Coupe cracks nod

Bobby Cheetham

HYUNDAI South Africa has added another string to its bow with the launch this month of the new Veloster. And while Hyundai continues its relentless upward surge in the passenger car segment, both globally and locally, the new Veloster will add to its growing sales.

Packed with features and with cool looks that will attract new buyers as well as loyal brand customers, it represents a motoring package that offers good value.

And there’s always something new from the Korean brand, this time it’s the “2+1 door” Coupe design with the functionality of a hatchback and a passenger-side forward-hinged rear door for easy rear-seat access.

The 2+1 door configuration has been adapted for right-hand-drive markets, ensuring the great practicality of the rear door that opens on the “safe” passenger side of the car.

And under the bonnet there’s a new 1.6-litre direct-injected four-cylinder petrol engine mated to Hyundai’s first EcoShift dual-clutch transmission.

The efficient 1.6-litre four-cylinder GDI petrol engine, generates 103kW maximum power and 167Nm torque. There’s also a choice of a six-speed manual gearbox or the company’s first dual-clutch transmission (DCT).

The perky 1.6-litre GDI Gamma engine adds even more variety to the brand’s comprehensive range of models – including the other hatchbacks – the i10, i20 and i30; the recently launched all-new Santa Fe and its fellow SUV, the ix35; the Accent and Elantra sedans and their bigger sibling, the Sonata.

Despite its coupe styling (overall height is 1.39m), clever interior packaging means the Veloster offers class- leading cabin and cargo space, says Hyundai.

It has a wheelbase of 2.65m, and engineers have sculpted the interior to provide generous interior space for its occupants.

Cargo capacity in the boot is 440 litres.

And for gadget freaks there’s plenty to get excited about!

The Veloster’s impressive audio system supports radio, CD, MP3 and a range of external devices thanks to an AUX, USB, iPod and Bluetooth connectivity.

The sound system displays function on a large LCD screen in the centre console. The steering wheel is equipped with remote controls for the sound system, as well as the controls for setting the cruise control.

Bluetooth connections with one’s mobile telephone and audio streaming via Bluetooth from the same telephone can be set up effortlessly via touch-screen commands on the same LCD information screen in the middle console.

The 18cm touch screen media centre lets you scroll easily through your music playlist or contacts from your Bluetooth-connected telephone.

The Veloster has performed admirably in safety crash tests, and has been awarded a maximum rating of five stars in the European New Car Assessment Programme (Euro NCAP).

The car scored 96% in the adult occupant test category and 89% in the child occupant category – beating the Euro NCAP test performances of its main competitors.

Hyundai’s five-year/150000km warranty and roadside assistance forms part of the Veloster package, supplemented by a five-year/90000km service plan. Services are done at intervals of 15000km.

Prices are:

1.6 GDI Executive (manual) R259900;

1.6 GDI Executive (auto) R276900.

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