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.