2013 Hyundai Veloster Turbo

2013 Hyundai Veloster Turbo Extended Review

Taking a longer look at Hyundai's odd hatchback.

By: Tim Healey

Web2Carz Contributing Writer

Published: March 7th, 2013

Many car enthusiasts and members of the automotive press began clamoring for a turbocharged version of Hyundai's odd-looking Veloster three-door hatchback almost as soon as it launched in 2011. Well, they ask and they received: Hyundai made a turbo available for 2013, and in addition to giving the engine more power, the company also tweaked the suspension and steering to provide a more sporty feel. Hyundai also gave the Turbo a body kit, an available matte grey paint job, and other minor trim touches.

  • On the Road

    We complained before about the lack of power in the base Veloster, and the Turbo addresses that complaint nicely. Hyundai needed to give the Veloster a power boost if it wanted to take on cars like the Honda Civic Si, and it succeeded. It gets rolling with plenty of verve. Mash the gas hard enough, and you can get the front tires to leave some marks behind.

    That extra pep helps with freeway merging, and it's much appreciated. But that pep is not the only thing about the Turbo we liked. The base Veloster handles fairly well, and so does the Turbo. It's hard to tell if the suspension and steering tuning makes a difference over the base model, but either way, the Turbo does well on a challenging road. We'd still like firmer and more accurate steering, but Hyundai has shown improvement in this area.

    The shifter for the six-speed manual transmission could stand to be a little less notchy; and shorter, firmer throws would be appreciated, but overall the shifter and clutch are pleasant enough to use.

  • Exterior

    There's no getting around it--the Veloster Turbo is an odd-looking car, thanks mostly to that unusual three-door configuration. Despite its unusual profile, it still looks good.

    The minor exterior changes over the non-Turbo model (fog lamps, different front fascia, ground effects) aren't easily noticeable, but they do give the car a slightly more aggressive look.

  • Interior

    With the exception of some badging and the addition of standard heated seats, the interior in the Turbo is more or less the same as the interior in non-Turbo Velosters. It has the same strange features, like the center-stack mounted push-button engine start and the triangular door-pull handles that angle away from the door panel.

    It's roomy enough up front, but not unusually so for a car in this class. Headroom in the rear is chopped by the sloping rear glass--taller adults will not be happy, although the third door does make entry and exit easier.

  • Final Thoughts

    It's hard to argue with the extra power here. It makes the Veloster much better to drive around town while also giving it credible performance on the back roads. And the very slight styling tweaks make the car look a little bit better than it already does.

    Indeed, it's hard to see why a Veloster buyer would opt for the non-Turbo model, other than for reasons of price or fuel economy. The turbocharged four-cylinder really should be the base engine, with a higher-powered version being the upper-level car.

    Perhaps the larger question is why would one buy the Veloster in the first place? Our answer is that the car does a nice job of blending utility and performance without sacrificing too much in practicality.

    Adding more power to the Veloster makes it a much more viable choice in the compact class--especially among buyers who dare to be a little different.

  • Specs, Features, and Prices

    Engine: 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder

    Transmission: Six-speed automatic or six-speed manual

    Drive Wheels: Front-wheel-drive

    Fuel Economy: 24 mpg city/35 mpg highway (24/31 w/ automatic transmission)

    Base Price: $22,100

    Available Features: Bluetooth, USB port, auxiliary port, Blue Link infotainment system, 18-inch wheels, heated front seats, panoramic sunroof, navigation system, rear-obstacle detection system, rearview camera.

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