VELOSTER (TURBO)
Tires: 225/40R18
Wheelbase: 104.3 inches
Length: 166.9 inches
Weight: 2,987 pounds
City: 28 mpg
Highway: 34 mpg
Fuel capacity: 13.2 gallons
Web site: www.hyundai.com

Austin, Texas served as the setting for our test drives of the front-wheel-drive 2019 Hyundai Veloster.
Agreed, Texas is considered mostly a flat land but not this state Capitol and surrounding landscape, which is known as “The Hill Country.” It was the perfect place for evaluating the two competent models with the 2.0- and 1.6-liter engines.

Once again, the three-door, four-passenger sport hatchback is offered in base and Turbo trims. But gone is the 1.6-liter power train in the base, now replaced with a 2.0 inline-4 cylinder engine that develops 147 horsepower (increase of 15) @ 6200 rpm and 132 pounds-feet of torque (up by 12) @ 4050 rpm. The Turbo retains a 1.6-liter inline-4 cylinder engine packing 201 hp @ 6000 rpm and 195 pounds-feet of torque at 4500 rpm. Transmission choices include 6-speed manual, 6-speed auto or the 7-speed dual-clutch gearbox.

Suspension is still handled via an independent MacPherson strut front but the rear torsion beam has given away to a fine multilink system. The motor driven power steering is quick and precise. Though the wheelbase is unchanged, length gets a boost of 0.8 and width of 0.4 inches.

The bold-appearing vehicle sports an extra-wide cascading hexagonal grille, surrounded by wraparound LED-accented headlights and daytime running lights, practical air curtains, faster roofline and dual center exhaust tips. Standard amenities on the base 2.0 are a 7-inch display screen, 60/40 flat rear seat, rearview camera, cruise control, Bluetooth, auto headlights, and all-new for 2019, a forward-collision avoidance system. Available features include leather seats, auto a/c, black two-tone roof, push-button start, 8-inch head-up display and much more.

Base-priced at just $18,500 and peaking at $28,150, the quick Veloster is not only inexpensive but also offers ample performance (turbo version), decent fuel economy, substantial space, with an added benefit – off-beat sporty design. After all, who doesn’t want to be different?