By Joe Tralongo, Contributing Editor
KBB Expert Rating: 6.9
The 2016 Veloster from Hyundai delivers coupe-like styling in a vehicle nearly as practical as a 5-door wagon. Like any good coupe, the Veloster features a long driver’s-side door. But move to the passenger side and Veloster parts ways with its coupe brethren, fitted with two smaller doors that allow rear-seat passengers to get in and out more easily. Hyundai’s brilliant design team has integrated this 3-door design into the car’s sleek styling so unless you look close, you’d be none the wiser. The Veloster’s sporty good looks are backed by an available turbocharged engine and a number of enthusiast-oriented trims, including a new Rally Edition aimed squarely at undercutting the Volkswagen GTI, Honda Civic Si and Ford Focus ST.
Hyundai’s new Veloster appeals to enthusiast-oriented drivers on a budget. For less than $25,000 buyers can get behind the wheel of a turbocharged compact with impressive power, fuel economy and performance credentials, plus stand-out styling and that unique third door.
KBB Expert Ratings
For 2016 a new Rally Edition joins the lineup featuring a stiffer suspension, RAYS lightweight alloy wheels and a B&M Racing sport shifter. A new 7-speed dual-clutch transmission is available on turbo trims, while all Velosters feature a revised hood and grille design, available Siri Eyes Free and upgraded interiors.
Hyundai’s Veloster coupe comes in one base version and three turbocharged flavors for 2016, each more tasty than the last. In base form, the Veloster is all about style, comfort...
... and a low price. For those shopping cars like the Ford Focus ST or VW GTI, there’s the Turbo, Turbo R-Spec and Rally Edition trims. With a 201-horsepower 1.6-liter engine and a choice between a 6-speed manual or dual-clutch 7-speed automatic, these are the models that back up the Veloster’s racy good looks. The Rally and R-Spec offer impressive cornering, but their rides are decidedly harsh compared to the base car. We like the middle child of the group, the Veloster Turbo. It has all the power and performance of its stablemates, but with a more comfortable ride. However, when comparing the Veloster to its main rivals, we’d be remiss not mentioning the cramped rear seat and poor rearward visibility.
No one likes a car that looks sporty but can’t get out of its own way, which is why we love the 2016 Hyundai Veloster’s available turbocharged engine. The added power makes the Veloster a viable contender while keeping the price under the $23,000 mark.
Let’s face it. Everyone loves a sports coupe until they have to climb in or out of the back seat. The 2016 Veloster from Hyundai solves this problem with a clever passenger-side integrated third door.
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-size 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 Rally adds Rally Edition floor mats and blue Leatherette seat bolsters with matching cloth inserts. The base Veloster has cloth seats and less flash, but is still nicely appointed.
The 2016 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 Rally model adds RAYS 18-inch alloy wheels, unique Matte Blue paint (requires buyers to sign a waiver explaining its special care, including hand washing) and carbon-fiber-look aero accents. All Veloster models share the most defining feature of this sporty hatchback, namely that passenger-side extra door.
Like most Hyundais, the 2016 Veloster comes nicely equipped: a 7-inch multimedia touch screen that includes a rearview monitor, a 6-way driver seat with height adjustment and an 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, so 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 2016 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 with swipe-activated touch screen, Siri Eyes Free, proximity key and push-button start, backup warning sensors, automatic headlights, automatic climate control, and a convenient 115-volt outlet to power electronics.
The standard engine for the 2016 Hyundai Veloster is 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.
138 horsepower @ 6,300 rpm (132 horsepower w/automatic transmission)
123 lb-ft of torque @ 4,850 rpm (120 lb-ft of torque w/automatic transmission)
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 27/35 mpg (manual), 28/36 mpg (automatic)
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: 25/33 mpg (manual), 27/33 mpg (automatic)
2016 Hyundai Veloster prices are very reasonable. The Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) for the base model starts at $18,825, including destination, when you get the manual transmission. The 6-speed automatic adds $1,100. The Veloster R-Spec is the cheapest way to get a turbo at $22,425, or you can go with the Veloster Turbo for $23,425 – add $1,200 for the 7-speed 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 2016 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.