By Keith Buglewicz
The 2015 Hyundai Veloster offers up the looks of a 2-door with the practicality of a 4-door. It pulls this off by literally offering both. The driver's side features a single long door, while the passenger's side has two smaller ones to let rear-seat passengers get in and out more easily. The good news is that this asymmetrical design doesn't make the Veloster look odd, in fact, its sporty hatchback shape is eye-grabbing for all the right reasons. It can back up its sporty looks, too, thanks to an available 201-horsepower turbocharged 4-cylinder engine. Best of all, the Veloster offers up plenty of features, style, fuel economy and performance at a price that seriously undercuts competitors like the Volkswagen Golf or Subaru WRX.
The 2015 Hyundai Veloster targets sporty-minded buyers on a limited budget. If you have about $25,000 to spend, but don't want the same humdrum compacts you see coming and going, the slick looking Veloster could be the ticket.
After the introduction of a turbocharged model and the sharp-looking RE:FLEX model, the Veloster carries over with only a handful of changes. Automatic climate control is now part of the Technology package, and the Style package adds 18-inch wheels.
Driving Impressions The 2015 Hyundai Veloster comes in two versions. First is the base model Veloster, which offers up a comfortable ride, very good fuel economy, and a low price, all wrapped...... in a sporty body. While fun-looking, the meager acceleration from the engine doesn't quite meet the expectations of the styling, nor does the handling. However, if you're looking for more of both, there's the Veloster Turbo. With a 201-horsepower turbocharged 4-cylinder engine connected to an available 6-speed manual transmission, the Turbo definitely ups the sporting ante. While not quite as much fun to drive as a Volkswagen GTI or Ford Focus ST, the Veloster Turbo holds its own, and does so at a price that undercuts those two by thousands. If shifting your own isn't your thing, there's a solid dual-clutch 6-speed automatic available. While we like the Veloster, we can't ignore shortcomings like the cramped interior and poor rearward visibility.
The Veloster could've been all show and no go, which makes us appreciate the available turbocharged engine that much more. While definitely turning the Veloster R-Spec and Turbo into a GTI chaser, the added power doesn't come at the expense of fuel economy.
The Veloster boasts an interior that manages to pack in a lot of features while still being easy to use. The controls are simple to use and easy to reach, with minimal touch-screen operations limited mostly to the navigation and audio functions.
The Veloster's interior is as tasteful as it is high-tech. The 7-inch touch screen is the audio and, if so equipped, navigation command center. Up front are comfortable seats for average sized adults, although a tall driver will be short on headroom. That goes double for the cramped back seats, which are clearly meant for occasional use. Cargo space behind the rear seats is fine, and they fold down for even more. The Veloster RE:FLEX adds touches like piano-black accents and leather seats, making it the only non-Turbo Veloster available with leather. Turbos get red accents and R-Spec badges inside.Exterior
The 2015 Hyundai Veloster stands out from the crowd thanks to its long and low profile, large wheel arches and a sloping roof. Turbo versions pump up the visual volume with a huge grille, standard fog lights, available red exterior accents, and larger twin tailpipes. The RE:FLEX model splits the difference, offering many of the Turbo's style touches, like LED accents in the headlights. However, all Veloster models share the most defining feature of this sporty hatchback, namely that passenger-side extra door. An available matte-gray paint requires buyers to sign a waiver explaining its special care, including hand washing.
Like most Hyundais, the 2015 Veloster comes nicely equipped. There's the 7-inch multimedia touch screen that includes a rearview monitor, a 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, parents looking to spoil their kids with a new car will be happy to know the Veloster can alert them if the car goes beyond a certain speed or designated perimeter. A 6-month trial is included, with a subscription offered thereafter.
Options for the 2015 Veloster get bundled into Style and Technology packages. However, to get Technology you also have to get Style. The Style package adds a panoramic sunroof, 450-watt 8-speaker audio system and leatherette surfaces. To that, the Technology package adds a navigation system, proximity key and push-button start, backup warning sensors, automatic headlights, automatic climate control, and a convenient 115-volt outlet to power electronics. The RE:FLEX model adds many of the Style package elements, such as piano-black interior accents, plus leather seats. Veloster Turbo models offer just an Ultimate Package, bundling the sunroof, climate control and navigation.
The standard 2015 Hyundai Veloster and the RE:FLEX model come with a 1.6-liter 4-cylinder engine with 138 horsepower. You won't win many races with this engine, although there is a bit of a surge in power at higher revs. However, if you're trying to stretch the time between visits to the pump, this little engine is just the ticket. If you want something to back up the Veloster's sporty looks, you'll definitely want the Turbo. With its twin-scroll turbocharged version of the same 1.6-liter 4-cylinder, the 201 horsepower is plenty powerful 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)
2015 Hyundai Veloster prices are very reasonable. The base Veloster starts at $18,700, including destination, when you get the manual transmission. The 6-speed automatic adds $1,250. The RE:FLEX comes only with the automatic and starts at $22,600, while the Veloster R-Spec is the cheapest way to get a turbo at $22,300, or you can go with the Veloster Turbo for $23,300 – add $1,000 for the automatic transmission here. The Veloster's prices compare favorably with competitors like the Volkswagen Golf, GTI and Beetle, Honda CR-Z, Mini Cooper and Scion tC, undercutting them 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 2015 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.