New car review: Hyundai Veloster Turbo

The new three-door Hyundai Veloster stands out in the crowd.

When Hyundai launched the first-generation Veloster SR nearly a decade ago, it shaped up as the Korean brand’s sportiest offering.

The game has moved on to where the i30 N is now not just the top dog on the Hyundai porch, but arguably best in the hot hatch segment.

So, where does that leave the new, gen 2 sporty Veloster?  Answer – as the younger, not quite so macho, brother.   

The Turbo is mid-range in a three-grade model line-up, with the naturally aspirated entry-point Veloster listing for $29,490 (six-speed manual) and $31,790 (six-speed auto).

Then comes the Turbo (as tested) at $35,490, followed by the range-topping Turbo Premium $38,990. An optional seven-speed dual-clutch auto adds $3000.

Standard equipment on the Turbo variant includes an eight-inch screen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, eight-speaker Infinity sound system, satellite navigation, single-zone climate control, front sports seats, digital performance gauges, digital radio, proximity entry, LED headlights and 18-inch alloys with Michelin Pilot Sport 4 tyres.

Hyundai’s SmartSense safety tech (includes six airbags and forward collision avoidance assist, forward collision warning, lane keeping assist and driver attention warning systems) is standard across the range.

Like its predecessor, the restyled 2020 Veloster stands out in the crowd by having three doors for passenger access/egress (two at the front, one at the left rear).

2020 Hundai Veloster Turbo rear
The 1.6-litre turbo engine might be a carryover from the previous generation SR, but a change of rear suspension from torsion beam to multi-link has boosted the new Veloster’s stability at high speed and under cornering.

It also makes for better ride quality.

Relative overall light weight (1320kg, some 100kg less than its big brother, the i30 N) combined with punchy response from the 150kW/285Nm turbo engine mated to a slick-shifting six-speed manual gearbox further enhances the Veloster’s driving engagement.

It’s nimble on its feet and handles change of direction with little body roll. The steering, though quick on initial turn in, feels nicely weighted.

The official 0-100km/h acceleration time for the Turbo cars is 7.7seconds for the manual and 7.1 for the dual-clutch auto. ADR average fuel consumption is 7.3 litres/100km (manual) and 6.9 for the auto. On test, we averaged 9.1.

Hyundai’s five-year/unlimited kilometre warranty applies. Servicing intervals are every 10,000km or 12 months (whichever comes first). Costs: $299 (first three visits), $375 (fourth) and $299 (fifth).

Key stats

PRICE: $35,490 manual (plus on-road costs)

ENGINE: 1.6-litre turbo petrol 4-cyl

ANCAP SAFETY RATING: N/A

TAILPIPE C02 (g/km): 169

For

Lighter than i30 N, handles nicely, third door handy.

Against

No N version, less cargo space than before.