In the four years since the Hyundai Veloster hit showrooms, the car hasn’t managed to attract much of an enthusiast following. Even the optional punchy turbocharged engine couldn’t draw our attention away from similarly priced cars like the Fiat 500 Abarth, Ford Fiesta ST, and Honda Civic Si. But when Hyundai recently dropped off a Veloster at the AUTOMOBILE office, we wondered if we might be ready to change our tune. The car wore matte blue paint, imitation carbon-fiber trim, and lightweight 18-inch Rays wheels, and it came equipped with an upgraded suspension. Perhaps the Hyundai Veloster Turbo has more performance hidden beneath its unusual bodywork than we thought.
Unfortunately, all-season tires limit the Veloster’s sportiness. Just as the upgraded suspension digs in to a corner, the Kumho Solus TA31 tires squeal, squirm, and slide. The Veloster is plenty fun to drive on curving pavement, but it’s no apex hunter.
Performance aside, the 2016 Hyundai Veloster Turbo is a wholly useful and practical car. Its unusual three-door design means the car can keep its cool coupe-like looks on the driver’s side, while still allowing passengers to access the back seat easily from the other side. Once seated in back, passengers have plenty of legroom (only 1.4 inches less than in Hyundai’s Elantra sedan), although headroom is tight. The wide, deep trunk is more spacious than in the Elantra and easily accommodates a bicycle if you fold the 60/40 split rear seats. However, the extremely high liftover height means we’d be loath to move heavy objects in and out of the trunk on a regular basis.
2016 Hyundai Veloster Turbo Rally Edition Specifications
|Engine:||1.6L turbo DOHC 16-valve I-4/201 hp @ 6,000 rpm, 195 lb-ft @ 1,750 rpm|
|Layout:||3-door, 5-passenger, front-engine, FWD hatchback|
|EPA Mileage:||25/33 mpg (city/hwy)|
|Suspension F/R:||Multilink, coil springs/torsion beam, coil springs|
|Tires:||225/40R-18 Kumho Solus TA31|
|L x W x H:||167.3 x 71.1 x 55.1 in|
|Headroom F/R:||104.3 in|
|Legroom F/R:||43.9/31.7 in|
|Shoulder Room F/R:||55.6/54.0 in|
|Cargo Room:||15.5 cu ft|
|Weight Dist. F/R:||N/A|