Dark side of Street

Herald Sun - Motoring - - FIVE THINGS - Craig Duff

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.

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