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 jnlasvegas (NV) on Tuesday, March 19, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 4,855overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Needed a car with a rear seat for my son, but didn't want a regular four door car. Also needed good gas mileage since I drive about 30 miles each direction to work everyday."
2 people out of 2 found this review helpful
By kickback2 (CA) on Thursday, March 14, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 11,400overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Great on gas, looks awesome, fun to drive."
Cons: "Blind spots(2) of them I found."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"I was just looking into buying a car. I was of course on a budget and didnt want to spend a lot of money. My last car I replaced this car with was a Honda Civic 98. I bought that car brand new and still have it. So much for replacement, Oh well I still drive this car plus my g/f drives the car more then me. Now I did test out many cars I liked I am kind of basis I didnt test any American cars. My thoughts and impressions of my new ride. 1. The power of the car 138hp my civic got 106hp works for me plus dont need my g/f speeding anyways. 2. The clock on the radio sometimes dont say the correct time is that a big deal no I have a watch and a smart phone. 3. Not a gas hog, plus its a fun car to zig zag around town. Always gets attention chick magnet, but I have a g/f still a plus nice to talk to people and get their feedback. 4. The 2 blind spots for me are: making a left turn the outside mirror is in my way to look at the crosswalk. when backing up and looking on the side passenger view. Fixes for my problems were. Get little side mirrors on my mirrors itself HELPS SO MUCH with those side blind spots. And I did get a long BROADWAY MIRROR for the inside mirror. That little window in the back seemed so small. But that was a fixed now I see 100% better. Overall: I knew about some of the things since I research like no tommrrow on utube and test driving this car. I read people complain about power and gas mileage. All I can say you was a idiot for buying this car if that was important to you. Do your research to plunk down any kind of money know what your getting. I havent had any problems major with these car. I love it and I glad I bought it. Features too many to list but my favs are: lcd screen, alloys rims, and just the style of the car its just awesome to look at it. Upgrades in the future would be: exhuast, air intake, car speakers with small 8 inch tube sub with 2 ch amp. The only thing I wish it did have but I couldnt afford was the sunroof. But then again comes with other things I didnt want anyways there was no options to have one or the other."
1 person out of 3 found this review helpful
By MrPamuk (GA) on Friday, March 08, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 10,000overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "Tech value, space, looks, 10/100000 warranty"
Cons: "acceleration in drive, some shoddy interior parts"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 7
"First the negatives. The biggest complaint I have about this car is acceleration in drive. A lot of hesitation when you punch it. If you have been looking at this car at all, this is no surprise. Also, you will not get 40 mpg hwy unless you drive it 55 on flat roads all the time. And if you like having fun driving like I do, you won't even come close. I deal with the acceleration problem by using the dual clutch shifters. Once you get the hang of it you have plenty of power and you can rev this car to 5K without seeming to stress it. I would recommend manual shift but I have a wife, so.... that's why I got auto. One other thing, the steering wheel started peeling after about 5000 miles. Hyundai replaced but jeez. I've only put 10K miles on it, but there may be some suspect workmanship here and there. Should all be covered though. The positives: You get a lot of good technology for the money. I am going to let BlueLink lapse because I never use/need it. But my entertainment options are almost unlimited and I love handsfree phone. I love the way the car looks, inside and out. I love how much space it has for the size. The trunk will hold two golf bags and a weeks worth of groceries without a problem. I rarely have to put down the back seats. I have three kids and it's ideal for getting them around especially with the third door (which I also love), and I took 3 adult friends to a football game last fall and we were comfortable for two hours each way. One of them fell asleep in back on the way home. This is my favorite car since my 81 Honda Wagon. Hyundai to me are what Honda used to be."
6 people out of 7 found this review helpful
By firehouse713 (TX) on Thursday, March 07, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 5,250overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Sporty, great interior, fit and finish."
Cons: "Suspension is a bit harsh, no spare tire."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I have a 2012 Veloster and, its absolutely amazing. I am averaging about 30 MPGs. I've not had one issues with it. I gets alot of attention from others. Everyone wants to know who makes it? Love the interior design and, the red interior really stands out with the white exterior. I never thought I would buy a Hyundai but, with all the strides this company has made it makes perfect sense. I believe Hyundai is making some really great cars and, this is definitely one of them."
By bschooled (IA) on Tuesday, March 05, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 12,000overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "Great power, very tech oriented, great value"
Cons: "Spotty handling, Electric Steering"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"I own the Turbo with the 6 speed Auto (Conventional Auto not the Dual Clutch model in the NA Veloster). Have driven it all over the eastern U.S. in the 5 months. Overview: The turbo model is quite spritely, and honestly the Auto is better than the manual. I drove both, the manual combined with the ECU oriented drivetrain design introduces painful amounts of turbo lag. But the Auto is great especially in sport mode or using the manual shift function is great and keeps the car always in its ideal power band. I chose this over the Genesis Coupe because it has a ton more useable space, and was cheaper with more standard features, and has pretty good gas mileage for its power. Things I love: The quirky design, its unique and gets lots of questions. The turbo motor makes a pretty nice sound under load, and has very useful torque band for day-to-day driving. The ridiculously good standard features on the turbo model, the sound system is amazing, I love the Pandora app and the streaming bluetooth audio. The hand's-free and voice control works pretty good. Of all the infotainment systems I've seen in cars this is amongst the most user friendly. On smooth roads the car is glued to the road, I take corners at 3 times the speed other people do, not smooth roads (see thoughts below). The blue features are pretty cool (I use the remote start from my phone all the time), the fact I never have to take the key out of my pocket, I can walk up to the car and press the button on the handle to unlock, get in the car and push the push start, its awesome! Things that need improved: Some of the buttons and stalk stuff seem awkwardly placed. The ride can be rougher than it needs to be (Hard ride is not necessary for sporty handling). The electric steering doesn't always seem to know what its doing and seems to get confused when in a hard turn and then having to suddenly slow down. Things I don't like: The rear suspension needs some serious tweaking, everything is great as long as the road is smooth, but if you hit an expansion joint at the right angle in a turn the rear end will step out which is jarring and not confidence inspiring to say the least. The interior is getting pretty rattly especially in the dash, a combination of a stiff suspension and not the greatest chassis contribute to this. The visibility is poor (I knew this buying it), but for such a small car it has some huge blind spots. I am hoping to fix the suspension and add some chassis bracing to make the car near perfect! Bottome Line: I think this is a pretty solid start for Hyundai into the Hot Hatch market. They have made amazing strides in the last few years, I think them and Kia are the Toyota of the 90's in the 201X's. For it's value and standard equipment it's hard to find a comparable model."
8 people out of 10 found this review helpful
By Buffalo V (NY) on Wednesday, February 20, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 18,900overall rating 7 of 10rating details
Pros: "Low cost, good warranty"
Cons: "has it bugs"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 5
"I bought the car new at end of 2011, since then I have had multiple issues with the car (e-brake, steering wheel leather, rust, molding, and a few other minor electronic issues). All of the issues have been taken care of by my dealer, make sure you find a good dealer if you get this car. Also, the issues typically only happen once in awhile, so I video tape it with my phone if I am having a problem to prove it to the dealer, they don't argue, but it does help them if they can't get the issue to reoccur. Overall I like the car, good fuel mileage if you are easy on the gas pedal (35-38 mpg hwy, 28-32 city)"
5 people out of 5 found this review helpful