2019 Hyundai Veloster Turbo

New and still weird



  • 서승진 (leo@koreatimes.net) --
  • 27 Aug 2018

By James Park


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   A nail that sticks out usually gets hammered down.

   Admittedly, the Hyundai Veloster could be seen as little too weird and many who monitor the industry were willing to forecast the demise of this unique runabout. At least personally, it is good to see the return of new and improved Veloster for the 2019 model year.

   The Veloster is a sporty three-door hatchback both sleek and practical at the same time. It looks like a coupe from the driver’s side; but from the passenger’s, it also provides a rear door for easier access.

   With the granting of independence for the Genesis brand and the discontinuation of the Genesis Coupe, the Veloster now stands alone as the sportiest model in the Hyundai lineup.

   The new Veloster looks the part with more aggressive fascia, as well as the front and rear character lines above the wheel arches that lend muscularity to the overall image. In the turbo model, the rear diffuser and great big round tailpipes at the centre also enhance the hooligan vive.

   Compared to the outgoing model, the new Veloster is about 10 mm wider and 20 mm longer. The legroom has improved, but the car is still small and the rear passenger space is tight.

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The triangular motive of the previous model’s interior is replaced by probably more useful but not as eye-catching dashboard design, focal point of which is the new seven or the optional eight-inch touch screen. The familiar switches and dials are cleanly laid out and simple to use.

   Personally, the red stitching in the seats are okay but the red line running down the front seats, as well as the red line at the bottom of the steering wheel and in the dash seem overdone. The heated leather seats, however, are supportive and all-day comfortable. Probably to save costs, the car’s interior is made up mostly of hard plastic. The fit and finish, however, seems above average.

   The previous model’s naturally aspirated 1.6 litre four is put out to pasture. The new Veloster’s base engine is now a two-litre Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder that pumps out 147 horsepower and 132 lb-ft of torque. The optional 1.6 litre turbo is carried over and this familiar motor is still good for 201 horses and 195 lb-ft of healthy twist.

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It would’ve been nice to see at least a small increase in power, but the force-fed mill can still pull the 1,350 kg (2,976 lb) Veloster at a good clip. No neck-breaking power here, but neither would you be embarrassed at most green-light situations. If you want something a little more outrageous, wait for the 275 horsepower Veloster N… coming soon!

   The ‘regular’ Veloster Turbo is still a nice-handling, fun-to-drive car. There’s virtually no torque-steer and the new multi-link rear suspension, as well as the improved torque-vectoring control (TVC) system effectively downplays the front-wheel driven car’s understeer tendencies.

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   Another nice surprise is the sleeker action of the six-speed manual transmission. The short-throw lever slides cleanly into well-defined gates and the clutch is easy to modulate. One can opt for the seven-speed DCT for an extra grand, but why would you?

   The base model starts from $20,999. The top-of-the-line Turbo Tech provided to this writer starts from $28,899. This model gets 8-inch screen, instead of the base’s 7-inch and also provides such goodies as head-up display (HUD), navigation, keyless entry and push-button ignition, blind-side monitoring and so on. However, there’s no forward collision mitigation, active cruise control, or the pedestrian detection.

   The Veloster is a nice compromise between a sporty coupe and a practical hatch. Bit unusual, yes, but there’s nothing like it out there and that’s not a bad thing. (James Park is a member of the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada.)

 

2019 Hyundai Veloster Turbo Tech

Price: $28,899

Engine: 1.6 litre turbo four

Power: 201 hp/195 lb-ft

Transmission: 6-spd manual

Drive: FWD

Fuel: 9.4 litres per 100km (city), 7.0 litres (highway)

Best: improved styling, better handling

Worst: hard plastic surfaces

Competition: Honda Civic Si, Ford Fiesta ST

 

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