What is it?
It’s pert, good looking with plenty of go.
No, it’s not the automotive equivalent of Kylie, because the Veloster doesn’t really have a voice.
And that, in a nutshell, is the weak point in Hyundai’s 2020 Veloster Turbo Premium.
Recently revamped and looking less like a cockroach with a hunchback, the updated model still comes with two doors one side and a single door on the other.
But changes to the roofline, along with front and rear updates, see the range looking mucho better, with three models: Veloster, Veloster Turbo, and Veloster Turbo Premium grades.
What’s it cost?
Prices start at $33,253 driveaway for the entry model, $39,443 for the Turbo and $43,048 for the Premium.
The website appears to indicate there is no extra charge for metallic paint, while the Premium comes with a two-tone roof option — Phantom Black or Tangerine Comet.
The Premium also scores a sunroof, Head Up Display, and dark grey, painted 18 inch alloys with 225/40 Michelin Pilot Sport 4 rubber.
The interior is decently roomy for front seat passengers.
In a nice touch, the leather clad seats are vented and heated, while there is electric adjustment for the driver’s pew along with a manual flip switch to access a pair of rear seats — but it’s easier to use the second passenger door for this purpose.
And, to flip the rear seats, it’s easy enough from the left hand side — but it’s a case of reaching across from the left, or folding down the driver’s seat and reaching from the right side.
Either way, it’s unavoidably fiddly.
The rear seats are 50:50 split fold and divided by a centre console with cup holders.
The centre stack for the front seats is awkward, in look and design, and out of kilter with the rest of the Hyundai range.
This leaves the 8.0 inch touchscreen standing around seven centimetres forward of the USB/Aux/charge pad.
Sound comes from Infiniti speakers via DAB, and the screen’s layout and operation are a study in ease of use.
The touchscreen can also display a trio of gauges: torque, turbo pressure, and G-Force.
The steering wheel and gear selector feature a red stripe; the latter looks like it should be pressed (but is not).
There are “flappy paddles”, as Clarkson would say, plus a drive mode selector.
Choose Sport or move the selector to manual mode, and the Head Up displays a tacho along with speed and lane assist icons.
The indicators can be set to blink three, five, or seven times, which in most driving situations, such as merging or changing lanes, is at odds with the state and federal standard.
Accessing the cargo area is achieved via a relocated button.
It’s now in the small hook shaped casing on the exterior for the rear wiper motor housing.
The second passenger side door is accessed via a recessed handle high on the door.
The exterior changes bring the look of the car into line with the i30, with slimmer LED headlights and a honeycomb air curtain flanked by chrome garnishes in the bottom quarters.
The slimline rear lights look almost the same as those found on the i30N, with a three-line diamond motif.
It’s a compact yet roomy machine, with a wheelbase of 2650mm that provides decent legroom and a cargo space that offers between 303 and 1081 litres.
That’s sufficient space for a weekly shop or to accommodate a 1600mm high display case as we discovered.
What’s it go like?
No problems with plenty of squirt on demand from the 1.6-litre turbocharged four.
Powering the front wheels via a 7-speed DCT, there is 265Nm of torque available from 1500 to 4500rpm.
Turbo and Turbo Premium share the same 7-speed dual-clutch with a 6-speed manual also offered.
Peak power is 150kW.
The entry Veloster meanwhile comes with a “standard” 6-speed auto and 2.0-litre Atkinson cycle engine.
Economy-wise, we saw a highway best of 5.3L/100km, compared to Hyundai’s official figure of 5.6L.
The combined figure, says Hyundai, is 6.9L/100km, with a highish 9.1L/100km for the urban cycle.
That’s from a 50-litre tank.
Although that 9.1L is achievable, we averaged 7.4L/100km.
Why is that higher number achievable?
Because that 1.6-litre turbo is a screamer and begs to be wrung out, to extract the best possible performance (unfortunately, exuberant driving isn’t a terribly welcome thing right now).
That’s exacerbated by supple suspension on the highway, but a hard, too taut bang-crash style on smaller ruts and speed bumps.
Weighing in at around 1350kg, there’s enough torque to set the front tyres scrabbling when pushed hard from a standing start.
The Michelins grip harder than a baby holding a lollipop, with plenty of lateral grip for trouble free cornering.
The weak spot in the whole drive experience are the brakes, with a softish pedal and a lack of feel.
There’s also an annoying lag when changing from Park to Reverse to Drive — or Drive to Reverse, and back to Drive.
Underway it’s a sweet a mover however, with a faint “phut, phut” when hurried from the twin exhausts buried centrally in the extended rear valance.
Sport mode enhances the shift but aurally the Veloster could do more to caress the ears.
It doesn’t dip out on safety, with a supreme pizza level of standard equipment.
There is Lane Keep Assist, which is a little too eager to assist, along with Blind Spot Collision Warning, and Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist (FCA) – including City / Urban with camera, and Interurban/Pedestrian & Cyclist detection (camera and radar).
There isn’t a driver kneebag however.
What we like?
- Mucho better on the peepers
- Tenacious cornering grip
- Lively get up and go from standing start
What we don’t like?
- Brakes lack confidence
- Exhaust note is a letdown
- Centre console is a bit messy
The bottom line?
Apart from the lack of a decent exhaust note, the 2020 Hyundai Veloster Turbo Premium is a performance bargain.
Limpet like grip, beautiful handling, and a largely benign suspension tune complement a willing and urgent engine.
Fold the rear seats and there’s even adequate room to carry some larger items.
As a sports hatch/coupe, Veloster stretches the boundaries and won’t hurt the wallet too badly.
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Hyundai Veloster Turbo Premium, priced from
- Looks - 8/108/10
- Performance - 8/108/10
- Safety - 9/109/10
- Thirst - 9/109/10
- Practicality - 7/107/10
- Comfort - 7.5/107.5/10
- Tech - 8/108/10
- Value - 8.5/108.5/10