The curious case of the Hyundai Veloster

By Guilherme Marques

The Hyundai Veloster is a coupé. Wait, strike that: it is a hatchback. Yes, definitely a hatchback – I am looking at the right side of the car and I can clearly see two doors, one accessing the front, the other the rear. Except if I move to the driver’s side there is only one door, hence my confusion. Are you confused as well?

Well, it is understandable, but the explanation is really rather simple: Hyundai wanted to create a coupé that would major on practicality, so they gave it one extra door. The idea is, when you take it out for a drive and you look at the car, before you step inside you will see a sleek sports coupé, whereas your passengers won’t have to go through the trouble of accessing the rear seats from the front of the car. It does make (some) sense.

Of course the Veloster is quite a simple, straightforward car, but Hyundai found a way to put it in the front pages of the media with this gimmick and, in my opinion, it is a clever way to do so and the car has some extra appeal because of it.

Still, for a coupé, even one with an extra door, there are two basic things it has to deliver: good looks and a good drive.

The Veloster Turbo is not going to be a best-seller, but I am sure it will be a landmark car for Hyundai, a model where the Korean maker got the confidence to push further ahead, design-wise, and challenge the establishment of the industry.

As a petrolhead, I am happy to see there are still some guys that gamble on an idea, on a desire to build affordable halo cars in order to lift the overall awareness of the brand – even if they are not the most profitable models. The world needs cars like the Veloster and the Turbo is definitely the right choice.