Hyundai’s Veloster sports coupe was something of a sensation when it first appeared in 2011. The styling was highly innovative and seemed to pick up cues from any rival. Nothing else out there looks anything like a Veloster so for buyers who want something highly original in the styling department; it’s always been a good choice. It was probably meant for buyers with a sound eye for modernistic design, though we’d guess that there are folks who don’t warm to it at all.
Although the coupe segment is somewhat neglected these days with so many buyers opting for compact crossovers, there are always people who want a car that’s a lot sportier and for them, Hyundai created the Veloster. The car is clearly aimed at younger buyers.
Hyundai must have faith in the continuing popularity of coupes because for 2019, it’s bringing us an all-new, second generation, Veloster that retains the same design flair, but adds many more features, both technical and cosmetic. The design was a collaborative effort between engineers and designers at Hyundai operations in Korea and California.
The Veloster is set apart from all other coupes by its door arrangement. There’s one wide door on the driver’s side and two smaller doors on the passenger side. The dual door arrangement makes rear seat access easier for the passenger who sits back there – and there’s only room for a sole occupant in the back. In effect, the Veloster has a “2 plus 1” configuration. The rear hatch gives access to a decent cargo area for a small and low-slung car and it is certainly fine for weekend trips for three. It should find a solid spot in what’s often called “the hot hatch market.”
The 2019 model has a wide-ranging interior and exterior re-design, uprated powertrains and lots of new infotainment and connectivity enhancements. Buyers can opt for LED lighting up front that looks very smart with the new grille design and is also highly functional. The exterior sheet metal seems to have been unified a little and there aren’t quite so many discordant angles. It’s a smoother, more flowing Veloster and it looks highly attractive with its standard 18-inch wheels.
Two engines are available, both responsive and peppy. The 2.0-litre Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder features lower emissions and high efficiency and puts out 147-horsepower. The higher-performance 1.6-litre turbo four develops 201 horses and uses a system that raises torque levels under maximum acceleration. Buyers can choose either a 6-speed manual transmission or a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic. The automatic has steering wheel mounted paddles for manual gear selection when needed.
On the safety front, apart from the usual array of six air bags, the Veloster has blind spot collision warning, rear cross traffic collision warning and a rearview camera for safe reversing. Also standard are various stability control electronics. The brakes are four-wheel discs with anti-lock, more or less essential features for a sports coupe. There’s a standard 7-inch colour LCD display and standard Bluetooth mobile phone connectivity. Options include an 8-inch touchscreen navigation system. For the ultimate in current cartech gadgets, buyers can order a head-up display system that shows a projected image of vital information.
There’s a lot of technology packed into even a base Veloster and as far as head-turning design goes, the 2019 version promises to be even more satisfying than the earlier model. Although this is a youth market car, it will have plenty of appeal for older drivers who are simply young at heart.
SPECS AT A GLANCE…
BODY STYLE: Three doors plus hatch sports coupe
ENGINE: 2.0-litre 4-cyl, 1.6-litre turbo
TRANSMISSION: 6-speed manual and 7-speed dual-clutch automatics
PERFORMANCE: Zero to 100 km/h in 7.2-seconds (estimated)
FUEL ECONOMY: Approx 7.6-litres/100 km combines (manual)
PRICE: Not yet announced. The new Veloster should be at OpenRoad Hyundai at the Richmond Auto Mall starting this spring