Home Automobiles The Veloster, Says Steve, Is Pure Fun On The Cheap

The Veloster, Says Steve, Is Pure Fun On The Cheap


I like cars that you don’t see everywhere. Something a little quirky with under the radar exclusivity is always cool with me. And that’s how I’d characterize the Veloster. A sporty little coupe with a 3rd door, Hyundai’s latest version is pure fun on the cheap.

Introduced 7 years ago in Detroit, the original Veloster was targeted at the Gen Y crowd with MINI Cooper-like driving dynamics and a funky 3rd door on the passenger side.

With a starting price of around $17,000 and netting 30mpg, the Veloster was a refreshing new entry into the suddenly red-hot compact car segment.  Flash ahead to the 2019 model year and this all-new Veloster is exactly what you’d want from a next generation car.  More chiseled.  More polished.  More fun.  The Veloster remains a compelling choice for car shoppers with a youthful spirit and a desire to maximize their dollar.

This R-Spec model sits right in the middle of the 5 Veloster offerings which still starts at under $20,000. The base models get a new 2.0-liter engine but starting at R-Spec and up the familiar 1.6-liter twin-scroll turbo carries over still producing the same 201 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque, though the power is available earlier in the RPM range. And for the purists, the R-Spec comes only one way –  with a 6-speed manual – Hyundai’s in-house designed short throw gearbox fitted exclusively with a B&M Racing Sport Shifter.  The biggest mechanical upgrade comes in moving away from the torsion beam rear suspension to an independent multi-link design for improved handling.  Unique sport-tuned steering, lighter suspension and bigger exhaust sound are all R-Spec standards as are a serious set of Michelin performance tires. R-Spec now includes more creature comforts as well such as proximity key, push button start, and excellent touchscreen infotainment.  Special cloth seating and a multitude of R-Spec design cues both inside and out flaunt this racier Veloster’s attitude.   Size and weight are similar to before.

On summer tires and with the tauter sport suspension the R-Spec is a car I always look forward to driving. What the steering lacks in feeling it makes up for in its quickness so the R-Spec turns like a go cart and the clutch and shifter combo works fluidly though this aluminum ball can get really cold or hot I imagine. Torque steer in kept to a minimum, torque vectoring minimizes Understeer and the seats hold you firmly in place. Could I use more engine? Absolutely. First and 2nd gear2 are pretty gutless but once this turbo gets up to speed the fun really kicks in.

By TestDriveNow Auto Critic Steve Hammes for SouthFloridaReporter.com, Oct. 28, 2018

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