Hyundai’s 2016 Veloster Rally Edition is the perfect sporty hatchback for the 20-something crowd. It has a unique look and although it’s a three-door, it looks like a two-door. An added attraction for young adults. And with its special matte paint (whose satin finish is becoming a new trend that started on certain Lamborghini’s and now showing up on cars like BMW’s new 7-Series sedan) and the Veloster transforms into an exceptional eye-grabber. With that paint job comes a bit less waxing as will not make it shine any better.
Intended for the young and young at heart, the Veloster Rally Edition tested differs from the base version in that it has the sexy matte blue paint, Rays 18-inch alloy wheels, tauter suspension and it’s tuned for handling and performance. Veloster is also offered in base, Turbo R-Spec and Turbo.
The Rally Edition gets it power from a 1.6L, twin scroll turbo four-cylinder with 201-hp and 195-lb/ft of torque. Coupled to a 6-speed manual transmission, the combination earned EPA mileage ratings of an impressive 25 city, 33-highway mpg. But the car begs to be driven hard and if you do, don’t expect those numbers. In independent testing, the Rally Edition sprinted from 0-60 in 7.7 seconds, which is a tad slower than the average in its class, but it’s still spirited from a standing stop. If you don’t like shifting, a 7-speed DCT trans is also offered on turbo models.
With the Rally comes leather Recaro type seats up front that are extremely supportive for keeping the torso planted in tight turns. The vertical stack is nicely arranged and complimented with a 7-inch touchscreen display for audio, rearview camera and easy to use HVAC controls. Carbon fiber-look Aero accents give the interior a sporty, youthful look. Missing though are some safety features like lane change warning, brake assist plus front and rear audible warnings. There is, however, an optional Tech package offered that includes Apple Siri Eyes Free integration. HD radio while a USB port and Bluetooth are standard.
The back seats fold in 60/40 fashion and are on the firm side. Ingress/egress is on the passenger (curb) side with the three-door arrangement and the door handle is nicely integrated (hidden) into the “C” pillar giving it a no handle appearance. Leg room is mainly for short statured folks as is headroom. With the seatbacks up the deep trunk area is rated at 15.5 cubic feet or one large roll-a-long luggage bag. Flip them and there’s 34.7 cubic feet of space or two hoofer type golf bags.
Rear visibility is similar to the former Pontiac Aztek and current Toyota Prius in that it’s split with a horizontal support bar in the middle. While it’s not a vast view rearward, it’s not totally obstructing. But passengers sitting back there can get a sunburn as the seats are under a portion of this split glass.
As a short wheelbased hatchback with a sporty suspension, Veloster exhibits the bumpy’s on rough roads. The ride is stiff and unimproved railroad crossings shake the innards. For young folks with good backs, this isn’t a problem. But the car is nimble and parks easily.
The good news is that this hatchback is affordable. With a base price of $23,950, only a delivery of $825 kicked it up to a still reasonable $24,775. And this is with a list of features to long to list.
To its credit, Veloster received impressive safety ratings. Better than some cars twice its price. In the Government’s 5-star safety ratings, it received five stars for an overall vehicle score; four for driver frontal crash, five for passenger; five each for driver/passenger front/rear side crash; and four for rollover.
All in all, Veloster Rally Edition is a limited edition sportster that boasts impressive fuel economy at an impressive price.