Hyundai Veloster coupé
Welcome to the world of 2+1 motoring
Review Tradition dictates that cars look the same from the left as the right. Not Hyundai’s new hatchback coupé, though. It has a rear door on the passenger's side but not on the driver’s. Clever idea or gimmick? More to the point, will it lure buyers away from the the obvious alternatives, the VW Scirocco and Vauxhall Astra GTC?
From the outset, many readers will suspect the Veloster is a triumph of style over function. But at least it’s got style a-plenty. It certainly cuts more of a dash than the Scirocco, even if the Citroën DS-esque cutaways ahead of the front wheel arches are trying a bit too hard.
Triumph of style over function?
It’s a shape with a far-from-shabby drag coefficient of 0.32 - 0.02 less than the already slippery Scirocco - so all the sculpting does have a practical benefit.
Unless you have a keen eye, the Veloster actually looks the same from both sides, the only tell-tales of the two-plus-one layout are the shut lines of the rear door and the handle built into the angle of the C-pillar. The rear door isn’t a suicide type as you’d find on a Mazda RX8 but rather the conventional sort that opens forwards.
Two doors on the left side...
It opens to reveal a fair old gap too, easily large enough for the large-of-frame yours truly to climb into the rear without any ungentlemanly contortions. If you want a coupé but need to get a someone in the back on a regular basis, the Veloster really is a rather clever answer to the problem of rear entry.
For all the ease of access, though, this is still very much a coupé rather than a family hatch. So headroom is at a premium in the back, making it rather claustrophobic for anyone standing much over 5’6”.
...one door on the right
The naturally aspirated 1.6-litre four-cylinder engine doesn’t quite match the sporty looks. On paper things look fine, with 138bhp and 123lb-ft of torque, but they are delivered high up the rev range, at 6300 and 4850rpm, respectively.
Next page: Coupé looks - hatchback performance
Any chance of a photo of THE OTHER side?
It'd be good to have photos of both sides open and shut, rather than all of the 1 door side shut, and all of the 2 door side open...
Can someone please explain to me:
£19,690. For a quite, bog-standard, ordinary car. The USB/iPod stuff? What's that? A £5 chip nowadays stuck into just about any radio you buy? Hell, the digital photo frame I got brand-new for £20 can play MP3's, navigate my folders, etc. on a 7" screen, so the entire kit can't be worth more than a £100 or so?
And then you get stuck with weird doors, a 1.6 engine, cramped legroom, no bootspace, stupidly tiny rear windows, and - just about - 45mpg.
Last time I fired up Torque OBD on my 1995 1.8 Mondeo, it got 40mpg on average everywhere I went. Now, sure, that difference adds up over time but this car cost me £300 and I've probably spent less than that again on it in three years, and mostly for worn tyres! Call it £700 to get the in-car entertainment to the same level, and that's still never going to make the money back in its usable life based on an old scrapheap of a car (which has passed the last two MOT's with "zero comments" first time). And yet I can put a shed into my car (I have done, and a lot more besides), seat 5 passengers comfortably (and 4 of them get a door to themselves), have total vision on the rear of the car, and have no more difficulty parking it than any other.
And yet, still some people call THIS a cheap and nasty car. The amount of money being urinated away on cars in this country must be phenomenal, not to mention the "4x4 to go 100 yards makes my kids safer" crowd.
What, precisely, is the attraction in a new car? No repair bills (I'm no mechanic myself)? Lower road tax (Seriously? Averaged over a year of use?)? All you seem to get is more and more expense (god knows what a dent costs on that thing, or a smashed tail-light, or the insurance, or the service costs to keep the warranty, etc.). What am I missing about cars that makes people want to buy junk like this?
You lost me...
...right at this bit:
"It certainly cuts more of a dash than the Scirocco"