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HEELS ON WHEELS: 2017 HYUNDAI VELOSTER REVIEW


2017 HYUNDAI VELOSTER REVIEW (select to view enlarged photo)
2017 Hyundai Veloster

HEELS ON WHEELS
By Katrina Ramser
San Francisco Bureau
The Auto Channel


INTRO TO THE VELOSTER VEHICLE
Hyundai has engineered a beautiful marriage between a sports car and a compact with the Veloster, a unique three-door hatchback big on performance and value. You get distinctive style minus the big cost and fuel consumption – my test drive made me feel like I was messaging the world I am the kind of women that can pair a little bling with practicality.

I drove a 2017 Hyundai Veloster with the turbocharged 201-horsepower 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine paired to the six-speed manual transmission. Available in a Base, Value Edition, Turbo R-Spec and Turbo trims, my Turbo model featured the following standard options: leather upholstery with Turbo stitching; heated front seats; alloy pedals; piano black interior accents; Active Sound Design; Bluetooth; Apple CarPlay and Android Auto; seven-inch touchscreen with rearview camera; upgraded Dimension eight-speaker audio system; electroluminescent gauge cluster; fog lights; unique fascia and grille; projector headlights; push-button start; and eighteen-inch alloy wheels. Price as described came to $22,800.

New additions for the model year include the Value Edition trim, which appears pretty attractive as a lot of key options (Blue Link telematics, steering wheel shifters, premium seat cloth) are standard features. Competitors based on comparative value and performance include the Nissan Juke, Fiat 500 hatchback and Chevrolet Sonic hatchback.

HEELS ON WHEELS REVIEW CRITERIA

Stylish But Comfortable Results: The Veloster features a both racy and functional cabin, with commands at your fingertips and firm seating support at the lumbar spine. Upgrade to Turbo for more dazzle, such as unique colored trim and black accents. Some important features are only available as options, and I would advise adding the $2,70 Tech Package to the Turbo model which included a panoramic sunroof, navigation system, Hyundai Blue Link system, and backup warning sensors. While rear passengers will be cramped, the three-door system is an ingenious idea for easier entry. Although narrow, there is a considerable amount of cargo depth – enough so that the Veloster could accommodate the belongings of two adults and a child without feeling claustrophobic on a weekend trip.

Reliability & Safety Factor: In small overlap crash testing, the 2017 Hyundai Veloster earned a rating of “Moderate” along with mostly rating of “Good” in all other areas by The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) gives it an overall 5-Star rating. Safety equipment on the 2017 Hyundai Veloster includes electronic stability control, driver’s blind spot mirror, anti-locking brakes with brake force distribution, and an advanced airbag system.

Cost Issues: While a base Veloster starts at $18,100, the deal here is with the new Value Edition at $21,350 – many attract standard features on that trim came at a cost with my Turbo that reached $26,260 with destination charges (but keep in mind you are paying for the turbo engine and that solid extra horsepower of 132 compared to the Turbo’s 201).

Activity & Performance Ability: It’s been five years since my last spin in a Veloster, and unfortunately the suspension still needs work to absorb road rumples which are felt a tad too frequently for my taste. Shifting is smooth, but upgraded paddle shifters would have brought the sizzle. Visibility out the hatch and rear quarter windows were better than expected and turning radius is generous. I hesitate to say the turbo upgrade is worth the cost in terms of performance expectations as the kick it limited in comparison to other hot-hatches. Keep in mind only the Turbo model allows for the EcoShift dual-clutch transmission (seven-speed) to be an upgraded option.

The Green Concern: The Veloster gets 25-city and 33-highway for an average fuel economy of 28 miles-per-gallon, which are decent numbers for a compact car with a turbo kick.

FINAL PARTING WORDS
With the 2017 Hyundai Veloster, you get the looks for a sports car with all the benefits of a compact including price and fuel economy. I’d say you are making more of a value choice than a performance one even with the turbo engine upgrades, so my recommendation would be step down in horsepower and step up in features with the new Value Edition trim.

©2017 Katrina Ramser Parrish

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