When it comes to USPs the Hyundai Veloster’s three door body style is about as unique as it gets. Offering a coupe-like single door on the driver side and a rear passenger friendly two doors on the other side, the Veloster could be the ideal solution for some shoppers. 2017 sees a new trim level being added to the range that promises enhanced value.
The Veloster is quite conservatively styled inside compared to the quirky exterior, the unequal length of the front doors being the most noticeable feature. The two front seats keep occupants well secured during spirited cornering and general material quality is good for the class.
Despite the easier access to the rear seats from the passenger side, headroom is severely limited once you do get in, this is a coupe after all, and more conventionally styled competitors offer increased space for taller passengers.
The trunk offers decent space though and with the rear seats folded flat large items are relatively easy to load in the back too.
The Veloster is not quite as sporty a drive as its looks might suggest, steering feel is good and the brakes are adequate but there are more accomplished competitors at this price point. The handling falls in the middle of the pack too but the suspension is hard on lower trim levels which gets worse on the more stiffly sprung sporty models.
The base engine is a 1.6-liter four-cylinder unit with 132 horsepower and 120 lb-ft of torque at its disposal. A turbocharged variant offers 201 hp and 195 lb-ft which greatly enhances performance levels. Both engines can be had with either a sweet-shifting 6-speed manual or a sometimes jerky 6-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.
Fuel consumption for both engines is commendable however the base 1.6-liter feel lackluster in its power delivery while the turbocharged unit is outclassed against most of the other offerings in this segment.
If class-leading performance is not your priority, then the turbocharged engine paired with the manual transmission provides decent pace without using significantly more fuel than the base engine.
The Veloster is available in four trim levels for 2017, the base trim comes with the 132 hp 1.6-liter engine and includes, cloth seats, a 7-inch touchscreen with Bluetooth and smartphone connectivity, 6-speaker audio system, rearview camera, 17-inch wheels and brake assist. Both transmission options are available.
The Value Edition Trim sticks with the base engine but is more luxury oriented adding keyless entry, paddle shifters for the dual-clutch transmission (which is the only available option on this trim), 8-speaker audio system, 7-inch touchscreen navigation system, blue link telematics system, 18-inch alloy wheels and climate control.
Veloster Turbo R-Spec focuses on performance and includes all of the base spec items and adds the 201 hp turbocharged engine, torque vectoring front axle, sport tuned suspension, B&M sport shifter, leatherette/cloth upholstery, 18-inch wheels, LED taillights and alloy pedals. Only the manual transmission is available and climate control, navigation and keyless entry are optional extras.
The Veloster Turbo is the top trim spec and includes piano black interior accents, leather seats with heating for the front pair, keyless entry and LED taillights. While a manual transmission is standard it is the only trim level to be offered with the optional 7-speed EcoShift dual-clutch transmission instead of the 6-speed unit.
Another Turbo trim only option is the Tech Package which includes Panoramic sunroof, rear parking sensors, 7-inch navigation touchscreen, blue link telematics, Sirius XM, Automatic headlights, climate control and a 115v outlet.
Quirky and potentially practical 3-door styling allied with decent fuel consumption may not be enough to elevate the 2017 Hyundai Veloster above more conventional but capable competitors. Chief among its drawbacks are a harsh ride quality and sub-par performance levels.
The decent equipment levels and interesting design may still find favor with some shoppers and the turbo models are perhaps the pick of the Veloster range.