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)
By Candy on Wednesday, November 12, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 30,000overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "Great Looking, Tech Savy extras"
Cons: "Noisy OEM tires, rough shifting"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 7
"I bought this car new and have put all the miles on it myself. I loved the look of this car from the moment I first saw it. It has great style and I love the panorama roof. Despite all of my previous vehicles having leather seats, I did not miss them at all in the Veloster. Hyundai certainly has put alot of time and effort into interior styling, as the car has just about every bell and whistle possible. And the gas mileage has met my expectations for the most part. So why didn't I rate it a 10? Because like other reviewers I dislike the hesitation during exceleration from a complete stop. The only way to avoid it is to use the manual paddle shift. In automatic the car just has no get up and go, and the hesitation from 1st to 2nd is really bad. Also, the OEM tires (Kuhmo) were terrible. They wore out very quickly and were very noisy. I had to replace two before I had even 20,000 miles on the car....I'm a 56 year old women (not a teenager tearing up the road). And the minute I replaced the first 2 tires, I noticed a significant difference in noise level. Overall I have really enjoyed owning this car, although disappointed by the OEM tires and hesitation."
5 people out of 17 found this review helpful
By rearlbaker on Thursday, November 06, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 15,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Great value and a quality product"
Cons: "minimum rear seat head room"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I have been surprised...the car is quiet, fuel efficient, well designed...really uniqe...reasonably priced...and thus far a real pleasure to own and drive...Head room is minimum, especially for the occasional back seat passenger, but, access to the back seat is great...I really think it is a "sleeper" which has had some really questionable professional reviews. It is the same quality and reliability as other Hyundai products...and really a unique vehicle....I love mine...and it replaced a VW Beetle Convertibile...The top doen't go down, but the complete sun roof is great...and not as windy as a topless vehicle...Recommend that any one who wants a unique vehicle which is quiet, fun to drive, and amazingly fuel economic..with enough trunk space for a couple of people to travel for and extended period.....try a Veloster at an amzingly low price....and it does not need to be a Turbo...Mine is a 2013 standard...Quietest engine I have had in any car over the past 10 years."
7 people out of 13 found this review helpful
By Rick on Tuesday, November 04, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 36,800overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"The Veloster is a fun car but don't let its sporty looks let you think it is a fast car because it isn't. It has a small economy engine (hence my overall avg gas mileage of 32-33 mpg) with little acceleration power. But its a great looking car (I've received more compliments on this 1 car than all the previous cars I've owned combined and that has included an Acura, a Honda, 2 Toyotas, 2 Mazdas and a 1969 Olds Cutlass.) Many convenient features too."
3 people out of 5 found this review helpful
By Tech4life on Sunday, November 02, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 1,400overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Fun to drive and stylish"
Cons: "None so far"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I have not purchased a new car in over 20 years. When I saw the veloster pass me on the road, I knew that was my car. I purchased the Veloster base 6 speed. It is everything I thought it would be. Its fun, freeing and good on gas. This is not a car I would have purchase if my children were young, but since they are adults now this car is exactly for me. I am not a car person, but the Veloster has turned me into one. I want to frame a picture of it to have in my office!"
4 people out of 4 found this review helpful
By Mar Vista on Sunday, October 26, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 900overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Unique and fun"
Cons: "Turbo version is a must"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Remember the 1988 Hyundai Excel. Well, this is not that 80s Hyundai anymore. The company has evolved into a world class auto maker contender earning award winning designs and performances repeatedly. The Turbo version is a must for added hp but you need to know how to take advantages of those extras. It's a joy to drive a TGDI engine with Shiftronic and paddle shifters. Disregard all the negative reviews. Beautiful design inside and out. Tech savvy will love it. It's a smorgasbord of media connectivities. Hyundai paid very good attention to details on this car, even the license plate gets its own Veloster emblem, very well build and made as well with almost 30% discount in compare to other brands with similar 'luxury' items. Rear view camera is an awesome feature. The front grille looks very aggressive and the rear is so sexy with twin chrome exhaust Slalom is very smooth and agile. Great mpg too. Get one while it last, you'll love it."
9 people out of 14 found this review helpful
By fatback on Wednesday, October 22, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 21,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "alldone on regular fuel"
Cons: "oem tires stink"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"also a short shifter kit best bang and most fun you can have for under 25k started using premium fuel and its a little rocket"
5 people out of 10 found this review helpful