2012 Hyundai Veloster
The compact car market sure is a crowded place these days, but with Hyundai almost at the end of their 24/7 plan, that’s 7 new vehicles in 24 months, comes the 6th entrant into that plan, the new Hyundai Veloster.
Aimed squarely at young adults, the Veloster follows in the tire tracks of the Accent with Hyundai’s Fluidic design language. Beefy 17 inch alloy wheels are standard and these painted 18s are optional.
Like the Chevrolet Sonic, the Veloster’s interior takes inspirations from motorcycles. The center stack in designed to favor the fuel tank on a sport bike, and the air vents mirror motorcycle exhaust tips. A seven inch touch screen is standard with Pandora radio integrated into the system. Combining slick coupe styling with hatchback functionality, the Veloster goes one further with a passenger side third door like a Mini Cooper Clubman. It allows much easier access for two in the back.
The Veloster is powered by the Accent’s 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine with the same 138 horsepower. Direct injection also pulls the Veloster into the 40 mpg club with the standard front drive 6-speed manual. The optional 6-speed dual-clutch automatic just misses the cut.
Given that power is limited, we chose the manual for our first outing. Power is adequate for a compact, as is handling. But, we wouldn’t call either of them sporty. Clearly the raciest part of the Veloster is what you can see with your eyes. At dealers now, the 2012 Hyundai Veloster starts at just over $17,000 with a turbocharged model on the horizon.
Engine: 1.6-liter four-cylinder
EPA: 40 mpg
Price: Starts at just over $17,000