Hyundai Veloster used car reviewMotor News Used Car Reviews Motor Reviews
2012 Hyundai Veloster.
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- Overall Green Star Rating
- Fuel Type Description
- Petrol - Unleaded ULP
- Drive Description
- Front Wheel Drive
Launched in early 2012, Hyundai’s groovy Veloster coupe started with a bang in the sales race.
The combination of racy looks and some real practicality gave the car a head-start against some of its competition.
It was only when the Toyota 86/Subaru BRZ coupe with its old-school rear-wheel-drive arrived a few months later that the Veloster really had some competition, but even then, it wasn’t that simple.
While the 86/BRZ appealed to the hard-core driving enthusiast, the Veloster with its slightly softer approach continued as the coupe of choice for those who valued looks over actual performance.
But that’s not to say the Veloster didn’t have plenty of appeal and if something slightly offbeat is your thing, then the Veloster had that, too.
The quirkiness came in the form of an asymmetric bodyshell. Rather than a simple pair of doors on each side as per a normal three-door hatch, the Veloster had just such a layout on the driver’s side with a small extra door on the passenger’s side.
There will always be those who struggle to reconcile themselves with a car with odd numbers of doors on each side, but for everybody else, the Veloster made a bit of sense, enabling much easier access to the rear seat from the passenger’s side.
The rest of the stying package was pretty good, too, with a wide, aggressive grille, a swoopy roofline and bulging wheel arches
Inside, you got the usual Hyundai plastics and attention to detail that was good enough to give the Japanese makers a run for their money.
In its entry-level form, the Veloster was fitted with a normally-aspirated 1.6-litre four-cylinder that made 103kW and 166Nm of torque.
To be fair, it did the job, but the fact remained that the Veloster looked a whole lot faster than it really was.
A six-speed manual transmission was offered and probably extracted a bit more from the engine, but many buyers opted for the clutchless six-speed dual-clutch which gave the car a convenience edge in city traffic where the majority of them spent their time.
Even then, the DSG version didn’t offer the same snappy performance as some of its ilk, so we’d still plump for the conventional manual.
For those who were after more performance in the same racy package, the wait ended in mid-2012 when the Veloster Turbo broke cover.
With 150kW and 265Nm of torque, the turbocharged version promised a lot and delivered … most of it.
To be honest, even with the turbocharged driveline, the Veloster was still a bit soul-less and while it was quick enough, it never really appealed to the keener drivers out there who tended to direct their affections towards hotter hatches (and the 86/BRZ, of course).
Of course, what that means for a second-hand Veloster is that it probably won’t have been thrashed as mercilessly as the competition models, nor is it half as likely to have been fiddled with for more performance.
Both these things are great if you’re buying a used Veloster.
The other big bonus for those in the market for a pre-owned Veloster is that even the earliest-delivered cars will still have some of Hyundai’s excellent five-year warranty to run.
But it's worth checking the service history of the car. As with all manufacturers, if the car hasn't been serviced by the book and something fails as a result of that it that particular component may not be covered.
On manual cars, make sure the gearbox isn’t making any untoward noises and that each gear engages smoothly and positively.
It’s worth checking the clutch for slippage and shuddering when taking off, too.
To be honest, this hasn’t emerged as a huge problem in Australia, but some owners in overseas markets have experienced gearbox failures.
When looking at a particular car, make sure all the electrical gear works properly.
We’ve heard of some Velosters with silly little problems in this area and also make sure that the leather-wrap on the steering wheel isn’t coming apart and starting to flake or peel.
Other interior problem areas seem to be centred around the navigation system and Bluetooth components fitted to some models.
Make sure it all works first time every time before handing over the money, although we’ve heard of some navigation systems that simply refuse to work properly even after return trips to the dealership.
One thing to remember with the Veloster is that even though it has that third door for access to the rear seat, the seat itself is only for two thanks to the centre cup-holder section that rules out a third backside across the rear bench.
The seat itself is pretty flat and shapeless, too, despite its looks and, like many new designs, the view from the rear seat is severely limited by the sharply rising waistline.
Velosters fitted with the panoramic glass sunroof were recalled to have the glass checked.
Apparently, an assembly-line glitch meant that the glass on some cars was damaged as it was being fitted. In cases of extreme heat or simply the impact of being driven, the glass could fracture.
A Hyundai dealer will know if a particular car was affected by the recall and whether it’s been attended to.
Our rating: 3/5
Nuts and bolts
Engine/s: 1.6 4-cyl/1.6 4-cyl turbo
Fuel economy (combined): 6.4 litres per 100km (1.6)/6.8 litres (turbo)
Safety rating (courtesy of www.howsafeisyourcar.com.au): 5 stars
- Looks phenomenal and will appeal to the extroverts out there.
- Extra door on passenger’s side might seem odd, but it’s useful and doesn’t affect the car’s visual balance.
- Performance of turbo version is pretty handy.
- Brilliant warranty will still apply second-hand.
- Some people just can’t reconcile that asymmetric door thing.
- Rear accommodation pretty basic.
- Entry-level 1.6 is a bit gutless.
- Not as engaging as other performance hatches.
Toyota 86 – The real deal in terms of its layout with old-school rear-wheel-drive. Engine is revvy and lacks mid-range, but still a proper driver’s car. Many have been modified already, so beware. 4.5 stars
Kia Cerato Koup – Looks like a miniaturised muscle car. Two-litre engine gives enough grunt and six-speed manual is our pick. Reliability seems good and most have been left unbutchered by the kids who bought them new. 3.5 stars
Suzuki Swift Sport – Great looking hatch with enough performance to be convincing and a great reputation in the trade. Drives well and won’t be difficult to unload come trade-in time. 4 stars
What to pay (courtesy of Glass’s Guide):
Model Year New Now
Veloster 2012 23,990 15,500
Veloster 2013 23,990 16,000
Veloster + 2012 27,990 20,800
Veloster + 2013 28,990 22,000
Turbo 2012 31,990 25,100
Turbo 2013 32,990 26,300