2013 Hyundai Veloster Turbo Review
We take our first spin in the turbocharged Veloster.No Comments
Step on the go pedal and it's immediately clear that this is a changed car.
Face it, America has become a nation of excess. Too much is not enough. We won't settle for anything less than the best, and no matter how much we have, we want more, more, more.
That's all true, but sometimes we really do need more. Such is the case with the power numbers on Hyundai's Veloster. The odd little three-door hatchback provided plenty of sporty handling when it hit the road in the fall of 2011, but its 138 horsepower and 132 lb-ft of torque doomed it to some disdain from the motoring press. Consider these quotes from this very Website, the one that you're reading right now, published just days prior to last Christmas: 'Of course, spirit is in more than the eye of the beholder. A car that looks fast may not actually be fast, and that is sadly the case with the Veloster,' and, 'Even when mated to a six-speed manual transmission, the Veloster feels just a wee bit short of breath. Get it rolling and get rowing with the gears, and the Veloster is fun. Trouble is, getting it going takes a fair bit of patience, and the off-the-line jump isn't quite enough.' We also said this: 'Hyundai has promised a turbo, and that may cure the Veloster's ills.' This all from the same review in which we compared the car to Charlie Sheen, for whatever that's worth.
Hyundai did make good on the turbo promise, and hence we found ourselves somewhere near San Diego in the driver's seat of the 2013 Veloster Turbo. With 201 ponies now under hood and 195 lb-ft of torque twisting the front wheels, we were hopeful that all the Veloster's 'ills' (which were admittedly relatively few) would be cured.
Other than that, the Veloster Turbo is still a three-door hatch with two doors on the passenger side and one on the driver's side. Two transmissions are available: a six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic. Unlike the non-turbo car, this automatic is not a dual-clutch unit.
Despite the sport-tuned steering, we didn't notice a dramatic difference in steering feel on the Turbo, and we wish Hyundai would install the driver-selectable unit from the new Elantra GT. That doesn't mean that the steering feel is bad--far from it--but a little more tightness would go a long way, especially in a car that handles this well.
And the Veloster Turbo, like the non-turbo version, handles quite well indeed. It has a joy that sometimes seems to encourage playful behavior, all while still maintaining a composed ride around town and on the highway.
We'd also appreciate a slightly stiffer clutch and shifter on the manual, even though the current setup isn't bad.
Fuel economy is rated at 26 mpg city/38 mpg highway with the manual and 25/34 with the automatic.
This is what the Veloster should have been from the get-go: a spry sportster with the kind of verve that isn't always found in small cars. We still want even more power--we always do--but we think we'd be satisfied if we were the ones writing the checks each month.
Veloster buyers no longer need to settle, and we approve.