There's hardly any power down low, but also very little surge up high. Which means this is a double-downshift car on the highway. Luckily, the dual-clutch gearbox is smooth and shifts reasonably quick. We averaged 26.6 mpg.
The Veloster has a rigid body and firm suspension. It's not quick in a straight line, but it relishes turns and was impressive through our slalom course. Electric-assist steering is overly light. Small brakes, but good pedal linearity.
Surprisingly harsh ride for a Hyundai, even considering it's intended as a sporty one. Freeway bumps are noticeable, especially so at higher speeds when it seems underdamped. Short wheelbase produces a mildy choppy ride on some surfaces.
The engine is actually pretty quiet at highway speeds for a little 1.6-liter 4-cylinder, and it's exceptionally quiet at idle. But it generates quite a racket at full throttle. Much road noise, mostly from the tires.
The driving position is too high, even with seat in lowest position. Easy to read tach and speedo, bar fuel graph. Simple but effective heat/air conditioning controls. Stereo needs larger volume/tuning knobs with stronger detents.
The three-door layout affords a favorable driver's side B-pillar for an excellent over-the-shoulder view. But super-thick C-pillar gives a giant blind spot on the passenger side. Optional rear camera helps with parking.
Seat Access & Space
A definite lack of front head room, partially because the seat can't be lowered enough. Front leg room is good. Passenger side front-hinged rear door aids rear-seat access, but head room, leg room and shoulder room are all quite poor.
Cargo & Storage
Trunk space is well below average, but hatchback and fold-down rear seats make the Veloster useful. Good-sized front bin (but slippery surface) and armrest bin, but door pockets are difficult to get at. Bottles slide around in cupholders.
In typical Hyundai fashion, the interior materials look very nice (excellent graining of the hard-touch plastics) but feel cheap to the touch. We did notice the occasional rattle over particularly harsh bumps on the highway.