If you’re on the hunt for an affordable car that doesn’t disappear into the background, the 2017 Hyundai Veloster has got your number. This compact hatchback comes with sporty sheet metal that turns heads. In true Hyundai fashion, the Veloster is also a champion when it comes to value, offering a respectable list of standard amenities at a reasonable price.
Like last year’s model, the 2017 Hyundai Veloster is available in base, Turbo R-Spec and Turbo trims. There’s also a new Value Edition that slots above the base model, bringing in desirable features like a panoramic sunroof, navigation, keyless entry/ignition and smartphone mirroring technologies that include Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. This front-wheel-drive compact hatchback offers three transmission choices: a six speed manual, a six-speed dual-clutch automatic and a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic.
Budget-priced hatchbacks can sometimes be quite forgettable in the sheet-metal department, but this isn’t the case with the Veloster. Every aspect of this Hyundai’s exterior telegraphs its uniqueness. Most hatchbacks come with two or four doors in addition to a rear hatch, but the Veloster mixes things up with an unusual three-door configuration. The third door is located on the passenger side to ease access to the rear seats.
In front, a sizable hexagonal grille looks out from between swooping headlights dressed up with standard LED accents. From the side, the Veloster reveals standard body-color exterior mirrors, sculpted wheel wells and a rising beltline. A rear view spotlights the car’s robust bumper and standard dual exhaust tips.
The list of standard features on base models includes 17-inch wheels, body-colored door handles, heated fold-away side mirrors, a center high-mount stop light and daytime running lights. Front fog lights, 18-inch wheels, LED taillights, automatic headlights and side mirrors with integrated turn signals are available.
The 2017 Hyundai Veloster seats up to four passengers. We found legroom to be quite satisfactory, but the car’s low roofline compromised headroom in both rows.
The look of our Turbo test car’s cabin was just as lively as its sheet metal, with a bold orange and black color scheme and leather upholstery. The seats were supportive, and the cabin provided a reasonably pleasant environment overall.
The Veloster offers 15.5 cubic feet of cargo volume behind the rear seats, and with the seatbacks folded, this figure expands to 34.7 cubic feet. These numbers are about mid-pack relative to those of competing models. The Ford Fiesta offers 14.9 and 25.4 cubic feet behind the second and first rows, respectively, while the Mazda3 provides 20.2 and 47.1 cubic feet.
Standard features include cloth upholstery, power windows and door locks, a six-way-adjustable driver’s seat, a 60/40-split folding rear seatback and a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel. The lineup of available features includes a panoramic tilt-and-slide sunroof, automatic temperature control, driver’s auto-down windows, leather or leatherette upholstery, heated front seats and a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob.
All 2017 Hyundai Veloster hatchbacks come standard with a six-speed manual transmission. Base models are available with a six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, while Turbo models may be equipped with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic. Turbo R-Spec models come standard with sport-tuned steering and a sport-tuned suspension.
The Veloster is available with a choice of two reasonably efficient powertrains. Base models are motivated by a 1.6-liter inline four-cylinder engine good for 132 horsepower and 120 pound-feet of torque. This engine achieves fuel economy of 27/34 mpg city/highway with the manual transmission and 28/35 mpg with the six-speed automatic.
Turbo R-Spec and Turbo models come with a turbocharged inline four-cylinder engine that generates 201 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque. This engine’s fuel economy stands at 25/33 mpg with the manual transmission and 26/32 mpg with the seven-speed automatic.
Our Turbo test car had enough muscle to capably weave through city traffic. The engine unspooled power in a smooth and seamless way and felt quite refined overall. We found our car’s manual transmission to be cooperative, and shifts were made without hassles or drama.
The Veloster offers a competitive range of technology features. Base models come with Bluetooth connectivity, a 7-inch high-resolution touch screen, satellite radio, a USB port, an auxiliary input jack, a CD player and a six-speaker sound system with MP3 compatibility.
Base and Turbo models may be upgraded with a navigation system, HD radio, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto integration and Sirius XM Travel Link. A premium eight-speaker stereo is optional on base models and standard on all other trims.
The Veloster is available with Hyundai’s Blue Link technology, and this amenity offers a host of useful features. You can use it to start your Veloster remotely via your smartphone or schedule service appointments. If you’re in a collision, this feature will automatically summon emergency first responders to come to your aid. Blue Link is helpful if you’re the parent of a teen driver, since it can be used to set speed and curfew limits. Hyundai’s Blue Link is optional on base-model Velosters and standard on all other trims.
The 2017 Veloster scored a perfect five stars overall in National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) crash tests.
The car’s rear visibility is poor, and this led to some hairy moments when backing out of parking spaces. Thankfully, a rearview camera is included as standard equipment on all trims. The camera offers wide sight lines and was absolutely essential for safe rearward maneuvers.
Other standard safety features include electronic stability control, antilock brakes and a tire-pressure monitoring system.
A base Veloster starts at $18,100 with a manual transmission and $19,200 with an automatic, not including the $835 destination fee. We’d recommend investing in the turbocharged engine for its added power, and you can access that engine via the Turbo R-Spec trim for $21,600.
The Veloster’s pricing is competitive. A Mazda3 hatchback with an automatic transmission starts at $20,145, while a Volkswagen Golf with an automatic transmission starts at $20,995. Even in a segment known for delivering great bargains, this Hyundai offers solid value.
Some car shoppers enjoy making a distinctive statement with their vehicles, and many economically priced cars lack the Veloster’s flair and pizzazz.
The 2017 Hyundai Veloster delivers bold, performance-themed style at a very affordable price point. While it’s not the roomiest pick in the segment, it doles out satisfactory levels of utility. With Bluetooth connectivity, satellite radio and a rearview camera in the mix, base models come with a strong selection of standard amenities, and the car’s efficient engines won’t drain your finances at the fuel pump.
If you’re in the market for a hatchback that’s budget-friendly and decidedly non-generic, the 2017 Hyundai Veloster is certainly worthy of your consideration.