Hyundai Veloster 2020 review: Turbo Premium automatic

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There is a new look for the 2020 Hyundai Veloster and in the humble opinion of this writer it is a clear improvement over the old model. A little better, I think, and certainly less attractive than the replaced vintage.

As before, the new Veloster has three passenger doors, making it a four-door door when you add the hatch (as the market usually does). The driver’s side is given a single, longer door, while two shorter doors are used on the passenger side (and sidewalk belt). It is all part of the quirky approach that the Veloster is aiming for, in an attempt to transcend the world of coupĂ© and hatchback.

The powertrain options are usually shared with the wider Hyundai range. Although there is no diesel, there is an Atkinson 2.0-liter gasoline cycle on the basic Veloster specification, which makes 110 kW @ 6200 rpm and 180 Nm @ 4500 rpm, running through six ratios of manual or torque converter automatic gearbox. Prices for this spec start at $ 29,490.

What we drove, however, is the 1.6-liter “Gamma” four-cylinder engine with turbocharger, which makes a much happier 150 kW at 6000 rpm, along with a torque of 265 Nm between 1500 and 4500 rpm on the tacho.

There is also a manual option with six speeds, in addition to an automatic option with seven speeds with double clutch, which we tested here. (For reference, this puts the Veloster on an equal footing with the i30 N-Line.)

We had the last one on this ride, which equals $ 41,990 (before on-road costs) when you add the automatic gearbox. Add the black two-color roof ($ 1000) and your asking price is just forty-three.

There is $ 3500 between the Turbo and Turbo Premium, which has a leather interior, heated and ventilated front seats, heated steering wheel, electric seat adjustment, heads-up display, rain sensor, wireless charging and electrochromatic rear view mirror if the big differences.

When you consider that the i30 N-Line premium costs $ 35k for a similarly specified interior and identical powertrain, the anti-hatchback style and layout of the Veloster comes with a large price increase.

The Veloster shares the same wheelbase (2650 mm) and wheel track (1549 mm at the front, 1563 mm at the rear) as the i30, although the body is slightly shorter (4240 mm), lower (1399 mm) and wider (1800 mm)

The Veloster gets an interior layout that is unique in the Hyundai range, although it ultimately shares multiple items from the same spare parts bin.

Buttons feel good and the overall quality passes. The 8-inch infotainment system, proud of the dashboard, is now a famous friend. The right set of functions is available (Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, digital radio and native navigation), all via an easy-to-use operating system.

The luggage space is not large, but it is fairly deep and offers 303 liters of storage space. If you need more space, sacrifice the second row by folding down the backrests.

When it is occupied by two passengers (the Veloster is only a four-seater), the second row is quite comfortable. The windows fall away from the coupé style and you have no ventilation openings or sockets to fight over, but there are cup holders, a few storage compartments and lots of legroom. Headroom is also good, all in all.

Once upon a time the Veloster was firmly regarded as a hot hatch. But in this era of 200kW + pocket rockets, this one really only qualifies as hot. Not that it’s bad; it’s all about balance for what is definitely not meant as a kind of track legend.

The dual-clutch gearbox is usually flexible and feels decisive in the city and in various throttle applications. It will never be as smooth as a torque converter, though: for things with low speeds, such as parking garages, you feel a little fluttering from the dual clutch gearbox that does its thing.

It’s not a fast gearbox like other hot (or hot hatches), but it’s fast enough for this application and I appreciate its intentional nature.

You must abandon the manual six-speed gearbox (which we have not yet driven in this application) if you want the full active safety package on a Veloster with turbocharger. Due to problems with the production line, Hyundai has not been able to offer this important safety technology everywhere in the range, which is the same dilemma for the i30 N-Line range. A bit of a kick in the pants for those who love three pedals, no?

Lane Assistant is a tricky task and can take the habit of constantly dragging you into an imaginary center line from each side of the row. Perhaps I am a little too lax with my own lane placement, but I found myself turning this feature off on smaller, windy roads.

Having a peak torque from 1500 rpm is great, making the engine feel sensitive and responsive in all the right places, smoothly coupled to the gearbox. You have a few driving modes that tinker with your steering, gas and gearbox calibration and you can switch the gear lever for a sportier shifting pattern.

There is a little exhaust noise at stationary and under gas, giving the Veloster an element of theater and the exciting package is nicely finished. It is not a Namyang-special fire crack, but certainly enough to make the Veloster feel a little less cookie-cutter than your typical hatchback.

The Veloster, with the 1.6-liter turbo engine, has enough pepper in the sauce for your typical commuter car that does a bit of long and recreational bitumen bashing here and there, without going into the degree of circuit and targa. days.

The ride is on the sporty side. It is not uncomfortable, but also not luxurious. Some irregular and uneven surfaces give you a small jumble, but that’s about as bad as it gets. Given the very warm pretensions of the Veloster, the ride is on-point.

On the other hand, the somewhat sporty chassis means that the Veloster likes to be thrown into a corner or two. Again, think of i30 N-line: it’s not uncompromisingly hardcore, but still fun and competent when cornering.

The added bonus is: it is more comfortable on the rut. The steering wheel feels responsive and although the steering ratio is faster, it still feels relaxed. It is also adaptive, softens at low speeds and strengthens in pace (especially in sport mode).

Brake torque vectoring plays a role in dynamic driving and is something you definitely feel in situations with a higher pulse. Understeer is suppressed by the car and gives a little braking force on the inner front wheel, which means more drive (and grip) on the wheel and all the work is done. Other manufacturers call this system an electronic locking differential, but it is almost the same.

Another point here is the 225/40 R18 Michelin Pilot Sport 4 rubber that is used throughout the Veloster Turbo range (non-turbo models receive Pilot Sport 3s). It is a good tire, with a lot of lateral grip in the corners and no suggestion to get nervous.

The maintenance schedule of the Veloster Turbo (and Turbo Premium) is covered by the capped Hyundai program, which has intervals of every 10,000 kilometers or 12 months. Expect to pay $ 299 for the first three services, while the fourth and fifth visits will cost $ 379 and $ 299 respectively.

And just like the rest of the Hyundai range, the Veloster has a five-year warranty with unlimited mileage.

The prices for this Veloster seem to creep up a bit, if you look at where it is compared to the wider i30 landscape. It is priced the same as the i30 N, which is not as well specified on the interior, but has considerably more mechanical pedigree to boast about. The hardcore N variant, however, is more affected by its hardcore character.

There is also the i30 N-Line premium to consider. From the mid-thirties, this Veloster starts to seem really expensive. There is a lot in common between the two, and if there are still some basic hard plastics in the cabin of the Veloster, you only have the more quirky appearance and unique packaging as the main drawcard.

Is that enough to make a deal with the buyers? Well, some may like the look and may be happy to pay more for the out-of-the-box approach of the Veloster. However, the more pragmatic among us may not appreciate that so highly. I suppose the i30 series will still be the standard choice for many, but this Veloster gives gamblers a nice counterweight to consider.

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