When T3 first laid eyes on Hyundai’s Veloster Turbo, it was love at first sight. We had originally turned up to the carmaker’s launch event in Farnborough, Hampshire, to test out its other new motor, the Sante Fe, but after taking the VT for a quick spin, our hearts shifted course.
We’re not sure what led us to this decision; it could be the matt grey finish, or the unusual door layout (the VT has one door on the driver’s side, and two on the passenger side, a feature that’s likely to put off as many customers as it’s likely to attract). Nonetheless; it’s one we don’t regret making.
Nothing against the Sante Fe, mind. It is, after all, a great family car. But whereas the Sante Fe is the polished suburban wife, the Veloster Turbo is the cheeky mistress; it’s striking, a bit of a daredevil and a complete diva on the road. We took her for the ride of her life…
Hyundai Veloster Turbo: Tech
Like most manufactures, Hyundai has finally woken up to the importance of in-car technology (albeit, a little late); integrated sat nav, a rear-view parking camera and USB, AUX and Bluetooth connectivity come as standard, while the dashboard is kitted out with an array of eye-catching LED-illuminated switches, conveniently dotted around the car’s stunning 7-inch touchscreen display.
Voice control is on board to make life easier, although in some cases in can make things difficult, especially when scrolling through your address book.
You cannot merely say a name and the system will find it for you. Instead, you must command it to scroll through pages of entries until you reach the correct moniker. It's annoying beyond reason, and a bugbear in its system Hyundai should really look into sorting.
Although saying that, overall usability is good; there are no technical smarts that'll confuse the gadget-shy roadster (unlike in Vauxhall's Ampera), but there is one particular feature that stands out, and that's Xbox 360 hook up. Yes, you heard right: Xbox 360 hook up.
The console is compatible with the motor (or so we're told), meaning there's space for an Xbox party - albeit, the car must have access to a viable power source, which is a pain, although (and again, we're told), the car can charge it through its lighter socket.
Alas, we didn't get to test out this feature, simply because we didn't have the wires to do so, but the next time we get our hands on the VT (and trust us, there will be a next time) we're determined to give it a go.
Hyundai Veloster Turbo: Specs
- Music streaming
- 7-inch touchscreen display
- Rear view parking camera
- Reversing sensors
- Integrated sat nav
- USB, AUX and Bluetooth connectivity
Hyundai Veloster Turbo: Performance
The 1.6 litre engine shouldn’t be laughed at; this car is fast. So fast, in fact, you may have trouble keeping to speed limits. There are smarts under the bonnet, too, including 184bhp and 195lb ft of torque, making take-off seem like child’s play.
The most fun you’ll have with the VT is on the motorway. It doesn’t so much shoot as it does pelt; we constantly found ourselves overtaking our fellow road users, and at one point, we even shot past a 5 Series (true story).
Hyundai Veloster Turbo: Verdict
It's young and up for fun, packs a punch and will make even the most hardcore boy racer proud. While it may cost a pretty penny, it's worth its asking price. The smarts on the dashboard are impressive, too, although we were bombed not to be able to test out the Xbox 360 connectivity.
Hyundai hopes the VT will make up 20 per cent of Veloster sales - about 1-2,000 units - this year, and there's no denying consumers will fall in love with it. It is, after all, a well put together package that hits the high notes in all the right corners.
It's not trying to be the king of sports cars, more like the king of sports. It's competitive, loud and sends a stern message to its fellow road users: "Move out of my way, fool!"
Hyundai Veloster Turbo release date: On sale now
Hyundai Veloster Turbo price: From £21,995
Words: Bertan Budak