Ok so it’s no big secret that I am a fan of the Veloster and the previous model is still one of my favourite cars I’ve reviewed, so could imagine that I was a little bit excited when given the chance to review the Series 2 Veloster.
Not only was Hyundai promising an improvement in handling and braking, but this particular car was equip with Hyundai’s new 7 speed Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT).
Hyundai has made the Veloster a more attractive and affordable proposition with the introduction of the Series II range, the Veloster range is essentially split into 2 groups the Veloster which comes with the stand naturally aspirated 4 cylinder engine and the SR which is powered by a 1.6L turbo engine.
I’m testing the range topping SR+ model which is priced from $29,990 plus on road costs.
Some people say first impressions mean something when talking about cars and the Veloster made a good impression on me when I first saw it.
It was painted in a new colour to the Veloster range Matte Blue, now before hand I knew what colour the car was going to be and I can honestly say I thought I wasn’t really going to like it.
But my opinion changed the moment I saw it, the Matte Blue is one of nicest car colours I’ve ever seen and really suits the Veloster down to tea.
On the outside not alot has changed the grille is now dark grey and the Veloster now sports a pair HID headlights, The series 2 retains the same bonnet lines but the fake vents are gone it to me it gives the veloster and cleaner look.
Stepping around to the rear and the Series 2 has a new rear diffuser which really looks good specially with the twin exhaust pipes exiting in the middle of the rear bumper. The series 2 rides on new style 18inch alloys which don’t only look good but really brings the whole package together.
Opening the door and the changes are easy to spot, the leather front seats were black with blue accents and blue stitching which matched the colour on the outside, with Turbo emblazoned along the side in contrasting white lettering you couldn’t half tell what model you were in.
Slipping behind the leather bound steering wheel which was comfortable to hold has buttons for your cruise control, audio, system, hands free phone and the trip meter.
The instrument cluster has changed as well and not only looks better to me it’s easy to read in any light, in between the large dials is an LCD screen when con display a myriad a information from the trip computer.
The only omission which I think would be a handy addition is a digital speedo, which I think is a little strange as you can find them on cars much then the Veloster.
The dash is covered is softish material which is nice to touch and there a re fake carbon fibre accents that really enhance the look if the interior.
The centre stack is home to the Hyundai multimedia system and sat system which has also been improved with this model, the system is exceptionally easy to use an is one of the quick systems I’ve used to connect my phone to.
There are a couple of things I wasn’t crash hot one is the fact the clock will disappear when you change screens and the other is that the screen is on separate control to the dimming control for the instrument panel, and while you adjust the brightness of the screen between 3 levels its lack the brightness control other cars have and even at it’s lowest setting is still a touch too bright specially at night.
The seats are extremely comfortable and the high side bolsters offer a great amount of support specially while cornering.
One of the big things that sets the Veloster apart from other cars on the market is Hyundai’s choice to go with 3 doors instead the usually 2 you get on a coupe. While drivers side has only door the passenger side has 2 making it extremely easy for rear seat passengers to get in.
Instead of trying to fit 3 people in the back seat in very cramped condition Hyundai decided to make the Veloster a 4 seater which means both rear passengers and more comfortable there is a console in the between the seats.
While leg room isn’t too bad head room in back is restrictive for taller people no thanks to the sunroof and the sloping roof line.
Under the bonnet the Veloster is powered by a 1.6L GDI Turbo engine pumping out 150kW and 265Nm which is extremely tractable and as you would expect makes it easy to keep up with traffic. There is some lag down low which you get with a lot of small turbo’s so while it can be reasonably quick off the mark it’s not until you have got a few rev’s on board before the engine starts to sing and it’s a rather nice song indeed.
While I didn’t get to do a proper 0-100km time done this car feels faster and I’m betting would beat the 6.8sec time I achieved in the previous model.
Fuel economy wise I finished off the week averaging 10.2L/100km which is pretty bang on par with a lot of other cars I’ve tested but slightly better then the previous model over the same trip.
Now I ran out of time to give it a proper freeway run but the brief run I did do saw the fuel economy come down to the 6’s.
Backing the turbo engine is Hyundai’s new 7 speed Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT) which was thing I was looking to the most when i picked up the car.
The shifts are smooth in everyday driving and noticeably quicker then the previous models 6 speed auto when your letting it have it’s head.
It’s not perfect I did find there was a slight shudder at part throttle first thing in the morning when it was cold, which went away once it had warmed up a bit and like most other DCT’s it can roll back on steep hills.
Hyundai said they had improved the handling and braking of the car when I picked it up and the improvements were noticeable almost immediately, I thought the previous model was well on the way to becoming a decent warm hatch and it gotten better with the Series 2.
Hyundai’s local suspension tuning program is really starting to pay dividends as the Veloster feels a lot better all round compared to the previous model.
While there is a touch of stiffness the Veloster absorbs the bumps rather nicely, throw some corners at it and then differences really stand out as the Veloster really feels more settled, although pushing hard will still see it want to push wide but it’s better the previous model.
Safety wise the Veloster has a 5 star ANCAP rating and comes with a long list of safety features including, ABS, ESC, traction control, 6 air bags and not only does it have rear parking sensors but scores top marks from me for having a rear view camera as well.
Now before the week I had the Veloster I was already fan of the previous model so not surprisingly I came a way an even bigger fan this time around.
Not only is the Series II faster then the previous model but it handles and rides better and overall feels a much better tied down car.
The little tweaks to the interior with colour coded trim and seats along with the addition of cooled seats just add to the experience, I had driven and reviewed a lot of cars over the last few years and while this car is not perfect I could really see it sitting in the garage next ours family’s much loved Captiva.
If your looking for a hatch of the warmish variety then you should should definitely have the Series II Veloster on your list, the added peace of mind of a 5 year unlimited kilometre warranty, 12 months 24/7 Hyundai Roadside Assist and a fixed price life time service plan only make the Veloster more an attractive package.
For more info on the Series II Veloster SR Turbo check out their web site www.hyundai.com.au
Hyundai Veloster SR+ Turbo
Price: $36,990 (plus on-road costs)
Engine: 1.6-litre four cylinder turbo petrol
Power: 150kW at 6000rpm
Torque: 265Nm at 1750-4500rpm
Transmission: 7-spd dual clutch auto
Safety: 5 star ANCAP
Standard features: climate control air conditioning, Premium audio system featuring 4 speakers, 2 tweeters, centre speaker, and sub-woofer all powered by an external amplifier, 7″ LCD touchscreen with MP3 CD player and AM/FM radio tuner, Satellite Navigation, Air ventilated front seats, Panoramic glass sunroof.