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2013 Hyundai Veloster Overview
A critical darling and crowd-wower since its introduction last year, the quirky Veloster coupe with the extra door held a lot of promise. Most reviewers were impressed with the styling and price point, but felt it lacked distinction under the hood. This year, Hyundai attempts to silence the critics by adding a much-anticipated turbo engine.
Two levels of trim are available. The base Veloster will give you last year’s 4-cylinder engine, making 138 hp and 123 lb-ft of torque. But an added turbocharger jacks it to 201 hp and 195 lb-ft for Turbo versions. Both have front-wheel drive and a 6-speed manual transmission standard. The standard Veloster offers an optional 6-speed dual-clutch transmission, and the Turbo a 6-speed automatic; paddle-shifters are available for both. Seventeen-inch alloy wheels are standard on the base, with an option for 18. The Turbo rides atop 18-inch alloys with chrome accents.
Reviews for the Turbo thus far, however, have been disappointing. Many feel on paper its specs are decent, but on the road it doesn’t deliver. Some suspect since the suspension and handling haven’t been adjusted for the turbocharged engine, it doesn’t have the performance it should. On the positive side, it still delivers stellar gas mileage for a turbo—it’s estimated at 26 mpg city/38 hwy (28/40 for the regular Veloster).
On the outside the Veloster is still a head-turner and essentially unchanged from 2012 for the base. The Turbo is a little more aggressive and flashy, with fog lights, projector-beam headlights and dual exhaust manifold. A new matte-grey finish is available for Turbo owners that want even more pizzazz, but this finish requires extra care (hand washing only) that should be taken into consideration. A panoramic sunroof is optional.
Hyundai keeps the feature-rich interior, including the cockpit-like driver’s seat, the same. Bluetooth, a touchscreen and push-button ignition are standard. And, of course, so is the Veloster's unique combination of hatchback, coupe and sedan. Between the hidden right passenger door and the hatch, there is room for both storage and students. Six airbags are standard as well as electronic brake assist, and stability and traction control help keep you safe on the road.
And the Veloster is unquestionably a hit anywhere you go. With its cartoon-like colors and unusual silhouette, be prepared to talk to strangers at filling stations and stoplights. It may not deliver the performance promised, but in terms of owner pride and satisfaction, it rates very highly.
by Stephen Moramarco
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