BMW X1 vs. Mini Coun­try­man

This sedan-coupe-hatch does meet a num­ber of ob­jec­tives on the brief

Top Gear (Philippines) - - Contents - Words by Ja­son K. Ang Pho­tog­ra­phy by Vincent Coscol­luela

Think Dif­fer­ent—so went one mem­o­rable ad. That was for a com­puter, but the same could eas­ily ap­ply to cars, par­tic­u­larly sporty ones. Hyundai cer­tainly had ‘dif­fer­ent’ in mind when it cre­ated the Veloster. It’s a mash-up of sev­eral dif­fer­ent au­to­mo­tive gen­res: sedan, coupe, hatch­back—heck, Hyundai even calls it a cross­over util­ity ve­hi­cle. Does this way of think­ing re­sult in a car that is a jack of all trades but mas­ter of none, or will the amal­gam yield some­thing mag­i­cal?

The Veloster cer­tainly looks dis­tinc­tive. The front has the rak­ish looks of a sports coupe, with tri­an­gu­lar head­lamps stretched far back into the fend­ers. Hyundai’s cur­rent cor­po­rate grille, the large hexagon, takes up nearly all of the fas­cia, a huge black maw framed in a neat matte-gray frame. A match­ing gray spoiler lip peeks out from un­der the bumper’s cor­ner flares. LEDs make up the day­time run­ning lights, while round pro­jec­tors also house very bright LED units. Blacked-out A-pil­lars con­trib­ute to a float­ing-roof ef­fect.

The shape be­comes even more in­ter­est­ing as you sweep along the side. The roofline drops sharply as it rakes to­ward the hatch­back rear. The front may be eas­ily iden­ti­fi­able as a sporty Hyundai, but the back end is some­thing that de­fies con­ven­tion. Big tail­lights and a scal­loped tail­gate frame a tiny glass back­light. Dual ex­hausts are mounted in the cen­ter, and the round foglamps are on the lower cor­ners. It’s as if the de­sign­ers have de­cided to throw in all their ideas at once.

And it some­how comes to­gether neatly. Look­ing more like an odd­ball con­cept car or a fu­tur­is­tic space shut­tle, the Veloster is the fur­thest, in terms of ap­pear­ance, from a con­ven­tional cross­over. We’re not sure if we’ll tire of this look a month or a year from now, but right now it looks in­trigu­ingly at­trac­tive,

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