A rearview camera is now standard on all Velosters. The Veloster Turbo gets active sound design, which enhances engine noises, and brake-controlled torque vectoring, which helps the car more effectively go through corners...more
A car that's different for the sake of it, that's darn near impossible to compare to anything else on the market, will always be intriguing. The Hyundai Veloster has three doors. It has a funny name. It's styled like a dinosaur's skull. It doesn't fit into one of the auto industry's well-established segments. Simply put, it's a rogue. Last year, the Veloster sold almost on pace with its closest competitor, the high-riding Nissan Juke. The Veloster is even bolder than the curvy Juke, and we dig that. When the Veloster is equipped with a manual transmission, it gets much better fuel economy than the Juke. Better yet, it's dirt cheap -- you can get into a Veloster for a tad over $18,000. The Veloster won't make sense for everyone, but it's worth a look if you want something affordable, economical, and very different from anything else on the road.
We like the Veloster. What's not to like? It's quirky, it's a good value, it has an airy greenhouse, it's small, and it lacks an ultimate purpose. This Hyundai is based on a combination of Accent and Elantra architecture, but it's closer in size to the little Accent. The base Veloster has the same 138-hp, 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine as the Accent, too. The engine does a good job of moving the three-door hatchback along city side streets, but the engine runs out of grunt once you put the little Korean monster on the highway. Worry not, though, since Hyundai builds a turbocharged Veloster.
The $4500 premium for the Veloster Turbo gets you a lot: a front fascia with a huge grille, sport-tuned steering, projector headlights, LED taillights, foglights, a Dimension audio system with a subwoofer, aluminum pedals, and leather-trimmed seats. The Turbo also has active sound design, which enhances engine noises, and brake-controlled torque vectoring, both new features for 2014. The most important addition? 63 more horsepower, thanks to the twin-scroll turbocharger that's piped between the 1.6-liter engine's intake and exhaust manifolds. It makes a huge difference on the highway. While the base Veloster struggles to pass other cars on the freeway, the Veloster Turbo does it with ease. What's surprising, though, is that the turbocharged Veloster isn't really any more fun on roads and streets than the normally aspirated Veloster. The most enjoyable Veloster you can get is the simplest one -- with a 138-hp engine, a six-speed manual transmission, and, best of all, a sub-$19,000 price tag.
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