The essential job description for a sizzling hatchback is easy sufficient, even when it contains considerably reverse calls for. Such a automobile has to interact and thrill the driving force each time site visitors clears or the highway will get twisty, and possibly even deal with an occasional journey to an open observe day. But it additionally must ship respectable gasoline financial system, a compliant journey and a quiet sufficient cabin that it may be your solely automobile, day-in, day-out.
The primary Hyundai Veloster Turbo did an OK job at satisfying all these necessities, however it did not notably excel at both facet of the coin. With the funky hatchback now in its second technology, nevertheless, Hyundai has doubled down on each the sportiness and sensibility of its turbocharged compact.
Right here comes the enjoyable
The Turbo suffix clearly refers to this automobile’s engine, a 1.6-liter turbocharged inline-four providing up 201 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque, the latter from simply 1,500 rpm. An overboost perform quickly cranks that torque ranking as much as 202 pound-feet throughout most acceleration. That is comparable horsepower to most rival vehicles; apparent opponents to the Veloster Turbo embody the Volkswagen Golf GTI (220 horsepower), Ford Focus ST (252 horsepower) and Honda Civic Si (205 horsepower).
The Turbo mannequin’s output can be, by the way, a pleasant middle-ground within the Hyundai Veloster’s total powertrain lineup. The bottom automobile’s 2.Zero-liter inline-four gives 147 horsepower, whereaswill pack 275 horsepower when it goes on sale on the finish of this 12 months.
On the highway all that energy and torque is delivered simply and infrequently. The turbocharger spools rapidly, with none of the off-the-line laziness that afflicts a few of this automobile’s competitors. As a substitute, you get a frenetic, pressing punch throughout the rev vary. Sadly, the rev limiter comes on fairly early and, at the least seemingly, earlier than the rev marks on the tach, so listen when hurtling by means of the quick first gear. The engine’s abundantly torquey nature additionally means you do not actually need to do an entire lot of downshifting; accelerating in sixth on the freeway is loads possible.
Working the six-speed handbook transmission is a pleasure, amplified by the stunning mechanical really feel of the B&M-developed linkage that is distinctive to this R-Spec trim stage. It really works hand-in-hand with the constructive, weighty really feel of the clutch uptake. The massive, spherical steel shift knob — additionally unique to the Turbo R-Spec — is pleasant to carry, although it will get toasty after the automobile has sat within the solar and can possible be chilly on winter mornings.
Small matter: working the Veloster Turbo by means of the gears is a pleasure, particularly because of the very quick shift throws and pedals that facilitate heel-toe maneuvers. The tight gate spacing is usually positive for metropolis driving, too, although within the first few-dozen miles of metropolis driving it is not unattainable to seek out fourth gear as a substitute of second when downshifting.
Hyundai’s engineers have tuned a just-right chassis for the Turbo, with well-damped physique motions and well-controlled roll. To cut back understeer, the steadiness management mechanically squeezes the automobile’s inside brakes throughout tight bends. Although there is not any limited-slip differential to maintain the engine’s torque in verify, Michelin Pilot Sport four tires present greater than sufficient grip for road driving in each path. One caveat is that the sticky rubber comes solely on manual-transmission Turbos. Equip the non-compulsory seven-speed dual-clutch transmission and also you as a substitute get all-season tires, which is but one more reason to select the stick.
The Veloster’s suspension gives a typical hot-hatch journey high quality: agency with some jarring over main bumps, however criticism sufficient that I might be glad taking an all-day highway journey or commuting on this automobile 12 months a 12 months.
For all of the quickness and directness within the steering gear, virtually no suggestions is transmitted again to my fingertips. And although stopping energy is plentiful, the center pedal’s mushy really feel does not present the braking confidence of competing vehicles. I additionally want for a extra evocative engine notice. Although you possibly can flip up the Energetic Engine Sound choice to artificially increase the sound observe, some extra real exhaust snarl and consumption honk could be welcome. The upshot is, nevertheless, that the Veloster’s cabin is calm and quiet sufficient to commuter — albeit with some engine drone and wind noise on the freeway.
It is also a smart automobile
If you’re executed hooning round, gasoline financial system is kind of respectable. The Veloster Turbo is rated for 26 miles per gallon metropolis and 33 mpg freeway with the handbook transmission (or 28/34 mpg with the dual-clutch). These figures proved simply attainable in my take a look at, and are midpack amongst equally priced and equally highly effective opponents (higher than a GTI or Focus ST, inferior to the ultra-thrifty Civic Si).
The Veloster’s hatchback design additionally offers numerous practicality. Whereas the outside design leads to a reasonably excessive liftover peak, cargo area of 19.9 cubic ft is near what main rivals supply behind their again seats. Sadly, the 60/40 seats do not fairly fold flat, leaving a noticeable lip within the cargo space. That is to not say it is not sensible, although: With the again seats folded, I can fit a bicycle within the cargo space (with the entrance wheel eliminated) simply as simply as in, say, a GTI.
There’s sufficient leg- and headroom for adults to sit down within the rear seat comfortably, however do notice that there are simply two seatbelts in again — this can be a four-seater hatch the place most rivals will match 5 folks. And it is a bit of a trouble to do not forget that there’s solely a rear door on the passenger’s facet. Both make your pals all slide out of that facet, or tilt the driving force’s seat ahead and have them squeeze by means of that coupe-style opening.
The remainder of the Veloster’s cabin is well completed, with R-Spec fashions dressed up in tasteful quantities of yellow accents, a refined checkered-flag motif on the passenger-side sprint and snug-yet-comfortable grey fabric seats. Certain, the door panels put on lots of unexciting black plastic, however total the inside feels sporty with out being over-the-top. There’s cellphone storage forward of the shifter, two helpful cupholders and a decently sized middle console compartment.
By way of instrumentation, the Turbo R-Spec retains it easy with analog dials and a visit laptop. The speedometer’s scale modifications above 40 miles per hour to offer higher decision at low speeds however a 160-mph max studying, a trick you may see on different sporty vehicles however complicated at first look. The Eight-inch infotainment system is a cinch to make use of, whether or not you faucet by means of the on-screen menus or use the bodily shortcut buttons (you possibly can program the star button to no matter shortcut you need). Although built-in navigation is relegated to the pricier Turbo Final trim, you need to use Apple CarPlay or Android Auto to navigate by way of your smartphone. Furthermore, the usual audio system sounds nice, with numerous punch and readability.
As to visible signifiers on the surface, look to black 18-inch wheels, an enormous roof spoiler, a center-exit twin exhaust and a crimson accent on the entrance fascia. The Veloster’s sloped roofline and comparatively low peak (2.7 inches shorter than a VW GTI, as an example) assist make the automobile look smaller than it’s from the surface. R-Spec fashions have 5 shade selections; whereas this tester’s Thunder Grey is mature and understated, I like enjoyable Sundown Orange hue is obtainable for extra visible pop.
How I might spec it
Though the R-Spec is pretty sparsely outfitted, it is nonetheless the Veloster Turbo mannequin I might choose with my very own cash. At simply $23,785 with vacation spot, it represents excellent worth for one of these efficiency hatchback. Notably, it options pre-collision braking and lane-keep help as normal, whereas neither is normal on rivals like a Focus ST, GTI and even the Civic Si. Alternatively, you do not get heated seats, energy seats, a sunroof, automated local weather management or every other active-safety tech. You may get all these by upgrading to the Turbo Final (heated seats, a sunroof, wi-fi cellphone charging, HUD, and so on), although it is pricier at $27,535 with the handbook or $29,035 with a dual-clutch transmission.
The obvious reward for the 2019 Hyundai Veloster Turbo is that it requires no disclaimers. This is not merely a automobile that’s higher than earlier than or that presents nice worth for cash. It is genuinely a ton of enjoyable to drive, each round metropolis streets and while you open it up on twistier roads. But it has the composure, maturity and practicality to be an on a regular basis driver with out fuss. All that provides as much as a terrific, reasonably priced sizzling hatchback.