With a unique, vaguely alien-like look highlighted by an asymmetrical door layout, the Hyundai Veloster is unlike anything else on the market. Underneath the wild styling, the Veloster offers the high level of standard equipment and solid value for which Hyundai has become known.
The Veloster comes powered by a 1.6-liter direct-injected gasoline four-cylinder that cranks out 138 horsepower at 6,300 rpm and 123 lb-ft. of torque at 4,850 rpm. Buyers can choose between a six-speed manual transmission or Hyundai's first dual clutch automatic transmission.
Fuel economy is rated at 27/37 city/highway mpg with the stick and 28/37 mpg with the dual clutch unit.
Inside, the Veloster draws heavily from its Hyundai Elantra cousin, meaning it features a heavily styled dashboard with a center stack that Hyundai says found its inspiration from sport bikes. Unlike the Elantra, the Veloster offers three doors - two traditional coupe-like doors and one short door behind the passenger seat for access to the second row. Unlike the now-departed Saturn coupe, the Hyundai's rear door is not suicide-style.
Not to be forgotten, there is also a fourth door, which is actually the hatchback opening for the rear glass at the back of the vehicle. Despite its existence, Hyundai continues to refer to the Veloster as a coupe - possibly to avoid the confusion would arise from qualifying the car as a "four-door."
Stepping inside the Veloster will grant occupants access to a slew of features and technologies, including standard Blue Link - Hyundai's equivalent to General Motors' OnStar, but with a Korean twist. Like GM's OnStar, Blue Link can assist with vehicle problems, including crash response and vehicle diagnostics.
Other standard interior tech includes a seven-inch touch-screen display, Pandora, Gracenote, Bluetooth, steering wheel audio controls, cruise control, tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, air conditioning, ample interior lighting and more.
For those looking to spend a little more, one can upgrade from the 196-watt stock stereo to a Dimension-branded 450-watt premium system that features eight speakers and a subwoofer for some added oomph.
A navigation system with a rearview camera and backup warning sensors can also be added.
There are of course a couple option packages that can be selected to simplify the process, starting with the Style Package which adds: 18-inch alloy wheels with P215/40R18 tires, chrome grille surround with piano black highlights, fog lights, panoramic sunroof, Dimension premium audio with eight speakers, external amp and subwoofer, leatherette bolster seats and door inserts, leather wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, alloy pedals and an automatic-up driver-side window.
The second package is the Tech Package (which requires selecting the Style Package first), and this adds rear backup warning sensors, unique 18-inch alloy wheels with painted inserts, navigation system with rearview camera, automatic headlights, proximity key entry with electronic push button start and a 115V outlet.
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.
The Veloster has no shortage of small, inexpensive and sporty competitors, each with its own unique flavor. The diminutive FIAT 500 charms with its Italian style, the Honda CR-Z impresses with its hybrid fuel economy, the Scion tC offers traditional coupe styling while the chuckable MINI Cooper is just plain fun.