Hyundai’s Expression of Confidence? The Story of Test-Driving Veloster
Veloster. The name itself is a bit strange to us, and I guess there are many people who are not familiar with this name. Those who had chances to be with Veloster would know, but most of the people don’t really know what Veloster is. The time of test-driving was before the advertisement began to air, and this was the new line-up for Hyundai to introduce, so if they weren’t interested in cars, of course, they don’t know about Veloster.
But now the sales have begun, and the cars for test-driving can be seen on the roads. There are also cars displayed in dealerships, and word is circulating via word of mouth, so publicity is also increasing. There was only one week for the test-drive. Because of Veloster‘s design, the eyes were satisfied first before hand. I will tell two different test-driving stories, the first one for Veloster’s design, and then another one.
The first impression of Veloster, compared to feeling the vividness of Vitamin C. It made me feel a freshness that I haven’t felt before. It was like a new challenge that we didn’t see before with any Hyundai cars or domestic cars. Nowadays, I don’t do a lot of test-driving, but Veloster has come to me as a new stimulus. On top of everything, its color was orange, which almost made me taste a sourness (The name of the color is Vitamin C).
I just thought of a saying that would sound like it would be easy on the eyes and sweet to taste. And just like that, I could feel the young DNA of Veloster, maybe because of its freshness. The outer appearance delivers the new and fresh feeling and now how about the inside?
The inside of the car bore the feeling of a family car, which all Hyundai cars have. I could feel a sturdiness with the steering wheel in my hands. Among all the cars like GM Daewoo and Renault Samsung, Hyundai had the best sense of control in terms of steering. Veloster‘s steering wheel was just the same as any other Hyundai . It had this sense of “jamminess”, and it made me want to drive more.
On the steering wheel of the tri-spoke T-shaped metal frame, which was very impressive, there were many buttons, and I could operate them easily while driving. At the lower speed, it moved lightly and smoothly, and at the higher speed, it showed stability.
I care about the spaciousness of the inside a lot, and I have been always curious about the spaciousness of Veloster because it only has three doors. When I rode the care for real, Veloster had the space as large as any other midsized cars. When I was driving, it felt like I was driving a midsized car. Also, the seat was the bucket seat, so it had the feeling of holding. Through the seat, I felt dynamic and undestructable. Also, the logo of Veloster on the seat gave it a sporty feel.
The seat belt on the driver’s seat could be adjusted with three steps, so it was really easy to buckle.
I test-drove the cars with the power seat for a long while, and if there were no power seat, I would feel weird. For Veloster, the driver’s seat had the power seat, and for the passenger seat, it could be adjusted manually.
The space mainly used for Veloster would be the front part, and I found that the back seats were more practical than the Coupe. The reason was that it had one rear door. Driving a Coupe with a child would be very tough. But for Veloster, since there was one more rear door, installing a baby seat would be much easier.
But still, at the back, there isn’t much space, only as much as you can see in the picture. For your information, the baby seat you see in the picture is Inglesina Huggy. To be honest, the back seats wouldn’t be that comfortable when it were to go on every kind of roads.
Another characteristic of Veloster was that the start button was at the center of the center fascia, not on the side of the steering wheel. This may come as a surprise because you would be able to attract people’s attention when starting a car. But this could be dangerous as well if a child pushed it during driving.
A car getting equipped more with IT is the trend nowadays, and as you can see in the picture, there are sockets for USB, IPOD, and AUX, so connecting external devices would be easily done. It’s easy to connect a smartphone, so you could enjoy your music on the smartphone with the car speakers.
The center fascia bore the feeling of fullness. It was interesting to find the design that emulated the trim of the Flying Lady, which can be seen on the hood emblem of an Equus, in Veloster.
Before, I didn’t like the center fascia of the domestic cars, but Hyundai cars nowadays seem to have better center fascia than even Japanese rival car companies. Easy to use, the positions of the buttons with easy approachability, and so on. Also, there is 7-inch LCD, which unified navigation, media, DMB, and check-up of the car functions. And with this, the driver would be able to learn all the information easily.
The definition or graphic of the navigation installed in Veloster was very brilliant. It was the only one that I really liked at the first sight among all the cars that I test-drove. I would give good evaluation for the graphic, but for the convenience of use, it lacked some. It’s hard for me to judge with so short experience with this navigation.
Eco Guide that makes allows you to have good driving habits that increase fuel efficiency.
There was one interesting function, which I did not find at first, but at last. Cars with high fuel efficiency are the trend nowadays, and Veloster has the Eco Guide function that tells you what good driving habits are. If you turn on this function and drive, then it will tell you how your driving habit would increase the fuel efficiency in scores. To get a higher score, you should control yourself from stopping suddenly or accelerating suddenly. So if you drive with the Eco Guide, you may develop good driving habits that will increase fuel efficiency.
It feels like you are playing a game, when you use this function. It is similar to what Avante Hybrid had, growing a flower to earn the score.
As a car that had three doors, I could notice that much care was put into the design of the doors. There was this handle on the door panel, and it was convenient to hold it during driving, so I held it quite often. The people who sat in the passenger seat told me that they also liked that handle. It received good reactions and good scores for its stability. I think it was a nice try.
(This is the step-gate gear box, which I like. I think the same gear knob was used like the recent Hyundai cars. It’s small and neat, so the feeling of gripping is good.)
For the suspension, the front one is the MacPherson strut, and the rear is the torsion beam axle. When a midsized car with comfortable riding is considered, Veloster lacks some, but considering the position that Veloster has, I think it has the proper hardness.
Now is the time to tell you how it is to drive this car. Veloster, the name itself is challenging and adventurous, and it gives anticipation that it will show some great power. Similar to Avante/Forte, it has 1.6L GDI (Gasoline Direct Injection) engine and six-speed automatic transmission. Its maximum horsepower is 138 and torque 123.lb-ft. Typically, high number of revolution gives the engines maximum output, and I don’t know how general people, including me, would feel about such numbers using high revolution.
My anticipation that it would accelerate forward was punctured because it showed just an easy start, but this easy feeling and stableness became more comfortable as time went by. Despite the intention of Hyundai to show shocking designs or attempt to, Veloster’s performance was less challenging than expected, and it lingered in my mind. Maybe I expected performance to be like Genesis Coupe? Still it showed more aggressive roadability compared to Avante. If you throw away the greed and the sporty nature, in change of speed or in accelerating force, Veloster continuously did well. Maybe it got heavier than Avante, but it did not satisfy the quick accelerating force.
But it showed pretty interesting performance in winding. The bearing capacity was good. Maybe it’s because of the overall characteristic of the car’s design, but it got less impacted by the centrifugal force in cornering, showing the sense that Veloster sought.
These parts made me anticipate more for the dual-clutch transmission model. It has been decided to get on the sales list for overseas, and I don’t know for the Korean market. But if DCT is added, it will show another joy. It showed that its quietness was not specially good or bad. I don’t want to expect quietness from Veloster because since this is an eccentric car, and I want to feel noise as a certain extent of performance.
Driving Veloster for a week, I could feel what kind of shocking design DNA Hyundai Auto intended, and that it reflected the company’s confidence coming from the current position of doing really well in the international stage. I saw Hyundai Auto’s confidence that I couldn’t see before from the stylistic design. Among many Korean cars, it gave the most visual joy to me. I believe Korean cars with unique style will continue to be launched.
To rub shoulders with global powers, Hyundai now needs to continuously give cars like Veloster that will fulfill the customer’s desire. Now, Hyundai is not some car company from a remote region, but a strong company that ranked third in production size in the world. In style, Veloster gave me real joy, though the performance came a bit short compared to the exterior, and I think I expected too much from the exterior. But Veloster sufficiently gave me the joy of driving. Veloster is produced with a limited number of 18,000. I don’t think there will be many drivers who could be together with the limited number. It is interesting to see its success as it is the first car that Hyundai attempted its challenge. But I think it will succeed because there are more customers with young sense, who seek such style, than you might think. I hope that Veloster succeeds so that many new models with stronger performance can continue to come out.
*NOTE: This blog post is from KHAI’s Blog, Korean IT Blogger, on May 6, 2011. If you have any further information about this blog post please contact us.(AdvancedTechKR@gmail.com) We will be happy to help you to get the related information. Thank you.