UPDATE: There is some Veloster news from Australia today, both good and bad. The good news for Hyundai is that they’re essentially sold out of Velosters at the moment. New buyers will have to wait three months for the 2+1 coupes, which according to Hyundai is a very pleasant surprise.
The bad news is that whilst the Veloster Turbo will be coming here mid-year, it’s predicted to sell for around $35K. It wasn’t so long ago that Hyundai got a foothold in the Aussie market selling cheap and cheerful hatchbacks for $13,000 on the road. Even if they can tune the chassis adequately (it takes more than just a turbo engine to make a decent driver) $35K seems like a bit too much, too soon, for a Hyundai hatch.
I never, ever thought I’d use the words “like” and “Hyundai” in the same sentence (not without including the words “to mock”, at least).
I remember a reader back in the SU days, a guy from Ireland called “J-Fan”, who trumpeted Hyundai’s virtues and was dismissed as quite possibly being mentally deficient by many at the time, me included (he’s still around, too – hello J-Fan). I drove an i30 for a week around 18 months ago and I thought it was absolute rubbish.
But I have to admit, I like the Hyundai Veloster. J-Fan’s revenge, perhaps?
I like what I see as a pretty funky design choice, with one door on the driver’s side and two doors on the passenger side. It’s perfect for someone who prefers coupes but sometimes has to carry someone in the back. I like the way they’ve executed the door designs, too. What I admire even more, however, is the courage and commitment Hyundai have shown to actually build this vehicle, and especially the fact that they’re building it in both right- and left-hand drive.
Have a look over the following video. Get past the hipster stuff and weigh up the offering objectively. If you find the design interesting, then it’s a very curious proposition.
The additional costs associated with making this 2-1 door configuration into a global vehicle must be huge, but given that Hyundai (and child brand, Kia) have been kicking goals all over the world in the last three years, they can obviously afford to make a statement like the Veloster.
Pros: The styling is cool, the practicality looks great and the equipment list is modern and generous.
Reservations: modest power (when’s that turbo model coming?), driveability, interior materials (horrible in the i30 I drove) and storage space.
I guess the evaluation of those would need a test drive. Hopefully Hyundai might be listening/reading – let’s see how good their media monitors are.