2013 Hyundai Veloster Review
Jan 24, 2014
2013 Hyundai Veloster Review
by Mathieu St-Pierre , Auto123.com
If you are car-aware, seeing a Hyundai Veloster on the road likely makes you reflect on a few questions such as “why?” “who?” and possibly “what were they thinking?”
The 2013 Hyundai Veloster is unlike anything on the road today. When it first broke cover, I will admit to deeming that it had the potential to bring with it a small revolution like the Volkswagen Beetle or possibly more along the lines of the Citroen 2CV. I was thinking that this car could be something of a beginning of the right-sized car revolution. I may have been a little wrong…
Be that as it may, the Hyundai Veloster is terribly good fun to drive and is surprisingly roomy for its outer dimensions. I struggle only with the suspension’s inability to stay calm at low speeds, getting upset over the smallest indents. I would like more power, but that’s my problem. Despite the lack of compliance from the suspension, the Veloster handles quite well.
What is a Hyundai Veloster?
The 2013 Hyundai Veloster is the answer to the question no one ever asked. In the beginning, this answer was greater than the sum of its parts, but that has faded somewhat.
This compact sporty car is aimed at Gen Y-ers because of its load of available technology and affordable price. Its styling also plays a large part, being unique, and is instrumental for attracting potential buyers.
2013 Hyundai Veloster Price and Specs
A base 2013 Hyundai Veloster manual starts at $19,699. There are only two options to be had with the Veloster and they are the 6-speed EcoShift DCT transmission ($1,400) and the Tech package ($3,500).
My tested 6-speed manual with Tech tipped the pricing scale at $23,199.
All non-turbo (201 horsepower) manual Velosters make use of a 138-horsepower 1.6L 4-cylinder engine. This same mill loses 6 horsepower with the DCT. Torque numbers also vary, respectively, from 123 lb-ft to 120.
Driving the 2013 Hyundai Veloster
I’ve touched on the 2013 Hyundai Veloster’s imperfectly calibrated suspension. This issue changes with the quality of the road surface. So, if your hood’s got nice smooth roads, you may never notice the front independent read torsion beam suspension setup’s work or laboured labour.
The car’s diminutive outer dimensions and responsive steering make it highly tossable and maneuverable. Short overhangs and large wheels at the corners seriously endow the car with a fair amount of grip. The strong brakes complement the Veloster’s driving dynamics.
What the 2013 Hyundai Veloster is not is a streetlight racer. The 1.6L generates the majority of its power north of 4,500 rpm and so needs to be pushed to get the most. The engine comes alive at the 6,000 rpm mark and surprisingly, the cacophony is tolerable. In town, all’s good thanks in large part to the transmission.
What I perhaps like most about driving the Hyundai Veloster is its slick 6-speed manual gearbox. The shifter’s throws are light and precise enough for quick shifts. The pedals are perfectly spaced for heel-and-toe action and throttle response is brisk, ideal for this type of foot play. In other words, this do-it-yourselfer is likely the best of all the FWD Koreans…
Inside and Out of the Hyundai Veloster
The details in the 2013 Hyundai Veloster’s design are incredible. In a way, on a car in this price bracket, in this segment, many are lost. This is not to say that they are not treasured, but there are so many that the effort put forth by Hyundai is not fully understood. The whole front bumper cutout and work put into the hatch will be all but missed by most.
The end result is a car that looks like no other, and that is a serious pro and a con. I’ll let you decide which applies to you, but I would suggest that Hyundai be subtle with their facelift and not go the way of the 2013 Genesis Coupe. Some elements should be dropped such as the colour-matched spokes in the 18” wheels. The centre-mounted tailpipes should not, on the other hand.
The cabin is, in a word: cool. Youthful and very modern, it remains functional and quite easy to navigate. Matching one’s smartphone or other devices is easy through the redundant controls on the wheel or the standard 7” touchscreen.
The seats all around are supportive and there really is a sufficient amount of room in the second row for two normal adults for a reasonable road trip. Access to the rear requires one to be mindful of their head -- upon entry especially. The trunk is unexpectedly spacious.
Comparing the 2013 Hyundai Veloster
As something of an oddity, the 2013 Hyundai Veloster has no direct competition. As it is, the MINI Cooper Classic, Scion tC and Honda CR-Z kinda match the Veloster in quirkiness and original design. Actually, that’s a complete lie. The Veloster is head and shoulders above them all where looks are concerned.
In the driving department, the MINI leads, followed closely by Hyundai. And this may be its best asset. Give it a whirl and you’re likely to like it.