What is the Hyundai Veloster Turbo?
Last year, the Hyundai Veloster joined the rather thin ranks of hatchbacks with one door on the right and two on the left. The idea is to allow easy access for rear passengers while providing a bit of swoopy coupé styling on the driver’s side – that way you can admire your sporty reflection in shop windows as you cruise on by.
Naturally, the bold exterior divided opinion but one point that almost every reviewer agreed on was that the new car desperately needed more performance. The lacklustre 138bhp 1.6-litre engine just didn’t cut it against the likes of Vauxhall’s Astra GTC and VW’s Scirocco, so Hyundai has hit back with this, a more potent Turbo version for those who require more spice in their everyday shopping trolley.
There is no denying the Veloster Turbo means business, at least visually. It features lowered side sills, a prominent rear diffuser with large twin tailpipes, 18in alloy wheels and a jutting chin that makes that aggressive jawline appear even more chiselled. It’s an attractive package, which makes it all the more disappointing when you head out on the road. The addition of the new twin-scroll turbo has certainly added a few horses (46bhp to be precise) but the Veloster lacks the sort of drama you’d expect, both in terms of hard-hitting performance and a characterful exhaust note. Line the Veloster up against an Astra VXR or Focus ST and it would likely be left trailing in their dust.
Things don’t improve much when the roads become more challenging, either. The suspension is perfectly set up for broken surfaces and pesky speed bumps but throw it into a corner with vigour and the chassis rolls and pitches like a fat man astride a space hopper.
Sat nav, a touch-screen media interface, Bluetooth connectivity and heated leather front seats all come as standard, making it a well-specced consideration for a sub £22,000 hot hatch. After closer inspection, though, it soon becomes clear that the overall fit and finish just isn’t up to rivals’ standards. The plastics in the centre console of the example we drove creaked and moaned at motorway speeds, the offside electric wing mirror refused to tilt fully upwards and the wind noise from the driver’s window was wearing on longer journeys.
There’s plenty of space in the cabin, however. Despite the rear bench featuring only two proper seats (a nasty plastic drinks tray separates the two) it still comfortably transports four adults. The coupé styling may not suit taller folk in the rear, though. And another unwelcome feature is the restricted view out of the back – this is a difficult car to reverse into parking spots, so the reversing camera is a must-have.
Despite the modern gizmos and swathes of futuristic plastic trim, you can’t help thinking the Veloster Turbo is a bit like one of those popular JVC hi-fis of the late 1990s. Yes it comes with Super Turbo Ultra Bass, a 26-disc multichanger and all the flashy plastic trim of a Storm Trooper but it manages to make your favourite song sound like it’s being played underwater. Disappointing.
The one to buy
Hyundai Vesloster Turbo SE
- 1591cc, 4-cylinder T-GDi
- 184bhp @ 5500rpm
- Six-speed manual
- 0-62mph in 8.4sec
- Top Speed:
- 40.9mpg (combined)
- Road Tax Band:
- G (£170)
- L 4250mm, W 1805mm, H 1399mm