I have been writing about some quite expensive cars lately but I like to cover the entire automotive landscape. Thus, what about some automotive spice but at an affordable price?
And what automaker can bring such a vehicle to you? Hyundai can indeed! The automaker has been on a roll lately with its mid-size Sonata and smaller but spacious Elantra. So what does the 2012 Hyundai Veloster bring to the automotive world?
It is a front-wheel drive four-door hatchback that offers unique styling. As with other of today’s automotive offerings, the car’s windshield highly raked. The front look is modern with large headlights that point well towards the windshield and move close to the tip of the car’s grille. A large air intake is located below the bumper with large fog lamps inset at each side. The car’s side profile suggests it has good interior room. At the rear the Veloster looks futuristic with opposing shapes for the rear window and lower blacked out license plate area. The car’s wheelbase measures 104.3 inches.
And how many doors does this Hyundai have? Three doors plus the hatch! That means a front and rear door on the passenger side, a front door only on the driver’s side, plus the hatch.
And how might onlookers react to the car’s styling? Regarding the Veloster’s looks, Car and Driver said, “We watched as a couple stopped dead in their tracks upon seeing the Veloster – such a thing does not go unnoticed in the parking lot of a suburban Midwest Pei Asian Diner. The man approached from the driver’s side, cocked his head, shuffled closer, peeked inside, then, without taking his eyes off the thing, skirted around the Veloster’s chunky rear until he got to the passenger side. He stood staring at it for a moment and then squinted his eyes, thrust his head forward, and raised his eyebrows. He then scooted over to the driver’s side again, as if he believed that if he moved quickly enough he might surprise the driver’s side and catch it having two doors.” Well, the car can certainly grab attention and the guy also may well be scooting to a Hyundai dealer for a test drive!
The Veloster has a unique and somewhat quirky interior. The front seats are spacious and comfortable. The materials and their fit and finish are impressive considering the car’s price. The 60/40 split rear seats fold down to increase the cargo volume. Hyundai reports that the Veloster has best in class interior volume measuring 15.5 cubic feet with the rear seat up and 34.7 cubic feet with the rear seat folded down.
The Veloster is powered by a 1.6-liter inline four-cylinder making 138 hp and 123 ft. lb. of torque (the same mill powers the Accent). The transmission is a six-speed manual or a six-speed dual-clutch automatic. The car’s 0-60 mph time is in 8.5 seconds.
The suspension consists of struts, coil springs and anti roll bar at the front, and torsion-beam, trailing arms, coil-springs, and anti roll bar at the rear.
The brakes are discs at all four corners measuring 11 inches at the front and 10.3 inches at the back. The tires are 215 45 17 inch.
Standard features on this Hyundai include height adjustable driver’s seat, 7 inch touch navigation screen, Bluetooth wireless data link for hands-free phone use, power door locks, windows, and mirrors (heated), cruise control, front and rear cupholders, 12 volt power outlets, tilt and telescoping steering wheel (audio and cruise control on steering wheel), air conditioning and filtration, cargo area light, front reading lights, AM/FM in-dash single CD player with CD MP3 playback stereo and six speakers, XM satellite radio, auxiliary audio input and iPod integration, and more.
Safety features on this Hyundai includes six air bags (front and rear head air bags, dual front side mounted air bags), child seat anchors, ABS brakes, electronic stability and traction control, electronic brake-force distribution, as well as brake assist.
The warranty is 5 years/60,000 miles bumper to bumper and 10 years/100,000 miles on the drivetrain (engine and transmission).
On the road the Veloster provides acceptable handling and reasonable ride quality. The steering, however, does not provide the driver with much feedback. Additionally, the car’s engine needs to be worked at times to get the job done. Consequently, the automatic transmission might well be the best choice for most driving environments.
The fuel rating for the Veloster is 28 city and 40 mpg highway.
The base price of the 2012 Hyundai Veloster is $17,300.
Need to add some onlookers and utility to your automotive life at a reasonable price? Consider giving the Hyundai Veloster a spin!
View the slideshow to see the 2012 Hyundai Veloster inside and out!
Kyle Busch is the author of “Drive the Best for the Price: How to Buy a Used Automobile, Sport-Utility Vehicle, or Minivan and Save money.” He welcomes your comments or car questions at his auto web site: www.cartown1.com. Follow Kyle on Facebook and Twitter.