PERFECTION PERSONIFIED: Hyundai Veloster shakes up sports coupe segment

BY CHARL BOSCH - JULY 24, 2014

I was recently told that I was to take “ownership” of Hyundai’s latest Veloster sports coupe; it resulted in my widest and most rushed smile ever. Even after collecting the striking red, aptly-named vehicle from Hyundai Port Elizabeth, I still could not contain my excitement.

First shown as the HND-3 concept at the 2007 Seoul Motor Show, an overwhelming positive reaction left Hyundai with no choice but to put the HND-3 into production. It was unveiled at the 2010 Detroit Motor Show as the Veloster.

As with any sports coupe, the styling is vital and thankfully, the Veloster has retained many of cues first seen on HND-3. Distinctive deep-front spoiler sweptback headlights and its overall shape gives the Veloster a classy-yet-sporty “in your face” appearance without going overboard.

Unlike any of its rivals, the Veloster has a novel three-door setup. With the rear door handle concealed in the rear pillar, the Veloster lends the impression of it being a two-door coupe which further enhances the character of an already impressive package.

Inside, the news keeps getting better. The centre console is dominated by a large touch screen display with a large venation nob underneath with a “Veloster” badge at the base. The fit and finish of the cabin is spot on with good quality plastics and silver accents around the vents giving the Veloster’s interior a sporty touch. The bucket seats are comfortable and although it’s strictly a 2+2 seat, legroom is surprisingly good for rear passengers. Even the boot is impressive for a coupe.

The Veloster comes loaded with the latest tech with items such as traction control, climate control, a reverse camera with parking sensors, lumbar support for the driver, MP3 and USB compatible audio system, cruise control, Bluetooth and in the case of our test model, smart looking 18” low profile alloy wheels.

Power is provided by a 1.6 litre petrol engine with 103 kW and 167 N.m of torque. Drive goes to the front wheel via a slick and precise shifting six speed manual box (a six speed dual clutch auto box is optional). Prices are R259 900 for the manual box and R276 900 for the auto model.

The Veloster is truly a driving experience - even the stares I got on my daily commute confirmed it.