Test Drive: 2012 Hyundai Veloster videos car test drives reviews hyundai
Test Drive: 2012 Hyundai Veloster videos car test drives reviews hyundai
2012 Hyundai Veloster Tech Package. Click image to enlarge

Our test car was a Veloster with Tech Package and manual transmission. The proximity key is very handy, unlocking the door at the push of a button on the door handle; it’s easy to get in, and the driver’s seat is comfortable and supportive. I found headroom somewhat limited by the sunroof, and would have liked to lower the seat a bit more.

The interior has an expensive look to it, with faux aluminum accents and grab handles that are easy to reach when the door is open, chrome touches and bright, easy-to-read instrumentation. The seat fabrics and panel materials are pleasant to the touch and to the eye. The centre stack looks a little “Star Wars” to me, but it’s not extreme. Most importantly, the controls are easy to identify and use.

Backing out of one’s driveway is made simple when you’re helped with a high resolution colour display delivered by the standard back-up camera. Once underway the gear shifter offers short and precise shifts and the electric power assisted steering is responsive and sporty, although it can feel a little heavy at slower speeds.

The engine is smooth, but takes its time accelerating. If you want spirited performance, you’ll need a heavy foot and you’ll need to keep the engine speed up by shifting frequently.

Test Drive: 2012 Hyundai Veloster videos car test drives reviews hyundai
Test Drive: 2012 Hyundai Veloster videos car test drives reviews hyundai
Test Drive: 2012 Hyundai Veloster videos car test drives reviews hyundai
2012 Hyundai Veloster Tech Package. Click image to enlarge

Despite the sporty lines of the Veloster, the suspension is tuned more for comfort than performance. Not that it floats or wallows; nothing like that. But on smooth pavement there is softness to the ride that enthusiast drivers may not appreciate, but mainstream drivers may prefer. On broken pavement, the ride becomes choppy, especially at the rear, and that might have to do with the 18-inch wheels and their very low profile tires.

The vehicle feels solidly constructed, with no rattles to report at all. The rear passenger area can accommodate two adults and there is good legroom for them as long as the front seats aren’t positioned at the end of their travel rearward.

Speaking of rearward, visibility out the rear window is adequate, despite the structural member that traverses your line of sight. The little rear windshield wiper keeps things clear, although rain doesn’t really settle on the lower glass due to the Veloster’s slick aerodynamics.

Fuel economy is terrific. Veloster’s official numbers are 7.0/4.9 L/100 km, city/highway for the automatic and 7.2/4.9 for the manual. My around-town consumption was 6.8 L/100 km, which is excellent for city driving.

But there’s always somebody who wants something that’s not available, and for me, I loved the navigation system, but didn’t care for the headroom-robbing sunroof or the choppy ride on the bigger wheels. If it was available, I’d take the base car with navigation. And after a week’s driving, I’d likely opt for the automatic transmission, as acceleration is too often not there when you want it with the manual, unless you downshift. That becomes tiresome.

If you’re looking for a fuel-efficient, economy car with all the trimmings, and you’d like something a little out of the ordinary, the Veloster is definitely worth your time. What with the striking Sonata and Elantra, the new Accent and the popular Tuscon, Hyundai just keeps them coming.

Pricing: 2012 Hyundai Veloster Tech Package
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