Long-Term 2013 Hyundai Veloster Turbo
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  • Long-Term 2013 Hyundai Veloster Turbo
  • Long-Term 2013 Hyundai Veloster Turbo front 3/4

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  • Long-Term 2013 Hyundai Veloster Turbo
  • Long-Term 2013 Hyundai Veloster Turbo profile

  • Long-Term 2013 Hyundai Veloster Turbo
  • Long-Term 2013 Hyundai Veloster Turbo front

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  • Long-Term 2013 Hyundai Veloster Turbo front fascia

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  • Long-Term 2013 Hyundai Veloster Turbo grille and badge

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  • Long-Term 2013 Hyundai Veloster Turbo 18-inch wheel

  • Long-Term 2013 Hyundai Veloster Turbo
  • Long-Term 2013 Hyundai Veloster Turbo 18-inch wheel

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  • Long-Term 2013 Hyundai Veloster Turbo
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  • Long-Term 2013 Hyundai Veloster Turbo badge

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  • Long-Term 2013 Hyundai Veloster Turbo
  • Long-Term 2013 Hyundai Veloster Turbo 1.6-liter turbo engine

  • Long-Term 2013 Hyundai Veloster Turbo
  • Long-Term 2013 Hyundai Veloster Turbo 1.6-liter turbo engine

  • Long-Term 2013 Hyundai Veloster Turbo
  • Long-Term 2013 Hyundai Veloster Turbo engine detail

  • Long-Term 2013 Hyundai Veloster Turbo
  • Long-Term 2013 Hyundai Veloster Turbo interior

  • Long-Term 2013 Hyundai Veloster Turbo
  • Long-Term 2013 Hyundai Veloster Turbo front cabin

  • Long-Term 2013 Hyundai Veloster Turbo
  • Long-Term 2013 Hyundai Veloster Turbo front cabin

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  • Long-Term 2013 Hyundai Veloster Turbo cockpit

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  • Long-Term 2013 Hyundai Veloster Turbo front seats

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  • Long-Term 2013 Hyundai Veloster Turbo front seat detail

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  • Long-Term 2013 Hyundai Veloster Turbo gauge cluster

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  • Long-Term 2013 Hyundai Veloster Turbo
  • Long-Term 2013 Hyundai Veloster Turbo touchscreen interface

  • Long-Term 2013 Hyundai Veloster Turbo
  • Long-Term 2013 Hyundai Veloster Turbo touchscreen interface

  • Long-Term 2013 Hyundai Veloster Turbo
  • Long-Term 2013 Hyundai Veloster Turbo touchscreen interface

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  • Long-Term 2013 Hyundai Veloster Turbo center stack

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  • Long-Term 2013 Hyundai Veloster Turbo six-speed manual shifter

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  • Long-Term 2013 Hyundai Veloster Turbo door detail

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  • Long-Term 2013 Hyundai Veloster Turbo cargo area

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  • Long-Term 2013 Hyundai Veloster Turbo cargo area

  • Long-Term 2013 Hyundai Veloster Turbo
  • Long-Term 2013 Hyundai Veloster Turbo cargo area

Although I went on the Portland launch of the regular-strength Veloster back in late 2011, my time in the Turbo model was previously limited to one very brief commuting experience, so I was glad to get some time in our long-term matte gray model this month. In a way, I lucked out, grabbing the key fob to our Hyundai just as the weather in mid-Michigan finally acknowledged spring's existence. The temperature change afforded us the chance to swap out the all-season Kumho Solus KH25 rubber that it arrived with in January for its optional ($1,200) Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires (215/40ZR18), an almost absurdly major-league, high-dollar set of shoes for what is actually only a hottish hatch.

You might have expected the Veloster Turbo to slide under the radar in such high-performance and shouty company, but the truth is it was a little magnet for attention.

With the new footwear freshly installed, I made a beeline for South Bend, Indiana for the start of this year's One Lap of America, an event I've been staffing for well over a decade. I rolled into the Tire Rack headquarters' expansive parking lot, parking the VT alongside the competitors, whose vehicles appeared "cunningly disguised as racecars," covered with all manner of sponsorship stickers and graphics. You might have expected the Veloster Turbo to slide under the radar in such high-performance and shouty company, but the truth is it was a little magnet for attention.

Most of the One Lappers I spoke with had seen standard Velosters before from a distance or at auto shows, but none of them had firsthand experience with them, let alone with the Turbo. While not everyone loved its looks, a good number truly did, and several asked if the car's matte finish was a wrap – all were impressed to learn that it wasn't. They were also pretty blown away by the inclusion of Michelin Pilots on a car of this price and mission, and everyone appreciated that it had a six-speed manual and a "real" third door. At least a couple of drivers pronounced it a "great kid's car" and vowed to have a look at it for their own progeny after the weeklong rally. As much as I enjoy the car, it was frankly a warmer reaction than I had anticipated amidst a crowd of hardcore car guys and gals.
Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires on the long-term Hyundai Veloster Turbo

The Michelins strike me as a major step in the right direction to further differentiate performance over the naturally aspirated car.

On the driving front, I enjoyed my time with the Turboster – the new tires are superbly grippy in the corners (Hyundai says adhesion skyrockets from a ho-hum 0.82g to a pretty heroic 0.94g), turn-in is quick, and braking distance is comfortingly short (to be fair, I don't have much to compare it to with the all-seasons since I didn't really drive the car when they were fitted – officials claim 60-0 stopping distances drop from 135 feet to 121). Given that Hyundai chose not to upgrade the Turbo's suspension over lesser Velosters, the Michelins strike me as a major step in the right direction to further differentiate performance over the naturally aspirated car, and the dynamic improvements stand as a testament to what a good set of tires will do for a car.

Yet they aren't without penalty. The sticky Michelins come with a pretty substantial amount of road noise, and worse, they introduce impact harshness that I don't recall experiencing on the standard Veloster. This is particularly true over freeway expansion joints, where the car's simple rear torsion beam suspension occasionally shuffles laterally in disconcerting fashion. I'm not sure if this unpleasant shimmy was present when the car had Kumhos underfoot, but my fellow editors never commented on it before, so I suspect it wasn't (it's likely attributable to the Michelins' harder sidewalls). Overall, tuner-happy youths and weekend autocrossers might not mind the extra noise and harshness tradeoffs, but I'd recommend those who don't fall into that camp test-drive models on both tires before buying. To be fair, on the whole, the Veloster Turbo isn't the most ideal weekend motorsports warrior in the subcompact segment (those laurels likely fall to the Ford Fiesta ST), but I still think there's a lot to like here – solid power, class-leading infotainment and iconoclastic design among them.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 68 Comments
      superchan7
      • 1 Year Ago
      I'm OK with a hot-looking hatch that isn't really hot, but the funniest thing is even allowing buyers to throw on Pilot Super Sports. I have those on my Cayman, and the wealthier of our comrades have them on their 458 Italias. [Jeremy Clarkson's voice] It would be like Pavarotti buying a bikini to go to the beach.
      flammablewater
      • 1 Year Ago
      From all of the long term reviews of this car so far, I still can't tell if any of you actually like it or not.
        suthrn2nr
        • 1 Year Ago
        @flammablewater
        Yea, it's like they are afraid of saying that they dont like it. The third paragraph sounds like they are desperate to find good things that people say about it, like "While not everyone loved its looks, a good number truly did" - even the Aztek had people who truly liked its looks.
      Jasonn
      • 1 Year Ago
      That bugeye wrx in the back is hella sexy though!
      lol lunch brb lol
      • 1 Year Ago
      This article seems to be primarily about really expensive sport tires on a 'quick' economy car with terrible suspension. The car is beautiful especially in matte finish but there doesn't seem to be any reason to spend that kind of money on tires for this car unless you are just made of money or care about brake distance more than 99% of drivers. Also, if you have 1200 to blow on a set of sport tires just for summer driving.. why did you buy a veloster turbo and not some other much hotter hatch instead?
      csgill75
      • 1 Year Ago
      When I see the front of this car, it reminds me of the face Richard Hammond was making when describing the Peugeot's on Top Gear.
      Shawn
      • 1 Year Ago
      Gross...
      FIDTRO
      • 1 Year Ago
      Does Hyundai still not know how to make a decent version of this car? It's too ugly and it doesn't even have performance. Korean engineering at its finest.
      FIDTRO
      • 1 Year Ago
      Hyundai and Kia should stop copying Audi's and BMW's styling and focus more on educating their engineering team. Maybe starting with some simple math to calculate MPGs.
      Avinash Machado
      • 1 Year Ago
      All show and not much go.
        FIDTRO
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Avinash Machado
        But hey, at least you get a matte paint job to tell other people that you're cool and try to hide the fact that you bought a garbage car.
      KAG
      • 1 Year Ago
      Great tires makes any car fun. That matte paint really makes the car.
      Awhattup
      • 1 Year Ago
      Hating comments arriving in... 3...2.....
      Scooter
      • 1 Year Ago
      The car is still "neat" looking in some ways, but the drive and engine power are simply terrible. I had a ton of fun driving a 2013 Accord V6 compared to driving the Veloster Turbo.
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