2012 Hyundai Veloster

Finding a spot outside the norm.

Story: Michael Crenshaw

Model Tested: EcoShift DCT

Rating: 5

The days of not getting a lot for a little are over. Take Hyundai’s all-new Veloster DCT, for instance, a car which, at a base of just over $18K, offers more than we can say for some higher-end German brands. Its iPod connectivity, Bluetooth, seven-inch multimedia touchscreen and dual-clutch transmission only cost…oh, wait, this all comes standard on the Veloster. That’s right, you can cop a ton for a light-on-your-wallet price. If you want some extra goodies—18-inch wheels, a back-up camera and premium audio—you’re only looking at around five grand more.

With a 1.6-liter engine, dual-tip exhaust and an incredibly smooth and consistent gearbox, the Veloster will give you up to 38 mpg on the highway. And it still manages to offer sporty driving thanks to the paddle shifters.

As far as styling, the Veloster has it in spades: chiseled mug, European hatch influences, a driver-focused interior and a trick—somewhat-hidden—third door that helps with ingress and egress. All in all, it’s an incredible package with standard features that, honestly, should be found on every modern car. And with all the available options, you’re looking at a diamond in the rough.

Specs:

Damage: $23,405

Power: 138hp, 123 lb.-ft.

0-60:8.0 secs (est.)

Gas Cash: 29 city, 38 hwy

Miles Driven: 250