The 2013 Hyundai Veloster sits square in the pack of quirky new designs, but unfortunately does not provide performance that its exterior alludes to. The lopsided exterior design is controversial, and stands a good chance of going the same way as design disasters such as the Pontiac Aztek, although even that made it four years before the plug was pulled. The Veloster is a vehicle for the brave at heart, and likely will not appeal to many buyers. It at least has a sensible price point, and is well-equipped for that price, but it is a design that will not be timeless, and could seem dated by the end of the decade.
New For 2013
The feisty new Turbo model makes the Veloster much more of a serious performer. It looks more distinctive, too, with LED lighting and available (high maintenance) matte gray paint. The non-turbo Veloster stands apart.
The biggest quirk of the Veloster is something that a car buyer will find extremely attractive, or utterly stupid. On the driver side, there is a single door, making the car look like a coupe, but on the passenger side, a second full-size door gives the appearance of a sedan. This lop-sided appearance may be somewhat functional, but is extremely questionable stylistically. The front end is conservative on the Veloster, save for the carved, upward curved lower air dam. The unfortunate Turbo model is given a giant, blacked out grille that is large and out of place with car design, making it comical and disastrous at the same time. The Turbo also gets an effects kit added. The rear wheel wells are chunky and stick out from the body, and the rear end itself is massive, dominated by high-set taillight assemblies and a noticeably small rear window. At the bottom is a set of exhaust pipes that are rectangular on the base model, or circular and surrounded by a rear diffuser on the Turbo model. 17-inch wheels are standard on the Veloster, with 18-inch wheels optional but standard on the Turbo. One type of available wheels even offers inserts in the wheel spokes that match the color of the car’s body.
Interior & Cargo
The interior of the 2013 Hyundai Veloster matches the quirkiness of the exterior, in terms of form as well as function. This isn’t necessarily a good thing, however. In terms of space, the passengers in the front have adequate head and leg room, although someone far over six feet tall will not be able to sit up straight. Like the lopsided exterior, the interior is lopsided from front to back, as the rear seat does not have enough leg or head room for even an average sized adult to be comfortable for more than a few minutes. This seat is best left for small children and cargo. The cargo space in the back is generous, rivaling larger vehicles with 15.5 cubic feet of space.
The interior is composed of a lot of angles and of plastics with moderately inferior feeling. The centerpiece of the interior is a seven-inch touchscreen set within a giant V of silver plastic. This touchscreen controls Bluetooth and the six-speaker standard AM/FM/CD/Satellite stereo system, as well as a navigation system that is optional on both models. The steering wheel also has a prominent V shape for the lower spoke, and has mounted controls for audio, cruise control and Bluetooth. Power accessories are standard, as well as air conditioning and a six-way power adjustable driver’s seat. The Turbo comes with leather seating surfaces, while the base model only gets cloth or cloth with leather inserts. Likewise, the Turbo has standard heated front seats, but the base doesn’t even have them as optional equipment. Alloy pedals and a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob are standard on the Turbo while being an available option on the base model.
The 2013 Hyundai Veloster has yet to be crash tested by any agency, but it does have plenty of safety features. Six airbags are standard, as are traction control, stability control, and four-wheel anti-lock brakes. Vehicles not equipped with the Dual Clutch Transmission receive Hillstart Assist Control. Backup warning sensors and a rearview camera are standard on the Veloster Turbo but are optional on the base Veloster. Due to the thin rear window and massive blind spots to the rear, this option is highly recommended. The Hyundai BlueLink telematics platform is standard on both versions of the Veloster, and includes safety response services.
While the appearance inside and out is inspired, the driving experience is not. The basic model gets a 1.6-liter, four-cylinder engine that produces 138 horsepower and 132 lb-ft of torque with the standard six-speed manual transmission, but loses six horsepower and 12 lb-ft of torque when it is attached to the optional six-speed automatic transmission. This makes for a zero to 60 miles per hour acceleration time of 9.5 seconds, which is on the slower side of average for a subcompact hatchback. The Turbo version receives a turbocharger in front of the same engine, and this puts out 201 horsepower and 195 lb-ft of torque, regardless of the transmission it gets partnered with. The Turbo version knocks the acceleration time down to 7.7 seconds, but that is also on the slow side for a sport compact hatchback.
Often a smaller vehicle that lacks in power makes up for it in the suspension and handling departments, but unfortunately, the 2013 Hyundai Veloster is not one of them. It generally handles well through corners, but it can be thrown off if it hits a bump in the corner. The ride overall is a bit harsh and noisy. The steering is imprecise and does not offer quality feedback to the driver. The brakes are capable, at least.
Key Competitors For The 2013 Hyundai Veloster
- Kia Forte Koupe
- Scion tC
- Toyota Matrix