GirlDriver, USA

GirlDriver, USA
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Monday, February 4, 2013

Drifting with the Turbo Veloster

What is it about this 2013 Hyundai Veloster that makes me feel like I'm in one of those Japanese Drifting movies--Bakusou Drift R.   I'm not drifting––not speeding, not off the rails, as it were––but  the styling of this hatchback-son-of- Elantra and Accent coupling puts me in a drifting state of mind--in my imagination.

Bad photo of third door
I get a kick out the three doors (why not four?). The third is door on the passenger side and it makes the cramped back seat useable for groceries and packages.  The built-in cup holders between the back seats are clever.  Still I wouldn't want to be back there for very long.

My Veloster is powered by a 1.8 liter, 4 cylinder turbo engine that delivered 201 horsepower and 195 lb.-ft. of torque.  It's front wheel drive powertrain is paired with a 6-speed manual.  I'll take a manual any day over an automatic but I found the gearbox a little indefinite.  Others, who can't be implicated here, agreed.

I did get good gas mileage--about 30 combined. The heated seats bolstered the old back on my long drives.  I appreciate the Oreo cookie-sized  start button is smack in the center console.  I found the controls easy to operate.  Hyundai has its own version of connectivity in its vehicles, called bluelink that pairs your phone and has voice-activated features.

One of the coolest aspects of the car--and perhaps the reason I felt like I was in a drifting movie--was the paint job.  Matte finish steel gray.  Matte finish has been showing up on Mercedes AMG's and other premium cars for a few years now. But the Veloster is priced at $27,520, $1,000 of that is the paint.  But let's face it, we couldn't get ourselves into one of those drifting movies for $10,000. Not that we'd want to.  Although I admit I've been thinking about going to drifting school.

Other added features take the base price from $21,950 to the final price.  If you opt for a panoramic sunroof you're going to get the more expensive package and you have to order the sunroof to get navigation--huh? The car is well equipped for its base price and includes a big boy stereo.

The EPA fuel economy is 24 city/35 highway, 28 combined, which isn't going to win any contests but is acceptable if you love this car. And like I said, I got 30.

What Hyundai wanted to do with this car is make it a standout--something to bring car buyers into the showroom.  I hope it works for them.  They're doing a bang up job of making take-home vehicles.

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