Reuben van Niekerk
The Veloster has joined the local model line-up of Hyundai – bringing a mixture of fun, innovation and attractive, sporty styling to the Korean carmaker’s range in South Africa. Packed with features and with cool looks that will attract new buyers as well as loyal brand customers.
The Veloster – with a new 1,6-litre direct-injected four-cylinder petrol engine mated to Hyundai’s first EcoShift dual-clutch transmission – brings to a younger customer group a “2+1 door” coupé design with the functionality of a hatchback and a passenger-side forward-hinged rear door for easy rear-seat access.
Despite its coupé styling, clever interior packaging means the Veloster offers class-leading cabin and cargo space. It has a wheelbase of 2,65 m, and Hyundai engineers have sculpted the Veloster’s interior to provide generous interior space for its occupants. Cargo capacity in the Veloster’s boot is 440 litres.
The interior is designed to meet the demands of younger buyers. The inclusion of 60:40 folding rear seats offers a flexible luggage compartment, while high-tech gadgets and technological features are stylishly integrated within the cabin design. These elements combine to add visual appeal as well as ensuring the Veloster is a fun car in which to travel, whether behind the wheel or in the passenger seat.
The Veloster’s impressive audio system supports radio, CD, MP3 and a range of external devices thanks to an AUX, USB, iPod and Bluetooth connectivity. The sound system displays it functions on a large LCD screen in the centre console. The steering wheel is equipped with remote controls for the sound system, as well as the controls for setting the cruise control.
Bluetooth connections with one’s mobile telephone and audio streaming via Bluetooth from the same telephone can be set up effortlessly via touch-screen commands on the same LCD information screen in the middle console. The 7-inch touch screen media centre lets you scroll easily through your music playlist or contacts from your Bluetooth connected telephone.
Automatic Climate Control is also easy to configure on the LCD screen, where an image of the car with the chosen settings are shown.
The Hyundai Veloster is powered by a lively, efficient 1,6-litre four-cylinder GDI petrol engine, generating 103 kW maximum power and 167 Nm torque. Buyers will be offered a choice of a six-speed manual gearbox or the company’s first dual-clutch transmission (DCT).
This dual dry clutch transmission is Hyundai’s own, in-house developed gearbox which features two shafts – one with first, third and fifth gear, and the other with second, fourth and sixth gear. As one changes gears up or down, the clutches alternate to engage the relevant shaft for feeding the power from the engine to the front wheels.
The Veloster features sport-tuned electric power steering that adjusts instantly to changing driving conditions while improving fuel economy over a conventional steering system. A quick-ratio steering rack is used for crisp feel on turn-in.
As one would expect from a sporty hatch back such as the Veloster, the ride is firm without being harsh – with a suspension that has been tuned for excellent articulation and impressive road holding. It takes a lot to unsettle the suspension of the Veloster, and should it happen when the driving gets really spirited, the Electronic Stability Programme (ESP) and Vehicle Stability Management (VSM) will act lightning fast to brake the relevant wheel or wheels to pull the car in line as an active safety measure.
The latest active and passive safety technologies are used in the Veloster to ensure maximum occupant safety at all times. These safety features deploy under all conditions and road surfaces. Active safety features include Vehicle Stability Management; Active Yaw Control; Electronic Stability Programme (ESP); an Anti-lock Brake System (ABS); and Electronic Brake Distribution.
Passive safety features in the Veloster include six airbags and a strengthened, rigid safety cell to protect occupants from serious injury in an accident.
As with other Hyundai models, the Veloster has performed admirably in safety crash tests, and has been awarded with a maximum rating of five stars in the European New Car Assessment Programme (Euro NCAP). The Veloster scored 96% in the Adult Occupant test category and 89% in the Child Occupant category – beating the Euro NCAP test performances of its main competitors.