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2012 Hyundai Veloster Review

2012 Hyundai Veloster Road Test and Review…

For a little while there the motoring landscape was looking pretty bleak and boring.

Aside from up in the big dollar end of the market most car buyers for quite a while had to settle for vehicles that in the main were pretty much “run of the mill”.

That was up until manufacturers rolled the dice and decided to offer us some options that were vastly different from their other models.

Toyota did it with the FJ Cruiser and the Rukus, Kia gave us the Soul and now Hyundai has broken the mould with the Hyundai Veloster.

Interestingly however these four models, all of which turn heads as you drive them down the road, have all left me a little disappointed.

The FJ Cruiser should have a diesel under the bonnet instead of that thirsty V6, the Rukus is plain boring inside, the Soul handles like a fridge and the 2012 Hyundai Veloster just doesn’t have the power to live up to its looks.

And they are very good looks.

The Veloster is so nicely sculptured that it stands out, to me at least, as one of the best looking cars on the market in 2012.

But because it looks so good and because the interior is so nicely laid out your expectations are lifted.

Then you drive it.

Sadly with just 103kW and 166Nm on tap from the Hyundai Veloster’s 1.6 litre petrol engine the acceleration is well…less than impressive.

It’s not about burning people off at the lights; it’s about having enough power on tap to make the car enjoyable and easy to drive.

The Veloster is just plain old hard work and that’s really heartbreaking because I absolutely loved every other element of the vehicle.

Aside from the lack of power the Hyundai Veloster is a pleasure to drive.

My test car was fitted with a six speed manual transmission, there’s also a six speed auto available for an additional $2000.

Despite having access to a broad range of gears the pick-up at speed in all gears is flat and that means you’re constantly down shifting.

In other words you really have to drive it even just to keep up to the traffic and that means increased fuel consumption, the official urban figure is 8.4 litres per 100 which is about on-par with what I got.

That figure would be acceptable in a five seat, four door sedan but the Hyundai Veloster really isn’t a large car and should do better especially considering it weighs only 1200kgs.

On the highway I got the fuel use down to about 6.7 litres, the official extra urban consumption is 5.3!

In saying that however it’s a nice feeling transmission.

The suspension feels great too even with 40 series tires, it handles brilliantly, has great brakes and the steering is a dream.

The Hyundai Veloster cabin is terrific, great lay-out, nice gauges, well positioned and designed controls and dials and some nice touches like the rather unusual interior door handles.

Leg room up front is ok, rear passengers have a surprising amount of room for their feet (although head room in the back is limited), and the boot space is surprisingly good.

There are some reasonably sized storage areas around the cabin, the glove box isn’t huge though.

Being a Hyundai there’s heaps of standard features including Bluetooth connectivity, a 7”inch colour screen with reversing camera, mp3/auxillary audio input, trip computer and climate control.

Curiously sat-nav isn’t even available as an option.

From the driver’s seat the Hyundai Veloster really feels like a roadster with a low roofline and low seating position, rear visibility is remarkably good thanks to the twin glass hatch.

Safety is unquestioned thanks to a 5 star ANCAP rating and the Veloster also has a five star Green Vehicle Guide rating.

Summing the 2012 Hyundai Veloster up…well aside from the lacklustre engine it’s as good as perfect, especially when you factor in the starting price of just $23,990.

If you can hold out Hyundai has a turbo version coming soon which will deliver 150kW and 264Nm – get that one.

NUTS and BOLTS - 2012 Hyundai Veloster

Engine: 1.6 litre petrol delivering 103kW and 166Nm

Transmission: Six-speed manual or six-speed auto

Safety: Five stars

Warranty: Five years

Origin: South Korea

Price: From $24,490

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About Joel Helmes 3678 Articles
Joel is the founder and CEO of Behind the Wheel. Joel has a background as a radio broadcaster with on-air roles at 4BC, 4KQ, 2KY, 2LT and 2UE amongst others, as well as a news editor and program director. Joel’s relationship with cars stems back to his early childhood learning to change oil and brakes with his father and uncle. This continued on into his driving years owning an assorted collection of cars.

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