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Hyundai reshuffles Veloster line-up

Plus and minus: The rejigged Veloster line-up loses some features – including a CD player – but gains a lot more in the model repositioning.

Veloster line-up gets a shake up as Hyundai adds more gear into lower-spec variants

5 Aug 2016

HYUNDAI has repositioned its ageing Veloster coupe-cum-hatch line-up, dropping two variants and reshuffling the standard specification of the two remaining grades.

The South Korean car-maker has discontinued the two Plus variants and will now offer a base naturally aspirated 1.6-litre Veloster from $ 29,590 plus on-road costs – just $100 more than the now defunct Plus – and the turbocharged SR that starts at $30,650.

The new base price is a dramatic hike of $5100 over the outgoing Veloster Series II entry variant that started at $24,490, however some of the standard gear from the more generously-specified Plus has filtered down to the new base model.

In SR Turbo guise, the price has risen by $660 but it too now has some gear from the outgoing SR Plus. Opting for the six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission (seven-speed in the SR) over the six-speed manual in either variant adds $2500 to the price.

The new starting price puts the Veloster in line with other offerings in the sub-$80,000 sportscar segment, including the Toyota 86 ($29,990-$35,990), the Holden Astra GTC Sport ($29,990) and Mazda’s drop-top MX-5 ($31,990-$39,550).

There are no mechanical or styling changes to the Veloster, which arrived in Australia in early 2012 and received a mid-life facelift in mid-2015. A new model is said to be imminent and is likely to take styling cues from the Hyundai Entrado concept that was revealed at last year’s Seoul motor show.

In base guise, the Veloster loses some standard features – a CD player, premium audio system and steering wheel-mounted phone controls, but it adds a bunch of things from the old Plus such as leather-appointed seats, a six-way electrically adjustable driver’s seat, keyless entry and start, a cargo net, and front passenger seat back pockets.

Also new to the entry-level Veloster is Apple CarPlay and Google Now (for Android) voice activation, automatic climate control, electrically folding and heated external mirrors, a panoramic glass sunroof with sunblind and a supervision cluster with dot matrix centre display.

This is on top of the already standard LED daytime running lights, 18-inch alloy wheels, rear parking sensors, reversing camera, seven-inch touchscreen with six-speaker audio system, auxiliary and USB input, premium steering wheel and gear knob, bucket seats, cruise control, dusk-sensing headlights and sunglasses holder.

The SR Turbo does not gain as many new features as the base variant, but while it too loses the CD player and premium audio system, it gains the panoramic sunroof with sunblind, folding and heated mirrors, Apple CarPlay and Google Now and automatic climate control.

Already standard in the SR Turbo is 18-inch alloys, LED tail-lights, a sports bodykit with front and roof spoilers, side skirts and rear diffuser, a sports leather-appointed steering wheel, grey contrast stitching on the seats, steering wheel and armrests and satin chrome effect flourishes throughout the cabin.

Metallic pearl paint is a $595 option, while matte paint is $1000 extra on the SR Turbo only.

Under the bonnet of the base variant is Hyundai’s naturally aspirated 1.6-litre GDi four-cylinder direct injection petrol engine delivering 103kW/167Nm that returns fuel economy of 6.4 litres per 100km on the official combined cycle.

The SR Turbo’s 1.6-litre unit produces 150kW/265Nm and returns 7.1L/100km in manual guise, while the dual-clutch uses a little less at 6.9L/100km.

Hyundai Motor Company Australia director of marketing Oliver Mann described the Veloster pair as “superbly appointed” and said it was the best-value vehicle in its class.

“We have concentrated on the features our customers have told us they like the most,” he said. “Keeping popular, high-value items such as the panoramic sunroof and leather-appointed upholstery has led to a sharper overall package for both Veloster models.

“Veloster is more than just a brilliant, unique, and surprisingly practical design – it is without doubt the best-value, best-equipped car in its class, now more than ever.” The Veloster faces some stiff competition in its segment and sales have slipped by 30.2 per cent so far this year to 1087 units.

It is being beaten by Ford’s massively successful Mustang (3118), the Toyota 86 (1389) and the BMW 2 Series (1302), but is just keeping the Mazda MX-5 (1040) at bay.

2016 Hyundai Veloster pricing*
Veloster (a)$32,090
Veloster SR Turbo$30,650
Veloster SR Turbo (a)$33,150
*Excludes on-road costs

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