Review

Hyundai Veloster coupe

Price  £17,000 - £22,000

Hyundai Veloster coupe

reviewed by Carbuyer

Pros
  • Clever door layout
  • Good value for money
  • Fun to drive
Cons
  • Limited headroom
  • Slightly underpowered
  • Hyundai badge can't match Volkswagen for image

At a glance

The greenest
1.6 GDi SE 4dr 4dr £17,000
The cheapest
1.6 GDi SE 4dr 4dr £17,000
The fastest
1.6 GDi-T 4dr Turbo 4dr £22,000
Top of the range
1.6 GDi-T 4dr Turbo 4dr £22,000

"Practical, good looking, well equipped and fun to drive - the Hyundai Veloster is an attractive package."

The Hyundai Veloster is a practical coupe that competes with models such as the Volkswagen Scirocco but is much cheaper to buy. The Hyundai also offers something no other car in its class does – a single door at the back for better access to the rear seats. Unlike in the MINI Countryman, this door opens on to the pavement in the UK, so kids don’t have to exit the car onto the road.

From launch the Hyundai was available with just one engine – a sluggish 1.6-litre petrol, but the arrival of a new 1.6-litre turbo means that the Hyundai now has the pace to back its coupe image, even if it still isn’t super-quick. It may not be as fast as some coupe buyers would like but it is fun to drive on a twisty road.

There's a choice of two models – the SE and the Turbo. Both models come well equipped with items such as a seven-inch touchscreen, a rear-view camera, air-conditioning and LED daytime running lights.

MPG, running costs & CO2

3.0 / 5

No diesel engine and thirsty petrol let it down

While the Hyundai Velostar isn’t hugely expensive to run, its petrol engines can’t compete with the latest small-capacity units offered by the likes of Volkswagen in its Scirocco or even the new MINI Cooper, which is likely to appeal to people in the market for a Velostar. The Hyundai also isn’t available with a diesel engine.

The cheapest model to run in the Velostar range is the 1.6-litre petrol without a turbo, which can return up to 43.5mpg and emissions that mean it costs £145 a year to tax. The turbocharged 1.6-litre engine, meanwhile, can do 40.9mpg and emit 157 g/km of CO2 for annual road tax of £180.

Hyundai also offers fixed-price servicing over three or five years, which means you can keep on top of maintenance bills.

Interior & comfort

3.0 / 5

Firm but secure, the suspension provides a good compromise

The Hyundai feels sporty to drive but the trade off is a ride that's jittery on the UK's bumpy roads and cars such as the Scirocco and the Vauxhall Astra GTC will be more comfortable on a long journey.

That said, the Velostar gets comfy sports seats and both models have driver's seats that adjust for height, and steering wheels that move for rake and reach, so getting a good position behind the wheel shouldn’t be a problem.

Practicality & boot space

2.5 / 5

Clever doors and a good size boot

The Hyundai Velostar offers something no other coupe does – a single rear passenger door. That means access to the back is better than normal for a car of this type, although if you want to get to the far side of the rear seat you’ll still have to slide along the rear bench. The rear door also gives excellent access if you need to fit a child seat. In the back there is a decent amount of legroom and headroom, especially when you consider the Hyundai's sloping roofline.

Space in the front is generous, too, and Hyundai hasn’t held back on cabin storage – all Velostars get a glovebox, door bins, two cupholders between the front seats, a centre cubby, and a lidded storage area under the central armrest.

Boot space is decent, too, and the Hyundai offers 320 litres of luggage capacity, and split-folding rear seats that drop down to reveal 984 litres in total.

Reliability & safety

4.0 / 5

Solid build quality and a five-year warranty

The Hyundai Velostar didn’t feature in our 2013 Driver Power owner satisfaction survey, but Hyundai has got a reputation for good build quality and we wouldn’t foresee any problems. Even if something does go wrong, Hyundai offers one of the best warranties in the business and the car is covered for five-years or 100,000 miles (whichever comes first).

The coupe was crash tested for safety by Euro NCAP in 2011 and achieved five stars. It gets six airbags, a seatbelt warning buzzer in the front, ISOFIX child seat mounts, and electronic stability control.

Engines, drive & performance

2.5 / 5

Even the Turbo model isn’t up to scratch

The Velostar has a stiff suspension that makes it less comfortable than some of the car's rivals but it does keep body lean in the corners to a minimum and the Velostar is fun to drive as a result.

The problem is that neither of the Velostar models is particularly quick, bearing in mind this is supposed to be a fast coupe. The basic car is the worst offender, getting from 0-60mph in 9.7 seconds, which in real-life driving situations means you often have to change down two gears to make safe overtakes. The car does have a top speed of 125mph though, so motorway cruising is reasonably comfortable and refined.

The Turbo model isn’t a lot better, getting from 0-62mph in 8.4 seconds on the way to a top speed of 133mph. The extra power available does mean that you won’t have to change gear as much as you do in the SE model.

Price, value for money & options

3.8 / 5

Well equipped and cheaper than main rivals

The Hyundai might not have the same quality of finish as a Volkswagen, but it is well equipped. All models get 18-inch alloy wheels and air conditioning. The top-spec Turbo gets an impressive list of kit including touchscreen sat-nav, keyless entry and go, automatic headlights and wipers, plus heated front seats.

What the others say

2.3 / 5
based on 4 reviews
  • 3.0 / 5
    "The Veloster handles and rides surprisingly well and is great value for money, too. Yet it’s let down by the rough, noisy and lifeless engine. It’s clear that the chassis could handle more power, and with a 201bhp turbocharged version of this engine due later next year, it might be worth waiting for that model before taking the plunge."
  • 3.0 / 5
    "So, the Veloster is an unconventional coupe and not just in the way it looks. It’s fair to say that coupe buyers want a car that’s entertaining to drive but, sadly, the Veloster is found wanting once you get it out on the open road. Enthusiasts are more likely, therefore, to choose the Vauxhall Astra GTC, the VW Scirocco, the Peugeot RCZ and the Audi TT over the Hyundai."
  • 3.0 / 5
    "Meet Hyundai's four-door coupé. No, it's not a new take on the Mercedes CLS theme, but a practical hatchback coupé with three passenger doors: two on the passenger side, one on the driver's side ("one car with two sides", says Hyundai, if you're wondering why)."
  • "The styling really stands out - it seems that the designers at Hyundai have been given free reign to design a coupe that's genuinely different. At the front it has a similar look to the new i40 and forthcoming i30 including a signature LED strip on the headlights. But while it looks good at the front, we're not so convinced by the back."

Last updated 
21 May 2014

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