'QUIRKY-STYLING A WINNER': Wheels24's Sean Parker says the Hyundai Veloster's best attribute is its looks. Image: Wheel24/ Sean Parker
Cape Town - Hyundai's new Veloster turbo delivered a few surprises during a week-long test in November.
The Veloster made its debut in Mzansi in 2011 at the 2015 Joburg International Auto Show, it only arrived two years later and when we drove it back then we hailed the styling but felt it was lacking power.
Fortunately the automaker fitted a turbocharger to its 1.6 litre GDI engine, with power outputs of 150kW/274Nm.
Hyundai's three-door hatchback
Another quick, (but important note) is that the test unit was fitted with a short-shifting six-speed manual, a dual-clutch auto is optional. The Veloster uses a conventional front-wheel drive layout.
Here are five things you didn't know about the new Veloster Turbo:
1. It has a bespoke design
The design of the new Veloster proved popular by road users who saw it. Before I touch on the Veloster's strange configuration, the styling is definitely the car's biggest selling point. It's large, distinctive grille, massive wheel-arches and sunbeam colour means you'll stand out from the hatchback crowd.
2. It has a sport button
The Veloster has a 'sport' setting and uses a quicker-ratio steering rack and revised steering calibration.
Follow Wheels24 on Instagram
Does it turn the Veloster into a precision driving machine? No. But the improved steering is confidence-inspiring especially when taking on Cape Town's twisty roads. Despite the technical tweaks the Veloster isn't that engaging.
3. It only has three doors.
Its doors highlight the Veloster's USP (Unique-Selling Point). On the driver's side it looks like normal coupe (and quite sleek) with a single large door. However, the passenger side has two doors - the rear door is neatly hidden with the door handle tucked-in beneath near the c-pillar.
The addition of the second door along the passenger side adds practicality and additional safety (rear passengers exit on the pavement side of the road).
4. It has huge (yet silent) exhaust pipes...
They're quite sporty, huge yet are as silent as a meditating monk. The Veloster turbo has been festooned with massive exhausts but they're nothing more than eye-candy. A shame.
5. It's rear head-room isn't that good, especially for lanky 1.89m tall Sean Parker.
Watch the video below for a demonstration:
My final thoughts on the forced-induction version of the Veloster? I enjoyed it, but perhaps not for the reasons Hyundai would like.
I was into the styling, space and practicality. The cabin is a really nice play to be, courtesy of the standard panoramic roof, good equipment levels, rear-view camera and well-bolstered seats.
The engine didn't excite me that much, but one aspect I did like was the gearbox. Good job Hyundai, even though the Veloster turbo certainly is no sportscar.
Price - R387 400
Volkswagen Scirroco - R377 300
Toyota 86 - R393 800