By on January 29, 2016

060

Did you ever have to find a way to survive and you knew your choices were bad, but you had to survive?

Irving Rosenfeld, “American Hustle

The rental car lottery is a funny thing. Some days you win; other days you end up having your olfactory receptors assaulted by an invisible army of plastic-forming chemical fumes.

Faced with choosing between a Dodge Dart, Chrysler 200, Toyota Corolla and Hyundai Veloster this past Monday, I called our fearless leader: “Which one of these things do we need a review of?”

After Mark did a quick perusal of the site’s history, we agreed that, since our last Veloster review was over four years old, I would grab the keys to the visually, erm, interesting Hyundai.

It’s a decision I’ve been regretting ever since.

My first leg with the Veloster was a two-hour drive along I-96 from Detroit to Grand Rapids, a stretch of road that nobody will ever mistake for the Tail of the Dragon. Compounding the joy of this highway drive was a particularly nasty winter storm, spitting freezing rain and snow in alternating, Wagnerian symphonic movements. The big rigs of the Michigan highways plowed through the precipitation with nary a care, followed closely by the ubiquitous GM Family First Plan-purchased Tahoes and Suburbans, all of them more than happy to spit their slushy wake directly in my path.

The Veloster — which is, for all intents and purposes, a fatter Accent — rebelled against my every input. The 132 horsepower, 1.6-liter engine mated to a six speed dual-clutch transmission refused to do anything to help move the car’s considerable weight out of the way of my fellow travelers. That DCT comes with what might be the most useless set of paddle shifters in the history of mankind; so well hidden behind the steering wheel that even Hyundai doesn’t want you to know they exist. I don’t blame them, because the damn paddles don’t make a lick of difference. Like Selena Gomez’s heart, the DCT wants what it wants, and your desired gear selection is just not that important.

I don’t have the instrumented tests to back this up, but the Veloster might be the slowest car from 50 to 70 mph that I’ve ever driven. You simply can not do in the Veloster what you’re used to doing in other cars — like, I don’t know, passing —  because neither the power nor the necessary responsiveness are present.

Fortunately, you also can’t see out of it.

052

This is what it looks like when you turn your head to look through the rear window. Don’t bother using the rearview mirror; it’s completely useless. The passenger-side mirror literally could not be placed in a safe driving position. In its most extreme setting, the bulbous rear fenders of the Veloster take up approximately half of the mirror when viewed by a 5-foot-9-inch man. I found that the safest thing to do was to simply plot my course in the right-hand lane, set the cruise to 70, and let all those Tahoes roll on by.

024

Upon arriving in Grand Rapids, I found myself in the middle of a rather more pleasant snowstorm with large, soft flakes covering the ground. The snow was fresh enough that most of it laid undisturbed, yet it was falling quickly enough to have covered nearly every surface completely. It reminded me of the days of my youth when, as a baby-faced 12 year old, I sat giggling in the passenger seat of my older brother’s Volkswagen Fox as he performed e-brake donuts in the parking lots of Dublin, Ohio.

What the hell — I said to myself — might as well have some fun in this thing.

I turned off the Veloster’s traction control, headed over to the parking lot behind the boarded-up Mexican restaurant on 28th Street, and proceeded to make some snow art with the Veloster. I was reminded of just how much fun a low horsepower, front-wheel-drive car can be when combined with a little bit of reckless behavior. In fact, had I taken the Veloster directly to the rental car counter at GRR airport and dropped it off, we might have parted ways as friends. Alas, I still had to keep the damn thing for the rest of the week.

The ride quality of the Veloster can best be described as absent. I might have suspected there was something broken in the suspension if it weren’t a brand new car. It turned like its front struts were disconnected, communicating absolutely zero feedback to the driver. And the combined sound of the motor and the tires resembled mechanical hamster intercourse.

047

The interior of Hyundai’s little hatchback is the prototypical Strobelight Honey — it’s quite appealing until you look closely. Every surface is hard enough to cause bruising. The steering wheel is downright unpleasant to grasp. The seats provide little to no support to the driver, even if they do have some stylish stitching in them to remind you it is, in fact, a Veloster, and not an Accent.

046

The back seat is small enough to be essentially useless in practical applications. Nobody except small children will be comfortable in the rear of the cabin for any length of time, and even they might complain. I get that the Veloster is kind of quirky and interesting with its third door on the passenger side and no rear door on the driver’s side, but I’d say the function is overwhelmed by the form. Put another door on this thing, or get rid of the third one.

048

The stereo system in the base Veloster just flat out sucks, and its “bass boost mode” only makes it worse. However, the 7-inch touchscreen is a highlight, and the system is easy to use and navigate. Also, there’s a fun little fuel economy game that you can play should you find yourself sufficiently bored, which — let’s face it — you will be.

059

In typical Hyundai/Kia fashion, Bluetooth and XM Radio are standard, as well as a USB charging port, but floor mats are only available as an option. My rental had less than a thousand miles when I picked it up. After a week of winter weather, the floors resembled the Bonneville Salt Flats.

050

Can we get some floormats up in here? This is just gross. Come on, Hyundai.

The one place that the Veloster did not disappoint was in storage space. The hatch opens up to reveal considerably more room than in my Fiesta ST, and more than in any other comparable car. It easily swallowed my 26-inch suitcase and laptop bag without complaint. Rear seats can be folded nearly flat for even more room, if needed.

045

But let’s be honest. The real reason why anybody buys a Veloster is because it looks like a cool, younger person’s car. It’s not intended to be driven by cranky men in their late 30s. It’s intended to be purchased by kids in their early-to-mid 20s, maybe even as their first new car ever. In that sense, it reminds me of another Hyundai, and one your humble reviewer used to own: the Tiburon.

The second-generation Tiburon was similar to the Veloster in many of ways — sporty looks, not-so-sporty interior — and 22-year-old Bark thought it was cool enough to buy a manual transmission example in black. It was slightly more powerful than this Veloster, and maybe a hair quicker, but the overall intent was the same. So, perhaps I’m being a bit harsh on this modern-day version of Hyundai’s shark-inspired coupe. But, I’m probably not.

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My rental Veloster, even without floor mats, specs out at $19,935. I am guessing Hyundai does it that way so it can advertise the quirky compact as being under $20,000, because every single Veloster within 500 miles of me had the mats as an option, driving the sticker price up to $20,050. The car that I think makes the most sense to cross-shop against the Veloster, the Scion tC, clocks in at $21,155, and that’s not taking into account the excellent chance you’ll be able to buy a Veloster at a discount as opposed to Scion’s one-price strategy for the tC. However, the tC has an honest-to-God real motor; even if the tC isn’t a real sporting coupe, at least it looks like one.

The Bark recommendation: if the looks of the Veloster appeal to you (and that’s frankly the only reason to consider buying one), you should pony up the additional cash for the R-Spec edition that includes a turbocharged version of the 1.6-liter engine with 201 horsepower, a better suspension, Torque Vectoring Control and a real stereo system, all for about $22,435. However, at that price point, you’re getting into Fiesta ST territory, and the Veloster wants no part of the FiST when it comes to driving dynamics.

Simply put, the base Veloster is in no way, shape, or form a good car. I’m not only glad to give it back, I’m downright eager.

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198 Comments on “2016 Hyundai Veloster Rental Review...”


  • avatar
    Frownsworth

    Claustrophobia on four wheels. What’s the point of a compact hatchback without good visibility ? It gives me the impression that Koreans do not require any form of rearward vision to drive.

    Claustroster.

  • avatar
    Drzhivago138

    There’s a reason that having three doors on the Big 3’s extended cab pickups (not to mention the old Suburban and Travelall) was only a temporary thing.

  • avatar
    dwford

    Couldn’t agree more with the entire review. Even as a Hyundai salesman, I always thought that the Veloster was by far Hyundai’s worst car. It’s a common problem in Hyundai’s with both the 1.6 and the 1.8 that no matter what you do, they can’t be made to accelerate with any authority. Pick a gear, doesn’t matter. Stick or automatic. Doesn’t matter. The Veloster has virtually no redeeming value to it.

    • 0 avatar
      gtemnykh

      Actually a stick shift Accent is (by the numbers) a quick little devil. 0-60 in 7.5 seconds if I recall correctly. Not setting the world on fire, but even just a few years ago that was Sport Compact territory.

      • 0 avatar
        dwford

        No, it’s really not. I drove one for 3 months – 2012 Accent SE stick. Not fast at all. You could downshift from 6th to 3rd and wind it out and still never felt like it was accelerating. Swapped it out for a 2013 Elantra GT, which was not better, but at least it was a nicer place to be.

    • 0 avatar
      tanooki2003

      I still am an owner of a 07 Tiburon with the 2.0L 4 cylinder (yes I specifically chose the 4 cylinder, not the overweight V6 for a reason) and 6 speed manual transmission still in excellent condition with the only mod being a cold air intake, everything else (including Kenwood stereo) is OEM stock. I am also in my early 40’s. I even have to agree with the reviews on the Veloster. I have never really liked the appeal of the Veloster, maybe because I’m not a 20 y/o anymore. I was curious about the Veloster when it came out and also did not want to spend money on a timing belt replacement for my car so I’d figure that I would make a trip down to the Hyundai dealership and give it a try. I was more than disappointed with the Veloster’s performance and handling, under the impression that it was supposedly “light years better than my Tiburon” as one Hyundai salesperson told me. I almost forgot how it felt for driving to go from fun to being a chore. My Tiburon felt like a MasdaSpeed 3 when compared to the Veloster in every way. The Veloster often felt like it was “out of breath” when I was trying to push it hard and hated winding roads, especially with bumps on them that have often made the rear end feel like it was going to fishtail.
      When I took the Veloster back to the dealership I had several Hyundai sales people offering me somewhat reasonable prices for my Tiburon and they would even take an additional $2000 off the sale of a Veloster. I happily refused and left. The salespeople were swarming around my Tiburon like vultures waiting for me to sell it. I just kept my Tiburon, paid for the timing belt replacement, and went back home. That experience in the Veloster made me appreciate my Tiburon much more.

  • avatar

    I can verify all this review is. If you’ve driven an Accent, you’ve driven a Veloster with better visability. End of story.

    • 0 avatar
      sproc

      Recently drove a 2016 Accent in the Sport Hatchback trim and though it was a very decent car for the money. Solid at highway speeds, good ergonomics and a very practical hatch. The key, I’m certain, was that it was a 6MT. I can’t even imagine how limp it must be with an automatic.

      • 0 avatar
        tankinbeans

        Several years ago I had an Accent, 2010 model I think, as a rental while my car was being fixed. Merging onto the freeway during rush hour while a semi was barreling along at 70 was exciting, in an explosive diahrrea sort of way. My memory of a 93 Escort, with 96ish hp, is that it felt faster than this thing.

        A friend had an 05 Accent and he honestly tried to convince me in was better than my 95 Accord (the Accord is different than the vehicle referenced above). May have been 10 years newer, but felt like a tin can on wheels and getting anywhere near the speed limit was not happening.

        • 0 avatar
          dolorean

          @tankinbeans your experience of the rental Accent reminds me of the two weeks I spent in Louisville, KY, chained to a 2000 Chevy Metro 4 dr that sported rear defrost and the passenger side mirror as it’s options. That little 1.3L coupled with an Eisenhower era 3 spd automatic was testament to GM’s delightful sense of humor. Absolutely terrifying to try to merge onto the Dixie Die-way in front of the big rigs with your foot firmly planted through the fire wall and the kickdown to second giving nothing but noise.

    • 0 avatar
      brenschluss

      Wow, I was about to say almost exactly that. I rented an Accent sedan (brand new) a few weeks ago and this is 100% applicable save visibility complaints.

      I’m sure a manual helps with the quarter century between throttle down and movement, but everything else about it was terrible too. Steering was frighteningly vague and barely self-centers. Somehow manages to be both floaty and harsh. I’ve literally never been so happy to get back into a Civic.

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      I had a 2yo Accent in Washington DC on vacation last month. It pretty much sucked other than it would get from A to B. On the other hand, it was $9/day. Best $9/day car ever! Really soft and wallowy chassis, reluctant to go, super grabby brakes. Just no fun at all. 40mpg knocking around the district.

      Wankers at Hertz had blocked out all the DC area airports for award rentals for the holidays or I would have had something much more fun.

  • avatar
    bball40dtw

    Bark made sure he had enough time to stop at Alexander’s Custom Clothiers in Northville.

  • avatar
    Dan

    I still remember how much Hyundai’s internet shills talked up this car before it came out. It was the second coming of the SI, and faster and lighter and 40 mpg besides! We all saw how that turned out.

    Anyway, even if it got nothing else right I like the idea of three doors. A big, coupe sized door to move the B pillar out of the driver’s elbow space and peripheral vision while still allowing some dignity for rear seat tagalongs to ingress and egress the vehicle.

    • 0 avatar
      dolorean

      I test drove a 6MT the first year they came out and actually really liked it. The one saving grace that I’ll give Hyundai is that you could get a nicely equipped car with manual transmission that the dwindling percentage of America still want to buy. Unfortunately the sleazy salesman really turned me off from the sale and I never looked again.

  • avatar
    cheezman88

    Sounds like you really love this car. Joke’s aside, i feel the previous generation (late 2000’s – early 2010’s) hyundai cars were awful. Every hyundai i’ve rid in or driven are so unrefined. The steering of my friend’s tucson was overly heavy for no reason, it was not precise, unnatural feeling, zero feedback. And then the suspension tuning made the car feel jittery and stiff like a sporty sedan but in reality it drives like a 100% non-sporting car.

    • 0 avatar
      zamoti

      I’m borrowing an 08 Santa Fe this week and the comments about steering seem correct. It does seem overly heavy but doesn’t provide much feeback. It’s odd and floaty, and while I have expectations of it being very sporty, when pushed it feels a bit unpredictable over highway expansion joint and offramp bumps. It’s my 70 year old mom’s car and for her, it’s great. If you want to hustle a little, not so much.
      I also drove a rental Elantra from Virginia Beach to Columbus Ohio when my flight got cancelled so got a chance to flog it pretty hard on the mountain roads. Not sure what was under the hood, but it seemed to get along without too much trouble. However, I figured out what everybody who complains about electric steering has been talking about all these years (never tried it until then). Hooning around some of the downhill bends, tucking into the corner everything was fine–until it wasn’t. Grip was good until it started plowing and there was almost no notice as you transitioned from being in control to understeering. I suppose that it doesn’t matter to most people and that’s why econoboxes use it.

      • 0 avatar
        dolorean

        I had electric power steering in a MY08 Saturn Astra and I really liked it. However, it being an Opel in barely concealed Saturn guise, probably had more to do with it’s driving dynamics.

  • avatar
    CaptainObvious

    My brother-in-law has one – a five-speed. He loves it. But then again, he’s not a “car guy”.

  • avatar

    I’m sure the Veloster has contributed to Scion’s meager sales. A five minute test drive in this thing would send anyone running for a FRS, TC, or even an xA/xB.

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      The tC is so much better than the Veloster. I may joke about the tC every once in awhile, but it has it’s strong points. Toyota 2.5L >>>>> Hyundai 1.6L.

      • 0 avatar
        ponchoman49

        And the Toyota 2.5 is hardly a powerhouse so that isn’t saying much.

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          It’s more than adequate in the tC. Since the tC isn’t a sports car, it’s perfectly fine. 0-60 in around 6 1/2 seconds ain’t bad. Better than the Veloster. I like “big block” 4s though.

          • 0 avatar
            davefromcalgary

            Yup, a modern 2.5L 4 in something the size of the tC is great. I too like big block 4s.

          • 0 avatar
            PrincipalDan

            @bball, yeah a 2.5 ltr naturally aspirated engine in this class is the equivalent of packing heat given the itty bitty 4 cyl everyone else is bringing to the party.

          • 0 avatar
            Sam Hell Jr

            The real selling point of the powertrain to me wasn’t so much off the line as that it had considerably more left lane grunt than comparably priced 1.8s, 2.0s, etc. I was coming from a V6 car and needed a little real-world torque in my life.

      • 0 avatar
        JMII

        And with the tC being a hatchback you can check that box as well.

        I so much wanted this to be a nice car when it was announced because in the category of 3 (or 3.5) door, fun, quirky, quick (turbo) choices the pickings are slim. You have the Mini Cooper… and… the Golf, now that my wife’s Volvo C30 is not available in the US anymore. But the wife outright rejects the Veloster based on looks alone. For some reason they just announced a “Rally Edition”, which other then coming with different rims and a don’t call it a WRX Blue paint option, doesn’t seem to be any better. Sad little car makes me sad.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    I remember looking at the Veloster and the Accent when my significant other bought her new car last year and agree with this completely. More weight + less power + higher price = no sale.

    The Accent’s a really decent little car, though – as long as you aren’t into enthusiastic driving (which the significant other is not) it does fine.

  • avatar
    Quentin

    I don’t often agree with Bark, but this one is spot on. Cargo space and touch screen were good. The rest was mediocre to terrible. Hated the gimmicks of the 3 door setup and styling. Hated the way it drove.

  • avatar
    Roberto Esponja

    Hey, how about that…this car’s accelerator pedal is mounted on the floor, a feature present in a 1973 Cadillac that I owned in the 1980’s which I miss to this day. I thought it had gone the way of the dodo, surprised to see it on a modern car.

    • 0 avatar
      N8iveVA

      There are a few new cars that have it. The Mazda CX-5 does and I think I even saw a Caddy at the car show that had it. I personally hate it. Doesn’t feel natural to me.

    • 0 avatar
      davefromcalgary

      Add me in the group who cant stand a floor mounted accelerator. Firewall mounted for me.

      • 0 avatar
        Occam

        I don’t care where it’s mounted if it has room for my feet. Unfortunately, many cars with firewall mounted pedals have the position sensor box mounted fairly low – at times, there’s not physically room for my shoe between the floor and the box, and I have to turn my ankle 45 degrees and push the throttle with my toe.

        In many small cars (and some larger ones, sadly), the seats are too high, and too limited in rearward travel to have a comfortable leg-stretched, toes pointed up position, so it doesn’t matter anyway.

    • 0 avatar
      strafer

      At least it won’t have unintended acceleration caused by gas pedal jamming on thick all weather mats.

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      Do you mean hinged at the base? Pretty much all German cars are that way. I much prefer it. Nothing worse than an accelerator that is floating in mid-air somewhere.

  • avatar
    t0ast

    Having driven one of the turbo models recently, I’d have to agree with at least some of the criticisms leveled here. It still screams “economy car” in many ways and is lacking in any sort of character or stand-out features once you start to look past the styling. I’d have to partially disagree about the rear seats and visibility though. While neither were particularly great, I could still fit all 6’2″ of me in the rear with just enough room to spare and got used to the visibility in fairly short order. Not sure how valid my claims are though, considering that I enjoy daily driving a Miata that I barely fit inside…

    Anyway, the higher-end turbo model is obviously the way to go, if one *has* to go with a Veloster, especially considering that they’re incredibly easy to find for well under $20k the moment they can be considered used. The leather seats are more supportive and the car is considerably more capable all around than the base model. That said, however, it still is grossly lacking in any feedback or character behind the wheel. It’ll accelerate briskly and handle reasonably well, but steering is numb, the manual transmission is average at best, and the power delivery is completely lacking any urgency or drama. I could see it being a good fit for a non-enthusiast on a tight budget that wants a little more style and performance than the average subcompact, but that’s about as far as I can see it going. The Fiesta ST would be more than worth the ~$2k price gap for anyone seeking even a modicum of driver involvement.

  • avatar
    DeadWeight

    This seems like a great, great, fantastic car….

    ….. FOR ME TO POOP ON!

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      Bring DeadWeight a cigar and a bow-tie.

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      p.s. – On a more substantive note, this is the kind of car that one either a) wants to buy/lease due to NAIVETY, or b) is COERCED/QUASI-TRICKED into buying by the wonderful, ethical, redeeming-of-humanity’s-virtues Hyundai Dealer Sales’ Professionals…..

      ….and that the buyer/lessor curses for nearly everyday he/she drives it until the day it is sold (at a massive, even by used vehicle valuations, loss), returned off lease, destroyed in an accident or set on fire in an epic act of rage.

      Most of us near 30 year old or older have bought or leased, new or used, an awful penalty box (in one form or other) like this that the literally resented and wanted to murder by neutral-reverse slams or acts of explosive rage.

      Bark’s description of diving this on that straight highway (dominated by much larger vehicles) in inclement weather is my idea of a ride in he!!; in this small, loud, gutless, soul-less POS, being buffeted by wind, weather and large SUVs and tractor-trailers.

      And this is why there can be a strong case to be made for a smaller vehicle on AMERICAN roads and highways, but it needs to be a very stout, stiff, robust, insulated, relatively powerful, comfortable supple riding, with comfortable seating, relaxing-when-cruising @ 75mph to 85mph, vehicle.

      People from parts other than the U.S. probably can’t relate to the terror/discomfort of Bark’s highway ride from Detroit to Grand Rapids as described (well, I might add) above, and this is why they fail to understand what must seem like our contempt of subcompact, cheap, weak cars.

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        Whenever I see anything smaller than say a Cruze or a Focus with licence plates from far out of state I feel pity for the driver and occupants that they had to drive hundreds or more miles in a vehicle that was not happy being assigned that mission.

        • 0 avatar
          davefromcalgary

          We drove to and from Vegas last week in the Verano. AND IT DIDN’T ACT UP AT ALL! (That only took 2 years to get sorted…) 4400 kms (2730 miles) overall, the trips each way were both split over two days.

          The interstate is where that car belongs. Quiet, comfortable (for us, seats being subjective), great auto climate control, lots of audio connectivity. 2500 rpm at 85 mph, and never needs to downshift to haul its ass up a grade without losing speed. And its heavy enough at 3500 lbs to not be too badly pushed around in the wind. Really a perfect small car for long hauls. (provided its running well!) Obviously an AT Verano T would be the same, and likely have been more reliable. My main complaint on the highway is that the low beams could be a touch better, but they are by no means terrible.

          It directly contrasts to its around town behavior. Around town, the pillars are thick and block pedestrians from view. It feels ponderous with its huge turning circle. Visibility and maneuverability in general are pretty terrible on that car. Definitely a highway car.

          We ran into about a 300 kms wide swath of heavy, blowing snow in Idaho. Averaged 30-45 mph for a few hours. The snow wasn’t deep enough to be worried about getting stuck, but it was getting hard to see the road. Saw a lot of ditched cars, but slow and steady won the race for us.

      • 0 avatar
        bball40dtw

        When you hit the lake effect snow line, typically between Lansing and Brighton, things get messy. As you travel to Grand Rapids, they don’t get better either.

        My parents live in Brighton still. I sometimes have to dig them out when they have over six inches of snow while we only have an inch or so of snow in the Detroit area.

  • avatar
    SomeGuy

    Hey man,

    Just wanted to post and say this was a great review. Well written and kept my interest throughout!

  • avatar
    ponchoman49

    This review perfectly sums up my opinion of these blights. Did Hyundai phone up the designers for the 1982 GM J-body cars with that integrated cup holder in the back seat to limit it to a 4 passenger car?

  • avatar
    JimZ

    “My first leg with the Veloster was a two-hour drive along I-96 from Detroit to Grand Rapids, a stretch of road that nobody will ever mistake for the Tail of the Dragon.”

    it beats driving the 401 from Windsor to Oakville. After a couple of hours I was starting to doubt that whole “Canada has people” claim.

  • avatar

    I test drive the Veloster at a Hyundai event. They had naturally aspirated Sonata and Velosters along with the forced induction versions.

    The 2.0t engine felt as strong as a V6 in the Sonata. That’s the engine they SHOULD HAVE USED in the VELOSTER.

    The 1.8t was laggy and just didn’t feel as good.

    That said, The Veloster is still a cool car – especially for moms with small kids.

    Ultimately, the Elantra GT just makes more sense – even though it missed out on the Veloster’s “hip” styling.

    • 0 avatar
      Eyeflyistheeye

      I’ve driven both the Turbo Veloster and the Elantra GT. Ironically, I thought the Elantra GT handled better than the Veloster and had much more natural steering feel than whatever videogame designers Hyundai hired to make the Veloster “sporty.”

      No quibble with the motor though.

  • avatar
    davefromcalgary

    I’m guessing price is the reason, I just cant see why anyone would give this abomination a second look over the Forte 5 SX.

    • 0 avatar
      darex

      I agree 100%, but when I bought the Veloster, the Forte5 SX wasn’t out yet.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      I think the Forte rates a look from anyone who’s interested in a compact.

      • 0 avatar
        Dynasty

        I was considering a Forte in late 2012. Test drove one. I liked the styling, and the overall utility of being a hatch, and I don’t recall the seats being bad.

        But beyond that, it really lacked a lot of refinement. And a KIA direct injection engine caused me pause. It was really coarse!

        Maybe the 2016s are significantly better.

        • 0 avatar
          tankinbeans

          Had a 2011 Forte LX that liked to prevent me shifting into 4th gear. Dealer said it was because I was shifting wrong. Claimed I was applying pressure at the gate. Mind you I was pulling straight down as you should. I have not had this issue in other manuals I’ve driven: 96 F150, 13 Focus, 14 Focus ST, 11 Jetta, 94 Corolla, 97 Talon.

          Traded it for a Focus and haven’t looked back. Now I’m not panning Kia as it was a nice enough car for $14k. Maybe mine was an anomaly. I would consider them again.

        • 0 avatar
          SC5door

          Considering the 2.0 and 2.4 Theta II aren’t direct injection in that generation—not sure where you got that information from.

          134,000 out of my Forte 5 SX 6A before I sold it. Only issue was a leaking trans cooler hose, zero AM radio reception and TPMS was prone signal interference and would throw a blinking warning light for 10 seconds about once a month. The dealer charged me for a new hose, no labor or fluid fee.

          The ride was too firm, and the stock Goodyear tires contributed to A LOT of the road noise—replaced with a set of Coopers (which sucked) and then onto Hankooks which proved to be the best set for the car.

    • 0 avatar
      SC5door

      I’m interested in the 1.6T and the 7 speed DCT in the `17’s. I have no issues with that power train in the much heavier Tucson.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    “I get that the Veloster is kind of quirky and interesting with its third door on the passenger side and no rear door on the driver’s side, but I’d say the function is overwhelmed by the form. Put another door on this thing, or get rid of the third one.”

    I agree, I find the third side door to be completely half assed.

  • avatar

    “I was reminded of just how much fun a low horsepower, front-wheel-drive car can be when combined with a little bit of reckless behavior.”

    I admit, I have absolutely no comprehension of this level of “fun” you speak of.

    • 0 avatar
      gtemnykh

      I used to drive out to the parking lot of a closed down movie theater in the winter with my friends, all piloting lame duck Japanese fwd econoboxes, even worse, all were automatics. ’90 Civic, ’95 Corolla, ’98 Sentra. We had a blast getting some speed and then ripping the hand brake and trying to trace a nice, smooth drift with as much angle as possible. We got chased by the plow guy once, we just drove circles around the building as he chased us with his plow-equipped Silverado. Good times were had by all, except for my Honda’s aging CV axles.

  • avatar
    JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

    I like the third door, it makes the “single door” side look better.

    But, that is all I like about this car. I like the idea of a sporty hatch, but this car evidently is far from sporty in the way it drives. I havent driven one, but I have driven other newer Hyundais, and was astounded at how poor the steering, suspension, etc was. They tend to drive like a refrigerator: no personality, no smile while carving up a twisty two lane, just a bland, boring appliance. Who would buy Sonata, Elantra, this or the Accent when cars like the Fiesta, Focus, Mazda3, Mazda6, Fit, Civic, Fusion and Accord exist? Cars that you can actually enjoy driving? That work with you rather than against you? Even aside from those, Id take just about anything over a Hyundai.

    Well, Toyota and Nissan joins them at the bottom of the list for their soul-less, no-fun cars. I guess the people buying these didnt bother to test drive anything else, or are so numb to the driving experience (probably due to driving a Corolla too long) that they dont realize there are better choices.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      Some people just like Hyundai. I don’t quite understand it but its those sort of people who would excuse the soulless driving experience you describe because “warranty!” or some such.

      • 0 avatar
        JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

        Exactly. Its cheap, good on gas, and has a long warranty. I guess thats enough for some.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          Truecar is saying 16 which is 3800 below the 21K [!] msrp. Personally, I don’t find 16K cheap for this POS.

          https://www.truecar.com/prices-new/hyundai/veloster-pricing/

          A good friend picked up a Prius C in Sept for around 20 which is vastly superior piece of engineering with similar soulless driving characteristics with future resale to boot. Oh but Veloster’s got three doors arranged in a half assed fashion! Oh but its got 20% visibility and giant wheels with clown car styling! Talk to me on a Sonata at 18ish, then I’m a little more interested.

          • 0 avatar
            krhodes1

            I dunno. I had a Prius C two weeks ago for a rental. For a 6hr round trip. It is a pretty hateful device. While I would choose one over a Veloster, I don’t think I would choose one over an Accent. Just as lousy to drive, and you will NEVER make up the price difference in either depreciation or fuel savings. The C got just under 50mpg, the Accent I had two weeks prior got 40mpg under less favorable conditions. The Hyundai was far more comfortable, better seats, way better visibility, and much quieter. The seats in the Toyota could have been used in the Inquisition.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Why do you get stuck in bad rental crap, when you rent so often (sounds like, anyway)? Just pick a Cruze or Focus and you know you’ll be good!

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            Frequent renters who use a company other than National baffle me. I’ve never had a rental quite as hateful as a Veloster or Accent. Although the rattly, crashy Impala “Limited” I got in San Francisco last week when they were running short on Aisle cars was hardly winning the lottery, it’s better than a Prius C.

          • 0 avatar
            krhodes1

            I prefer Hertz over National for a couple reasons. #1 with a bullet is that the awards don’t expire. I RARELY use them, so it is nice to have a few months of rental days in my account (though I was VERY irritated that they blocked out the week between Christmas and New Years in DC). #2 is that in my experience of occasionally using National where there is no Hertz, it is a choice of “what color crap midsize would you like today”. As it happened, renting from AAdvantage was so cheap I didn’t even care. Especially since my roommate was paying 1/2.

            For my rental last week, I actually intentionally choose the Hybrid class, because they had it super cheap, and I figured I would get a regular Prius, Altima or a Sonata. Joke was on me getting the crapcan C. Which I did not expect to be as bad as it was, to be honest. Had never driven one, so I figured I would give it a go. As President’s Circle, I certainly could have gotten something else, but it was late, I was tired, and I wanted to get out of there. Next time though…

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            We have a work discount of 20% or something and our corporate account is with Avis, so I’d be using them (and did before when I got the well equipped Cruze 2LT).

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        To be fair to Hyundai, Bark’s ride from D to Grand Rapids would have been MUCH more comfortable & rewarding in anything from a 2015/2016 Sonata (more comfortable & solid than a Camry by far), 2015/2016 Genesis Sedan (better than ANY Cadillac sedan), Santa Fe (nice, cushy & quiet), Azera (better front drive, large car than anything from GM), etc.

        The Accent & Veloster are two of Hyundai’s worst offerings – by a wide margin.

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          It would have been even better in a F150/Silverado/RAM.

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          I rode in a new Sonata this week. OH MY GOD it is so awful. I hated:

          -Interior bits
          -Seat comfort
          -Build quality
          -Bumpy, harsh ride with 4 adults
          -No vents for rear seat
          -No cupholder for rear seat, unless you count bottle storage in door
          -Trim misalignment all over inside
          -Plays a sing-song when you turn it off

          I liked:
          -The red color was okay
          -The rear seat leg room was good

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            I haven’t had good experience with the Sonata/Optima. People really seem to like them though.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            I do not comprehend that. The Camry is better, the Fusion is better, and the Accord is WAY better. Hell, the Cruze has far superior interior quality.

            The light color cloth (tan) was already stained and holding dirt, and balling up looked like in some places.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            The right answer is lightly used MKZ.

            http://varsitylincoln.com/Detroit-Metro/For-Sale/Used/Lincoln/MKZ/2014-Ultimate-Gray-Car/45629835/

            I guarantee someone could get that price closer to 20K than 25K.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Gosh the rear door entry shape on the MKZ is just so weird. I’m not sold on the exterior color of that one, either.

            Needz redz. Or navy. I don’t like the trunk wart from circa 2000 Audi, and the leather looks cheap.

            :(

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            http://varsitylincoln.com/Detroit-Metro/For-Sale/Used/Lincoln/MKZ/2014-Ultimate-Orange-Car/45351446/

            The red one needz moar depreciation!

            Many of your concerns will be addressed in the refresh. The interior will be much better. I think they have to put the satellite thing on the trunk because of the giant moonroof.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Much improve. Wow. Many color.

            I never realized before the PRNDL was up on the dash next to the screen. How odd.

            And like hell I’d drive around with my car saying VARSITY on the back like some glory days loser.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            I got the hair dryer out when we got our MkT home. None of that on my car. License plate holder too. Gone.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            $28,9 is about a $4K markup, which is reasonable for the Lincoln dealer, and the AWD adds about 3K to its valuation vs FWD. I want to see AWD at 20/21 and FWDs at 17/18, pronto. We’re already two model years in here, devaluez more quick!

            http://varsitylincoln.com/Detroit-Metro/For-Sale/Used/Lincoln/MKZ/2014-Ultimate-Orange-Car/45351446/

          • 0 avatar
            davefromcalgary

            I told them if they put any stickers, frames, what have you on my car, I would refuse delivery until rectified.

            Amazingly enough, they listened.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            Maybe the refresh will knock values down.

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            Re: 2015 Sonata

            I agree on the lame chime and interior materials, and even how the key felt loose and rattl-y in the ignition.

            However I found the seats to be roomy and excellent on a 4 hour drive to NYC, the ride very cushy and cosseting, and I was able to eke out 36.7mpg if the computer is to be believed. Massive rear legroom and big trunk.

            I can most directly compare it to my fiancé’s 2.5L Camry SE: I prefer the smoothness of the Toyota’s drivetrain both in terms of NVH and transmission shifting, and although the Camry’s interior is full of cheap plastic and large alignment gaps, it still somehow manages to feel tighter than the Hyundai. The Hyundai DI 2.4 makes good power, but feels gruff putting it down. The Toyota feels smaller than it is when you drive it, the Sonata feels like an S-class by comparison in terms of size and detached ride. Which may be a good or bad thing depending on the driver’s intent. How this soft ride might change with 4 passengers is maybe what Corey brings up. The Hyundai had physically larger (wider) seats that I found fantastically comfortable. Biggest issue with the Hyundai were the original Kumho tires which were one big howl-fest with 27k miles on them.

            Now that the Camry got it’s interior freshening it’s a larger gap, but until that I’d consider choosing between the Sonata and Camry a matter of preference. Overall I give the nod to the Camry, but wouldn’t fault someone for choosing the Sonata.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Maybe. Did these cost more out of the gate than the CD3s?

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            You could get them to higher prices. Base models were about the same, but the top end is higher.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            I’m thinking AWD and V6 is at or near “top end”. The base model CD4 comes with turboz powerz which is step down from the previous base model even at the same price.

            The reason I ask was if the price was raised and the curve remained constant, it would explain the higher valuation at year 2 vs CD3. But remember, there’s no inflation.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            By throwing in the 2.0T, there was effectively a price increase. Figure it to be $2K-$3K over CD3.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            *Shakes fist at hidden price increase*

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            I was driving a MKC Black Label last weekend. I don’t know how they get $50K for that…

            Maybe for an MKC Black Label Society. Delivered by Zakk Wylde and full of skulls, flames, beer, and guitars.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Its gotta be the Mcconaughey.

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            You people (yes, “you people”) are sewing seeds of doubt about my one and only impression (w/rental) of a 2015 Sonata.

            I’m going to need to re-examine my evaluation soon.

            p.s. – I detest every Camry since approx 1996-2000 (the last truly good Camry on $$$ basis that was more refined and better built in measurable ways than most competition, IMO). The 2006 to approx 2012 Camrys were particularly horrid – I think it was a 2010 rental that I thought was an abomination).

          • 0 avatar
            SC5door

            “The Explorer has better interior materials since the refresh”

            ONLY on the Platinum. Every other trim level has the same materials with the exception of the trim piece that’s attached to the glove box door.

            I see the things built every single day, the build quality is still stupid bad; just like the MKS even with extra steps they put the MKS through before it leaves out the door.

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            @bball40dtw

            yes, the satellite antenna needs to be mounted on a ground plane, so a glass surface won’t work. The Mustang used to stick it on the trunk too since it had an optional all-glass roof.

        • 0 avatar
          dal20402

          Having driven both Camry and Sonata of the current generation recently, I find the Camry more comfortable and solid than the Sonata by far.

          The Sonata had seats that didn’t fit my (5’10” 200#) body, had the same cheap materials as the Camry, and had the usual Hyundai suspension/steering malaise. The Camry SE, by contrast, has really excellent steering and suspension and may be the best-assembled car I’ve driven this year. The cheapest imaginable materials, phoned-in design, but well built and pretty comfortable.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        My S.O. is on her third one since I met her five and a half years ago (all Accents). She bought one in 2009, only to have it nuked after a few months by a drunk driver, and then she bought a 2009 used, which she drove to about 110,000 miles and then gave to her son. Her current one is a ’13 she also bought used last year. They’ve all been pretty much dead reliable, except for the normal wear/repair items you’d get on a high mileage car.

        If you’re into high refinement levels or enthusiastic driving, I’d steer clear. But for cheap basic transportation they’re more than good enough.

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          Accent > Veloster

          The Veloster makes the Accent worse with no real benefit besides styling. I say the same thing about the Flex vs. Explorer too.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            Actually, I’m a fan of the styling on the hatchback Accent. Neat looking little car.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            Agreed. It looks better. It’s just different styling I guess.

            Also, I think that the Flex looks better than the Explorer. However, over 200K Americans have told me that I am wrong.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            I’d go with the Flex just to be different. But the Explorer isn’t bad looking, as long as bland CUV styling is OK with you.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            Neither looks bad. The Explorer has better interior materials since the refresh. I just like that the Flex has five more inches of wheelbase. There isn’t a better back seat in a non-luxury vehicle than a Flex with captains chairs.

          • 0 avatar
            Detroit33

            Sing it, bball, the Flex seating in every measurable way is better than the Explorer. Even the 3rd row is usable for an adult (not so in the MKT, though). I am wholly disappointed in the feel of the steering wheel after coming out of an MKT, 550 GT and GS350 over the last 6 years. Just feels like cheap plastic with no gription. I personally loved the MKT, the wife hated the styling, but she really likes the Flex. Great combo would be the better materials of the MKT used in the Flex body, especially the THX sound.

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            I guess the name is a big part of it, because it boggles me that someone would take an Explorer over the Flex. The Explorer is bulky and claustrophobic, and the 3rd row seat is vestigial at best.

            or maybe it’s messaging; one of my favorite comedians is Maria Bamford, and she did a bit where someone said she should get a Ford Flex. when she asked what it was, the response “It’s… a car-building. Kind of… a… house-truck.”

    • 0 avatar
      Eyeflyistheeye

      Say what you want about Nissan, but $12k +TTL out the door for a 6MT Sentra with A/C is not a bad deal since they’re giving them away.

    • 0 avatar
      SC5door

      A Focus? How’s that Powershift thing working out?

      • 0 avatar
        JimZ

        I’m convinced that nobody can get a DCT “right.” I drove a Passat TDI with the DSG last week. Hateful device.

        • 0 avatar
          krhodes1

          Nobody can get an automatic right. BMW probably comes closest with the ZF 8spd, and they still annoy the crap out of me eventually.

          I have a Focus SE hatch as my rental this weekend, and the Powershift is sort of hilariously inept a lot of the time. Really ruins an otherwise perfectly fine car. Especially good chassis tuning on the Focus. Mine has no flappy paddles or any sort of manual override other than the hill descent button and L in the shifter. LAME…

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            I got to drive a rental with an automated manual for the first time this week, though it was a single clutch unit and not the twin clutch as used in the Fords.

            It was in an International Durastar Hybrid. It was very interesting and annoying when docking an the truck moved backwards in little increments. It was also a little herky/jerky when the engine was cold due to the tendency to shift at 1500rpm when you don’t have the load pedal on the floor. Seriously because most starts were in 2nd gear I was in 4th before I crossed the intersection. Too bad the load only had to go a few miles so didn’t bother to fuel it. I would have like to see what kind of MPG it got.

  • avatar
    Occam

    I had a Veloster as a rental car a couple of years ago, and was pleasantly surprised by how much I liked it.

    Yes, the DCT was annoying, but I wouldn’t buy a car with a DCT. The engine was the normal rental spec, but I’ve driven 2000 mile road trips with less power. I could see myself buying and enjoying the Turbo Veloster with a stick.

    As for the complaints above:

    “This is what it looks like when you turn your head to look through the rear window. Don’t bother using the rearview mirror; it’s completely useless.”

    – Funny, I never noticed that. The rearview mirror was perfectly within my expectations for sporty-ish coupe. I was able to adjust the mirrors with no problem, and it had a backup camera to augment the view when backing.

    “The passenger-side mirror literally could not be placed in a safe driving position. In its most extreme setting, the bulbous rear fenders of the Veloster take up approximately half of the mirror when viewed by a 5-foot-9-inch man.”

    – I would think that someone a bit on the short side would have a wider view. That’s strange, and makes me wonder if there was a problem with the mirror. I always set the mirrors in my rentals before I leave the lot, and adjust them so the fenders are out of view. No issues at all here.

    “Every surface is hard enough to cause bruising. The steering wheel is downright unpleasant to grasp. The seats provide little to no support to the driver, even if they do have some stylish stitching in them to remind you it is, in fact, a Veloster, and not an Accent.”

    – I know we’re all shaped differently, but the driving position impressed me immensely – I found the seats to be terrific – good side bolstering, low enough to stretch your legs out rather than the kitchen-chair SUV-lite position in the Accent (I’ve rented those as well), near perfect ergonomics all around.

    “The back seat is small enough to be essentially useless in practical applications. Nobody except small children will be comfortable in the rear of the cabin for any length of time, and even they might complain.”

    – It’s a sporty-styled compact. They all have small back seats. I didn’t find this one any worse than the norm for the class.

    “I get that the Veloster is kind of quirky and interesting with its third door on the passenger side and no rear door on the driver’s side, but I’d say the function is overwhelmed by the form. Put another door on this thing, or get rid of the third one.”

    This is actually my favorite thing about the car – the driver gets a full size door (no pillar blocking the side view, armrests that are long enough to use with the seat all the way back, upper seatbelt anchor not too far forward), but the rear passengers still get a portal for access. It’s the best of both worlds.

    I did have my own complaints about the car – the rear suspension was the same crummy twistbeam from the Accent. It had an unpleasant tendency to give up grip and jump sideways if you pushed too hard through a corner. That gripe aside, I enjoyed my time with it in a mix of urban and freeway driving. It’s definitely one of my favorite luck-of-the-draw rental cars, and I liked it far more than the Cruz, Accent, Mazda3, or the pre-’12 Focus.

    • 0 avatar
      strafer

      This comment made me wonder where he learned to drive, if that is the safe position for him. Pretty much the opposite of Klik and Klak method.
      “The passenger-side mirror literally could not be placed in a safe driving position. In its most extreme setting, the bulbous rear fenders of the Veloster take up approximately half of the mirror when viewed by a 5-foot-9-inch man.”

  • avatar
    darex

    So, I had this car for over 2 years. I call b.s. on SOME of this review.

    1) The seats are extremely comfortable and supportive, even after 500 miles
    2) The rear view mirror is perfectly sized and shaped to view the entirety of the back window.
    3) The fuel economy is excellent in this car.
    4) The sound system and reliability of the infortainment is fantastic
    5) The 6-speed manual is excellent
    6) The build quality is ROCK SOLID

    BUT

    1) The rear suspension is downright scary/jumpy
    2) The steering effort is ponderous and completely disconnected
    3) The sunroof spontaneously implodes

    So, it’s far from a horrible car, but it needs much improvement

    • 0 avatar
      30-mile fetch

      It’s an odd car, so I’m curious as to why you bought it and what you cross-shopped.

      The manual probably eliminates much of Bark’s issues with drivetrain responsiveness, and seat comfort depends on the person, so I wouldn’t worry about those complaints.

      • 0 avatar
        darex

        I wanted a manual transmission + fully-loaded (built-in GPS, Bluetooth A2DP, rearview camera, etc…), comfortable seats + hatch + flat-folding cargo floor.

        It was pretty much the only game in town that fit that bill. Everything else only offered manual transmissions on their base models and/or were not hatchbacks.

        As I mentioned above, had it been available when I got the Veloster, I’d have most certainly gotten the Kia Forte5 SX-Turbo instead.

        Now driving a loaded F56 MINI Cooper, which has well-sorted road manners.

    • 0 avatar

      1) That’s somewhat subjective, but I find the seating to be wretched. Also, finding a comfortable seating position is almost impossible.
      2) Like hell. I took a photo. It doesn’t lie.
      3) I didn’t mention fuel economy, because I think it’s kind of a given that a 132 HP four-banger should have good fuel economy. I observed 27.5 combined. FiST is better.
      4) Maybe you have the 8-speaker upgraded stereo? Because the base system is disgusting.
      5) I didn’t mention the manual transmission, because I didn’t experience it. Not sure how this is relevant to my review.
      6) Maybe it is, and maybe it isn’t. I had the car for four days, and it was brand new, so, again, I didn’t mention that.

      • 0 avatar
        darex

        You didn’t take a photo of what the rearview mirror sees. Unlike the Prius and the Insight, the line-of-sight from the rearview mirror does not have the crossbar in view. It’s ABOVE (or coincident with) the top of the rearview mirror.

        I did have the upgraded Dimension stereo. It is excellent. Everyone who reviews it says so, too. It has very good virtual surround settings.

        I’m not saying your findings were incorrect. I’m saying I had the car for over 2 years, so needless to say, I know what I’m talking about.

        This is the first time that Hyundai’s managed to make a manual transmission that doesn’t horribly suck. In fact, it’s quite good.

    • 0 avatar
      HotPotato

      Wife had this car for 2 (3?) years as well. Fancy-pants package, so 18″ wheels with rubberband tires and bolstery red leather seats and top-leel sound system. You are spot-on.

      The seats are pretty good. Fuel economy is Prius-worthy. The Dimension stereo sounds pretty damn good and unlike Ford’s Sync with MyFord dumpster fire, the Hyundai’s Blackberry QNX based infotainment works perfectly. Build quality and component quality are high, with precision control feel on the center stack. And the third-door setup is perfect: ideal access for driver and passengers alike. Noise levels are pretty low for a tiny car, probably a lot lower if you don’t get the rubberband tires.

      But god DAMN, that suspension has two inches of supple travel and then crashes. The steering wheel feels nice but there’s zero steering feedback and a 1999 Tahoe-worthy on-center dead spot. The engine is lackluster and the DCT isn’t interested in downshifting from sixth to third, as you would in the manual if you wanted acceleration. And there’s no headroom if you have the sunroof.

      But for just a little more $dough you can get the Veloster with a much stouter turbo engine and a conventional automatic. That car might actually be compelling, if you’re under 5’6 tall.

  • avatar
    frankev

    This probably deserves a full-length article, but why do we bother with carpets in cars anymore? When my wife picked out our 2012 Ford Fusion SEL, the first accessories I bought for it were WeatherTech floor liners and a trunk liner. They are worth their weight in gold, especially considering all the salt that gets tracked into the car during Chicago winters.

    On any of my vehicles I’d be happier with rubber floors that can be readily wiped off with a damp towel. A friend at work who had a rubber-floored CVPI for a few years said he felt that only drawback was that items on the floor tended to roll around more easily (especially from front-to-back and vice-versa in that car).

    My guess as to why carpet is still employed is that it’s relatively cheap for the manufacturers in terms of both material cost and ease of installation and that it contributes positively to low levels of NVH. I personally think it’s simply not worthwhile–is there another creative, aesthetically pleasing solution?

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      I personally think it’s simply not worthwhile–is there another creative, aesthetically pleasing solution?

      Rino Liner? But most of the buying public would associate that sort of thing with some sort of poverty spec, UNLESS they start making it an up-charge option on RAPTORS and the like.

      The only vehicle I own without heavy duty floor mats is my F150 which has – rubber floors.

    • 0 avatar
      davefromcalgary

      Weathertechs (or equivalent) are the answer. Have them in the Buick, and my carpets are pristine. We dont have anything in the beater, and yeah, its gross.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      NVH and weight are the answers. A piece of rubber thick enough to contribute as much to NVH as the carpet does would weigh quite a lot.

      I also like carpet better than rubber in the places where my feet are not. I think carpet with good all-weather mats like the WeatherTechs or OEM Honda/Acura ones is the ideal solution. (By contrast the OEM all-weather mats in my Lexus are mediocre and those in my Subaru are absolutely terrible.)

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        My A8 had the best stock floormats I’ve ever encountered. Thick, deep carpet with heavy foam lining underneath it, not just plastic or rubber.

        And when you took off the top set of mats, there was another set of mats, for extra sound/padding. I think they were a solid foam rubber.

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          The rubber ones on my GTI were great. Maybe it’s a VW/Audi thing.

        • 0 avatar
          dal20402

          The non-all-weather “premium” mats in my Lexus are similar, and wonderful. Thick-pile wool carpet rocks. But they are strictly a July-October option in the Northwest, and the all-weather mats don’t match up as well: the lip is way too low and the rubber is thin and feels kind of cheap.

          The Acura TSX mats were the other way around — the carpet mat was standard cheap stuff and the rubber all-weather mat was excellent.

          • 0 avatar
            davefromcalgary

            Yeah, the Buick has thick carpet, along with thick carpeted removable mats, and then the thick rubber mats for the protection package. But all are useless in snow/salt country. Aftermarket deep groove rubber mats or fitted rubber mats are required.

            Cant speak for VW, thats interesting bball.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            Dave-

            The MKV GTI rubber mats were honeycombed, just like the GTI grille. My GTI spent most of it’s time in AZ, but I thought they did well the year or so in the snow.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            That’s why you just get two sets of non-averse weather premium mats, and have a winter set and a not-winter set.

            I don’t like rubber mats.

            OR, thinking more about it, drive the car with not as nice mats on bad weather/salt days.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            I don’t particularly like rubber mats but I like perma-grimy, ruined carpet even less. So I have rubber mats for everything except the Legend, which is less likely to get driven anywhere where there’s mud.

        • 0 avatar
          never_follow

          Great right up until the evap nipples clog and you get a shoeful of water and a 50 pound floormat that takes a month to air out. Worst design ever, although once you get the hang of unclogging them and getting the knee panels in and out, not too hard to fix.

    • 0 avatar
      mike9o

      Carpeted floor mats improve NVH and are easily replaceable, which the vehicle’s carpeting is not. If sold as accessories, they are very profitable. Floor liners are a great solution when its wet outside but the development and tooling costs are much higher.

    • 0 avatar
      MBella

      I agree, I would buy a rubberized floor option if available

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      I have rubber floor instead of carpet in my Ranger. it starts looking dirty and messy as hell the very day weather turns wet/snowy. and it just sits on top of it, so you have to wipe it down, do a rinse wipe, clean it again, and so on. Carpet you can at least just vacuum into looking decent.

  • avatar
    NoGoYo

    Didn’t some Saturns have the wacky 3 door thing going on?

  • avatar
    iMatt

    Your experience driving in Michigan in adverse weather is something I immediately related to! Reminds me of the numerous trips I made on hwy 43 northbound out of Edmonton…..in January….in a Honda Fit…with my SO aboard.

    There’s nothing as relaxing as letting the litle Fit’s cruise spin you up moderate sized hills at 6000 RPM at night in a snow storm while dodging moose and keeping out of the way of every Bro (…errr young workin’ men) on the road in their lifted to the moon 3/4 ton trucks travelling down the snow covered road at 90 mph.

    Not to mention the convoys of tanker and other oil-field related trucks on the road.

    Good times and no matter how hard I thrashed that little Fit, it’s still running strong and keeping out of the ditch!

  • avatar
    legacygt

    When I first saw the Veloster at an auto show, I was certain we’d see them all over the roads wit especially strong representation in high school parking lots. It’s limitations are obviously the way it drives. I feel like it was developed during Hyundai’s middle ages between it’s time as an econo-company and the fully competitive brand it is today. It reminds me of the Veracruz. It’s halfway there but not fully baked. I hope they keep the nameplate alive for future development as the approach that brings us the current Sonata, Santa Fe, etc. could do wonders with this car.

  • avatar
    30-mile fetch

    I never liked the looks of this car, but that could have been redeemed if it were a tactile and chuckable little go-cart similar to the old CRXs. Decent steering and suspension in a Hyundai of this era was probably too much to ask, though. So you’re left with a utility-compromised Accent with none of the driving flair you would expect from the aggressive 3-door body style. Not sure what the point of this car is.

  • avatar
    justdave

    Good review, thanks for doing it. I am curious about your comment,
    “…having your olfactory receptors assaulted by an invisible army of plastic-forming chemical fumes.” Every Hyundai I have rented has had a strong chemical/plastic stink in the interior, kind of like gear oil. The cars have been decent enough, but that smell has put them on my never-again list.

  • avatar
    philadlj

    Why in the blue hell does this thing have a fancy touchscreen but NO FREAKIN’ FLOOR MATS???

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      The rental agency didn’t have $19.95 to get some from Wal-Mart, I guess…

    • 0 avatar
      davefromcalgary

      Standard floor mats from the OEM are generally crap anyways. The Buick came with the “Protection Package” which included a nice thick trunk mat (which is great) and 4 floor mats, but they were just thick flat slabs of rubber. So, all the sand and salt and dirt and water will still get into the carpets anyways. At the very least I always used to go to the local autoparts store and get the deep grooved floor mats that at least have half a chance of containing filthy road slop. And now I am using the WeatherTechs, which are a cut above.

      I guess my point is, the rental car company would need to spring for decent floor mats for every car, and I don’t think they care enough.

  • avatar
    eggsalad

    Look on AutoTrader or Cars.com. You’ll see dozens of used Velosters – late models with low miles. Seems like people only realized how awful they were AFTER they bought one.

  • avatar
    Prado

    I came away very disappointed when I tested one of these when they first came out. Small 4 + big heavy wheels + dct = So sloooow. Especially off the line. An Accent with this same engine, smaller wheels and a normal torque converter transmission feels much peppier. The dct was clunky too. And the car very loud on the freeway. Unlike Bark, I did like the interior, but that was a few years ago.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    When driving did you feel an urge to purchase white Oakley sunglasses, or any form of bright red or orange jacket or hoodie?

    Because I’ve only ever seen d-bags behind the wheel of these, driving awfully and trying desperately to be cool like they wish they were.

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    I’m with you on that one. The Veloster just plain sucks. There are any number of compact hatchbacks in that price-range (a decent Focus SE hatchback, a Golf S, a Kia Forte hatchback, Hyundai’s own Elantra GT) that make far more sense. I never even thought the car was good-looking, and don’t understand why people buy it.

  • avatar
    sckid213

    A friend’s boyfriend just got conned into buying a fully loaded, showroom display Veloster Turbo manual – complete with matte paint. He came out of a BEAT first-gen Matrix. I feel so sad for him.

  • avatar
    Moparmann

    I tried my best to see something redeming in the styling, but everytime I look at a Veloster, I think of a giant cockroach scuttling along! Also, when I first considered one, they had a cool option of wheels with a body color matching accent. Then I discovered that in order to get this, and a companion “option package” you had to pony up an additional $4k IIRC!! :-)

  • avatar
    Corollaman

    This is the result of using the underpinnings of an economy car and try to make more out of it than it can deliver.

  • avatar
    Corollaman

    Unless you’re talking about the Fiesta, of course which has superior underpinnings

  • avatar
    Conslaw

    At $20,000 that’s approximately the cost of a Honda Fit EX with auto trans. It is astonishing that anyone would pick the Veloster over the Honda Fit.

  • avatar
    Corollaman

    I gives the impression of being a sporty, fun, youthful car, while the Fit is just a very useful, economy car. Most buyers don’t realize how much it is to drive.

  • avatar
    05lgt

    After the recent Civic review, I’m imagining a few thousand dollars in discounts will be needed to move more than dozens of these a month.

  • avatar
    Dave M.

    Well, I do give Hyundai kudos for adventurous styling. Sad how poorly it drives…

  • avatar
    Shawnski

    Visually interesting, but it is an unimpressive car. I convinced my otherwise automotive un-interested 20 year old that uses my ’03 Ranger for work and school, to go with me for a look see. It felt cheap, had a lot of road noise and my son remarked that the 3.0 Ranger has more power. You could not say that about most new cars in 2016…

  • avatar
    DownUnder2014

    These do seem to be popular with younger drivers, most Velosters I see on the road have a younger driver in it! Otherwise, I can’t really say much else. I’ve never been inside a Veloster. Although I do agree it’s an interesting looking car.

    Anyway regarding the 3 door layout, there was another car I can think of with that layout, the Mitsubishi Minica Lettuce, but I’m pretty sure it was RHD only.

  • avatar
    tobiasfunkemd

    As as 2013 Veloster owner, I can’t say I disagree with anything in the review. I have the gutless NA version with a stick shift, and it is what it is. Good gas mileage, great electronic features, crappy rear visibility, and hard plastics everywhere. But, I also think that it’s honest. I got it new, out the door, with upgraded seats and sound system for way under $20,000, and it hasn’t caused a problem for me yet. It’s a commuter car for someone who doesn’t want to admit they need a commuter. I have a hilly commute, and I spend a lot of time in third trying to maintain 65 mph, but I knew that from the outset.

  • avatar
    Disaster

    A perfect example of function following form. The Elantra is 100 times better car.


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