If you've been reading the past several updates on our long-term 2013 Hyundai Veloster Turbo, you may have noticed a trend developing. This is a flawed vehicle. Not critically so, but for many of our editors, this vehicle's annoying attributes are indeed outweighing the good. What may not be obvious, though, is that the deck is kind of stacked against the Turbo model.

See, a Veloster with its base powertrain and less of the gimmicky, look-at-me styling is a solid, fashion-forward, nicely packaged hatchback at a good price. Our issues haven't so much been with the Veloster itself, but with the unfulfilled expectations of hot-hatchery that the Turbo brings to the equation.

For this update, then, I will focus on a common bridge between the two Veloster models: the cars' top-end infotainment systems. Tack on the Style and Tech packs on the standard Veloster or the Ultimate Package on a Veloster Turbo, and you'll get the same Blue Link infotainment system, touchscreen navigation and eight-speaker Dimension stereo (a standard item on the VT).
Long-Term 2013 Hyundai Veloster TurboLong-Term 2013 Hyundai Veloster Turbo

The Veloster adds a pair of cool tech items to its arsenal thanks to Pandora integration and the Blue Link service.

The system's capabilities run the gamut from boring to mundane, though that isn't necessarily a bad thing. Hyundai played it conservative when organizing the infotainment controls around the seven-inch touchscreen. To the left of the screen are the start points for accessing the terrestrial radio, media systems and XM Satellite Radio. On the bottom are the knobs for volume and tuning, along with the phone, info/setup button, and the rocker button for changing tracks. On the right, we have the navigation controls.

While you start with these buttons, the vast majority of interactions happen on the screen, a seven-inch interface that quickly responds to inputs, has clear graphics, and is fairly straightforward to use. The Veloster adds a pair of cool tech items to its arsenal thanks to Pandora integration and the Blue Link service.

Pandora works about as well as it does on your smartphone. You can thumbs-up or thumbs-down tracks and access the mercilessly small number of skips afforded by the radio service (six per hour, per station).

Long-Term 2013 Hyundai Veloster TurboLong-Term 2013 Hyundai Veloster TurboLong-Term 2013 Hyundai Veloster Turbo

Hyundai's Blue Link service incorporates a full suite of functionality. It's one of the latest in the stream of smartphone apps that allows owners to take control of their vehicles, with features as simple as remote locking and unlocking to remote starting (which is only available on cars with an automatic transmission). Blue Link expands on the simpler features, though, by offering owners the ability to search for points of interest on their smartphones and send them to the vehicle, allowing easy access through the navigation system.

By and large, the Veloster's infotainment systems work pretty well.

By and large, the Veloster's infotainment systems work pretty well. My relationship with the Dimension stereo, though, was hit or miss. The eight-speaker, 450-watt system features an eight-inch subwoofer, but I had trouble getting the kind of sound I expected of a stereo with these numbers.

The FM stations lacked depth, although this could probably be chalked up to the lack of HD radio. The service is becoming so prevalent, particularly in new cars, that it's a bit of shock to the system when a vehicle doesn't have it. While I think that's excusable, what baffled me was the poor audio quality while streaming over Bluetooth.

Long-Term 2013 Hyundai Veloster TurboLong-Term 2013 Hyundai Veloster Turbo

Bluetooth streaming sounded just as hollow, only deeper, bass-heavy songs were accompanied by static. The best way I can explain: it's like the sound that you get when you plug in an iPod to a pair of cheap speakers through an auxiliary cord, and then turn the iPod's volume all the way up – the results can be blown out and fuzzy. In the Veloster Turbo, this left me leaning on a direct link between my iPhone and the car.

With a direct link, the audio quality was richer, with deeper bass and clearer sound overall.

With a direct link, the audio quality was richer, with deeper bass and clearer sound overall. The system responded well whether I was using the iPhone's default music player or a web-based service like Spotify. My main concern with using Spotify, though, was that I couldn't change the song through the car. For some reason, trying to change tracks on either the steering-wheel controls or the center-stack buttons only fast-forwarded the song a few seconds. To change tracks, I had to physically pick up the phone and hit the next song on there. Not a huge issue, but kind of an annoying idiosyncrasy.

I'm not enamored by the driving experience with the Veloster Turbo, but from a tech standpoint, it's a very solid entry with a suite of options that are just starting to trickle down to the more affordable segments of the marketplace. I see a big contender for Blue Link coming with Chevrolet's MyLink and Toyota's Entune, both of which boast a wider number of apps for accessing music and other web-based services. Still, for those that are enthusiasts of connected motoring, the Veloster offers a complete, affordable package.


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 46 Comments
      Espo70
      • 1 Year Ago
      Well, moron, this idiot bought one and is more than happy with his purchase. The purpose if this car has been totally lost on these reviews. In terms of performance, this car competes well with the lightweight compact performance cars. Those being the abarth, the Mini Cooper s, the TC, and civic si. It's not a wrx, mazdaspeed 3 or even Ford ST fighter. So it looks aggressive, so what? It's marketed towards people who want something that stands out. Some people think it looks great, some don't. That's a matter of perspective. In terms of value though, there is no debating the virtue of this car. First of, how many turbo cars do you know that get well over 30 mpg hwy while running on regular? None if the above. And how many come standard with heated leather seats and a touchscreen radio? None. And how many can you option out with a satnav, moonroof, backup camera, and every other power/convenience option you can imagine and still be under 26 grand? None. This car's purpose is as I've always stated; a fun little commuter car with good performance, lots of cool tech, and good fuel economy at a price that's affordable. Something to consider instead of the corollas and accord appliances that litter the highway.
        Scooter
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Espo70
        Only that Cooper S is like a nearly $30,000 car with any options. Fiesta ST gives this car a run for its money any day of the week. I would go straight to Ford on this one. VT may state its starting price is relatively low, but its pricing puts itself right on par with Mazda 3, Focus ST, Fiesta ST, Civic Si, BRZ/FRS. All boast HP in the neighborhood of 200hp for typically $26-30k. If VT was $22,000 for instance instead of rising beyond $25,000 then its shortcomings could be taken in stride, since its not cheaper than anything else. Why waste the money?
          robertlyt
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Scooter
          The Focus is claustrophobic, and has weird controls that are counter-ergonomic. The Veloster, on the other hand, is roomy and everything is laid out in a purposeful, logical manner, and best of all, NO NANNYING from the Infotainment System. So, even if the Focus has certain superior driving attributes, I much prefer my Veloster to it, as a more pleasant place to spend time.
      FIDTRO
      • 1 Year Ago
      I wonder if all the idiots who bought one have returned them, like they started doing a while ago?
        Scooter
        • 1 Year Ago
        @FIDTRO
        I found it strange that every time I went to test the Turbos or base, they were almost always preowned with less than 10k miles on them.
          robertlyt
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Scooter
          Go to any car dealership, and you'd see the same thing going on, and you could easily (and erroneously) conclude that there's something up with any model. People have all sorts of reasons why they might trade their cars in early.
      joe.dentlo
      • 1 Year Ago
      All looks, no substance. cheap build, not even sporty.
        FIDTRO
        • 1 Year Ago
        @joe.dentlo
        You can say that about the entire lineup.
      bug502
      • 1 Year Ago
      I owned an NA Veloster (Style Package) from November '12 - April '13. 1) More rattles than any other car I've owned (Ford, Pontiac, Chevy, Hyundai). 2) The stereo was crap. No matter what was being used (USB, Bluetooth, CD, FM) the sound quality was sub-par. I'm a slight car stereo spec noob, but I've yet to find one (factory) that sounded better than my '10 Mustang's Shaker. 3) Sister in-law had all of her Veloster's speakers replaced within 5 months of ownership (bought the car new Jan '13). I blasted my '02 Sunfire (lol) stereo all the time and it held for 5 years. (Could've been more...worked fine when I traded in '07) Velosters look neat IMO, but they're junk. I traded for a '13 Chevy Sonic RS. Laugh if you must but they're in the same segment and the RS kills the base Veloster. Made an even swap.
        Scooter
        • 1 Year Ago
        @bug502
        I have to agree, the times I "sampled" the Veloster base and Turbo edition, both were just sub with build quality. From a distance, perhaps on paper, the appearance and price is competitive but the overall quality is just not there, especially when other makers have the quality down to a science. I argue that at the end of the day, there's no reason to take this car over something similarly priced and time tested.
          askroon
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Scooter
          I really don't understand what your issue is with the quality of the Veloster. I've had no quality issues at all.
        askroon
        • 1 Year Ago
        @bug502
        I have had no rattles in my Veloster that I bought January 2012. I think the sound system is incredible.
        • 1 Year Ago
        @bug502
        [blocked]
      benjamin_braddock
      • 1 Year Ago
      Hideous.
      askroon
      • 1 Year Ago
      Ok so the Veloster was my first ever brand new car, and it cost me exactly $20,000 for the Style package manual trans. The 450-watt Infinity sound system is amazing, especially with Bluetooth streaming, CD, or USB. What car has a better sound system at $20,000??? I know this isn't a 1500-watt Bowers & Wilkins audio system. But it has perfect clarity and good bass at high volumes. It is all I would ever ask for in a car and more.
      • 1 Year Ago
      [blocked]
        Scooter
        • 1 Year Ago
        $26,000 for flaws. When you can spend your money on solid, true performers in the segment.
          Scooter
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Scooter
          I remember driving the base and flooring the car from a stop light to test its power and a regular old Ford f150 wasn't even trying, yet it was out pacing the Veloster. I was pretty amazed by that.
          askroon
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Scooter
          I agree that the price becomes an issue with the VT, but for the regular Veloster it's a great value for money and I've had no flaws besides the seat belt jamming sometimes when I fold the back seats down. And yes, you have to shift down to get power out of the engine.
      • 1 Year Ago
      [blocked]
      Teleny411
      • 1 Year Ago
      Geez. I guess enthusiasts these days are more interested in infotainment packages...
        Dayv
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Teleny411
        They've talked about its lackluster performance and disappointing suspension for close to a year now, I think they're running out of new ground to cover.
      al4gg10
      • 1 Year Ago
      Whenever a sporty car comes out & the interior is the best thing about the car .... engineers job failed ! But that is the way Hyundai cars are built. The exterior design is different .... some say eye catching ... others say Ugly .... interior is nicely put together. These would NEVER be THE Reason for me to Buy a sports car. Which is why the Genesis coupe has a hard time Selling to sports car minded people too ! The connected feeling to shifting thru the gears, operating a light clutch & being rewarded with a rush of speed has Never been in the design of a Hyundai !
        Ducman69
        • 1 Year Ago
        @al4gg10
        I don't think the Veloster was ever truly marketed as a real sports car, perhaps a hot-hatch. That said, if you're a guy that's in the market for a nice hatchback that gets great fuel economy (Veloster Turbo I think is still rated 37mpg or so on 87 octane, so should be crazy cheap to operate) with unique styling that isn't as boring as your average Honda or Toyota offering, the 200hp Veloster Turbo offers good straight line performance for an affordable daily driver. It is true that with enough options, any vehicle today can get really expensive in a hurry, and the lower the base price the more obvious that is. That said, perhaps the problem is that the styling and even the name itself is TOO aggressive for what the car is really good for. Perhaps if it were styled and named more like the Kia Rio, the expectations would be more on target.
      Charlie Jorgenson
      • 1 Year Ago
      Being a Focus ST owner and having driven the Veloster Turbo when looking for a new car, i can tell you without a doubt that the Veloster is no comparison (in my opinion of course). Sloppy suspension, Fade prone brakes, clunky transmission. It's not a bad car, but its not a great car. Certainly not a hot hatch on the level of a GTI, MS3 or ST. I also didnt care for the feel of the interior materials. I would say it probably has a roomier cabin compared to the ST, but i preferred the ST in every other area. It's not that Hyundai can't make a hot hatch, im sure they can, but this isnt it. Its just with the looks of the Veloster it over promises and under delivers. Don't market a car like a fun turbo hot hatch if it cant live up to it.
      brgtlm
      • 1 Year Ago
      Too many good competitors out there to settle for the Veloster Turbo. As the article mentions, the Veloster comes off better in base trim. Perhaps starting with the Accent platform was the Achilles heel. None of the FWD Hyundai platforms and vehicles are known to be very sporty or dynamic. I think Hyundai is competitive for mainstream vehicles, but I think they still have much to learn for their sportier models.
    • Load More Comments