/37 mpg (manual), 28/37 mpg (automatic)
Hyundai Veloster Turbo
1.6-liter turbocharged inline-4
201 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
195 lb-ft of torque @ 1,750-4,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 24/35 mpg (manual), 24/31 mpg (automatic)
The Hyundai Veloster offers a lot for the money. A base version with manual transmission is just over $18,000 with destination; the Veloster Turbo is about $4,500 more, but includes many more standard features. Adding an automatic transmission to either is about $1,000. Load up a Veloster Turbo with the Ultimate Package and the price comes in around $26,000. The 2013 Veloster and Veloster Turbo undercut competitors such as the Volkswagen Golf, GTI and Beetle, Honda CR-Z, Nissan Juke, Mini Cooper and Scion tC by hundreds or even thousands of dollars. Be sure and check the Kelley Blue Book Fair Purchase Price to see what others in your area are paying for the 2013 Hyundai Veloster. Resale values for the Veloster are expected to be good over a 5-year period, but not as high those for a Mini Cooper.
By Silveraptor (MD) on Wednesday, November 20, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 15,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Style, dual-clutch trans, gas mileage, 3-doors"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"15,000 miles/One year old. No problems - not one. One reviewer has rattles, mine is tight, no rattles, squeaks, etc. The dual-clutch is a manual auto-shift trans. It is not a normal slush-box, it feels different, i love it. Rain when opening the hatch? No problems with that. No blown speakers (stop turning the volume to 200 and they wont blow, it's not a Led Zepplin concert). Also, easily get 40mpg on freeways using the eco-button, AND the car is not slow. No problems merging on freeways, etc. It is not a drag-racer, it's a daily-driver geared toward fuel economy. Maybe I just got lucky and got a real good one, but in summary, this car has been perfect. I have no regrets and LOVE THIS CAR. 2013 Ironman Silver."
3 people out of 4 found this review helpful
By Brady (FL) on Tuesday, November 12, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 10,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "fuel efficient, fun, mean look"
Cons: "small rear head room"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Best car I have ever owned. The style package is perfect and it brought everything I wanted in the car. the transmission is smooth and its a fun car."
1 person out of 2 found this review helpful
By kris (PA) on Saturday, November 09, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 16,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "great gas mileage smooth handling sporty look"
Cons: "wish it had a little more horsepower"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"i get complements all the time on this car all the time . its fits my eclectic personality to a tee. this car gets great gas mileage and has a really comfortable ride and interior. mine is boston red with red leather interior and it has the tech and style packages. i hope to have this car for a long time. i would recommend the veloster to anyone that likes a sporty looking and smaller vehicle."
By RMillen141 (CT) on Monday, October 07, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 1,560overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Brilliant interior amenities and great power"
Cons: "small, unmportant imperfections in quality"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"So, here's the deal. You're probably not going to see too many of these cars on the road or in driveways because, lets face it, the three door design isn't really catching on to the traditional car buyers. But they are depriving themselves of a stylish, sensible, and reliable car that loves to get up and go. I was lucky enough to pick up an "ultra black" Veloster Turbo without the ultimate package (simply because I would lose the deal if I had to get one shipped in) for 19 grand and some change. I got behind the wheel and I fell in love with it instantly. I'm a 19 year old auto school graduate who loves going fast, so you can tell why I gravitated toward the turbo model. The steering is astounding because it has a smooth, luxurious feel to it without sacrificing responsiveness and accuracy. The ride was also a huge selling point for me. It feels as if you are riding on glass when sitting in the front OR the back. Hyundai has kept the body roll to a minimum while reducing the chances of understeer as much as possible in a front wheel drive. If you haven't already done your research, the interior electronics are as easy as they are advanced. The huge touchscreen is beautiful and precise. Its just like using an ipad, just without the glass. And the sound system?... I can't even describe it. Its unbelievable. It will definitely have to be heard first hand to understand my loss for words. My only two issues with the car are minor. 1. The headliner is a tad thin, when you press on it, it pops in and out quite noticeably. It's not really a big deal, just an observation I've made. 2. The front lip of the grille is kind of floppy. Its definitely secure, but it has a bit of a cheap feel to it. I may do something to fix this myself, but I do ask for Hyundai's attention on this. All in all, it is a truly brilliant car. Another visual and practical masterpiece from Hyundai. I really hope that everyone who is in the market looking for a hot hatchback will give the Veloster Turbo a try. You will NOT be disappointed. I know I wasn't."
9 people out of 10 found this review helpful
By alex (CA) on Tuesday, September 17, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 29,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"had this baby for almost 2 years and absolutely love it! the best car ever had in this class, great for a city and just enough power on the freeway. lots of room on the back and my bicycle fits, 2 surfboards etc."
12 people out of 13 found this review helpful
By XDriver (TX) on Thursday, September 05, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 20,000overall rating 1 of 10rating details
Pros: "There is nothing positive I can say about this car"
Cons: "The entire vehicle is a con"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"I purchased my 2013 Veloster with the style package in November of 2012. The test drive and first few months were great. The audio system sounded amazing, the ride was firm and sporty. Overall, I was happy. Then the problems came, specifically the rattling. They Veloster is so poorly manufactured, it's disheartening. The interior is made with such cheap plastic. I've experienced rattles in the over head area above the visors, both have been worked on by the dealer, but have returned. Both the driver side and passenger side doors constantly rattle. The center console it constantly creaking when driving, or resting my elbow on it. When it is hot outside, even more creaking and rattling can be heard throughout the car when driving. I'm assuming it's the transmission, but there are so many annoying sounds that come from underneath the car when driving. It just sounds like this car is going to fall apart at any moment. The DCT transmission gets very annoying to drive after a while. I have had four speakers replaced. The driver side woofer, one of the rear woofers, and twice for the passenger side woofer. If you look for speaker problems for the Veloster on forums, you will find a lot of people who have experienced problems. I have had fuel pump issues. I have had air conditioner issues. I have had stereo issues. Specifically, well, the speakers keep blowing out, the head unit freezes up often and has to be reset, the tweeters randomly work and not work. The bluetooth music streaming with any app, ios or android, is absolutely terrible quality. It sounds like mp3s ripped at 32 kbps. Horrible, useless. I have had my car in for repairs four times in the past few months, totaling to about a month and half. I dread the day my warranty expires. Hyundai may have revamped their image and advertising, and may be producing better designed cars, but the quality is terrible. If you are looking to purchase a Hyundai, do a lot of research. The best advice I can offer is to just stay away from Hyundai, and consider other brands. I wish I had never purchased this vehicle, and every day I drive with regret."
28 people out of 35 found this review helpful