Veloster 1.6 T-GDI Turbo SE
a brand like Hyundai made
a pukka sports car; a brand that
offers no-frills value, plenty of kit, one
of the best warranties in the industry
and, increasingly, cars with genuine
buyer appeal. Lets
not forget that,
thanks to an outpouring of European
design talent to Korea, Hyundai is
starting to make cars that actually
look good, too...
you don't have to imagine any more. Hyundai's Veloster has made a real impact
as a striking-looking and utterly unique addition to the world of sports machinery.
However, many have been disappointed by the Veloster's lack of performance,
and that's precisely where the new Turbo comes in. The Veloster Turbo is the
first car to receive Hyundai's new T-GDI engine with a high-compression, twin-scroll
turbocharger, while it also benefits from sharper suspension and steering settings.
But let's get one issue out of the way right now
this car's Achilles' heel is its engine. For starters, a capacity of just 1.6-litres
doesn't feel manly enough. In the standard Veloster, it makes a modest 138bhp
and feels oh-so-anaemic; and now, even with a turbocharger attached, the power
output doesn't breach the 184bhp barrier.
these days, 184bhp is way short of most hot hatchbacks
the industry average is around 225bhp. The Turbo's raw performance figures tell
their own story: 0-62mph in 8.4 seconds and 133mph v-max are beaten by virtually
The Turbo has stiffer
standard, and it shows. Damper rates front and
rear have been increased
so that it sits more
solidly through corners
what is a very decent ride
quality, especially by
sports car standards...
And the way the power is delivered doesn't help:
it never feels particularly punchy; and the very ordinary sound of the powerplant
doesn't encourage you to make full use of the rev band.
Ultimately, it does pull along with decent pace if you keep the engine in the
peak torque zone of 1,500-4,500rpm, and the Turbo's six-speed manual gearbox
works very well. But to deliver the kind of performance keen drivers expect,
I think it really needs an engine of at least 2.0 litres.
The Turbo has stiffer suspension than standard, and it shows. Damper rates front
and rear have been increased so that it sits more solidly through corners without
spoiling what is a very decent ride quality, especially by sports car standards.
But in no way could you call the Veloster Turbo the sharpest driving tool in
Another area of significant improvement is the steering, which has been retuned
and is now much better than the standard car's. Although it's still not the
keenest system around (it's a little light for my taste) it's probably the best
steering that Hyundai has ever engineered.
No review of the Veloster can ignore its door layout
single aperture on the driver's side but two doors on the near' side. This almost
wilfully weird layout gives the Veloster a Jekyll and Hyde character: from one
side, it has the look of a five-door hatchback; from the other, it's a racy
you thought the Veloster looked distinctive, the Turbo version looks positively
science-fiction. The front bumper, grille and front fog lights are unique to
the Turbo, but it's the tail that looks most dramatic with its close-set twin
exhausts, diffuser and round fog lights. The split-window tailgate is emphasised
by a bigger rear spoiler, and following traffic is in no doubt about what you're
driving, thanks to a big red 'Turbo' badge on the bootlid.
Also unique to the Turbo model are new chrome-tinged 18-inch alloy wheels and
side skirts. Only three paint schemes are available to you: white, black or
(unique to the Turbo) matt grey.
the heavily bolstered seats have 'Turbo' conspicuously embroidered into their
backrests. Indeed, so prominent are they that my neighbour's eight-year-old
son thought the car was called 'Turbo' when he sat in the driver's seat.
The Veloster is unique
in the market
Its like a halfway house
between a hot hatch
and a coupe. Its loads
more practical than
a regular coupe, yet so
much more dramatic
than a hatchback...
For the £22K asking price it is tremendously well-equipped: climate control,
leather upholstery, electrically-adjustable driver's seat, electric windows
front and rear, cruise control and a decent eight-speaker sound system. Most
impressive of all, though, is Hyundai's very impressive seven-inch touchscreen
SatNav system that also incorporates a parking camera.
The question for buyers is whether talented rivals like the VW Scirocco 2.0
TSI with 210bhp and the Toyota GT86 with 197bhp are worth the extra money (£25,640
and £24,995 respectively). There's no question in my mind that they are.
Whether the more directly price-comparable Scirocco 1.4 TSI and Astra GTC 1.6
Turbo are as clear-cut is not so sure, and that's where Hyundai might score
some sales. And, of course, only Toyota can match Hyundai's five-year warranty.
truth, the Veloster is unique in the market. It's like a halfway house between
a hot hatch and a coupe. It's loads more practical than a regular coupe, yet
so much more dramatic than a hatchback. Now that there's a Turbo version on
offer, the Veloster has gone at least some of the way towards becoming a true
Hyundai Veloster 1.6 T-GDI Turbo SE | £21,995
Maximum speed: 133mph | 0-62mph: 8.4 seconds | Overall MPG: 40.9mpg
Power: 184bhp | Torque: 195lb ft | CO2 157g/km