I can remember the first time I saw the Hyundai Veloster, I wasn’t a motor journalist at the time, but I recall how eye-striking the car was – futuristic and aggressive looking and I could not help think, “wow, this car must be really fast.” That’s until I spoke to the owner, who in a mild manner, said, “it’s all show and no go!” You see the Veloster is a marvellously designed vehicle, but with a normally-aspirated 1.6L four-cylinder engine only – it was just plain boring.

Hyundai-Veloster_2016_1280x960_wallpaper_1e

Four years on; is the new Veloster Turbo any better? Absolutely. Its Kammback coupe design has received a refresh. The inverted trapezoidal dual exhaust outlet, is now replaced with a bazooka looking double-barrel/triple-layered chromed exhaust tip, 18” alloy rims/low-profile tyres replace the 17” wheels, along with bigger brakes, (280mm<300mm), a larger hexagonal grill for better air-intake and a sporty bodykit that boosts it aero-aggressive looking stance.

Hyundai-Veloster_2016_1280x960_wallpaper_2b

The Veloster moniker is a take on the words velocity and roadster, (A motorbike fuel-tank inspired the middle-console design). Along with Bluetooth, radio/frontloader CD player, USB ports, all multimedia functions are accessed via the 7” LCD touch screen and multifunction steering wheel. Other luxuries include a reverse-camera, heated and electric seats – and besides cupholders/utility areas – I personally did not find the Veloster’s interior practical. Great for a couple with a small baby, no friends and the headless horseman. The central cup-holders in the backseat are a pain in the ‘keister’ – the sacrum. But I will say in the driver’s seat, I was extremely comfortable – and on the highway the Veloster is a smooth operating and comfortable drive.

Hyundai-Veloster_2016_1280x960_wallpaper_2d

For a 1600cc turbo charged engine that ebbs out 150kw of power, transmitted via a sleek-shifting 6-speed manual gearbox that puts-down 265nm of torque – is impressive. The drivetrain on the new Veloster Turbo is brilliant, this is the same T-GDI engine shared with its sister rival – the Kia Cerato Koup. Besides similar design cues on the inside, the same drive train and similar handling, the Veloster uses the same chassis set-up as the Accent, but with a stiffer sports suspension, that prods you and makes the car skittish when on nearly imperfect tarmac. Switch the steering mode to Sport for a more direct feel and on any corner, despite its 1333kg mass the Veloster still delivers borderline ‘hot-hatch(y)’ fun. Off the line launch, the Veloster likes to skip and hop, as it wrestles for traction, but with minimal torque-steer, (delightful), the tyres find grip and a nice splurge of bottom-down torque firmly presses you into your chair. The car is expertly set-up to handle sudden braking, even in wet weather, and though the steering becomes a little vague – the Veloster springs all its safety mechanisms into action to ensure you stop as smoothly and safely as possible.

Hyundai-Veloster_2016_1280x960_wallpaper_23

The Veloster was created to fill the void left by the Tiburon, and attract a youthful audience. But at a price of R379 900, which could send the Veloster into an early retirement – there are better priced cars in the market, like the VW Scirocco 2.0TSi Highline, and the Kia Cerato Koup, 1.6L T-Gdi which now retails for under R300 000. However, once you have driven the Veloster Turbo, you will want one, stay away from the paddle-shift/DCT version though – manual is best!

Dean Joseph