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2012 Hyundai Veloster

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2012 Hyundai Veloster Review

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KBB Expert Rating: 7.0

In simplest terms the all-new 2012 Hyundai Veloster is a modestly-priced hatchback with an unusual asymmetrical door arrangement, but in Hyundai's eyes, the Veloster is much more. Hyundai views the Veloster as something of a halo car, albeit at the bottom end of the pricing spectrum. That might sound like a lofty view of what is essentially a restyled Elantra, but having driven the 2012 Veloster and seen the public react to it, we think Hyundai might be onto something with all this halo talk. While less powerful than most of its hatchback competitors, the Hyundai Veloster's accessible price, unusual but practical design, excellent fuel economy and utterly unique styling should make it a welcome addition to the compact coupe landscape and an image-enhancing feather in Hyundai's cap.

You'll Like This Car If...

You'll like the Hyundai Veloster if you want a fun-to-drive, cool-looking hatchback coupe that is also practical and exceptionally fuel efficient.

You May Not Like This Car If...

Though great consideration went into the Veloster's asymmetrical door design – one door on the driver side, two on the passenger side – the results aren't perfect. The rear seats are tight for taller passengers and accessing them via the narrow right-side rear door can be tough. Those hoping for sedan-like rear-seat access in a coupe might want to scale back their expectations.

What's New for 2012

The 2012 Veloster's stylish looks and odd three-door arrangement are likely focal points, but fuel economy numbers up to 37 mpg on the highway and a price tag that undercuts all of its key competitors are also worth noting.

Driving the Veloster
Driving Impressions

Firmly press the Hyundai Veloster's throttle pedal, and the vehicle responds by delivering casual acceleration, and even then only if the Veloster is in a gear that keeps the engine...

... revs above 4,000 rpm or so. Pure power may not be Veloster's strong suit but solid fuel economy help make up for that fact. When it comes to choosing a transmission, you really can't go wrong. The 6-speed manual features short throws with positive engagement and a forgiving easy-to-use clutch pedal, while the optional 6-speed automatic reacts with appropriate urgency to throttle changes delivering quick, smooth shifts. Other 2012 Veloster high points include a forgiving-yet-planted ride and nicely weighted steering that provides a strong feeling of connectedness between the driver and the road. Ahem, we should also mention that there is a large blind spot over the driver's right shoulder, so be sure to adjust your mirrors accordingly.

Color-matched wheels
New Hyundai Veloster buyers can select special 18-inch wheels that feature a special center section painted in their car's body color. We remember seeing removable, paintable parts on aftermarket wheels years ago, but this is the few appearances of body-colored wheels straight from the manufacturer.

7-inch touchscreen
Navigation is still an added-cost option, but Hyundai smartly decided to include the nav system's high-res 7-inch touch-screen as standard equipment. Paired with Pandora Internet radio integration, Gracenote music organization, and a port that allows the connection of a video game console the 2012 Hyundai Veloster coupe/hatchback's standard touch screen forms the core of a very solid information and entertainment system.

2012 Hyundai Veloster Details
Interior

Inside, the 2012 Hyundai Veloster is techy but tasteful. Cabin material quality is appropriately practical for the compact coupe/hatchback category, with plenty of hard-plastic panels, but also soft-touch materials strategically placed where occupant are likely to rest their elbows. In terms of space, front-seat occupants have little to complain about, but taller rear-seat passengers may find their heads brushing against the glass of the rear hatch. With 15.5 cubic feet available behind the rear seats, luggage space is generous. Lower the rear seatbacks and the Veloster makes an exceptional cargo hauler, though a high rear liftover can make loading heavier items difficult.

Exterior

With a striking face, long and low hatchback profile, pronounced wheel arches, and minimal gap between the tires and fenders the new Veloster looks aggressive, closely following the shape of the concept car on which it is based. There are plenty of neat design details but arguably the most interesting is the Veloster's door layout. There is one long door on the driver's side and two shorter doors on the passenger's side, both front-hinged allowing each to operate independently. It's an interesting arrangement designed to improve rear-seat accessibility versus a standard coupe and adds distinct visual flavor to an already compelling design.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

In its least expensive, form the Hyundai Veloster includes 17-inch alloy wheels, air conditioning, steering wheel audio and cruise controls, power windows, mirrors and door locks, and a 6-speaker audio system with USB and auxiliary audio inputs. Standard safety features include six airbags as well as traction and stability control. Hyundai's Blue Link system is also included for a six-month trial period offering services like remote vehicle unlocking, automatic collision notification, stolen vehicle recovery and slowdown, and a system that alerts the owner if whoever is driving exceeds a preset speed or takes the vehicle outside a specified area.

Optional Equipment

Options for the 2012 Veloster are divided into two packages. The Style Package includes 18-inch alloy wheels, a panoramic sunroof, fog lights, leather interior appointments and an 8-speaker audio system with a subwoofer, among other niceties. The Veloster Tech Package is only available when paired with the Style Package and features backup sensors, a navigation system with a backup camera, automatic headlights, keyless entry and engine start, and painted wheel inserts on its 18-inch alloy wheels.

Under the Hood

The new Veloster's engine uses continuously variable valve timing and direct-injection technology to squeeze 138-horsepower out of its modest 1.6-liter displacement. Power is sent from the engine to the front wheels via a standard 6-speed manual transmission or a dual-clutch 6-speed automatic featuring steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters. While not officially confirmed, we've heard strong rumblings about the possibility of a turbocharged engine in the Veloster's future. We think that'd make the all-new Veloster as interesting to drive as it is to look at.

1.6-liter in-line 4
138 horsepower @ 6,300 rpm
123 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4,850 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 27/37 (manual), 27/35 (automatic)

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2012 Hyundai Veloster Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
7.9
Out of 10

Based on 112 Ratings for the 2012 - 2016 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.2/10
    Quality
    8.0/10
  • Reliability
    8.5/10
    Performance
    7.8/10
  • Comfort
    8.1/10
    Styling
    8.9/10

Great fun little car!

By on Friday, July 1, 2016

I owned and sold this car
Reason: lease ended

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
8/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 5

"I drove the Veloster Turbo for 3 years. It's a good size car if you're the only person driving in it (which was perfect for my needs). You can't fit adults in the back seats unless they are petite adults, and my 6 ft husband was too big to comfortably fit in the passenger seat. The only downside to the car is that I found it hard to get in and out of the car, and it has poor rear visibility. The cargo space is enough to fit groceries, but sometimes I wished it was a bit bigger. I like that it's zippy and fun to drive, and can accelerate quickly when you need to. I like that it has a sporty body style. You can definitely feel all the bumps in the road, I would't call it a smooth ride but it didn't bother me. When I first got the car there was an issue with one of the speakers, but the dealership fixed it for free. I never had any mechanical problems."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

I LOVE THIS CAR

By on Friday, June 24, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 99

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "good design, good price, delux features"

Cons: "none"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Awesome features for a great price. Amazing design and surprisingly bigger than you expect. The gas mileage is so good. I love this purchase and everyday i fall more and more inlove with this car."

Totally Sucks

By on Sunday, June 19, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 33,000

10 3.0
overall rating 3 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
3/10
Value
2/10
Reliability
7/10
Quality
2/10
Performance
3/10
Styling
5/10
Comfort
1/10

Pros: "Looks"

Cons: "Bad ride. Hard to keep clean. Really bad ride."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1

"This car may look good but it really isn't worth the money. I've had this car for almost 3 yrs and think almost every day I wish I had not purchased it."

2 people out of 7 found this review helpful

So Far a Very Good First Car

By on Monday, June 6, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 5,300

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
6/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Fun to drive, Good MPG, Cheaper than its rivals"

Cons: "Cheap Interior, lacks some performance"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"This is my first brand new car I have ever purchased and I gotta say, I am quite impressed (owned this car for 4 months now)! For the price you do get a lot for your money with the Turbo model. Now I've looked at the Focus ST, Fiesta ST, WRX, and the Golf GTI, this car is thousands cheaper and you basically get the same stuff as the competitors. Now engine performance isn't the best in this car, with a 0 to 60 time of about 6.7 seconds, which isn't bad by any means, but its still a little bit slower than its rivals, but I don't mind that at all to be honest, its quick for me! The 6 speed manual transmission with the sport short shifter is remarkably smooth, very satisfying to shift in this car. With my lead foot, I still manage 28 to 32 MPG, I can get about 300 miles on one tank of gas (13.2 Gallon tank)and the best part is that the Veloster only requires Regular 87 Octane, not Premium fuel like the others! In the bends, it handles remarkably well! A little body roll here and there but the side bolsters on the bucket seats keep you strapped in for the ride. I absolutely love the exterior styling, some may have different opinions on it, but this is a sharp looking car, I catch people all the time breaking their necks trying to look at this thing haha, I love it! Now here comes the downside to this car, the interior...now the heated leather bucket seats are AMAZINGLY comfortable, you get a A LOT of head room in the front (I'm almost 6 foot) but the back seats on the other hand are more for people who are shorter than 5' 8" so if you don't carry more than 2 passengers on daily basis your all set. The quality of the plastics used on the door handles could be better, it just has that cheapy feel to them. The dashboard as well feels extremely cheap. The leather wrapped steering wheel is a very nice touch, but its already wearing out after 4 months of ownership. The Dimension sound system isn't bad, I've heard worse and better than this system. I do love the 7 inch touch screen center display, with the Bluetooth connectivity so I can call while Im driving and listen to my music. Overall the interior is decent, VERY spacious but not that high in quality. Now every hatchback needs to be practical, and the Veloster is pretty good at it! Granted I have to fold the back seats down every time I go golfing to fit my clubs, but I was able to fit a decently large mini fridge with about 5 medium sized totes in the back no problem. Ride quality in this car is pretty darn good, its not too stiff, not to soft, its almost just right! To me this is the perfect highway cruiser, its so smooth on the highway. Overall this is a fantastic little car and so far I'm pretty satisfied with its performance and features (especially the standard back-up camera and the 7 inch touch screen center display) Definitely recommend this car to anyone!"

4 people out of 5 found this review helpful

Value Performance

By on Friday, April 22, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 1,600

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Great looks, great stereo, respectable power"

Cons: "No key fob remote start or power seats"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I love my Veloster Turbo, it may not be the fastest of the pack in this segment, but it does a lot a things really well for a great price. The car looks awesome and is a blast to drive in normal day to day driving. My other car is a Camaro SS 6.2 Liter and I bought the Veloster as a second car to spare some mileage from my Camaro. Dollar for dollar, the Veloster Turbo is a great deal. I love the feel of the dual clutch automatic (feels like you are driving a stick) and the cabin sound for the exhaust note makes things even more fun when tooling around town. Yes, I wish it had a few more ponies under the hood, but 201 hp and 195 lbs of torque from a 1.6 liter motor is nothing to ignore. I am sure the next gen will offer the 2.0 liter turbo and give this little blaster a real shot at toppling over the GTI and Focus ST. Great job Hyundai!"

5 people out of 10 found this review helpful

Amazing Car, Hefty but Sporty

By on Monday, March 7, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 300

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Unique look, lots features, Turbo is #1 Trim"

Cons: "Getting in/out, highly recommend some DIY-upgrade"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"My new 2016 Turbo is an amazing car. The turbo is good and does make that "psshhht" sound roughly at 3000rpm or so. Great pick up. Suspension is not great on roads with a lot of holes and bumps but the ride is smooth everywhere else. Recommend K&N filter for easy boost in performance and sound and new BOV. **My favorite is the ECO button and seeing my MPG average on the highway for commuting, and turning off ECO a serious performance increase. **My least favorite is the bit of awkwardness getting in and out of the car and how tough the leather seats are (old car had cloth seats). You get used to it"

5 people out of 7 found this review helpful

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