2016 Hyundai Veloster Turbo Rally: Improved Handling, Same Great Design
When the Hyundai Veloster Turbo was introduced for the 2012 model year, some people were quick to slight the fun little hatchback due to the fact that the automaker hadn’t done enough to transform the Veloster into the Veloster Turbo. The Veloster Turbo had a unique exterior design, a unique interior layout and a then-new turbocharged engine delivering 201 horsepower and 195lb-ft of torque – features which I felt made the Turbo model far more engaging than the non-turbo models. It looked sportier inside and out while also having a decided advantage in power, making it far more interesting to buyers who wanted their Korean hatch to have a little more attitude.
However, while the Veloster Turbo was a ton more fun than the standard Veloster with the naturally aspirated engine, it was still knocked for not being spicy enough for a performance model. To address this issue, they added the R-Spec model above the Turbo and above that sits the Veloster Turbo Rally Edition. This limited edition package adds some unique features that make this Veloster the most fun to drive of any production variants released thus far, but it does so in a way that maintains all of the charm needed from a good daily driver, including the “extra” rear passenger door that improves rear-seat access while preserving the 2-door hatchback look.
In short, the 2016 Hyundai Veloster Turbo Rally Edition is a great improvement on a car that I liked a great deal in plain “Turbo” trim, making this stunning matte blue beauty my new favorite Korean compact.
While opinions on exterior appearance are purely subjective, I really like the look of the Hyundai Veloster Turbo and the Rally Edition package doesn’t stray far from the original performance package. The Rally package adds black painted lightweight Rays Engineering 18 inch wheels and a unique matte blue paint, in addition to some carbon fiber-looking trim along the bottom of the front fascia and in the side sills. The Rally Edition also includes the Turbo-specific front fascia with the huge grille open, the angular sculpting between the LED-trimmed projection headlights and the large, round fog lights, a low profile rear spoiler and a unique rear fascia with a more aggressive design (compared to non-turbo models) and lower diffuser wrapped around the central dual exhaust tips. Finally, all of the parts of the car that aren’t matte blue or carbon fiber are black – from the wheels to the window trim – tying together the whole sporty package. A simple “Rally Edition” badge on the rear hatch completes the sporty package and the result is a car that certainly fits the “rally car” look from front to back.
Where all Hyundai Velosters differ from other small hatchbacks with a 2-door design is the in addition of the unique rear passenger door. On the driver’s side, the Veloster Turbo Rally has a large, singular driver’s door, but on the passenger side, the front door is slightly smaller – making room for an addition passenger’s side door. Both of the doors on the right side of the car are plenty big enough for an adult to get into the front or back seat, while still giving the driver the “coupe feel” when getting in and out. If you love the hassle of moving a front seat to squeeze someone into the back seat, you can still do that on the driver’s side, but the Veloster allows easy passenger loading and easy cargo loading for the rear seat. I will address the advantages of the Veloster’s third door in our interior section.
The Rally Edition of the Veloster Turbo doesn’t vary all that much from the original Turbo package, but the gorgeous matte blue paint, the black Ray’s wheels and the unique body cladding gives the Veloster the race-ready look that you get with the Hyundai rally race cars.
The Veloster Turbo Rally Edition package doesn’t get any huge changes on the inside, but that really isn’t a problem. The Rally Edition includes the same sport bucket seats up front with deep side and base bolsters to keep the driver and front passenger firmly in place during spirited driving. Like the door grab handles and some other trim on the center column, the Turbo Rally Edition seat bolsters are finished in bright blue, combining with the matte blue exterior paint for a very sporty look.
In terms of interior space, the Veloster has plenty of space up front for very tall drivers and passengers. In the rear seats with the front seats adjusted to comfortably accommodate a pair of 6 foot tall people, the rear leg room is a little tight for an adult of similar size. If you have four tall guys, seating will be a little cramped on a long drive, but as someone who has a family of three – the Veloster design is excellent for loading a teenager into the rear seats. My kid is old enough and tall enough that he doesn’t want to climb over a front seat to get into the back like he has to with most coupe-shaped vehicles, but the extra passenger door allows him easier access = especially when my wife and I were already seated in the front. Really, if you spend a ton of time with four adults in your car, the Hyundai Elantra GT is probably a better fit, but for someone with a small family of 3 or 4, the Veloster design is very handy.