Make us your home page
Instagram
The Daily Drivers | By Peter Couture and Lyra Solochek, Times Staff Writers

The Daily Drivers car review: 2013 Hyundai Veloster Turbo

When we drove the new Hyundai Veloster last year, we immediately took to the little hatchback with the odd number of doors and even odder name. We liked its funky design, but were disappointed with the "sporty" coupe's obvious lack of power. Now comes a turbo model, and all is right in the Veloster's world.

Appearance: What makes this hot hatch different is an element not obvious at first glance: its asymmetry. The Veloster has a rear door only on the passenger side. Think of it as a coupe with a bonus door that makes it easier to access the backseat. Anyone with kids who has owned a two-door car will appreciate it. The wide-mouth grille on the Turbo is much larger than that of the normal Veloster, which also is fitted with an aggressive body kit. The car uses Hyundai's "fluidic sculpture" philosophy that some may find busy with design elements: pronounced fenders, beveled hood with scoops and large headlights with LED accents. It's certainly not boring. The look is set off by chrome-tipped dual exhausts and 18-inch alloy wheels.

Performance: You'll feel a slight turbo lag, but overall, the performance fulfills the promise of the base Veloster. The twin-scroll turbo beefs up the anemic 1.6-liter four-cylinder by 63 horsepower to 201. That's a big difference for a car that weighs less than 3,000 pounds. Under hard acceleration, there's a bit of torque steer, but that's to be expected with front-wheel drive. The six-speed manual shifts easily. (A six-speed automatic with Shiftronic is an option.) We both found the ECO gear-shift indicator on the driver information screen annoying. We'll shift when we feel like it, thank you. The Veloster's sport-tuned suspension and low center of gravity give it a nimble ride, although Peter found it harsh on uneven road surfaces. (Our tester had a Z-speed rated tires — $1,200 extra.)

Interior: There's more room than you would expect. Only taller drivers will feel cramped in the front, especially because of the panorama sunroof. (Note: The 2012 Velosters were recalled after reports of the sunroof glass shattering.) In the rear seats, Peter's daughters didn't feel constricted. The heated leather seats — with "Turbo" stitching — are comfortable with good bolstering and support. We did find the adjustment lever a bit of a reach at the bottom of the seat; be careful using it while in motion. Lyra found the seat belt height sits too high for shorter people. Our tester had a rear-view camera and rear sensors, which are part of the optional Ultimate Package ($2,500) and are needed because visibility in the car is compromised. The Veloster should please techies as Hyundai seems to be moving to the head of the class when it comes to its Blue Link system. The 7-inch display and Bluetooth connection are easy to use.

Our 3 favorites

Peter Couture

Interior controls: Practical layout and easy to use.

Bronze Age: The striking color of our tester? Hyundai calls it "Vitamin C."

Cabin details: The two-tone interior is attractive and stylish; I like the unique door handles.

Lyra Solochek

Extra power: With 201 horsepower, the morning commute is a lot of fun.

Handling: Toss it around corners with no problems.

Optional color: There's a limited-edition Matte Gray paint for a custom look. Sharp.

The bottom line: It may not be a high-performance "hot hatch," but the Veloster Turbo packs a lot of fun into a small package. The starting price ($21,950) is outstanding, but can quickly creep up with desirable option packages.

2013 Hyundai Veloster Turbo

Price: $21,950 turbo base, $26,520 as tested

Power train: 1.6-liter, GDI, DOHC, four-cylinder with twin-scroll D-CVVT turbocharger, six-speed manual transmission, FWD

Horsepower: 201 at 6,000 rpm

Torque: 195 pound-feet at 1,750-4,500 rpm

Curb weight: 2,800-2,917 pounds

Dimensions

in inches:

Wheelbase, 104.3

Length, 167.3

Width, 71.1

Height, 55.1

Seats: four

Fuel economy:

24 miles per gallon city, 35 mpg highway (24/31 for an automatic)

Safety features: Electronic stability control, traction control, ABS, electronic brake-force distribution, brake assist, airbags and curtains, backup warning sensors rearview camera

Website:

hyundaiusa.com/veloster

The Daily Drivers car review: 2013 Hyundai Veloster Turbo 12/21/12 [Last modified: Friday, December 21, 2012 3:30am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Author Randy Wayne White could open St. Pete's biggest restaurant on the pier

    Food & Dining

    ST. PETERSBURG — The story begins with Yucatan shrimp.

    St. Petersburg Deputy Mayor Kanika Tomalin, pilot Mark Futch, Boca Grande, St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman, and author and businessman Randy Wayne White,  Sanibel, exit a Maule Super Rocket seaplane after taking a fight around Tampa Bay off the St. Petersburg waterfront, 6/28/17.  White and his business partners are in negotiations with the City of St. Petersburg to build a fourth Doc Ford's Rum Bar & Grille on the approach to the St. Petersburg Pier with a second event space on the pier according to White. The group met near Spa Beach after a ground breaking ceremony for the new pier. "We want to have our business open by the time the pier opens," said White. Other Dr. Ford restaurants are located on Sanibel, Captiva and Ft. Myers Beach. SCOTT KEELER   |   Times
  2. Guilty plea for WellCare Health Plans former counsel Thaddeus Bereday

    Business

    Former WellCare Health Plans general counsel Thaddeus M.S. Bereday pleaded guilty to one count of making a false statement to the Florida Medicaid program, and faces a maximum penalty of five years in federal prison. A sentencing date has not yet been set, acting U.S. Attorney W. Stephen Muldrow of the Middle District …

    WellCare Health Plans former general counsel Thaddeus M.S. Bereday, pleaded guilty to one count of making a false statement to the Florida Medicaid program, and faces a maximum penalty of five years in federal prison. A sentencing date has not yet been set, acting U.S. Attorney W. Stephen Muldrow of the Middle District of Florida stated Wednesday. [LinkedIn handout]
  3. DOT shows alternatives to former Tampa Bay Express toll lanes

    Transportation

    TAMPA — State transportation officials are evaluating at least a half-dozen alternatives to the controversial Tampa Bay interstate plan that they will workshop with the community for the next 18 months.

    Florida Department of Transportation consultant Brad Flom explains potential alternatives to adding toll lanes to Interstate 275 during a meeting Wednesday at DOT's Tampa office. Flom presented seven diagrams, all of which swapped toll lanes for transit, such as light rail or express bus, in the I-275 corridor from downtown Tampa to Bearss Ave. [CAITLIN JOHNSTON | Times]
  4. Claim: State pressured CFO, used secret recordings to shut down Universal Health Care

    Banking

    ST. PETERSBURG — The founder of St. Petersburg's Universal Health Care alleges that Florida regulators conspired with the company's chief financial officer to drive the once high-flying Medicare insurer out of business.

    Federal agents raided the headquarters of Universal Health Care in 2013, ordering employees to leave the building. The insolvent St. Petersburg Medicare insurer was then in the process of being liquidated by state regulators.
[DIRK SHADD   |   Times file photo]

  5. Aramis Ayala defends stance against death penalty: 'I did what I believe was proper'

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — Orlando prosecutor Aramis Ayala on Wednesday defended her "absolute discretion" to never seek the death penalty in murder cases, as skeptical justices of the Florida Supreme Court bombarded her lawyer with sharp questions.

    Orlando prosecutor Aramis Ayala, far right, said she was "very well pleased" with her lawyer's case. "I violated no laws." [STEVE BOUSQUET | Times]