The Hyundai Veloster SR Turbo + Series II now a truly desirable sports car
What we like:
- New ride and handling tune
- Turbo engine and dual-clutch auto combo
Not so much:
- Rear seat a little cramped
- Engine sluggish at low revs
- Poor visibility
- Potential credibility issues
That unusual three-door (one door on the right and two on the left) sports car from Hyundai, the Hyundai Veloster has come in for Hyundai’s 2015 Series II treatment. Changes include new, locally developed suspension settings, revised styling, new colours and turbo models are now available with Hyundai’s seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.
Price and Equipment
A variety of different Hyundai Veloster variants are available along with numerous engine and transmission choices. The range opens with the simply named Hyundai Veloster with a six-speed manual and naturally aspirated 1.6 litre four-cylinder engine and extends through to the Hyundai Veloster SR Turbo + with DCT, and punchy 1.6 litre turbo engine. Prices for the Veloster flagship start from $36,490, exclusive of government charges.
We sampled the Veloster SR Turbo + with DCT and optional (and very striking) Blue Sprinter matte paint for an extra $1,000.
The equipment list on the Veloster SR Turbo + is extensive. Customers are treated to 18 inch alloys, heated and cooled front seats, leather trim, climate control, satellite navigation, a punchy stereo, reversing camera and rear parking sensors, panoramic roof and a gamut of safety equipment.
Climb into the heavily bolstered seats and the Veloster SR Turbo’s sporty intentions become immediately apparent. The interior is still aggressively styled as per the previous version, but Hyundai has upped the ante with blue grab handles, seat inserts and stitching to match that eye catching paintwork. These revisions visually uplift an interior that’d otherwise be dark and a little gloomy but they mightn’t be to everyone’s taste.
The instrument cluster has also been redesigned for greater legibility.
Although the dashboard design is sharp, angry and angular, but the centre stack (which we maintain looks like an alien’s head) is ergonomically flawed and some of the switchgear for the single-zone climate control is confusing and finicky.
However, the cooled seats-with three settings- were most welcome on unseasonably warm Spring days, and removed the burning sensation that can often occur with leather seats in warmer climates.
The reversing camera and satellite navigation system were both excellent, as was the sound system and there are USB and auxiliary ports, should one want to play tunes from a smart phone or other media device.
Two passengers below six-foot should be able to fit in the back with some comfort – passengers six foot or above should probably sit in the front – but Hyundai has failed to relocate the hard plastic console between the two rear seats, making it a little tricky for the rear passenger on the right to slide out.
Rear visibility is still an issue courtesy of that small rear window. When reversing, that camera is almost a necessity.
The 320 litre rear cargo area will easily accommodate a large backpack and laptop bag.
Engine and Transmission
A key ingredient of a good sports car is performance. And, happily, the 1.6 litre turbo engine in the Hyundai Veloster SR turbo + delivers a good dollop of the stuff. The surprisingly muscular motor makes 150kW @ 6000rpm and 265Nm @ 1750-4500rpm. Hyundai claims that peak torque is developed from a lowly 1750rpm, but we felt the motor really came on song from above 2250rpm, with proceedings a little uninspiring at slower engine speeds.
The DCT shifts smoothly and rapidly and steering wheel mounted gear shifters make progress a little more entertaining whether quickly (but legally!) sprinting away from the lights or tackling a winding back road.
The drivetrain even makes a nice noise, with a deep and bassy noise emitted from those centrally mounted dual exhaust pipes.
Official fuel figures for combined cycle driving are 7.1 litres per 100 kilometres, however we did see figures pass the mid-nines.
On The Road
Handling is another key element of a good sports car. And it’s a big hats off to the local engineering team at Hyundai Australia for the ride and handling changes on all models in the Veloster Series II range. The new model grips with confidence and corners flat while riding comfortably. Steering feedback is sharp, quick and communicative.
In sum, show the Hyundai Veloster SR Turbo + Series II a twisty backroad and it’ll demonstrate road manners comparable to that of a certain highly acclaimed two door Toyota. Yes, the Toyota 86 may be rear-wheel drive which is a must have for purists, but in the wet at the wet at least, we believe the Veloster Turbo will be able to outgun its Japanese enemy in the corners.
The Hyundai Veloster range has been awarded a five star ANCAP safety rating and standard active safety equipment includes: Anti-lock Brakes, Traction Control System (TCS), Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD), Brake Assist System (BAS) and Vehicle Stability Management (VSM).
Passive safety equipment includes: driver and front passenger SRS airbags, driver and front passenger side (thorax) SRS airbags and side curtain SRS airbags.
Servicing and Warranty: All Hyundai models are covered by Hyundai’s competitive five year unlimited kilometre warranty and Hyundai’s lifetime capped price servicing program. Scheduled annual services for the Hyundai Veloster SR Turbo + as tested are around $159 every six months.
Make and model: Hyundai Veloster SR Turbo + Series II
Engine type: 1591cc petrol turbo four-cylinder engine with double overhead cam, variable valve timing and four valves per cylinder
Power: 150kW @ 6000rpm
Torque: 265Nm @ 1750-4500rpm
Transmission: Seven-speed dual-clutch automatic with front wheel drive.
Fuel consumption: 7.1 litres per 100 kilometres
Dimensions: 4250mm long, 1805mm wide, 1405mm high and 2650mm wheelbase
Suspension: Front: MacPherson Strut Rear: Coupled Torsion Beam Axle
Steering: Rack and pinion Country of Origin: Korea
Options: Blue Sprinter matte paint, $1,000