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.

Arts and Entertainment
Lena Dunham
booksLena Dunham's memoirs - written at the age of 28 - are honest to the point of making you squirm
Arts and Entertainment
A bit rich: Maggie Smith in Downton Abbey
tvDownton Abbey review: It's six months since we last caught up with the Crawley clan
Frank Lampard and his non-celebration
premier leagueManchester City vs Chelsea match report from the Etihad Stadium
Life and Style
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
techNew app offers 'PG alternative' to dating services like Tinder
Jacqueline Bisset has claimed that young women today are obsessed with being 'hot', rather than 'charming', 'romantic' or 'beautiful'
Arts and Entertainment
Jake Quickenden sings his heart out in his second audition
tvX Factor: How did the Jakes - and Charlie Martinez - fare?
premier league
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvOnly remaining original cast-member to leave crime series
Mario Balotelli celebrates his first Liverpool goal
premier leagueLiverpool striker expressed his opinion about the 5-3 thriller with Leicester - then this happened
Britain's shadow chancellor Ed Balls (L) challenges reporter Rob Merrick for the ball during the Labour Party versus the media soccer match,
peopleReporter left bleeding after tackle from shadow Chancellor in annual political football match
Arts and Entertainment
Female fans want more explicit male sex in Game of Thrones, George R R Martin says
tvSpoiler warning: Star of George RR Martin's hit series says viewers have 'not seen the last' of him/her
Plenty to ponder: Amir Khan has had repeated problems with US immigration because of his Muslim faith and now American television may shun him
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

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

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Head of Marketing and Communications - London - up to £80,000

    £70000 - £80000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Group Head of Marketing and Communic...

    Nursery Nurse

    Negotiable: Randstad Education Manchester: Level 3 Nursery Nurse required for ...

    Nursery Nurse

    Negotiable: Randstad Education Manchester: L3 Nursery Nurses urgently required...

    SEN Teaching Assistant

    Negotiable: Randstad Education Manchester: We have a number of schools based S...

    Day In a Page

    A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

    Not That Kind of Girl:

    A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
    London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

    London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

    In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
    Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

    Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

    Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
    Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

    Model mother

    Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
    Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

    Apple still the coolest brand

    Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
    Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

    Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

    Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
    Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

    Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

    The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
    The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

    Scrambled eggs and LSD

    Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
    'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

    'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

    Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
    Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

    New leading ladies of dance fight back

    How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
    Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

    A shot in the dark

    Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
    His life, the universe and everything

    His life, the universe and everything

    New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
    Reach for the skies

    Reach for the skies

    From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
    These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

    12 best hotel spas in the UK

    Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments