2017 Hyundai Veloster

2017 Hyundai Veloster Review

While the Veloster has some high points, we think most of the competition is more desirable overall.
author
by Calvin Kim
Edmunds Editor

Edmunds expert review

The 2017 Hyundai Veloster is a compact car with a unique characteristic: Instead of being a two-door or a four-door with a hatchback, it's a three-door. The driver gets one large door, and the passenger side of the vehicle has two smaller doors. Compared to a similarly sized coupe, it's a genius solution to the problem of being able to effectively access the rear seat in such a small car, and it works great. Combine that with its tech-heavy standard features list, the Veloster could be just the thing if you're looking for a small, distinctively styled car. But it's not perfect.

From a price perspective, the base Hyundai Veloster hangs with a crowd of equally fuel-efficient four-door hatchbacks. Most of them are roomier, more comfortable to drive and offer superior acceleration. The Veloster Turbo would seem to be a good solution to the above considering its 201-horsepower engine. But compared to other "hot hatches," performance is again underwhelming. Overall, we like how the Veloster stands out on the road but think you'll be happier with a more well-rounded rival two-door or four-door small car instead.



What's new for 2017

Joining the Veloster lineup for 2017 is the Hyundai Veloster Value Edition. The Value Edition features many of the options available in the Turbo, but is powered by the standard 1.6-liter engine.

We recommend

For a 2017 Veloster, we like the Turbo R Spec best. It features the car's high-output turbocharged engine that best matches the car's sporty styling. You also get 18-inch wheels, a navigation system and an eight-speaker premium audio system. But the Turbo R Spec does have a fairly harsh ride quality. The new Veloster Value Edition is a good alternative. Though it doesn't have the turbo engine, it's more comfortable and comes with an impressive set of standard features.



Trim levels & features

The 2017 Veloster is available in four trims. The base Veloster comes pretty well equipped with features. The new-for-2017 Veloster Value Edition adds premium features and options that are found on the Turbo model. The Veloster Turbo R Spec is the enthusiast's choice, with sport-tuned suspension, manual transmission and R Spec specific interior bits. At the top of the price range is the Veloster Turbo. It comes with the most luxury-oriented accoutrements, such as leather seating and heated seats, for not much more money.

Highlights for the base Veloster include 17-inch alloy wheels, a 7-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone connectivity and a six-speaker sound system. A 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine (132 hp, 120 pound-feet of torque) powers the front wheels through either a six-speed manual transmission or six-speed, dual-clutch automatic transmission.

The Veloster Value Edition upgrades to 18-inch alloy wheels, a panoramic sunroof, keyless ignition and entry, dual-zone automatic climate control, a premium eight-speaker sound system and a navigation system. Steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters are also standard, and they control the standard six-speed, dual-clutch automatic transmission.

If you want a sportier feel than the base Veloster offers, check out the Veloster Turbo R Spec. It's equipped more like the base Veloster but comes with a turbocharged 1.6-liter engine (201 hp, 195 lb-ft of torque), sport-tuned suspension and steering, and a B&M short-throw shifter for the six-speed manual transmission. It also has an aerodynamic body kit, projector headlights and special interior trim.

At the top, the Veloster Turbo keeps the turbocharged engine and offers the dual-clutch automatic as an option. It also reverts to a more comfortable suspension setup. Inside, you'll find leather seating surfaces and an upgraded gauge cluster. You'll need to order the optional Turbo Tech Package, however, to get the panoramic sunroof, navigation system and dual-zone climate control.



Driving

The Veloster won't win any races, but the manual transmission works well. The dual-clutch automatic has sluggish shift speeds. Steering feedback is adequate, but the suspension has an unrefined feel to it. Buy a Veloster for its style and functionality, not for its performance.

Comfort

The seats and ergonomics are fine enough, but the suspension needs some work. "Harsh" would be the chief complaint, particularly on the R Spec.

Interior

Fit and finish is good for the class, and contrasting fabric and trim in the Turbo as well as the red fabric in the R Spec spice things up. Rear seat passengers will feel claustrophobic, as the heads of taller passengers can touch the back glass. Otherwise, the rest of the interior is conservative.

Utility

With its funky three-door arrangement, the Veloster makes curbside passenger and cargo loading easy. Just make sure to duck, as it is essentially a low-roof coupe. The large hatch opening is deep but narrow. The rear seats fold down for even more space.

Technology

As in all Hyundais, Blue Link is standard. This allows the Veloster owner the ability to set geo-fences, speed alerts, check maintenance timing, lock and unlock doors, and even contact authorities in case of an accident. It's easy to set up and works with an app on your smartphone.

Edmunds expert review process

This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.