By KBB.com Editors - Updated Date: 7/9/2012
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.You'll Like This Car If...
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.You May Not Like This Car If...
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.What's New for 2013
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 It 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.Favorite Features
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.Notable Standard Equipment
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.Notable Optional Equipment
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.Under the Hood
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.