Make us your home page
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


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


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

  1. Construction starts on USF medical school, the first piece of Tampa's Water Street project


    TAMPA — Dozens of workers in hard hats and boots were busy at work at the corner of South Meridian Avenue and Channelside Drive Wednesday morning, signaling the start of construction on the University of South Florida's new Morsani College of Medicine and Heart Institute.

    A rendering shows what the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine and Heart Institute will look like when completed in 2019. Local officials gathered Wednesday to celebrate as construction begins on the facility, the first piece of the Water Street redevelopment area in downtown Tampa. [Rendering courtesy of the USF Health]
  2. Tampa Bay among top 25 metro areas with fastest growing economies

    Economic Development

    Tampa Bay had the 24th fastest growing economy among 382 metro areas in the country for 2016. According to an analysis by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, Tampa Bay's gross domestic product, or GDP, increased 4.2 percent from 2015 to 2016 to hit $126.2 billion.

    Tampa Bay had the 24th fastest growing economy in the country for 2016. Rentals were one of the areas that contributed to Tampa Bay's GDP growth. Pictured is attorney David Eaton in front of his rental home. 
  3. Tampa Bay cools down to more moderate home price increases

    Real Estate

    The increase in home prices throughout much of the Tampa Bay area is definitely slowing from the torrid rate a year ago.

    This home close to Bayshore Boulevard in Tampa sold for $3.055 million in August, making it Hillsborough County's top sale of the month. [Courtesy of Bredt Cobitz]
  4. With successful jewelry line, Durant High alum Carley Ochs enjoys 'incredible ride'



    As a child Carley Ochs played dress up, draped in her grandmother's furs.

    Founder Carley Ochs poses for a portrait in her Ford Bronco at the Bourbon & Boweties warehouse in Brandon, Fla. on September 19, 2017. Ochs is a Durant High and Florida State University graduate.
  5. At Menorah Manor, planning paid off during Irma

    Nursing Homes

    ST. PETERSBURG — Doris Rosenblatt and her husband, Frank, have lived in Florida all of their lives, so they know about hurricanes.

    Raisa Collins, 9, far left, works on a craft project as Certified Nursing Assistant Shuntal Anthony holds Cassidy Merrill, 1, while pouring glue for Quanniyah Brownlee, 9, right, at Menorah Manor in St. Petersburg on Sept. 15. To help keep its patients safe during Hurricane Irma, Menorah Manor allowed employees to shelter their families and pets at the nursing home and also offered daycare through the week. The facility was able to accommodate and feed everyone who weathered the storm there. [LARA CERRI   |   Times]