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Hyundai Veloster Is A Rolling Contradiction Of Terms

Posted in Featured, Hyundai, NAIAS by Kurt Ernst | January 11th, 2011 | Leave a Reply |

Hyundai's 2012 Veloster. Image: Hyundai Motor America

Fuel efficient cars are boring, coupes have two doors and affordable cars don’t come with luxury features, or so the gospel of the automobile has been written for generations. Hyundai wants you to re-think all of that, since their soon-to-be-on-sale Veloster contradicts all of those edicts. It gets 40 MPG on the highway, but its curb weight of less than 2,600 pounds, dual clutch gearbox and 138 horsepower direct-injection engine assures you that it won’t be boring. It’s a coupe, but it actually has a third door on the passenger side for easier entry and exit from the back seat. It’s got a starting price of around $17,000, yet it comes with a seven inch touch-screen infotainment display, Pandora radio (linked to an owner’s smartphone), Blue Link and Bluetooth phone integration. A Dimension Premium Audio system is an available option, as is navigation and a rearview camera. That doesn’t sound like an economy car to me.

The Veloster's third door. Image: Hyundai Motor America

Image: Hyundai Motor America

Hyundai is clear that Veloster is aimed at Generation Y, and they’re equally clear that they intend to pirate sales away from the Honda CR-Z, the Mini Cooper and the Scion tC. On paper, the Veloster beats these competitors in most categories, including interior volume, front headroom, front legroom and front shoulder room. It loses to the Scion in terms of horsepower, but it easily beats the Honda and the base model Minis. If safety is your primary concern, the Veloster comes with Hyundai’s Vehicle Stability Management system, which combines Electronic Stability Control with Electric Power Steering to combat torque steer and vehicle yaw. It’s got ABS, but it also includes Brake Assist, which provides maximum braking effort when a panic stop is detected and Electronic Brake-force Distribution, which adjusts braking front to rear depending upon vehicle load. It’s also got six airbags, just in case you feel the need to push the boundaries of physics to their absolute limits.

Source: Hyundai Motor America

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