Hyundai Veloster Turbo (2013) long-term test review
the CAR road-test team
Long Term Tests
01 February 2013 09:00
Month 1 running a Hyundai Veloster Turbo: the Veloster arrives
If you’ve read the last few issues of CAR, you’ll know that we like Hyundai’s Veloster Turbo a great deal. While the anaemic performance of the naturally aspirated engine in the standard Veloster dims its overall appeal, the Turbo posts some far more attractive go-faster figures.
It’s the first of Hyundai’s models to be powered by the company’s new direct-injection, 1.6-litre turbo engine. The high-compression twin-scroll turbocharger pumps up the power from 136bhp to 181bhp – a handy boost. But of more significance is the huge 59% jump in torque from 123lb ft at 4850rpm to 195lb ft that kicks in at 1500rpm and stays constant until 4500rpm. Top speed climbs marginally from 125mph to 133mph, but the sprint to 62mph drops from a sluggish 9.7 to a more palatable 8.4 seconds.
The car arrived just 24 hours before I wrote this report, so apart from a quick romp up the A3 to New Malden – home to one of Europe’s largest concentrations of Korean nationals – to take some pictures I’ve yet to put in some proper miles. But three-inches-too-high driving position aside, first impressions are very good.
With under 2000 miles on the clock, the engine feels brittle and tight but still punches cleanly through the mid-range and delivers easy in-gear go. Pity it sounds a bit weedy, especially given the size of the exhaust pipes. There’s a pleasing lack of electronic trickery going on – no sub-menus that allow you to tweak steering, throttle or suspension settings. It’s a WYSIWYG car – you get a torquey, blown engine; firm but not stupidly stiff suspension; responsive brakes and electric steering that’s weighty but not exactly chatty.
In Turbo guise, front-on it combines Aston One-77 vents and headlamps, gaping Audi RS4 maw and a raked back screen. It’s pretty arresting side-on, too. Heavily flared wheelarches, creased flanks and floating A- and B-pillars shouldn’t work, but somehow do. Describe the rear and it sounds awful – out-sized blistered rear lamps, tiny rear screen, drainpipe-sized central exhaust pipes and traffic light-sized fog lamps – but it all hangs together coherently.
At £525, that matt grey paintjob is exceptional value – Mercedes charges you £2995 for something similar on a SLS AMG. It amps up the Turbo’s aggression factor, sucking in the car’s slabby sheet metal to give it a lean, taut look. Very Darth Vader.
The paint is the only optional extra fitted. The rest is standard, and that list is as long as it is impressive. Your £21,995 gets you 18in alloys with chromed accents, a steroidal body kit, leather, climate control, keyless entry, sat-nav, a ballsy eight-speaker sound system and a rear-view parking camera. There’s plenty more, but no room to list it all here. And don’t forget that handy asymmetric four-door layout. It might look like a gimmick but it makes entry and egress to and from the rear seats far easier than you’d imagine.
The Turbo has hefty competition – for around the same money you can get a Ford Focus ST, VW Scirocco, Peugeot RCZ, Mini Coupe or Honda CR-Z. We have six months to find out if the Veloster Turbo can hold its head high in such company.