Behind The Wheel: Hyundai Veloster Turbo Review
September 8, 2020
Picture this: you just turned 16, passed your drivers test, and it's time to finally pick out your first car. You've been a car enthusiast your entire childhood and this is the moment you've been waiting for. Time to go get that stripped out, 2JZ swapped 240sx and send it around every corner in the high school parking lot, right? WRONG. Whether we like it or not, at 16 years old our parents tend to have a say in the car we get and we'd bet your mom and dad don't want you rolling around in a 500 horsepower gutted drift monster. They want something safe and good on gas.
So how can you compromise?
Today we'll look at a quirky, 3-door, turbocharged hatchback that will be assuming to your parents but give you plenty of performance and a fairly large modding community. We're of course talking about the Hyundai Veloster Turbo!
We'd like to extend a huge thank you to Meister Import Motors Inc. of Greenville, Wisconsin for allowing us to review their 2013 Hyundai Veloster Turbo!
The Veloster Turbo is quite a bit more aggressive than the regular base model version and is pretty aggressive overall compared to other Hyundai offerings at the time. Featuring an aggressively styled grille, LED running lights, Halos, fog lights, and projectors. This is also a particularly interesting color that is appropriately named Vitamin C. This helps the Veloster stand out and makes all of its quirky lines pop a little bit more.
If you didn't already know, the Veloster is a 3-door hatchback meaning it has one large door on the driver's side and two smaller doors on the passenger. Yes, this means you can only get into the back through one side, similar to a minivan in a way. It takes some getting used to but after a while, it really doesn't stand out as much as you'd think.
You can definitely tell that this is on the more budget-friendly side of hatchbacks as the materials used do leave a little to be desired. That being said, with the materials they chose, Hyundai did a pretty awesome job with the execution. Plus the details in the taillights add a really good look and bonus points for attention to detail.
- Aggressive Styling
- Attention to Detail
- Cool Color Options
- Cheap Materials
- No LED or HID headlight bulbs
Now, we'll be honest, we came into the Veloster with pretty low expectations as far as performance because we've always heard negative things within this department. But we were pleasantly surprised by it's power and its torque. Most cars in this segment usually have us underwhelmed and wanting more, but we feel that the Veloster was perfectly matched to its power and the way it came into boost. This made the car a ton of fun to drive around town and the turbo made all of the right sounds.
The Veloster Turbo did all right in the handling department but was nothing to really go crazy about. It was quite a bit softer than its competitors like the GTI and Focus ST, which is good for daily drivability but leaves plenty to be desired from a performance aspect. This car would benefit immensely from a set of coilovers if you wanted to get into more of the sport-oriented driving.
- Plenty of Power
- Loud Turbo Noises
- Manual Transmission
- Easy to Drive
- Handling was a bit too numb
We came in with pretty low expectations for interior quality as well with this being a budget hot hatch. While the materials are cheaper than the German competitors like Volkswagen, the Veloster sits right in line with the Focus ST in terms of fit and finish as well as materials. Where the Veloster stands out is in its interior styling. Yes, a lot of it is hard plastic, but the way it looks is very sharp and futuristic. The infotainment is solid for the year and even includes a game within it that allows you to score points based on how efficiently you drive.
The seats are comfortable and offered a fair amount of bolstering but not so much that they were uncomfortable. The steering wheel was also pretty comfortable and the visibility overall was good with one exception. Since this car has only one door on the driver's side, the Veloster now has a pretty big blind spot on that side which is something to keep in mind given this car's odd proportions.
- Attractive interior styling
- Easy to use infotainment
- Comfortable seats
- Driver's Side Blind Spot
- Cheaper materials
4. Aftermarket Support
Now onto the part you really care about. The aftermarket support for the Veloster Turbo is pretty large. You can find everything from big wings and battle aero to full widebody kits and crazy custom lighting. This car perfectly fits the market it was designed for: young enthusiasts. If you want a show car, throw on some air suspension, multi-piece wheels, and a widebody kit.
More of a performance/racing enthusiast? There are plenty of performance parts and tunes available for the Veloster Turbo which will give you a healthy horsepower bump. You won't be breaking power records or anything, but the bolt-ons and tune will be plenty to have fun. Match those to a set of coilovers like BC Racing BR Series, some lightweight wheels like the Enkei RPF1, and a good set of tires, maybe Michelin Pilot Sport 4 S's and you'll have yourself a track day monster.
Overall, the Veloster Turbo fits the market that would be looking for a fun hatchback. It's not the fastest or the most expensive. But it is a great option for anyone that wants to get into a newer turbocharged car that has a lot of modding potential. This is a great beginner platform that has enough quirky features to stay interesting.