Inhabitat recently had the chance to test the new Hyundai Veloster, which is available for purchase as a 2012 model for the first time - and we absolutely loved it. The all-new Veloster is a wonder of design made affordable, and it's the closest we have ever seen a concept car come to holding its best features through to production. What's so great about the Veloster? Well first of all, it has one door on the driver's side but two on the passenger side of the car, making it a unique three-door coupe with a hatch in the rear. The shape of the Veloster also makes it stand out, with rakish angles that essentially slice the entire top off a normal compact hatch. The front doors are so angled at the top that they are welded together from two pieces of metal - something we have never seen in a modern production car. This lends the car a sporty stance and lowers its center of gravity for better handling than you would expect from a compact car. But best of all, the Veloster manages to pack a start-stop button ignition, manumatic gear shifting, and a world-class infotainment system into a little car that only costs $17,300 to start. We had a hard time giving up our little tester when the week was up, and we expect to see the Veloster change the way people view Hyundai.
The Hyundai Veloster is a standard gas engine car, but because of its compact size, aerodynamic shape, and state-of-the-art engine, it manages to pull out 32+ combined mpg with normal driving. With careful driving and a light load, we expect a driver could average close to 40 miles per gallon in the Veloster, without having to worry about finding an alternative fuel station or plugging it in. Of course we would love to see how much more efficient the Veloster could get with a plug-in hybrid option, but for now the Veloster is available in normal and turbocharged varieties, which will make for fun driving. The Veloster seems like the perfect car to endear Hyundai to younger, more design-conscious consumers, but it’s also the perfect jumping off point for multiple drive platforms. Expect to see the Veloster or something very similar to it in hybrid and electric options in a few years.