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2011 Hyundai Veloster Review

Clever new Veloster coupé will offer smart alternative to VW Scirocco.

The new Veloster is another great new car from Hyundai and one that will certainly worry Volkswagen. We would love a more potent and snarly engine though because the chassis is certainly up to it.

Review

When: 30 March 2011

Where: Frankfurt, Germany

What: Hyundai Veloster

Occasion: International preview drive


Overall Rating: 4/5


The new Hyundai Veloster is a really talented little coupé that would be almost impossible to pass up if it had a more powerful engine, but still one to watch.


Key Facts:


 

Pricing: from around €25,000
Engine: 1.6-litre four-cylinder petrol
Transmission: six-speed manual/six-speed dual-clutch automatic, front-wheel drive
Body style: three-door coupé (two on driver’s side, one on passenger side)
Rivals: Volkswagen Scirocco, Renault Mégane Coupe, Honda CR-Z
COemissions: 132 - 142g/km
Tax Band: B/C
Combined economy: 6.2 litres/100km (45.6mpg) – 5.6 litres/100km (50.4mpg)
Top speed: 201km/h
0-100km/h: 9.8 seconds
Power: 137hp at 6,300rpm
Torque: 167Nm at 4,850rpm 

In the Metal:4/5


The Hyundai Veloster was a car that few of us really knew about until the Geneva Motor Show of this year and even then there was little indication that the car would be coming to us in Ireland any time soon. However, the reaction to the car, which was originally destined for the US market primarily, has been so strong that it was decided to bring it into Europe. And thank heavens Hyundai has!


 

We haven’t seen a Hyundai Coupe in Ireland for some time and that car was a real ‘game changer’ for the brand here so there are  lots of Coupe customers out there. The Veloster is bound to attract their attention. It has very radical styling though the quirky rear end is a little busy and might divide opinion, but what is not in doubt is just how useful the extra rear door on the driver’s side is going to be.

This extra door blends seamlessly into the side profile, with a hidden door handle - and it allows for access to the rear seats. This will be a massive bonus to parents and to taller rear passengers. And the packaging of the car is such that this is one of the most spacious rears we have come across in a coupé.

Overall, the car looks low, squat and purposeful and zany colours aside it's really impressive.


Driving it:4/5


There is only one engine choice at the moment in the Hyundai Veloster and that is a new 1.6-litre petrol unit that puts out just shy of 140hp. It has low Band B emissions of 132g/km when twinned with the six-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox and Band C emissions of 142g/km when you choose a traditional manual gearbox.


That manual is a short throw, stubby 'box and it feels really good, while the car itself sits on a talented little chassis. The engine is a little lacklustre in performance terms for our liking, but the note from the centrally mounted exhaust has quite a nice rumble to it. We'd like to see about 40 more horsepower and a turbocharger to make this car really sparkle.


Hyundai says there are no plans for a diesel version, which is a shame because it would be the perfect rival to the Scirocco and Megane diesels that are now so popular.


What you get for your Money:4/5


 

We don’t really know yet, because this car is a long way from coming to Ireland. Left-hand drive examples will be brought in this May for assessment and we probably won’t see the car on sale in any large volumes until the end of this year, or start of 2012. We would expect it to cost around €25,000 and to be laden with toys.


Worth Noting


Hyundai Ireland sold 587 Coupe models in 2007 but the company should be happy with 200-300 units of this in 2012.


Summary


The new Veloster is another great new car from Hyundai and one that will certainly worry Volkswagen. We would love a more potent and snarly engine though because the chassis is certainly up to it.