During our visit to the Hyundai showroom in Frankfurt we had the chance to see the Veloster in detail as well as to test-drive it. Even if the model we tried was a pre-production one, we can definitely say that this is a crossover suitable for someone who doesn’t want to pass unnoticed. The Velosters’ style in fact can be defined as daring, and the fluidity of its shapes confirms that Hyundai seems eager to distance itself from the past in terms of design.
The first thing that catches the eye is probably the fact that only the passenger side has two doors, while the driver’s has only got one. This changes the vehicle’s feel depending on the viewer’s perspective: more sporty or less intimidating, it’s just a matter of points of view. And despite the rear door’s handle being integrated with the window, the passenger side rear window looks actually bigger then the others, as in some sort of optical illusion.
The Veloster’s front view is quite aggressive due to the headlights’ design, while the radiator’s hexagonal grill is almost becoming Hyundai’s signature feature when it comes down to convey a family feeling to a vehicle. The hatchback is divided horizontally in two parts, with the top section becoming an extension of the adjustable panoramic roof, therefore providing extra brightness. Parking is made easier by a video camera that not only supplies a wider view, but also displays some guide-lines on the screen for the driver to follow.
But let’s talk about the test-drive: in Frankfurt we had three choices of Veloster and we decided to go for the yellow model, which we thought would help highlighting the car’s details. We had to overlook the interiors because, as already mentioned, the vehicle we tried was the last pre-production model before the final stage of production.
Ready, steady, go. We are now driving towards Hockenheim, which is roughly 60 miles from Frankfurt. The weather is not ideal, but it is actually working to our advantage because it will allow us to really test the vehicle. Thanks to the seat’s electronic commands, it’s very easy to find a comfortable driving position and the lumbar support provided it’s a blessing for those who suffer from back problems.
In terms of comfort, this vehicle is quite roomy even though taller passengers sitting at the back might encounter some problems. The air-conditioning system comes with an high-tech 7″display, while other features include a sat-nav, equipped with “Blue Max Eco Guide”, an iPod and iPhone interface, external auxiliary plug, a Bluetooth connection as well as audio commands integrated within the steering wheel.
Driving the Veloster comes across as quite smooth thanks to a gentle direct-injection 1.6 Petrol engine which delivers 140 hp at 6,300 revs, which makes ideal for young drivers with not so much experience. The Veloster works fine when it’s time to pick up speed and it is also quite good on highways. Due to bad weather, road works and speed limits, we only could stretch this vehicle over 170 Km/h for short distances. Nevertheless, we still managed to appreciate the feeling of comfort and safety this car delivers at high speeds, as well as its excellent sound-proofing features.
At the ACAC Driving Safety Center, located inside Hockenheim’s racing track, we also had the chance to carry out some safety tests in the form of simulations on wet, snowy, icy as well as unpredictably slippery terrain. We tried in every possible way to find something wrong with the car’s reactions but since the Hyundai Veloster minimizes small driving errors by trying to stick to the original path, at the end we had to agree that the safety provided by this vehicle is outstanding. In the skittle test also the steering resulted very precise and good suspension prevented any kind of rolling or pitching.
So far there’s nothing official but apparently the 1.6 model we tried out will be available to the public at the end of the summer while later on Hyundai will deliver a version that features a dual-clutch six-speed DTC gearbox. The Veloster will also be available with two different fittings which could include a 7″ touch-screen display sat-nav, air conditioning system, adjustable panoramic roof, leather interiors, 18” alloy rims, six airbags as well as ESP, ABS e ISG (start&stop) systems.