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2014 Hyundai Veloster Overview
Introducing its third trim in as many years of production, the 2014 Hyundai Veloster lineup fattens at the middle with a new Turbo R-Spec, otherwise carrying over largely unchanged from 2013. This means drivers have 3 distinctly different choices in a 2014 Veloster, with a bit of extra emphasis on "different" alongside a dash of unique. There is, after all, a third door on this unconventional hatchback.
Typical of Hyundai, the Veloster is packed with surprises, but they're not all the sort of surprises you might expect with its aggressive style.
The top-shelf Veloster Turbo layers on Hyundai's usually lengthy features list and pairs it with a decidedly oh-so-sedan driving character despite its 1.6-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine. That engine debuted last year and was good for a 7.7-second sprint to 60 mph with its standard 6-speed manual, and an option for a less fuel-efficient 6-speed automatic doesn't exactly square its debate between sport or sedan either. The Base is obviously less well equipped, though still nicely outfitted, and drives similarly but without the turbocharged pep or tuned steering response. It achieves the same benchmark in 9.5 seconds with that manual and all its naturally aspirated 138 hp and 132 lb-ft of torque from the same displacement.
The 6-speed automatic is also optional in the Base, but it's not the traditional sort. An automated manual known as a DCT provides the lineup's best fuel economy at 28 mpg city/37 highway in the Base. A Base with the manual is only 1 mpg worse in the city, however.
The new Turbo R-Spec, on the other hand, takes on the Turbo's engine and sport-tuned steering while adding a sport-tuned suspension and short shifter, but omits any option for the automatic while also excluding features like the proximity-key entry with push-button start, premium gauge cluster, side-repeater mirrors, driver's-side auto-up window, high-gloss interior and heated leather seats found in the Turbo by default. Performance and economy are expected to be the very same as in the Turbo: 201 hp and 195 lb-ft of torque dining at 24/35 with the manual, but Turbo buyers opting for the DCT should expect slightly worse economy, with a rating of 24/31.
All that said, the Veloster wasn't without its debut woes. Usually first- and second-year cars have some difficulties with quality control, and the Veloster was no exception. From unexplained bouts with automatic-equipped engines stalling out to glitchy electronics beeping because they felt like beeping, Hyundai had a few stones to turn over in its manufacturing process that should be worked out by now. That's about the only reason for a thorough test drive, however, as the rest of the Veloster comes with nothing but praise if you expected the less-than-sporting feel that was the only option, until now.
Roomier than a coupe but decidedly more visually enticing than your average hatchback, the 2014 Veloster finally promises to be called fun to drive with the widely anticipated addition of the R-Spec trim. Sure, it may not have the most spacious trunk, sparing just 15.5 sedan-standard cubic feet behind that relatively roomy rear bench, but the pair of passenger-side doors add a level of convenience rarely (ok, never) seen with so much style. Not to mention that fuel economy isn't too shabby either.
Your prototypical "Tom Girl" Patricia got her start digging into Ford engines before she aged into double digits. Gifted with a mechanical mind, her favorite pass-time in the summer is picking up a fixer-up'r at the local public auction and massaging its every ailment until it's primed for a new lover. From dirt bikes to land yachts, every partner offers something truly special in her love affair with the road - just don't tell her husband.