2014 Hyundai Veloster Turbo

Designed for those who like the funky look of the normal Hyundai Veloster but crave more thrust, the Veloster Turbo boasts 201 horsepower in addition to a 35-mpg highway rating and a bevy of standard features. The defining feature of the standard Veloster - an asymmetrical door arrangement with two portals on the right and one on the left - carries over unchanged to the Turbo.

Recent Changes
For the latest model year, the Veloster Turbo benefits from a healthy dose of new standard equipment, including a rearview camera, driver's blind spot mirror, daytime running lights and Hyundai's Assurance Connected Care service. Also new is automatic climate control, Torque Vectoring Control and an Active Sound Design system.

Overview
As its name suggests, the Veloster Turbo is powered by a turbocharged version of the entry-level Veloster's 1.6-liter direct-injection four-cylinder. Running 18 psi of boost, this powerplant is good for 195 lb-ft of torque in addition to the aforementioned 201 ponies. Buyers have the choice of transmitting power to the front wheels through manual or automatic gearboxes, both with six speeds. Fuel economy is rated at 24 mpg in the city and 35 mpg on the highway for the manual transmission and 24/31 mpg with the auto.

Hyundai decided to not to alter the standard Veloster's suspension, which consists of McPherson struts up front and a torsion beam around back, for the Turbo. The automaker did see fit to revise the steering rack for increased feedback and also quickened the ratio.

Signaling the Turbo's sporting credentials is a host of exterior modifications highlighted by an oversized black hexagonal grille. Other changes include more aggressive side sills, round fog lamps and an imitation rear diffuser. In place of the normal Veloster's central hexagonal exhaust pipe are two larger free flowing circular pipes that team up with new intake manifold to create more robust-sounding engine music.

Changes to the interior are limited to TFT screens located between the speedometer and tachometer and "Turbo" badging stitched into the seatbacks. Despite its sporting focus, the Veloster Turbo's cabin is quite practical due to the third door and hatchback configuration, the latter of which provides easy access to the 15.5 cubic feet of cargo space.

The Veloster Turbo is fitted as standard with Hyundai's Blue Link telematics system, which can be spec'd to provide voice text messaging, point-of-interest web search and download, and remote vehicle unlocking in addition to traffic, weather, restaurant and nearby gas station information. It also features Assurance Connected Care, which includes automatic collision notification and assistance, maintenance reminders, an SOS emergency function and more.

Standard and Optional Features
The Veloster Turbo comes well-equipped with standard leather upholstery, heated front seats, a 450-watt Dimension Premium Audio system with eight speakers and iPod/USB/auxiliary input jacks, Bluetooth smartphone connectivity with voice recognition, a rearview camera, Blue Link, 18-inch alloy wheels, aluminum pedals and electroluminescent gauges. Also standard is a seven-inch high resolution touchscreen with Pandora internet radio capability via iPhone, Gracenote advanced voice recognition and album cover art via iPod, ECO Coach, photo slideshow and video playback via RCA cable.

Those looking for a completely tricked-out hot hatch can opt for the Ultimate Package, which adds a panoramic sunroof, rear backup warning sensors, automatic headlights, a navigation system and an 115V outlet.

Turbo R-Spec
The Veloster Turbo R-Spec is the fourth member of Hyundai's performance-focused R-Spec lineup.

The R-Spec is powered by the same 201-horsepower 2.0-liter four-cylinder found in the engine bay of the Veloster Turbo but it can only be linked to a six-speed close-ratio manual transmission. Handling is improved by a more responsive suspension setup and a recalibrated power steering system.

Available in white, black, blue and gray, the R-Spec stands out from a regular Veloster Turbo thanks to R-Spec badging all around and available red accents on the front splitter and the side skirts. The interior gains sport seats with cloth inserts, a short-throw shifter, R-Spec floor mats and an artificial sound generator called Active Sound Design.

Hyundai has removed the Veloster Turbo's proximity key, premium gauge cluster, side-repeater mirrors, auto-up window and heated seats in order to keep the R-Spec's weight - and price - to a minimum.

Occupant Safety
Standard safety gear on the Veloster Turbo includes dual front, side and side-curtain airbags, traction and stability control systems, brake assist and a tire-pressure monitoring system.

Key Competitors
The Veloster Turbo's rivals include compact performance segment stalwarts such as the high-revving Honda Civic Si and the refined Volkswagen GTI in addition to the new Ford Focus ST.