Allow me to reintroduce this 2020 Hyundai Veloster Turbo Premium, the newest addition to the CarAdvice long-term fleet. Less a ‘hello’ than ‘welcome back’, this particular Thunder Bolt Yellow and Phantom Black two-toned example makes a return to the CarAdvice garage after having graced our presence for a week for review back in October last year, right around the time this new second-generation Veloster hit the showrooms.
With around a just-run-in 2700km on the odometer the last time it passed through our gribby mitts, the same car now parks its Michelins back on our turf with a still-daisy-fresh 4200km on the clock. And we plan on pushing the mileage well out during our custodianship of the pint-sized coupe over the next six months.
This is the all-you-can-eat flagship of the Veloster range, meaning that it’s not only the quickest (Turbo) and most lavishly appointed (Premium), but with its seven-speed (dry) dual-clutch transmission (auto), it gets the full suite of SmartSense safety gear. Only the self-shifting versions get the radar-based all-speed AEB system with pedestrian detection and adaptive cruise control to augment other systems such as active lane-keeping and rear cross-traffic alert systems.
Outlay? That’s a cool $41,990 plus two-tone paint ($1000), or a bit over $47K drive-away with the CarAdvice Sydney HQ address on the rego papers.
Yes, that’s serious coin for a warmed-up small car. That said, the stylised Korean does load in a lot of standard kit for its substantial outlay: 18-inch wheels with specc-y Michelin Pilot Sport 4 rubber, a bespoke body kit, LED (low-beam) headlights and tail-lights, high-beam assist, electric folding mirrors, specific driver instrumentation, eight-way-powered and heated/cooled leather sports seats, metal pedals, paddle shifters on a heated steering wheel, a head-up display, a panoramic glass roof, and large 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment loading in proprietary sat-nav, DAB+, Apple and Android smartphone mirroring and Qi-compatible inductive phone charging.
Indeed, the top-dog Veloster layers on more sweetener than you’ll find inside a black forest cake, but bells and whistles alone are only half the pitch. The key lure is that it’s a fast and funky sports coupe, and it’d want to lay down seriously deep grooves, because the sort of money it wants for offers a dizzying array of quick – and perhaps quicker – small-stature alternatives.
It offers 150kW and 275Nm – 10Nm of which is on overboost – from 1.6 turbocharged litres, but even in Hyundai’s public literature on its “street racer” that’s “born to perform”, any actual 0–100km/h performance claim seems buried so deep that you’ll lose the will to unearth it before the blisters set in.
We’re keen to measure the Veloster’s go-fast mojo, and there are umpteen compact turbocharged 1.6-litre and 2.0-litre devices for similar or less money that’ll serve as handy barometers. Although, the largest small elephant in the garage is in Hyundai’s own abode: the i30 N-Line Premium auto hatchback with which our latest long-termer shares its key oily powertrain bits.
Stay tuned for that stoush.
Of course, anything else out there competing with the Veloster Turbo Premium auto on pace and price is inevitably of a conventional five-door body style – Subaru WRX sedan apart – and since generation one’s 2011 introduction, the Korean has flaunted its inspired if downright oddball body styling as its ultimate point of difference and its biggest drawcard. Of course, you can buy into the same so-called “2+1 hidden door” format more affordably with the base, naturally aspirated, manual Veloster for under $30K before on-roads.
The Veloster’s whole ‘door thing’ deserves it own long-term instalment report, and for various reasons. Firstly, to argue it’s a four-door, not a three-door. Secondly, to admit to anyone reading this that after driving umpteenth Velosters over the past nine years, I’d never noticed the driver’s door was longer than the passenger door (yes, really). And, thirdly and most importantly, does the format serve any practical purpose whatsoever, particularly when serving as a small family runabout?
While we’re at it, we really should chuck the Veloster Turbo Premium auto around a racetrack at some point – purely to service science, I assure you – to see how well it serves weekend warriors, and also take it on a long road trip to see how long its legs are in Big Country.
Family-friendliness, performance against its peers, a bit of track, some grand touring… If there’s anything else you might be curious about with the Hyundai Veloster Turbo Premium auto you’d like us to assess, be sure to let us know in the comments below.
Equally as handy: if you own, or have owned, a Veloster and have anything to report, fair or foul, you’d like to share with us as things to look out for, feel free to share.