Hyundai’s cranky little wedge-back Hyundai Veloster is nothing really to shout about from the hilltops. It’s underpowered, questionably good looking and for most uniformed buyers, completely confusing. But without a doubt it’s been putting up some amazing sales numbers. With a likeable personality and an impressive
30 28 mpg, Hyundai just barely seems to be meeting demand. It’s what the sales world likes to call a “win win scenario.”
So, when everyone started demanding a more powerful, sharper looking Veloster, Hyundai was more than happy to oblige.
Ta Da! This is the Hyundai Veloster Turbo; in all of it’s orange- uhm, excuse me, “Vitamin C” glory. With 201-hp pulled from the standard 1.6L engine via a turbocharger, it’s more than a step above the dog-piss-slow 138-hp base model Veloster. Unnaturally combing bits and pieces of the Accent and Elantra, the Veloster’s turbo daddy is a better looking, more powerful step above the rest.
It’s Like an Orange, Only Better
Most literally, the color scheme for the Turbo in question (well, all of them) reads “Vitamin C,” which naturally begs the question; why? To be honest it’s not necessarily a bad looking color, but mostly found on cars that I would rather see driven off a cliff, but on the quirky and fun Veloster Turbo, it seems to work.
Apart from the base Veloster, the turbo comes with a menacing, Evo-reminiscent front grille in order to send more sweet sweet air through to the engine. The headlights mold seamlessly into the fog lights, which present an extremely attractive front grille. As for the rest of the body, the lines are sharp, handsome and did I say sharp?
Inside, I was greeted with the smell of a freshly murdered bovine, which I could have done without (you’ll see why later), but were set off with “Turbo” stitched into the headrests’. Fancy.
It also came along with all the other unnecessary bits like an overcrowded navigation screen, steering wheel controls and a heavy sunroof. Again; very well done and good looking, but just more crap to get in the way.
SPEEEE- and It’s Gone…
Like the GTI, or the FR-S, or even the closely related first-gen Hyundai Genesis, each have a very good power-to-weight ratio. All in question, generally lightweight, powered by a turbocharged/boxer 2.0L 4-cylinder engine and putting out enough power to make me do this :).
But with the Veloster Turbo, the turbocharged 1.6L engine, although powerful in its own right, just couldn’t manage all the added weight associated with the three door setup and optional extras (sunroof, navigation, yada, yada, yada.). Good news is, all of these options are extra…and expensive.
The transmission was reminiscent of the $15K Hyundai Accent, a bit clunkier then I would have liked, but not unmanageable and the clutch felt a bit loose, although, not necessarily a model specific trait.
Racks on Racks on Racks
As tested, the Hyundai Veloster Turbo in question rang it at an impressive $26,520 (including shipping). Which, for a 200-hp turbocharged hot hatch, is damn expensive. Included was the “Ultimate Package” with sunroof, backup camera, navigation and automatic headlights, all of which will set you back an extra $2,500, while carpeted floor mats -yes, floor mats- will even chime in just short of $100.
But throw out all this, what I like to call ‘unnecessary shit’ onto the curb, and you could find the turbo in your driveway for as little as $22,725 MSRP; steering wheel and three pedals included.
To sum it all up, I just sorta, kinda liked the Hyundai Veloster Turbo, in the same sense that I would go and like something on Facebook and forget about it two hours later. It wasn’t the memorable, fun experience that I had so long hoped for. It looks great, and the options (albeit expensive) were also great if that’s what your into. Also, according to some paper an Italian guy handed me, it’s great for the environment.
While I would never knock the Hyundai Veloster Turbo altogether, as I wish I would have gotten my hands on the bare knuckle, stripped down, shut-the-fuck-up-model. It’s just a model that I, along with other writers were really rooting for. What this model represents, is a sign that Hyundai is on the rise and they have the capability to build even better, more fun sports cars like the Veloster Turbo or the Genesis in the future.
While I can’t give a definitive thumbs up or down on the Turbo, I’ll say this; as most other reviews have gone the same route- if Hyundai heeds advice given from the media in their next generation customers, then it has the possibility of overcoming the aging GTI. And that’s my $.02…or whatever that is in Euro.
Model: Veloster Turbo
Engine: 1.6L 4-Cylinder Turbo