Hyundai's economical hatchback with youthful style, the Veloster is known for its unique three-door layout and generous load of standard features. While it's more about appearing sporty than objective performance, the Veloster can be optioned into a feisty contender in the hot compact segment.
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2016 Hyundai Veloster Overview
What's New for 2016
The Veloster receives a new hood and grille, plus numerous updates to the available navigation system. Turbo models can now get a seven-speed automated manual transmission. A new Rally Edition takes aim at the tuner set.
Choosing Your Hyundai Veloster
At first glance, the Veloster looks like any other two-door hatchback with sporty aspirations. But look closely at the passenger side and you'll see a legitimate front-hinged rear door that permits hassle-free access to the backseat and cargo area. The Veloster offers more room in back for people and things than you would get in a coupe of similar size, though it's not to be confused with utility-oriented hatchbacks.
The standard 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine produces 138 horsepower when paired with the standard six-speed manual transmission, or 132 horsepower with the optional six-speed automated manual transmission known as DCT. Models with the DCT deliver about 31 mpg in combined driving.
The engine of choice for performance fans is a turbocharged version of the 1.6-liter, which delivers 201 horsepower and comes with either the manual transmission or a new seven-speed automated manual.
The Veloster is available in four trim levels:
Although the base model certainly looks sporty, it offers only average performance. If you want moves to match the Veloster's style, upgrading to a turbocharged model is practically mandatory. Be aware that the new Rally Edition is limited to 1,200 units, so don't dawdle if you have your heart set on one.
2016 Hyundai Veloster Review
The Hyundai Veloster has grown a lot over the years, as it went from a sluggish hatch to a peppy semi-hot-hatch with its Turbo and Turbo R-Spec trims. For 2016, the Veloster lineup is more complete than ever, but it is far from a perfect car for most buyers.
Pricing and Equipment
For a sporty hatchback, the 2016 Veloster is actually surprisingly inexpensive with a starting MSRP of just $18,000. At this base price, the Veloster also comes pretty well equipped with standard features like:
- 17-inch alloy wheels
- Center-mounted exhaust
- Premium cloth upholstery
- Six-speaker audio system with AM/FM/SiriusXM/MP3 capabilities and a 7-inch touchscreen
For buyers looking for more features and enhanced performance, there are three other trims: Turbo R-Spec ($21,600), Turbo ($22,600), and Turbo Rally Edition ($23,950).
The Turbo models are pretty respectable for the class, thanks to their extra power. Additionally, the R-Spec model has some added chassis tweaks that deliver a sportier drive, though it is not a significant improvement over the Turbo model.
- The 201-horsepower turbocharged engine drops the 0-to-60 mph sprint to less than seven seconds
- The R-Spec's stiff suspension gives the Veloster excellent feel
- The Veloster lack oomph with a base 1.6-liter engine that always leaves us wanting more.
- The electric steering system is also problematic -- too light on the base model and too heavy on the Turbo
- A rough ride is the trade-off for a performance-oriented suspension on the R-Spec
Hyundai looked to motorcycles for design inspiration and fitted the Veloster with an innovate saddle-like center console and air vents that resemble end pipes. The Blue Link telematics system is standard. And there's decent cargo space when the rear seats are folded.
- Aside from the motorcycle-inspired design elements, the rest of the interior is a little blah
- Forget about cramming adults in the rear seat -- headroom and legroom are short in supply
The Most Pleasant Surprise
For what is essentially a compact hatchback, the Veloster impresses us with a breadth of standard and optional features.
The Least Pleasant Surprise
Comfort is not the Veloster's strong point, particularly for the folks in the rear seats. What's more, the ride can be a little harsh and there's significant wind noise at highway speeds.
The Bottom Line
The Veloster is ideal for compact hatchback shoppers who value style and performance over utility.
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