Hyundai Veloster 1.6GDi Blue Drive

Four doors good, three doors better?

Price: from £17,995 (£18,345 as tested)
Engine capacity: 1.6l petrol
Top speed (mph): 125
0-62 mph (seconds): 19.7
Fuel economy (mpg): 43.5
CO2 emissions (g/km): 137

Is Hyundai's sporty new coupe's three-door (one driver's side; two passenger's side, plus boot) setup: A) a clever way of retaining the Veloster's looks from one side? B) A good method of maximising space and utility? or C) a clever marketing gimmick that offers potential for lots of "see two sides to the story" adverts? (The actual ad offers "One Car. Two sides".)

The answer, predictably, is a little bit of all three. The idea – of course – is that it looks better as you approach on the driver's side, but you could make a point of parallel parking the Veloster facing in the same direction every day to trick other people into only seeing its good side. But then – a bit like Mariah Carey's one-time insistence on only being photographed from her right side – you'd look a bit mad.

After a couple of days in the Veloster's company it's quite easy to forget all about its incongruous door arrangement. But my ride didn't have five passengers, so whether that'd be the case if there had been a person sitting behind the driver and clambering over two pairs of knees to alight is another matter.

But gimmick notwithstanding – and I liked everything about the concept except the single rear door's feeble handle – it shouldn't distract from another decent new car from the South Korean manufacturer. The Veloster's 1.6l, 138bhp engine offers ample power, but given its small size it doesn't jump from a standstill in perhaps the way it should. It's efficient, though; my 600-mile test drive returned under the listed 43.5mpg.

There are also decent as-standard extras, like a parking sensor, a solid touch-screen media system (though no built-in sat nav as standard) and Hyundai's useful, if sometimes annoying, eco-drive indicator that tells the most efficient point to change gear.

There's one other thing. At less than £20,000, but with a sporty look that's punctuated by racing seats stitched with the Veloster's logo and a chubby exhaust around the back, it's a car that one can easily imagine will be adopted by a certain tribe of torque-loving young men.

As if to prove that, at one point during my test drive a Seat Ibiza turned up alongside me at a red light, the driver wound down its window, turned its music up and revved aggressively before speeding off, pulling in front of me and slamming on the brakes. Which was nice.

But if speeding around retail car parks after 10pm isn't your kind of thing, the Veloster still boasts enough of the sensible to make it a decent family car. Or, at the very least, a weekend dad's car. Despite its lack of height, the Veloster uses its space efficiently – its low-to-ground chassis means a cabin and back seats that are just tall enough and, feeling like it's as wide as it is long, there's ample room in the back and in the boot for luggage.

The Veloster's door schtick and sporty curves may seem risky at first but, as a drive, it's actually fairly conventional. Whether that turns you on or puts you off might depend on which side of your personality is in charge.

The competition

The similar-looking Vauxhall Astra GTC has been praised for its performance and handling. It comes in at a similar price. The VW Scirocco Coupe costs a little more, but offers its driver a bit more nip in its 1.4l turbocharged engine. Neither have a rear passenger door, though. The new Hyundai i30 offers more space at a similar price.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
tech
News
The 67P/CG comet as seen from the Philae lander
scienceThe most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Arts and Entertainment
Ian McKellen as Gandalf in The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies
film
Arts and Entertainment
Sarah Koenig, creator of popular podcast Serial, which is to be broadcast by the BBC
tvReview: The secret to the programme's success is that it allows its audience to play detective
News
Ruby Wax has previously written about her mental health problems in her book Sane New World
people
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Recruitment Genius: Sales Executives - OTE £60,000

    £25000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you passionate about Custom...

    Recruitment Genius: Care Workers Required - The London Borough of Bromley

    £15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This homecare agency is based in Beckenh...

    Recruitment Genius: Sales Executives - OTE £50,000

    £25000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you passionate about Custom...

    Recruitment Genius: Sales Executives - OTE £50,000

    £25000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you passionate about Custom...

    Day In a Page

    Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
    Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

    Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

    As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
    The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

    The Interview movie review

    You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
    Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

    How podcasts became mainstream

    People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
    Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

    Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

    Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
    Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

    A memorable year for science – if not for mice

    The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
    Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

    Christmas cocktails to make you merry

    Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
    5 best activity trackers

    Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

    Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
    Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

    Paul Scholes column

    It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
    Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

    Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

    Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
    Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

    Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

    2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
    Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

    Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

    Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
    Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

    Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

    The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
    Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

    Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

    The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
    Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

    The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

    Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas