Just last week, I finally got the chance to spend a week in Hyundai's madd cool, three door, sporty compact--the Veloster.
In an effort to broaden the audience to a younger, hipper audience, Hyundai introduced the Veloster at the Detroit Auto Show in 2011. But at 50, I'm totally digin' it!
Ironically, today I received a press release announcing the delivery of the first new Veloster RE:MIX limited edition, in Houston, Texas--on the same day I intended to publish my review.
Inspired by Hyundai’s successful RE:MIX Lab program, the special limited edition production model was introduced at the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show at Las Vegas back in November of 2012. It features an aggressive exterior due to a unique body kit, 18-inch dark gunmetal-finish alloy rims, LED headlight accents and taillights, and unique RE:MIX badging. The interior is enhanced with a 450-watt premium Dimension audio system, push-button start with proximity key, leather steering wheel and shift knob, unique interior light kit and RE:MIX floor mats, all at $20,845--with a manual tranny!
While I have yet to actually see/experience the Veloster at the RE:MIX trim level, I can tell you that the $22K based Veloster Turbo with automatic tranny, is A BLAST to drive!
When I think about Veloster in general, I am reminded of Mini, whereas if your taste says Mini and your pockets are in dispute, Veloster offers pretty much the same in terms of looks and performance.
Very Mini-esque in terms of its wide Pitbull stance, which suggests great stability and handling, the elephant in the room is Veloster's coupe-esque driver's side, with its sedan-esqu two door passenger side. And while that may sound a little quirky, it's the look is quite discrete and kind of cool. The ultimate advantage is of having the best of both world's (a coupe and a sedan)--in one whip!
In terms of power, Veloster and Mini's engines come standard with a 1.6 liter four cylinder engine with Mini having a slight advantage in fuel economy (31 combined, versus Veloster's 28). Veloster starts at $17K, Mini at $20K. But at $22K, Veloster bumps up from 138 to 201 horses under the hood at the Turbo trim level. Add the $2,500 Ultimate Package for the whole kit and kaboodle (panoramic sunroof, navigation, back up sensors, rearvie, etc.).
With my phone Bluetooth'd to the car, I could stream J.T. and Jay Z's "Suit and Tie" and John Michael's "Sophisticated Lady" from my phone, while drifting back and forthe between Radio Omar on Pandora, when not listening to MSNBC on XM satellite radio.
Veloster's headlights are not LED. But they have been outlined with LED's that can operate as DRL's (daytime running lights) for that modern day appeal, which has become the benchmark for any whip perceived to be "hot!"
Oh, and in case my word is not enough, Veloster won Bloomberg’s “Best Economy Car,” one of Kelley Blue Book’s “10 Coolest New Cars under $18,000” and Autobytel’s Car of the Year for 2012.
So if like me, you consider yourself as madd sexy and cool, you might wanna check out the Hyundai Veloster!