The 2012 Hyundai Veloster gets fuel economy ratings that are about par today for a compact or subcompact sedan—up to 40 mpg on the highway—yet it's a market standout among stylish, sporty coupes and might just sell some shoppers on the idea that higher gas mileage doesn't have to curb driving enjoyment and design flair.
Hyundai is pitching the Veloster directly to always-connected 20- and 30-something buyers who want to look good but simply aren't willing to give up all the practicality that they'd need to with a traditional sporty coupe or sports car.
In keeping with that, the 2012 Veloster starts at just over $18,000 and includes, at that price, all the goodies the younger set deems essential—including a USB/iPod interface, Bluetooth hands-free connectivity, an RCA video input, and GraceNote music display technology with a voice-command system. Also included is Hyundai's BlueLink suite of services and introductory subscriptions to all of its perks, like personalized turn-by-turn navigation.
The exterior design of the 2012 Hyundai Veloster is far from understated; part sport coupe, part versatile hatchback, the design calls out to shooting-brake sports cars as much as it does to eco-hatches like the Honda Insight, CR-Z, and original CRX. But a combination of blacked out details (like the front lower airdam), motorcycle-influenced details inside and out, and available bright exterior colors help it straddle that line between urban versatility and sport.
Even though the Veloster flaunts it a bit on the outside, its interior is surprisingly practical—especially if you plan to flip down the rear seats most of the time. The unusual three-door layout features somewhat smaller front and rear doors on the passenger side; the smaller rear door allows easier entry and exit to the back seat, plus improved access for cargo loading; but there's simply not enough headroom in back for most adults.
The Veloster shares some of its structure with the Elantra sedan, but it packs the smaller Accent's 138-horsepower, 1.6-liter direct-injection four-cylinder, along with either a six-speed manual or a new Dual Clutch automated manual transmission. With a relatively light curb weight and a suspension that's tuned for more athleticism than that of Hyundai's sedans, the Veloster handles surprisingly well and is very enjoyable to drive. The only thing missing is low-rpm torque; it can feel a little sluggish if you don't keep the revs up.
For more, see the full review of the 2012 Hyundai Veloster over at The Car Connection.
|3-Door Coupe Automatic (3)||MSRP||Invoice||MPG City||MPG Hwy|
|w/Black Int Specs||$18,550||$17,887||27||35|
|w/Gray Int Specs||$18,550||$17,887||27||35|
|w/Red Int Specs||$18,550||$17,887||27||35|
|3-Door Coupe Manual (3)||MSRP||Invoice||MPG City||MPG Hwy|
|w/Black Int Specs||$17,300||$16,699||27||37|
|w/Gray Int Specs||$17,300||$16,699||27||37|
|w/Red Int Specs||$17,300||$16,699||27||37|