Turbo boosts Hyundai Veloster image
"If you’re looking for an affordable vehicle, and styling is still a big priority, you may fall in love at first sight with the Veloster Turbo."
It’s unlikely you’ll mistake the 2013 Hyundai Veloster Turbo for its non-turbocharged sibling, but that actually has little to do with what’s under the hood.
Hyundai isn’t just marketing the Veloster Turbo as essentially a completely different beast from the base Veloster. Besides the new engine, the turbocharged model gets a bunch of exterior and interior add-ons to help set it apart.
The Veloster was already spectacular-looking; the Turbo only accentuates those good looks by adding sculpted side skirts, a new gaping hexagonal grille, 18-inch alloy wheels with chrome inserts, and projector headlamps with LED accents.
If you’re looking for an affordable vehicle, and styling is still a big priority, you may fall in love at first sight with the Veloster Turbo. It really is that gorgeous.
It’s about time to acknowledge the “street cred” Hyundai says the Veloster Turbo earns due to its increase in power - from 138-horsepower and 123 lb-ft of torque for the non-turbo, to 201/195 for the Turbo.
On paper, there’s no denying that’s a significant increase. On the road, though, the boost doesn’t translate quite as dramatically. There’s absolutely no doubt this is a quick vehicle, with acceleration that comes on quickly for easy passing in the city and on the highway, even in top gear at highway speed.
Still, drivers shouldn’t go in with the idea the Veloster Turbo is a Corvette in hatchback form. Horsepower is on-par with competitors like the Civic Si and Golf GTI, and a little more than the Mini Cooper S. The Golf GTI has more torque that peaks at slightly lower RPM, and even that vehicle didn’t completely blow me away.
I like the standard six-speed manual with which the Veloster Turbo comes equipped. There’s no second-guessing when it comes to changing gears, but again, it feels like it was made with the non-performance driver in mind. The clutch, meanwhile, is just a tad too light for my tastes.
Regardless of the power it has on tap, the Veloster Turbo is just as fun to toss around as its non-turbo counterpart. This four-seater sits low to the ground, with its wheels pushed out close to the corners. It holds on tight when pushed at on-ramps and it exhibits very little body roll.
Steering has been tweaked for a sportier feel on the Turbo model, and sure enough, it’s nicely responsive for a legitimately engaging experience behind the wheel. There is truly some fun to be had in this four-door, if that’s your thing.
And that’s the other thing worth keeping in mind - the Veloster Turbo still has that unique design detail that has the driver side employing a single door, and the passenger side using two, with the hatch making the fourth door.
It instantly makes the Veloster Turbo 33 percent more convenient than any of its three door counterparts. Granted, it’s still a little awkward stepping into or out of the rear seats from the rear passenger side door, but at least no one is forced to get out of the front seat first.
I’m still surprised at just how roomy the rear seats are, all things considered. I’m able to fit my nearly six-foot-two frame in and still be relatively comfortable. Up front, it’s easy to find a good seating position with the six-way adjustable driver’s seat.
The back of the Veloster Turbo has a roomy, deep trunk in which to drop all sorts of cargo, and the 60/40 split second row can be folded down with the lift of a couple of knobs. They don’t fold flat unfortunately, but it still allows for some extra room for longer items.
At the end of the day, the Veloster Turbo’s everyday driveability is what defines it. It certainly gets a healthy dose of sportiness, but the best things about it are its comfort, style, fuel economy (as long as your right foot isn’t made of lead), and features.
2013 Hyundai Veloster
Trim level: Turbo
Price as tested (before taxes): $25,999
Options on test vehicle: none
Configuration: front engine/ front-wheel drive
Engine/transmission: 1.6L turbo 4-cyl./ 6-spd manual
Power/torque: 201 hp/ 195 lb.-ft.
Fuel (capacity): regular (50L)
Fuel economy ratings: 7.9 L/100km city; 5.2 L/100km hwy
Observed fuel economy: 9.3 L/100km over 455 km
Warranties: 5 years/100,000 km (comprehensive)
Competitors: Honda Civic Si; Mini Cooper S; Volkswagen Golf GTI
Strengths: styling; features; interior space
Weaknesses: head room; power; light clutch