I love that Hyundai chose Austin, Texas to launch the second generation of their hot little hatch, the Veloster. While driving the car throughout the hill country, Hyundai gave us a hashtag to use, ‘Keep Veloster Quirky,’ and since as Texans, we ‘Keep Austin Weird,’ I thought the two went hand in hand.
These hatchbacks are hot and the Veloster is still a standout. You may not notice the vehicle is 1-inch wider and 1-inch longer, but you will likely notice the more aggressive front end and slightly lower roofline.
Hyundai kept the two + one door design for added utility, making it super simple to access the right side of the car. Having had little to no experience in the first gen Veloster, I was not familiar with the two + one design. I had to laugh, albeit quietly, during the press conference, as product planner, Mike Evanoff, was referring to the doors, he explained that while one side was “social” the other was “all business.” I immediately pictured the car as having two personalities; which could only mean, I’ve either seen Disney’s Cars™ one too many times, or the witty English teacher inside of me gave way to personifying this quirky car…. Can’t you picture it? A carefree car packing in as many friends as you can on one side, entertaining them, while on the other side, there’s a somewhat bossy car ordering everyone to get back to work.
My drive partner and I drove both the automatic and the manual transmission Veloster and both agreed that the manual transmission was way more fun. (We must have entered the car on the “social” side). I loved the sporty feel of the manual winding through one switchback after another. Visibility was never an issue for either of us and the seating was comfortable.
The base model comes with 17-inch alloy wheels, and a 2.0-L engine delivering 147 hp and 132 lb-ft torque while the 1.6-L Turbo model has 18-inch wheels, 201 hp and 195 lb-ft of torque.
The N Lineup demonstrates performance potential, with more horsepower (275 hp), better handling and added suspension.
Fun Fact: A special high performance edition was created for the upcoming “Ant-Man and the Wasp” movie. (Pictured at the Detroit Auto Show below).
Research shows that 45% of Hyundai buyers are repeat buyers. The average Veloster buyer is between the ages of 26-34 years of age. With all of the tech this car comes with, the safety features and a low starting price, it’s a smart buy at any age!
The Veloster comes in 7 colors: Racing Red, Sonic Silver, Chalk White, Ultra Black, Thunder Gray, Space Gray and my personal fave, Sunset Orange. One more option to consider, a two-tone Veloster. Sunset Orange with a black roof sure stood out among the others in my opinion.
The technology I was referring to…..how about Apple CarPlay and Android Auto being included in standard equipment?! That’s right, no additional dollars for what should be modern day technology in every vehicle. However, if you are a fan of ‘Heads Up Display,’ it will cost you. I’m told that the Heads Up Display on the Veloster is brighter and more vivid than the previous generation. With the push of a button, Heads Up Display pops up out of the dash and displays driver info such as current speed, navigation, audio info and such so that the driver can focus on the road.
Blue Link is complimentary for 3 years and will spoil you into renewing the service. Hyundai has an app for you to download so that you can set your cabin temperature, start your car, or program navigation all from inside of your home. It also includes a map to remind you where you parked and will schedule when services need to be made to maintain the car. You won’t remember how you ever lived without it!
A few notable safety features include: Lane Keep Assist, Forward Collision Avoidance Assist, Brake Assist, Blind Spot Warning, Rear-Cross Traffic Collision Warning and of course a rearview camera and six airbags.
Veloster pricing begins at $18,500 for the base model. Top of the line Veloster prices out at $28,150. Lots of versatility, whether taking it out for business or pleasure, you get a lot of car for your money and lot of quirkiness all in one hot little hatch!