Style now certainly comes from Korea: the three-door coupe which made its debut in March 2011 is in our eyes a very pleasing proposition. Its fluid lines and contours are convincing from any angle, conveying an astonishing level of “savoir-faire” which is now reached on the drawing boards in Seoul. The car, which rolls off the Hyundai Assembly lines in Ulsan, is actually what experts call a “2+1 coupé”. The car is actually the first of Hyundai's new Premium Youth Lab sub-brand, which is targeted to younger drivers, or at least, those who are young at heart.
A very interesting car, which warranted an extended test drive.
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The car was unveiled as a concept car in 2007 at the Seoul Motor Show with the final production version released on January 11 at the Detroit Auto Show. The Veloster sports largely the same fluent shapes as the earlier prototype, inspired by Hyundai’s “Fluid Sculpture” design philosophy. On the right hand side, the flush rear door handle is integrated into the bodywork, and does not interrupt the fluent design. We also liked the double exhaust discreetly built in to the rear bumper.
The interior is also quite roomy for a coupé, and thanks to the wheelbase of 2.65 metres two adults find adequate room on the rear seat. The boot has a cargo volume of 320 litre. The interior has some sporting touches, with the central console being shaped like a motorcycle fuel tank... We liked the shape of the instruments, and also the largeTFT Display.
The electrically adjustable seat lets one find soon a good seating position, thanks to the optional power seat function. One can adjust the cushion height as well backward and forward motion at the touch of a button.
The multimedia system offers you a range of applications and options via this 7 inch LCDTFTtouch screen. The screen informs you about everything, from displaying song information when an iPhone is attached, to the Blue Max Eco Guide that helps you with fuel efficient driving.
The in-car entertainment system is up to the mark. Listening to music or playing multimedia files, it can all be controlled from the steering wheel.
As said, the Veloster's 7 inch LCDTFTdisplay features intuitive drag and drop functionality with touch screen. Just plug in viaUSB, iPOD and AUX input and play.
The interior “ambiente” was also pleasantly upgraded with the 2-piece electric panorama sunroof of our car.
The Veloster offers good creature comfort, and performs smoothly. The Veloster's 1.6GDIengine is lightweight, rigid and vibration-free. Generating a healthy 140 bhp at 6,300 rpm, it features ISG – Idle, Stop, Go.
It is sporty, but not exactly a thoroughbred which lets your heart pound faster every time you blip the throttle. It needs to rev somewhat to develop its urge, and understandably so when one knows that the unit develops its maximum torque of 167 Nm at 4.850 rpm.
But these engine characteristics are hardly a drawback, as the car is coupled to a truly smooth and alert Dual Clutch Transmission, which the factory abbreviates toTCT. The double clutch system provides quite slick changes, and Hyundai gets its first dual clutch transmission to work quite well. The box can also be actuated via an optional paddle shift mechanism mounted behind the steering wheel.
The sprint from 0 to 100 km is absolved in merely 9.8 seconds, top speed is a good 200 kph. Quiet town driving is a discipline which will cost you some 7.7 litres per 100 km, on country roads the consumption can drop below the 5 litre mark, but our average test consumption hovered around 7.4 litres. Officially, the CO2 emissions are some 148 g/km.
...with good road manners
The Veloster steers rather nice and predictable, although it won’t invite you to throw it spiritedly around the earliest corner.
The car boasts an intelligent Electronic Stability Control system, which monitors brake pressure and engine output. It senses sudden changes of direction and takes action to compensate for understeer or oversteer. The Veloster is also equipped with VSM.
In difficult road conditions, where traction across all four wheels can suddenly become uneven and the car unstable, this Vehicle Stability Management system compensates through steering system assistance, shortening braking distances and improving overall handling.
Traction Control System and Brake Assist System (BAS) came also with our test car.
We liked also typical extras like a rear view camera, which displays on the LCDTFTdisplay, and which is certainly a useful extra with modern bodyworks.
A smooth, elegant and very civilised coupé with very good looks, well finished and equipped, this is what we can say about the Veloster. It certainly is worth taking a long look at...
Hans Knol ten Bensel