At a time when all automakers are offering small, fuel-efficient cars, they are mostly stamped out from the same cookie cutter. Familiar shapes and boring personalities are commonplace. But then there is the Hyundai Veloster, a three-door couple-like hatchback that dares to put fun in the mix. We just finished testing the Veloster, finding it funky, efficient, and with some compromises.
The head-turning looks and clever functionality define the Veloster. It makes owning a small coupe more manageable, as the third-door provides convenient, curb-side rear seat access—though the second row is best left to kids.
It is powered by a 138-hp, 1.6-liter, direct-injected four-cylinder engine matched with a six-speed manual transmission. Acceleration is decent for the category, but the engine is noisy and lacks low-end torque. The upside is fuel economy that proved excellent, but it fell short of the claimed 40-mpg highway rating.
The Veloster is fun to drive, with well-weighted steering and engaging agility. But the ride is firm and the short-throw shifter needs frequent rowing.
In all, the Veloster offers much character and enjoyment for the money, but it is not without compromises. Check out the video below to see the Veloster in action, and read the detailed Veloster road test and Ratings for more insights.