Is It A Coupe, Is It A Hatch, No, it’s not. Yes, It Is!

Posted: February 3, 2013 in All, Hyundai, New Car Reviews
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2012 Hyundai Veloster 015


I was wondering how it would be testing the 2012 Hyundai Veloster with having to squeeze two children and their car seats, one rear facing, into the back seat. Being a coupe I was expecting the usual useless back seat where for any human to be seated they would have to be legless, and by legless I don’t mean out on a bender in town legless. I needn’t have worried, for the Veloster has ample room in the rear and easily accommodated the little rug rats and their seating requirements as easily as most larger family transportation devises, headroom could be an issue though for taller bipeds. Then there is the boot space. Once I had the seats in and saw how well they fitted I assumed all this space would have to be created at a loss to luggage capacity in the hatch area, incorrect. We managed to fit in our largest pushchair for our youngest ankle biter with room still for a couple of shopping bags and other bits and bobs.

2012 Hyundai Veloster 044

Entry and exit to the rear seats, you’d think, would be inconvenient at best as with most coupes, but no. Hyundai have been very clever by effectively making the driver’s side of the Veloster a coupe having the obligatory single side door but on the passenger’s side there are two doors making entry and exit a breeze! This door configuration has been seen on the BMW Mini Clubman but the Clubman has this ‘third’ door on the driver’s side as the car was designed for the left hand drive markets. Hyundai have got it right by putting the extra door on the footpath side of the car. The question is though when describing the car to someone, do you call it a three door, which would give the impression it’s a three door hatch, or would you call it a four door and the impression of a sedan. In reality it is a four door. I guess you could call it a four door coupe hatch?

2012 Hyundai Veloster 025

So, with its stunning sporty looks one would expect to have a fairly good sporting drive. Initially the car felt nippy around town and the 1.6 litre 103kW, 167Nm Gamma GDi petrol engine does perfectly well commuting, doing the weekly grocery run or popping down to a Ponsonby café for latte and croissant. But if you want push a little harder a sports car this is not. The dual clutch transmission does make for quick gear changes and pushing the car hard using the paddle shifters behind the steering wheel does give a sporty responsive feel but it does seem to lack a tad with the power. Push extra hard (check out the video below!), and you find some unnerving under-steer typical of most front wheel drive configurations. This wouldn’t be noticeable to most people with normal day to day driving.

2012 Hyundai Veloster 030

Equipment levels are good here with even the entry model having climate control air-conditioning, Bluetooth connectivity including music streaming and iPod connectivity. The Elite adds a premium audio system with amplifier and sub woofy thingy, panoramic sunroof, rear view camera, leather seats and proximity key. The 1.6 litre A6 Veloster is priced at $39,000 and the Elite is $44,990. There is also a turbo offering which we at NZ On Cars hope to have our hands on soon priced at $49,990 for both the 6 speed automatic and 6 speed manual options.

2012 Hyundai Veloster 052

Game time! Yes, the clever little multimedia touch screen actually has a game on it, no, not quite Ghost Recon or Grand Theft Auto but a game none the less. It’s called Blue Max and you earn points based on how economically you can drive. I managed to get it up to a tad under 35,000. My next goal, if I am lucky enough to get behind the wheel of another Veloster, will be to see how low I can get it!

2012 Hyundai Veloster 001

NZ On Cars would like to say a huge thanks to Kartsport Auckland for the use of the Patiki Rd track and Bruce Matchett for giving up his day to help us out. And also to Rod Johns for giving up his day to film it.




  1. Daisy Graham says:

    And getting spare parts any problem?

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