Knock on the doors

The Veloster in­spired with ec­cen­tric coupe styling — but the turbo turned some off

Herald Sun - Motoring - - USED CAR - with Gra­ham Smith

NEW

HYUNDAI rarely ex­cites the senses. The brand ar­rived here with a price-driven pitch and strug­gled to throw off the cheap-and-cheer­ful tag, even though its cars had come on in leaps and bounds.

Then it launched the sporty Veloster hatch in 2011. With its ag­gres­sively chis­elled lines and sweep­ing pro­file, the Veloster was de­signed to stand out in a crowd.

It had the looks to ap­peal to those want­ing a chic coupe as well as those look­ing for a sporty drive, and the good thing was it came with a start­ing sticker of just $23,990 for the well-equipped base model.

Any­one want­ing more had the choice of the Veloster + with a panoramic glass sun­roof and leather, and the SR Turbo with perkier per­for­mance.

A pass­ing glance sug­gested the Veloster was a funky twodoor coupe, but in fact it was quite a prac­ti­cal hatch. A closer look re­vealed two doors on the kerb side, the rear one clev­erly con­cealed so it ap­peared there wasn’t a rear door at all, but on the driver’s side there was a sin­gle, longer coupe-style door.

In­side it was typ­i­cally Hyundai with a fa­mil­iar shape to the dash, the lay­out and blue in­stru­ment light­ing.

Power for the base Veloster and the Veloster + came from a 1.6-litre four-cylin­der en­gine that boasted di­rect in­jec­tion and a rea­son­able out­put of 103kW/166Nm. It was ad­e­quate for the job. Any­one ex­pect­ing blis­ter­ing per­for­mance would have felt let down.

For a more thrilling drive you needed to step up to the SR Turbo, with forced in­duc­tion giv­ing the 1.6 more sat­is­fy­ing out­puts of 150kW/265Nm.

The trans­mis­sion op­tions were six-speed­ers, a man­ual and a dual-clutch auto, and the Veloster earned five stars for crash safety

With its sus­pen­sion tuned to Aus­tralian roads, the Veloster was well equipped to han­dle what­ever was thrown its way. It was well bal­anced, the steer­ing was pleas­antly re­spon­sive and it had a de­cent ride.

NOW

We’re only now get­ting a glimpse of the Veloster’s longert­erm re­li­a­bil­ity. We al­ready know it’s a cute and sexy thing in the eyes of buy­ers but only now can we as­sess its re­li­a­bil­ity.

From what we learnt from own­ers, there are some prob­lems that po­ten­tial buy­ers of used ex­am­ples should pon­der se­ri­ously.

There are clearly prob­lems with the head unit for the GPS, Blue­tooth and in­fo­tain­ment. Own­ers have told us about hav­ing to re­place the unit, in some cases more than once. If you’re look­ing to buy a Veloster check the op­er­a­tion very care­fully so see that all is well.

The other is­sue that is wor­ry­ing re­lates to turbo ver­sions. One owner had to re­place the en­gine after rel­a­tively few kilo­me­tres.

Check your cho­sen car for a ser­vice record; it’s even more im­por­tant with a turbo en­gine that needs a sup­ply of fresh oil to thrive. Ne­glect oil changes and you risk se­ri­ous dam­age to the en­gine.

Own­ers also com­plain about wear in the leather trim and soft paint that scratches eas­ily.

OWN­ERS SAY

Corey Hen­der­son I love the looks of my 2013 Veloster, I also love the con­cealed third door, the fuel ef­fi­ciency, and the fea­tures like the re­vers­ing cam­era and GPS. The only prob­lem I’ve had it the head unit for the ra­dio, Blue­tooth, GPS etc be­have er­rat­i­cally and some­times freeze.

Si­mon Charles My 2014 Veloster hasn’t missed a beat. It’s fuel-ef­fi­cient and ab­so­lute plea­sure to drive.

Evan Wat­son The en­gine in my SR Turbo has given me trou­ble. There are times when it loses all per­for­mance; it did it once when I was over­tak­ing. The dealer could find noth­ing wrong.

Julie Billing­ham I was in love with my SR Turbo un­til the en­gine had to be re­placed after just 40,000km.

John Gre­gory I am very dis­ap­pointed in my SR Turbo. The GPS doesn’t work prop­erly, the ra­dio re­cep­tion is poor, the

brakes shud­der and I wasn’t happy with the dealer re­sponse to my is­sues.

Ella Black My Veloster’s GPS had to be re­placed four times. I’m not happy.

SMITHY SAYS

Strik­ing looks ap­peal to those who want to ap­pear cool. Ap­proach turbo ver­sions with cau­tion.

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