2014 Hyundai Veloster Expert Review
By KBB.com Editors
What's New for 2014
The 2014 Hyundai Veloster is a sleek coupe-like compact with a barely visible third door on its right-hand side. This unique feature allows easier entry and exit by rear-seat passengers without creating the family-sedan look imparted by many 4-doors. While the base car isn't what we'd call quick, the turbocharged model punches performance into the hot-hatchback league, turning the Veloster into an entirely different animal. However, unlike the Volkswagen GTI or Subaru WRX, the Veloster keeps its price tag well within reason, leaving the showroom floor fully loaded for just over $26,000. Best of all, the Veloster comes with a bounty of standard equipment, and it's EPA fuel-economy figures are more in line with a frugal econobox than a sporty head-turner.
You'll Like This Car If...
If your budget is limited to around $25K, but you want something smart, stylish and totally unique, the 2014 Hyundai Veloster delivers it in an affordable, fun and fuel-efficient package. You can even get a slick 6-speed manual transmission – an increasingly rare feature these days.
You May Not Like This Car If...
Despite its clever third door, those who regularly ferry passengers or pets won't find the Veloster a very easy car to live with. The rear seats are cramped and the cargo bay isn't very big. If you need room, sport and a vehicle with a bit more polish inside, the VW GTI or Ford Focus ST make better choices.
A new Turbo R-Spec trim is added. The R-Spec brings unique visual elements, a B&M short-throw shifter, red leatherette bolstered cloth seating, enhanced suspension and steering tuning, and the lowest price point in the Turbo lineup. New features for the Veloster Turbo include torque vectoring and Active Sound Design in-cabin sound enhancement, while automatic climate control is added to the options list. The base Veloster gains a rearview camera, a driver's blind-spot mirror and daytime running lights.
Driving the Veloster
In the 2014 Hyundai Veloster, we find a car with a decidedly split personality. Opt for the base model, and you'll get a comfortable ride, tepid acceleration, great fuel economy,...
... and an incredibly low price. Spend a bit more for the Turbo and you get a car that loves to sprint, tackles turns without complaint and still manages descent EPA fuel economy ratings. Usually, a front-drive car with 201 horsepower would suffer from some sort of torque steer, but happily, none is present in the Veloster. We love that Hyundai offers a short-throw 6-speed manual transmission on both trims, although we know a majority of drivers will opt for the excellent automatic with manual shift control and a Sport mode for swifter acceleration. Though we truly like this car it does have some weak spots, namely a cramped interior and a large blind spot created by the horizontal beam bisecting the rear hatch.
The Veloster's twin-scroll turbocharged engine turns this simple commuter car into a GTI chaser for sure. More impressive is that the added power doesn't come at the expense of fuel economy.
The Veloster's interior design shows a sense of intelligence sometimes lacking in other cars. Controls are simple to use and easy to reach, with minimal touch-screen operations limited mostly to the navigation and audio functions.
2014 Hyundai Veloster Details
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.
With a long and low profile, large wheel arches and a sloping roof, the 2014 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.
2014 Veloster models are well-equipped, with a 7-inch multimedia touch screen, rearview monitor, 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 2014 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, proximity key and push-button start, 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 automatic climate control, a panoramic sunroof, navigation and other features.
Under the Hood
Standard 2014 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,
132 horsepower with automatic transmission
123 lb-ft of torque @ 4,850 rpm
120 lb-ft of torque with automatic transmission
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 26/35 mpg (manual), 28/36 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: 24/33 mpg (manual), 24/31 mpg (automatic)
The Hyundai Veloster offers a lot for the money. A base version with manual transmission is just over $18,600 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 2014 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 2014 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.
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Hyundai Veloster vehicles for sale near you.