What is it?
The Hyundai Veloster is an over-engineered solution to what is, at best, a negligible problem. In an effort to attract customers from two disparate segments, Hyundai has employed an unusual 1+2 door configuration (one large one on the driver’s side, and 2 smaller ones on the passenger side) to distinguish the Veloster, in both form and function, from its competition.
Beyond that unfamiliar arrangement, the car is rather conventional fare. It shares a platform blueprint with the current five-door Accent doing the rounds abroad, and gets a stock MacPherson front strut, torsion beam axle rear suspension setup.
The engine options are simple enough: there’s just one – the 138bhp 1.6-litre four-cylinder GDI petrol unit mated to a six-speed manual gearbox (although Hyundai’s first dual-clutch automatic is an option).
As you might expect from Hyundai, the kit list is generous even on the entry-level model tested here. A 7-inch touch-screen media centre featuring iPod and Bluetooth connectivity features alongside climate control, automatic headlights, heated door mirrors and reversing sensors, all for the £17,995 asking price.
What’s it like?
First things first: that door. Yes, access has been improved. But only marginally. There should be plenty of room for an extra entrance – the Veloster is slightly longer than a five-door Golf – but thanks to the design limitations of its swept-back coupe profile, the constricted rear opening insists you adopt an awkward shape to gain admission.