The Hyundai Veloster is a new four-seater coupe that's designed to steal sales from the new Vauxhall Astra GTC and the VW Scirocco. This is our verdict after driving the Veloster on UK roads for the first time.

On top of its unusual looks, the Veloster offers something none of its rivals do – a single rear door on the passenger side. This adds a handy dose of practicality and ensures the Hyundai's 'best' side is facing the driver as he or she approaches.

The Veloster certainly has its merits, then, and a starting price of less than £18k means it's cheaper than most its rivals.

What's it like to drive? Only one engine is available so far: a 138bhp 1.6-litre petrol, which on paper looks gutsy enough to endow the Veloster with decent performance.

A quick prod of the throttle tells you otherwise. The Veloster isn't turbocharged, so there's little in the way of low-down shove. Thrashing the engine doesn't really help, either, because even then 0-62mph takes almost 10 seconds.

Its so-so performance wouldn't be such an issue if the Veloster was fun to drive, but there's bad news on that front, too. Although body roll is kept in check under hard cornering, the numb steering means you're never really sure what the front wheels are up to.

The notchy gearshift also disappoints, and refinement is poor. A significant amount of road noise finds its way into the cabin at speed, while the engine becomes boomy when you work it hard.

To make matters worse the ride is fidgety at low speeds – even if you opt for the smallest (17-inch) alloys that were fitted to our test car.

Body Glass
  • Drivers one touch up/down with anti-trap
  • Electric front+rear windows
  • Intermittent front wash/wipe
  • Rear wash/wipe
  • Anti-lock brake system
  • Brake assist
  • Electronic Stability Programme
  • Hill start assist control (HAC)
  • Vehicle Stability Control (VSC)
  • Bluetooth connectivity with voice recognition
Driver Aids
  • Cruise control
  • Power assisted steering
  • Reversing Aid Sensors
  • Reversing camera
Driver Information
  • 7" touch screen
  • Satellite navigation system
  • Supervision cluster
  • Trip computer
Driving Mirrors
  • Electric folding door mirrors
  • Heated/electric door mirrors with integrated indicators
Embellishment Trims
  • Gloss black fascia trim
  • 8 speakers
  • MP3/WMA compatability
  • Steering wheel audio controls
  • Stereo RDS radio/CD
  • USB/aux input socket
Exterior Body Features
  • Body colour door handles
  • Body coloured bumpers
  • Exterior body kit
  • Gloss black chrome front grille
  • Gloss black rear bumper insert
  • Rear diffuser
  • Rear spoiler
Exterior Lights
  • Automatic headlights
  • Front fog lights
  • LED daytime running lights
  • LED rear lights
  • Climate control
Interior Features
  • Alloy pedals
  • Ashtray and cigar lighter
  • Chrome interior door handles
  • Door grip handles
  • Front and rear cup holders
  • Front door pockets
  • Height/reach adjustable steering column
  • Leather steering wheel and gear knob
  • Leather upholstery + front door panels
  • Locking illuminated glove compartment
  • Luggage hooks
  • Sunglasses holder
Interior Lights
  • Front map reading lights
  • Interior light
  • Luggage compartment lighting
  • Media pack - Veloster
  • Active front headrests
  • 'Childproof' rear door locks
  • Curtain airbags
  • Driver/Front Passenger airbags
  • Front and rear seatbelt reminder
  • Front seatbelt pretensioners
  • Front side airbags
  • Passenger airbag deactivation system
  • Side airbags
  • Tyre pressure monitoring system
  • 2nd row isofix seat anchorage
  • 60/40 split folding rear seat
  • Driver's seat electric height adjustment with lumbar support
  • Front seatback pockets
  • Fully adjustable front head restraints
  • Heated front seats
  • Height adjustable rear head restraints
  • Alarm
  • Automatic door locking
  • Deadlocks
  • Keyless entry
  • Locking wheel nuts
  • Remote central locking
  • Thatcham Category 2 engine immobiliser
Vanity Mirrors
  • Sunvisors with illuminated vanity mirrors
Wheels - Alloy
  • 18" alloy wheels with chrome inserts
Wheels - Spare
  • Temporary spare wheel

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