Wait, what? Why is a Hyundai on this list? And an ugly one at that? Despite criticism, the 2013 Hyundai Veloster Turbo offers a lot more than what meets the eye. Yes, though it may not be the most beautiful vehicle ever produced, this little hatchback is destined for a cult following in the future.
Upgraded with twin-scroll turbo technology, the Veloster Turbo has virtually everything going for it: great gas mileage (25/34 automatic), acceptable performance (0-60 in 6.9 sec), practicality (15.5 cubic feet of cargo space), and that intangible “wow” factor. An impressive 18 PSI of boost raises output from the 1.6-liter 4-cylinder to 201 horsepower, requiring only regular unleaded fuel (gasp!). Most appreciated of the options is a simple six-speed manual, really catapulting this hatchback from bland to exhilarating as an everyday driver. What’s more, its three-d0or design, block-like rear fascia, and low stance make it a sight to behold, exactly the objective of a collector car.
In addition, the Turbo moniker adds some aggressive body features to the base Veloster. Twin chrome exhaust tips accent a blacked-out rear diffuser, and stylish 18-inch wheels suggest that this hatchback is not for a trip to the grocery store (although it could store your shopping bags very well). Xenon HID headlamps surrounded by well-designed LED daytime running lights also come on the Veloster Turbo, options normally available on higher tier vehicles. And steering ratios have been reduced from 14.2 on the base Veloster to 13.9 on the Turbo just to add a little more handling prowess to this hot hatch.
Though the Veloster Turbo isn’t a limited-production vehicle, the car appeals to future collectors with its matte-grey paint scheme, a completely new realm for the Korean brand. Similar to the matte paint finish available in the current BMW M3, the $1,000 matte grey option isn’t for the faint of heart – keeping such a paint job clean requires serious attention, which is why Hyundai includes a cleaning kit with any matte grey Veloster Turbo. As such, very few Veloster Turbos will leave the Hyundai factory in this color, and those that do will be the examples collectors seek most.
A host of options personalize the Veloster Turbo to the buyer’s own tastes. The Turbo is available in seven exterior colors and two interior shades, both complimented by a well-executed interior with “Turbo” stitching and side-bolstered seats. The $2,500 ultimate package adds Hyundai’s great 7-inch infotainment system, a rearview camera, and rear parking sensors, while the standard Blue-Link telematics system gives all the connectivity one could need. Finally, the $1200 Michelin Performance tire option gives the Veloster a set of Pilot Super Sport Summer Tires, purportedly increasing the Turbo’s lateral grip from 0.82 g to 0.94 g.
Hyundai really went out on a limb with the design of the original Veloster, but their risk has been well received. This Veloster Turbo will see a following like that of the original VW Beetle – that is, from people who appreciate the working-man availability of the car as well as its funky styling. Sure, it’s no exotic Ferrari, but the Veloster Turbo is sure to hold its own in the future of the car collecting world.
Check out this great video of the TFLcar team reviewing the Turbo’s less powerful brother, the standard Veloster. Enjoy!