To be, or not to be: 2012 Hyundai Veloster or Velostar Turbo? Hint: Get the Turbo.
The Hyundai Veloster hatchback, revealed last year at the Detroit Auto Show, was undoubtedly a nice piece of machinery to look at. The problem was, though, that it seriously lacked oomph with its standard 1.6L four-cylinder. The base Veloster still suffers from this underpowered-ness for 2012, but fortunately, Hyundai grew a pair and recently gave the U.S. the 2012 Veloster Turbo.
Versus the base 1.6L engine, rated at 138 hp/123 lb-ft torque, the Turbo (still a 1.6L four, but with considerably more OOMPH) gets 201 horses and 193 lb-ft worth of high-end torque. In addition to the loftier powerplant, the Turbo gets sporty add-ons like a sportier-sounding exhaust system, LED headlights and tailights, ‘Turbo’ badges here and there,18″ alloys (versus 17″), heated-leather seats, heavy duty body styling with ground effects, twin exhausts, wider [gear] ratios, and larger rotors up front.
Considering all of that will run you only $2,500 extra, we’d say that anyone still bent on acquiring the base Veloster is either A. on a shoestring budget tighter than a conservative politician’s wallet or B. for nothing else than ‘pretty good’ fuel economy–which is still pretty phenomenal even on the Turbo (26 city/38 hwy).
While the Veloster Turbo has been universally praised as ‘fun to drive’ and ‘…a substantially better handler than its lesser’, it’s still not quite an equal to legends like the Subaru Impreza WRX or VW GTi, as much as it would love (and aspires) to be. Let’s be honest, though: For $26k, one gets a fully-loaded 2012 Hyundai Veloster Turbo. It’s high equipment level and fun-to-drive factor acknowledged, that’s one helluva deal.