Dark side of Street
1 Hyundai The value isn’t in it says the Veloster Street Turbo comes with $3000 worth of bling at a $1000 premium to the SR Turbo it is based on. The truth is, beyond the quirky three-door layout, commendable five-year warranty and capped servicing for the first three years at $1254, the 200 examples of the Street Turbo edition ($34,990 for the manual; six-speed auto adds $3000) faces a big task in a big field. The recently discontinued Kia Cerato Koup, using the same engine and with sevenyear warranty, was $28,190. The performance-focused Renault Clio RS200 Sport Premium five-door hatch is $35,000 with a six-speed auto and a 1.6-litre turbo engine (147kW/240Nm).
2 The Bling it on look-at-me chrome is blacked out on the Veloster Street Turbo, from the Rays alloy wheels to the body skirts, front spoiler and rear diffuser, along with roof spoiler, side mirror caps and the grille surround. Blue mica exterior paint exclusive to this version helps offset the black. The interior continues the theme with “turbo sports blue” highlights and sports mats with an embroidered “Street” logo. Badges also adorn the front flanks. Carry-over items from the previous Turbo include a seven-inch infotainment touchscreen with satnav but no Android Auto/ Apple CarPlay connectivity to a panoramic sunroof.
3 Enough The side door’s a saviour two-door cars have cycled through the Carsguide garage for us to regard them as more pain than pleasure … unless the kids are old enough to be left alone and the engine is as sporty as the styling. The Veloster straddles the middle ground with coupe-styled driver’s door and a pair of smaller access points for the (presumably) streetside passengers. The curved roof still means awkward access for adults but it is immeasurably easier than a conventional coupe and can presumably be done with a child’s seat secured in the rear.
4 Don’t It isn’t a sports car judge a book by its cover. Despite the skin, the Veloster is a good rather than great everyday drive. The chassis could actually cope with more power but the ride is composed enough on back roads to make it work. Put that down to limited local ability to finesse the suspension ... when given enough latitude, Hyundais are hard to fault on rough roads. The steering also isn’t precise enough to encourage back-road runs and the package is more traffic-light trier than corner carver.
5 performer The Veloster is a standout Love or loathe the exterior styling, the Veloster hogs attention whether burbling by or parked in the shopping centre. It is part “who’d buy that car” and part “I wish I could buy that car” but the unique Hyundai turns heads. There’s nothing wrong with the interior either. The cabin layout is neat, the infotainment is easy to operate and the rear pews are tight but cosy, even if legroom is at a premium when a front occupant has the seat extended.
VERDICT More bling is the last thing the Veloster needs … but it will work for anyone who wants the style and doesn’t get time to enjoy the driving substance. Sales show a lot of buyers want just that: the Veloster is second only to the Ford Mustang in sports car sales.