2017 Hyundai Veloster Turbo : Feigning Ferocity

Photography by Matt Eugenio

I have to imagine that Hyundai executives sat around a table when creating this Hyundai hatchback and made sure it checked the following boxes:

☑ An odd number of doors
☑  A name that sounds like a mean and dangerous dinosaur
☑  Wild styling that that stands out from every other car on the road
☑  Bright and obnoxious paint colors with an interior to match… maybe even put “Turbo” on the seats

Well, they can be happy because the 2017 Hyundai Veloster certainly meets all of these requirements to become one of the most unique cars on the road. The Veloster debuted in 2011 and was meant to keep younger buyers around after the “wild-styled” Tiburon went extinct. The base model Veloster offers up a rather mundane 132 horsepower from a 1.6L 4-cylinder, but this 2017 Veloster Turbo uses its twin-charged power to give us a more respectable 201 horsepower. The Turbo package also offers more aggressive styling on the outside (if that were possible) and a sporty interior to match the wild “Vitamin C” Orange paint. Can a car that all but shouts “I am a fierce turbo compact!” live up to the performance expectations?

Orange On The Outside

You can discover a different styling detail with each step as you take a walk around the Hyundai Veloster. Out front, the large open-mouth grille on the Turbo is simple but stands out. Moving along, the bold LED headlights crease into the front fascia and then wrap around the top of the wheel arches. Sure the styling, on the whole, may be polarizing but the design of the side view is damn-near perfect. The sloped-back roof, cockpit-like windows, the sweeping line near the bottom of the doors, and pleasantly curved front and rear make this Veloster anything but bland.

When the Veloster first arrived on the market it was a wild departure from the cars at the time. Strangely enough, the market has moved towards similar bold designs in the past 7 years, with even mundane brands like Toyota getting involved. So while many people were hyper-critical of the model design early on,  Hyundai understood before many others that bold designs give your brand character.

Driving Experience and Interior

When climbing inside the cabin, the orange interior elements instantly jump out. The “Turbo” script along the bolsters of the orange and black seats shout at you and echo off the chorus of orange in the center console and interior stitching. Throughout the remainder of the interior, you will find business as usual with the common Hyundai buttons and switches. Most modern buyers would be impressed with the quality and comfort from a car that seems so bold on the exterior. The infotainment system has Android Auto support and works perfectly to keep your eyes on the road while still reading text messages and navigating your music collection.

Climbing into the orange seats and taking off shows even further how tame and refined the Veloster can be. When the ‘Turbo” labeled is plastered on the interior and exterior you expect a rather wild and untamed “hot hatch” — but the Veloster is quite the opposite. There is a lack of theatrics in the way the car swiftly moves throughout the canyon roads. Any driver coming from a vehicle like the Fiat 500 Abarth into the Hyundai would certainly get the bends from the lack of ferocity and spirit. This isn’t to say that the Veloster isn’t a good car, it handles well and accelerates ahead of traffic without much lag, it simply isn’t a truly sporty car.

Conclusion

While the Veloster may not be the sportiest car in the bunch, it is a heck of a deal. At around $27K, this turbo Hyundai undercuts hatchback giants like the Volkswagen GTI by over $5,000. Furthermore, we think the Hyundai stands out more than most of the competition and you will certainly be noticed on the streets. Therefore, the Hyundai Veloster Turbo may be the perfect car for those seeking style and comfort over ultimate performance.

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