Still showy, now go-y
Hyundai has upgraded the wimpy Veloster for 2013 with a turbocharged trim level that boasts adequate power to back up its aggressive looks.
Where the non-turbocharged Veloster model looked quirky and goofy, the Veloster Turbo just looks angry...and goofy. A larger blacked-out grille dominates the front end.
The 1.6-liter GDI engine gets a twin-scroll turbo boost, upping the power ante to 201 horsepower.
The profile is probably the Veloster Turbo's best angle, showing off the hunkered-down body.
The passenger side of the Veloster is home to two short doors, while the driver's side features a single, elongated one.
The rear of the Veloster is punctuated by a pair of beetlelike taillights that sit in deeply recessed pockets.
Most of the Veloster's rear glass sits almost parallel to the ground, leaving only a slot of rear visibility. The rear camera option is not an option -- just get it.
The Turbo model can be visually identified from behind by the large, round exhaust tips in the center of its bumper.
Wheels and tires
18-inch wheels are standard on the Veloster Turbo, but our model was equipped with 215-width summer tires, as opposed to the less grippy all-season rubber that comes standard.
The Veloster may not be the fastest or even the most attractive car in its price range, but it is definitely one of the most high-tech.
Six-speed manual transmission
Though I normally love manual gearboxes, the Veloster's six-speed shifter managed to annoy me with its tendency to stick partway into first gear.
The Veloster's suspension and steering tunes are unique for the Turbo model and offer noticeable improvement. Step outside of the performance envelope and the stability control system will snatch the power away most abruptly.
Trip computer and cruise controls can be found on one side of the steering wheel.
On the other side, you will find controls for audio playback and volume, hands-free calling, and voice command.
No surprises here: the Veloster uses a tried and true two-dial instrument panel with a speedometer, a tachometer, and an LCD in the middle displaying fuel, temperature, and trip computer data. A boost gauge would be a nice way to make this performance variant feel special, but the Veloster doesn't have one.
Our tester was equipped with sport bucket seats that, while supportive, comfortable, and heated, featured goofy blue accent panels. Fortunately, an all-black color scheme is also available.
The Veloster Turbo comes standard with a 7-inch color touch screen that is used to display vehicle information, audio sources, and Blue Link data.
The standard 450-watt, eight-speaker Dimension Audio system sounds pretty good for this price level, with a powered subwoofer that delivers full, clear bass.
Navigation and traffic
The touch screen comes standard, but navigation does not -- you'll have to pay extra for the maps. The Veloster's navigation system features three-quarter view maps in addition to the standard 2D maps and also supports SiriusXM NavTraffic.
Available audio sources include SiriusXM Satellite Radio, AM/FM radio, CD playback, MP3 and iPod playback via USB, and Bluetooth audio streaming and hands-free calling.
The Veloster's Information menu is home to an esoteric variety of options ranging from an Eco driving coach to Blue Link telematics to the Blue Max driving game.
Eco Driving Information
Veloster drivers can monitor their fuel economy on this histogram and compare their average with the averages of other Veloster drivers.
Blue Max is a green driving game that requires one button tap to play. After hitting Start, simply drive around and Blue Max will evaluate your driving efficiency for 10 minutes and assign a score. The object of the game is to save fuel and beat your high score.
Voice command hands-free calling
You can sync contacts in Hyundai's hands-free calling system with the contacts stored in your phone via Bluetooth and voice-dial them by simply pressing a button and requesting the call.