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Symmetry with Style – Hyundai Veloster 1.6 GDi

 

The three door Veloster

Hyundai’s new Veloster is one of the most distinctive cars around. Aiming to combine the style of a coupe with the practicality of a hatchback we find out if it lives up to that promise.

A three door, low slung coupe the Veloster competes with VW’s Scirocco, the Opel Astra GTC and the Renault Megane coupe. In terms of design it is certainly an innovative and clever piece of engineering and pioneers the “three door” design (excluding Mini’s efforts with the Clubman!) On the driver’s side there is one door in keeping with a coupe but on the passenger side there are two doors so in essence it is a four door hatchback. 

 Hyundai won a host of loyal fans with their hugely successful Coupe, however success came at a cost and it was females that were perceived to be the dominant buyers. The Veloster’s lines, in contrast, are bold and dynamic and create a look that is quite different from existing coupes and hatchbacks. The sleek lines, bold bumper design and muscular wheel arches will attract a heap of new fans, both male and female. 

 Test Car 
There is only one version of the Veloster available a 1.6-litre, four-cylinder GDI petrol engine. This generates a decent 103kW (138bhp) although not swift by any measure, the Coupe goes from 0– 100 km at a very leisurely 9.7 seconds.

 On The Road
On the road the Veloster never lives up to its sports car looks but it’s reasonably good to drive and handles well with good levels of grip and traction.  There are better handling rivals and the ride is firm, bordering on harsh, but overall the Veloster is fun to drive. Refinement could be better though and the engine is noisy when pushed and is noticeable in the cabin at high speeds.

 

Inside it is not as radical as you might expect

 Interior
Inside the interior is nicely styled and there is good feeling of spaciousness throughout. It’s not maybe as imaginative as the radical exterior looks suggest but still it is modern and airy.  The driving position is good although the steering wheel is a little on the large size but everything is in its place and within easy reach. The extra door at the back means rear access is not an issue but space is compromised so it is limiting. The boot offers a decent 320 litres of space so it is more practical than the coupe shape suggests.

 Economy
Incorporating Hyundai’s Intelligent Stop & Go (ISG) technology and low rolling-resistance tyres maximises fuel efficiency and combined fuel economy is  5.9 litres per 100 km while CO2 emissions are 137 g/km so it qualifies for Band B annual motor tax (€225). The Hyundai Veloster is loaded with standard equipment including 17-inch alloy wheels, a 7-inch TFT touch screen media centre (with capability of playing games through consoles and films from smartphones), Bluetooth connectivity with voice recognition, climate control air-conditioning, reversing sensors, front fog lights and striking LED daytime running lights.  The Veloster also features a stereo RDS radio/CD player with MP3/WMA compatibility and an iPod connection, with the ability to operate all functions using controls on the leather steering wheel for added convenience. In addition all Hyundais come with Five Year Triple Care a customer care package provides comprising of a five-year unlimited warranty, five years’ roadside assistance, and five years’ vehicle health checks.

 Verdict
At €24,995 the Veloster is very good value, is one of the most original and clever coupes on the road. Not as sharp or as sporty a drive as the fresh styling would suggest but overall it is fun to drive and guarantees sports car looks without the second mortgage.

 Why you’ll buy one? A very clever piece of design; Radical exterior styling; Well priced

 Why you won’t? Headroom is tight; Engine lacks power; Drive could be better

 Rivals
VW Scirocco 1.4TSI 122BHP BMT Sport Petrol €26,745
Opel Astra GTC 1.6i 16v Turbo (180PS) €26495
Renault Megane coupe 1.5 dCi 90 €22,690

Factfile
Hyundai Veloster 1.6 GDi 

 Engine: 1591cc, 103 kW) @ 6300 rpm, 167 Nm @ 4850 rpm
Max speed: 202 km
0-100km/h: 9.7 seconds
Emissions (motor tax): 137g/km (€ 225)
Starting price: €24,995
Model price range: €24,995
No of Doors:  4
Euro NCAP: 5 stars
Fuel type: Petrol
Fuel Economy (combined cycle): 5.9 litres per 100 km
Boot Capacity Seats up: 320 litres

  18th July, 2012

 

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