Story by Manos Angelakis
Automobile photos courtesy of the manufacturer
Hyundai Veloster Turbo
The Veloster is a sports coupé that looks like a sports car, handles like a sports car and has a few lovable features that make it very interesting. My wife is currently leasing a 2016 Hyundai Veloster Turbo. It would not compete with other much more advanced sports cars that are in the market but it is a small car with punchy power and eye-catching looks.
First of all, the Veloster looks like a sports car. It is low with an aerodynamic design, comes with large twin chrome-tipped exhausts in the rear, and has 3 doors -- yes, behind the passenger seat there is a third door for entry into the rear compartment. The rear compartment is considerably spacious and will comfortably seat 2 adults, a quality that most other traditional sport cars lack.
It comes with a 201-hp twin-scroll turbocharged 4-cylinder, aluminum block and head, engine. The fuel system is Gasoline Direct Injection. The 18-inch alloy wheels are equipped with Kumho Solus 225/40R18 tires (more about these tires later).
The car has a dual clutch (EcoShift® Dual Clutch Transmission) a convenient feature that allows the driver to drive the car as a full automatic or if the conditions require as manual, using the on-steering-wheel paddles to change gear. It also comes as standard with a vehicle stability management system, electronic stability control traction control and anti-lock braking system with brake assist. Cruse control is also standard. Another convenient feature is the keyless entry and proximity start button. Additionally, on the dashboard’s speed and communications screen there is a tire pressure monitoring system indicator that, when the tire pressure goes below optimum, will notify the driver with a warning image. It also has Bluetooth hands-free phone system for iPhones and Android cell phones. Even more convenient is the back-up camera -- the only problem we saw is that when its raining, sometimes water gets on the lens and that distorts the visibility.
The only feature I’m not very fond of is the heated front bucket seats. The reason is: I’m tall; when the seats are set in anything less than the fully extended position, I sometimes hit the button that activates the heating feature with my knee without realizing it, and all of a sudden I end up with a very hot toosh in the middle of summer… arggg!
What makes this car very competitive though is the car’s fuel efficiency. In the past, we owned other cars. After we moved to NJ from Manhattan, we fairly much drove to the same destinations we still do. Yet, none of those cars ever reached the fuel efficiency the manufactures claimed in their advertising and promotional material. The Veloster Turbo is getting very close to the stated 33 m/g -- we are getting 31 m/g! We are, of course, using the EcoDrive setting that optimizes consumption.
In North America, the Veloster is equipped with BlueLink, a new telemetrics system. The system is comparable to OnStar in GM vehicles, and provides automatic crash notification, location positioning, vehicle diagnostics, and remote control of vehicle features including ignition control which is very useful if the vehicle gets stolen.
And, of course, the car comes with Hyundai’s Assurance, a package of warranties that protects the power train for 10 years or 100,000 miles, 5 year - 60,000 miles new vehicle warranty (touted by the dealers as bumper-to-bumper), 7 years Anti-perforation and 5 year 24/7 road side assistance. An excellent package that comes as standard with all Hyundai vehicles.
Now, back to the tires, Caveat Emptor! The Kumho Solus 225/40R18 tires were presented to us by the Sales Manager of the local dealership when we were negotiating for the car as self sealing, all weather tires -- as stated by the salesman “practically indestructible”. The claim was that we would not need to purchase new tires for the length of our 3 year lease. Additionally, there is no spare tire that comes with the car -- “no need for a spare” again according to the salesman -- not even an accursed doughnut! As we found out later, these tires are at least twice as expensive as radials of the same size. Yes, they are self-sealing and will hold for 200 or 300 miles from the time of puncture if you re-inflate the tire with the inflator gizmo that is in the spare compartment that also injects more sealant into the tire. But, if you are unfortunate as we were to have a tire punctured, the service technician at the same dealership where we purchased the car told us the tire can not be plugged and must be replaced out of pocket. While this is a small item in comparison to the overall benefits of driving this vehicle, it is an example of the reason buying a car is stressful. You can never be sure that you are getting accurate information from a dealership. Reaching out to the manufacturer is the only sure way of getting the truth.
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