| Week at the Wheel | Hyundai Veloster |
Model tested: Hyundai Veloster 1.6 GDi DCT
Pricing: £19,245 (£19,690 as tested)
Engine: 1.6-litre four-cylinder petrol
Transmission: six-speed automatic, front-wheel drive
Body style: multi-door coupé
Rivals: Renault Mégane Coupé, Vauxhall Astra GTC, Volkswagen Scirocco
CO2 emissions: 145g/km
Combined economy: 44.1mpg
Top speed: 124mph
0-62mph: 10.3 seconds
Power: 140hp at 6,300rpm
Torque: 167Nm at 4,850rpm
Inside & Out:
Well it looks like nothing else, but then apart from the MINI Clubman not many cars have two doors on one side and a single entry the other. You know what though, it kind of works. Many won't (and in my experience didn't) get it, but coupés are meant to stand out and the Hyundai Veloster does just that.
The cabin is a little more conventional, the dashboard opting not to go down the asymmetric look of the exterior. Lots of it will be familiar to other Hyundai drivers, but these days that's no bad thing - the quality is as good as any of its rivals. And that extra door, well it makes getting people or objects into the rear seats easier so that's a win as well.
Ride & Handling:
Everyone else in the media has complained about this car not living up to its visual promise, and to be fair I can see what they're on about. But it's not that
bad. More feel to the light steering would be a welcome addition, but for most drivers and most situations it actually handles pretty well.
There's little body roll thanks to the firm suspension - though combined with the 17-inch alloy wheels this can make motorway journeys tiring. But you sit nice and low, looking out over the relatively long bonnet, and you do feel like you're in a sports car. The biggest problem is that it's not as involving or as exciting to drive as it looks, and rivals like the Renault Mégane Coupé feel much more lively from behind the wheel.
Engine & Transmission:
This car's six-speed dual-clutch transmission is actually pretty good, making smooth shifts with little fuss. It'll even react quite faithfully to driver inputs on the paddles behind the steering wheel. However, there's something missing from it, the last 10 per cent of finesse, and it's just not as sharp as Volkswagen's DSG unit.
It's the engine that's missing the most though - specifically some torque. The 167Nm figure on the specification sheet had us checking it wasn't a misprint, representing lb.ft instead. But no, on the road it's clear this figure is correct. It's smooth, and even relatively economical, but this 1.6-litre direct-injection petrol unit has absolutely no get up and go - really letting the package down.
Equipment, Economy & Value for Money:
Five-year warranty - say it again. This car's covered for five years, so even if it came with manual windows and steel wheels it would still look good value. But it doesn't, it comes with electric glass and 17-inch alloy rims. Oh and you'll also find climate control, hill-start assist, iPod connection, a seven-inch touch-screen media centre with Bluetooth and six airbags inside.
At just over £19,000 on the road it's not that expensive, while economy is good and annual road tax only £130. It's too early to speculate on real-world residuals, but that warranty is transferable between owners so will stand it in good stead for the future.