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#32

in Affordable Small Cars

MSRP: $17,800 - $23,300
Invoice: $17,172 - $22,165
MPG: 28 City / 36 Hwy
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Hyundai Veloster Performance

Equipped with the base engine, test drivers say the base 2014 Hyundai Veloster feels sluggish. They mention that the Veloster Turbo is noticeably quicker off the line. They write that the Veloster can’t compete with the speed and agility of sporty hatchbacks like the Mini Cooper S and Volkswagen GTI, but that the Turbo trim feels fairly nimble. Some note that it blends ride comfort and sporty dynamics while others say that the ride is rough. The Veloster's steering has a slightly numb feel, critics note.

  • "In the 2014 Hyundai Veloster, we find a car with a decidedly split personality. Opt for the base model, and you'll get a comfortable ride, tepid acceleration, great fuel economy and an incredibly low price. Spend a bit more for the Turbo and you get a car that loves to sprint, tackles turns without complaint and still manages descent EPA fuel economy ratings." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • “We're less enamored of the way the chassis flexes over rough pavement. But hey, let's be honest -- Hyundai did a darn good job tuning the Veloster's ride and handling." -- AutoTrader
  • “Base Velosters are disappointingly slow, but Turbo models deliver sprightly acceleration and crisper handling that are more in keeping with the car's ostentatious looks." -- Consumer Guide (2013)
  • "So the 2013 Hyundai Veloster is not a legitimate sport coupe or sport hatchback. However, if you're just looking for a subcompact or compact hatchback with a distinct and sportycharacter, then it definitely still has some appeal. It is easy to drive, responsive to inputs and both engines deliver strong fuel economy." -- Edmunds (2013)
  • “For those who try to compare this to a Subaru WRX, you are at the wrong party. But for the consumer looking for a nicely weighted balance of sport and economy in a very stylish package, the 2013 Hyundai Veloster Turbo just may be the slickest ride." -- Autoblog (2013)

Acceleration and Power

The 2014 Veloster comes with a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 138 horsepower. The Veloster Turbo R-Spec and Turbo trims have a turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 201 horsepower. All trims come standard with a six-speed manual transmission. The base model has an available automated manual transmission and the Turbo trims have an available six-speed automatic. Equipped with an automated manual transmission, the base Veloster gets an EPA-estimated 28/36 mpg city/highway, which is good compared to rival hatchbacks’ fuel economy.

Test drivers write that acceleration is sluggish with the Veloster’s base engine. They prefer models equipped with the optional turbocharged engine, saying they're a lot peppier off the line, though still not as fast as rivals like the Mini Cooper S. Test drivers praise the manual transmission for its slick shifts and the available automatic for its responsiveness.

  • "While the base car isn't what we'd call quick, the turbocharged model punches performance into the hot-hatchback league, turning the Veloster into an entirely different animal." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "With either transmission, the base Veloster's acceleration is adequate at best, and nowhere near as peppy as the sporty looks suggest." -- Consumer Guide (2013)
  • "Turbos deliver snappy acceleration both in city and highway driving, after a bit of turbo lag. The manual shifts smoothly and crisply, and the automatic is alert and responsive.” -- Consumer Guide (2013)
  • "There is some extra velocity to be found this year, however, thanks to the addition of a new Turbo model that packs 201 hp. This is a much stronger engine that still gets decent fuel economy, but even with this extra oomph, the Veloster remains slower than cars like the Mini Cooper S or Volkswagen GTI." -- Edmunds (2013)
  • "The gearbox is fantastic (it is configured with wider ratios when compared to the standard model) and shifts are a pleasure, but it just doesn't feel as strong as its 195 foot-pounds would lead many to believe (we had a 180-pound adult in the front passenger seat of the 2,800 pound Veloster Turbo, so maybe that affected things?)." -- Autoblog (2013) 

Handling and Braking

While some reviewers report that the Veloster feels planted in corners, others say it isn’t as nimble as some of the sportier hatchbacks in the class. Some reviewers add that the ride is both composed and comfortable, but others find it feels a bit too rough. Auto writers say the Veloster’s steering is somewhat numb and doesn’t offer much feedback.

  • "On the road, the Veloster's steering feels a bit artificial, even in quicker-ratio Turbo form, but it's responsive enough to be entertaining. The Veloster's wide front track is palpable, keeping the car mostly planted to its handling limits." -- AutoTrader
  • "Weight remains commendably low at less than 2900 pounds and the car corners with good body control and a sense of stability. If the pavement is sufficiently smooth, you can find joy in stringing together a series of bends, but the Veloster lacks the composure of its competitors in the most demanding conditions. Thus, piloting the Veloster Turbo is nowhere near as visceral as the best hot hatches." -- Automobile Magazine (2013)
  • "Veloster's ride is compliant yet firm. Smaller bumps and cracks in the pavement are absorbed nicely while larger ones make themselves known, but not jarringly so." -- Consumer Guide (2013)
  • "The Veloster corners reasonably well, but the steering feels vague and the car is upset by bumps while cornering. Moreover, the ride is harsh, which makes this car less than fun on a daily basis." -- Edmunds (2013)
  • "The suspension hasn't been altered, but even with the added power the Veloster Turbo remained composed on a variety of roads and even an autocross course." -- Kelley Blue Book (2013)
Review Last Updated: 5/16/14

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