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Hyundai Veloster: Unconventional compact hatchback


Roseville, CA- The first thing one notices about the Hyundai Veloster is the odd door arrangement. It's an ingenious idea, putting two doors on the passenger side of this compact hatchback so that no one has to be inconvenienced getting in and out of the back seat.

Most vehicles with a long and low profile like the Veloster are coups. But the two doors on the passenger side makes the Veloster unique. And since it is a hatchback, the Veloster actually has four doors and seats four people. It has a sloping roof, an attractive front end with a huge grille, beefy fender flares, and large wheel arches.

At first glance, the 2017 Hyundai Veloster appears sporty. That's the case if one has the turbocharged model, a peppy engine that makes the front-wheel drive Veloster fun to drive. The turbo model is a 1.6-liter, inline-4 that generates 201 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque. It goes 0-60 mph in 7.7 seconds, but felt a little faster. The gas mileage is fairly good at 27-33 mpg.

The standard engine is reportedly a bit pokey, nearly two seconds slower than the turbo model, clocking 9.5 seconds going 0-60 mph. It's a 1.6-liter, inline-4 that produces 138 horsepower and 120 pound-feet of torque. It gets a little better gas mileage (27-35 mpg) than the turbo and costs less as well - approximately $18,800.

2017 Hyundai Veloster

* Performance: 1.6-liter, four cylinder, 138 horsepower; turbocharged 1.6-liter, four cylinder, 201 horsepower
* Mileage estimate: - 27-35 mpg; 27-33 mpg
* Price estimate: $18,800 to $23,400
* Warranty: 5 years/60,000 miles; drivetrain: 10 years/100,000 miles; roadside assistance: 5 years/unlimited; corrosion: 7 years/unlimited

Despite possessing a sporty style, the Veloster doesn't necessarily drive that way. On average roads that one travels during a typical work commute, the Veloster handles itself fine. However, take it out on some challenging, twisty roads and the Veloster is disappointing and doesn't deliver enough feedback to the driver. The vehicle is also a bit noisy, especially at higher speeds.

Standard features on the Veloster includes LED running lights; heated mirrors; rearview camera; cruise control; height-adjustable driver seat; cloth upholstery; tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel; 60/40-split folding rear seatback; cargo cover; Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity; 7-inch touchscreen electronics interface; six-speaker sound system with CD player; satellite radio; auxiliary audio jack; Pandora Internet radio capability; and a USB port.

As mentioned, we like that the Veloster doesn't require back seat passengers to squeeze into the car. The opening is a bit low, so people 6-foot or more will have to duck to get in and out. The backseat has fairly good leg room, but the head room is not as generous due to the sloping roof. A deep trunk provides 15.5 cubic feet of cargo space and expands to 34.7 with the back seats folded down.

Up front, driver and passenger comfort is about average. Like many sporty vehicles that are close to the ground, entry and exit is a bit more taxing than a normal compact. The Veloster utilizes a lot of hard plastic, yet is a user-friendly interior overall. The touchscreen interface is relatively simple to master.

The Hyundai Veloster is an unconventional compact hatchback with the three doors. We like the idea and feel the Veloster is a solid choice in its class, especially when choosing the turbocharged engine that adds to the vehicle's fun factor.

About Weidel on Wheels

Weidel on Wheels author Jeffrey Weidel is an award-winning writer from the Sacramento region who has reviewed automobiles for more than two decades. He can be reached at

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