2012 Hyundai Veloster Review

2012 Hyundai Veloster - 3/4 front view - snowy road MPG-o-Matic 2012 Hyundai Veloster Review Summary: The 2012 Hyundai Veloster hits the sweet spot with style, ride and technology and falls just a wee bit short when it comes to oomph, efficiency and creature comforts. Shortcomings aside, the Veloster is a huge hit in an Eco Sport segment that includes the Chevy Sonic Turbo, Ford Fiesta, Honda CR-Z hybrid, and Fiat 500. Further refinement and more horsepower are due for the Veloster in the 2013 model year for those willing to save a few dollars more and wait.

The Veloster is equipped with a direct-injected 16-valve Dual-CVVT 1.6-liter inline four-cylinder engine producing 138 horsepower (HP) and 123 foot pounds of torque. A six-speed manual transmission is standard, while a six-speed dual-clutch automatic with paddle shifters is optional. A significantly more powerful turbocharged engine is in the works for 2013.

The official fuel economy estimates for the six-speed manual 2012 Hyundai Veloster are 28 city / 40 highway miles per gallon (MPG). The six-speed automatic is rated at 29 city / 38 highway.

We put over 400 miles on our manual-equipped Triathlon Gray review unit and fell just short of the official mileage estimates, with an average of 38.9 MPG on the Interstate highway and 33.1 MPG combined with temperatures ranging from the mid-twenties through the mid-fifties. While our week included a mixed bag of winter weather, we spent a minimal amount of time driving on snow-covered roads.

Interstate Mileage Testing:

  • Cruise control set to 68 MPH, A/C off, windows up: 37.7 MPG
  • Cruise control off, target speed 60-72 MPH, A/C off, windows up: 40.1 MPG

Interstate highway testing temperatures were in the mid-thirties. Our test vehicle was equipped with the optional 18-inch alloy wheels, clad with Kuhmo Solus KH 25 215/40R-18 grand touring all-season tires (included with the Style option package), and was delivered with just under 4800 miles on the odometer. 17-inch alloy wheels and P215/45R17 tires are standard.

It’s hard to pin the exact cause of the highway mileage shortcoming. Road and weather conditions were good. Winter gasoline may have been a factor, although the Veloster’s 0.32 Coefficient of Drag is clearly a culprit.

The 2012 Veloster is equipped with an 13.2 gallon fuel tank and is designed to run on regular unleaded gasoline. Highway driving range is good.

The Veloster is fitted with four-wheel-disc brakes with Anti-Lock Braking (ABS) and Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD). 11-inch vented discs are used on the front, with 10.3-inch solid discs on the rear. The manual transmission-equipped Veloster tips the scales between 2,584 and 2,740 pounds (curb weight), while the automatic versions weigh in between 2,657 and 2,813 pounds.

If you’re looking for acceleration that will push you back in your seat, you might want to wait for next year’s turbo.

While the Veloster’s center-mounted Trip Computer provides two trip meters, range to empty, average speed, elapsed time, and average MPG displays, it’s the standard seven-inch LCD that brings the goodies, with an Eco Driving bar graph and Blue Max training system to encourage light-footed driving.

Despite an appearance that would lead one to expect a harsh ride, the Veloster is far more refined. Think comfortable, more so than flickable. We have no qualms about the manual shifter and clutch.

The Veloster’s handsomely designed cabin is packed with tech features, but it’s lacking in some creature comforts. The driver’s seat has six-way manual adjustment. Heated seats and adjustable lumbar support are not offered in the 2012 model. (For those who can wait, the 2013 Veloster Turbo will be available with adjustable driver lumbar and heated front seats.)

Hands-free Bluetooth, XM Radio, and Hyundai’s Blue Link telematics system are are standard. Two twelve-volt outlets can be found at the base of the dash, on either side of the auxiliary audio and USB input jacks.

Our tester was fitted with the Tech and Style option packages.

The Tech option package includes a 115V outlet in the center console, along with a backup camera and warning system, navigation system, automatic headlights, and proximity key with push button start.

2012 Hyundai Veloster - interior with pedals, shifter, seat The Style option package includes 18-inch alloy wheels, fog lights, leatherette bolster seats, a panoramic sunroof, piano black trim, and alloy pedals, along with a leather wrapped steering wheel and shift knob. The music pumps through an eight-speaker 450-watt Dimension audio system with an external amp and subwoofers.

The three-door Veloster’s rear seat is tight, with just 35.3 inches of headroom and 31.7 inches of legroom. Access can be a challenge.

The Veloster’s cargo area is fitted with a standard cargo cover and provides for 15.5 cubic feet of storage with the 60/40 split rear seat up. Folding down the rear seat provides a surprising amount of space.

All-in-all, the 2012 Hyundai Veloster offers a unique Eco Sport twist, as it jostles with the Ford Fiesta, Chevy Sonic Turbo, Fiat 500 and Honda CR-Z hybrid. While none of these cars are out-and-out fast, they’re all solid handlers and are fun to hustle about. Although the 2012 Veloster lacks niceties like heated seats and adjustable lumbar support, its Blue Link system and standard seven-inch LCD touchscreen move it to the front of the pack when it comes to in-cabin technology. We can’t wait to drive the upcoming turbo …

2012 Hyundai Veloster - rear view - snowy road

2012 Veloster M/T
MSRP: $17,300
Style Package – $2,000
Tech Package – $2,000

MSRP including options: $21,300

Parts Content Information
US/Canadian Parts Content: 1%
Major Sources of Foreign Parts Content: Korea – 81%
Final Assembly Point: Ulsan, Korea
Country of Origin:
Engine – Korea
Transmission – Korea

– by

2012 Hyundai Veloster

Daniel Gray

2 thoughts on “2012 Hyundai Veloster Review”

  1. Great review. In getting in the rear seat, did you try backing into the opening w/ your bum entering 1st and then pulling/swinging your legs in last? Pretty neat vehicle although IMO it seems a couple inches in the wheelbase would have made it more flexible for adults and a Lumbar support should be at least an option.


  2. @G – Thanks … I tried it a couple of ways. Smacked my head. I’d reckon it’s fine for smaller, more flexible adults. I’ll lose twenty pounds, take a Yoga class and try it again later this spring. 🙂 Lumbar support is coming in the 2012 Veloster Turbo …

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