Chris Miller road tests and reviews the 2012 Hyundai Veloster turbo.
The 2012 Hyundai Veloster is certainly a car that turns heads, and in fact is the first car I’ve driven in a while where people stopped to ask me about it in the supermarket car park.
It’s brilliantly packaged and has a surprising amount of interior space. The three-door configuration with a front and rear door on the passenger side and only a front door on the driver’s side caused rather a lot of excitement.
The little Hyundai is well equipped with push button start, leather seats, panoramic glass sunroof, 7-inch touch screen, rear view camera and park assist, auto-on headlamps, power folding side mirrors, a trip computer and Bluetooth phone/audio integration.
The little 1.6 litre turbo four pumps out 150kW with 265Nm of torque: Impressive figures, although I felt let down by the way it delivered the power.
For me, the initial lag was too prominent, then when the turbo spooled up it was a matter of hold on tight as the power came on, then at a bit over 5000rpm it ran out of puff.
While there is plenty of power and the Hyundai Veloster is quite a quick little thing, the noise coming from under the bonnet is thrashy and just plain uninspiring.
The way the little Veloster handles though is quite a revelation. The Hyundai boffins spent a lot of time getting the suspension tune just right for our sub standard Australian roads and as a result it is unusually compliant on the rough stuff for a car with such low profile tyres & a short wheelbase.
Throw it at an apex and it attacks with precision and a good amount of feedback. This is the best steering Hyundai I’ve driven to date and it inspires confidence on winding road. The brakes too inspire confidence, and stop quickly and consistently.
At the end of my week with the Hyundai Veloster turbo I’m still not sure though. It has a great personality and some excellent attributes, but the seeds of doubt planted by the unrefined power delivery, restricted rear vision and the vast expanses of hard plastics inside are hard to shake, leaving me with the feeling that there is still some work to do.
NUTS and BOLTS
Engine: 1.6 litre turbo petrol developing 150kW and 265Nm
Transmission: Six-speed manual or six-speed auto
Safety: Five stars
Warranty: 5 years
Origin: South Korea
Price: From $31,990
For further information, please see Recalls and faults: Hyundai FS Veloster.