Hyundai Veloster vs rivals

The Hyundai Veloster cleverly combines smart coupe with practical family hatch – but how does it compare against the real deal in the form of the Vauxhall Astra GTC and Alfa Giulietta?

Hyundai Veloster vs rivals
Two for the price of one; that’s what you get with the new Hyundai Veloster. Its innovative asymmetrical door layout mixes the style of a coupe with the practicality of a hatchback. From one side it looks like a sleek coupe, but from the other it’s a sporty five-door family hatch. So we have lined up a pair of tests to put the Veloster through its paces...
For now there’s only one engine on offer. A powerful turbocharged engine will join the range next year, but here we test the 138bhp 1.6-litre direct-injection petrol offering, which comes with a competitive sub-£18,000 price tag.
In its first encounter, the Veloster’s compact dimensions and sporty handling will come to the fore as we put it up against another fresh-faced coupe. The Vauxhall Astra GTC blurs the lines between three-door hatch and pure coupe with its shapely looks and spacious cabin. We have already tested it in diesel form, but here we put the 1.4-litre SRi petrol version through its paces.
The Veloster’s second challenge sees it come face-to-face with one of the most stylish family hatchbacks around. The Alfa Romeo Giulietta features hidden rear door handles, which give the five-door the look of a coupe. Throw in a brilliant turbocharged 1.4-litre MultiAir engine, and it has all the credentials of a car capable of spanning the hatchback-coupe divide.

Verdict

Hyundai has done it again! Over the past two years we have been impressed with every new car from the company, and the Veloster goes down as another success. Is it due to those unusual doors? They mean getting in and out of the back is easier than in a conventional coupe, but the limited headroom makes the rear uncomfortable for tall adults. Still, Hyundai must be credited for putting the novel concept into production, and the result is both useful and distinctive. Of its rivals, the Vauxhall Astra GTC runs the Hyundai closest. A huge cabin gives it the practical edge, and superior refinement makes it a more grown-up choice – but it isn’t as much fun as the Veloster from behind the wheel. The Alfa has the best engine in this test by a country mile, yet the characterful MultiAir unit is let down by the rest of the Giulietta package. We expected it to be more practical than the Veloster, but it is too cramped inside for a proper family hatch. A disappointing driving experience and higher price leave the pretty Giulietta outclassed by the Hyundai.

Veloster vs Astra

1. Hyundai Veloster New coupe handles well and is fun to drive. Its uninspiring engine is a disappointment, but the Veloster is an attractive and affordable car. 

2. Vauxhall Astra GTC Bigger GTC has a very different character to lively Hyundai. It puts space and refinement at the top of the agenda – but it’s not as fun.

Veloster vs Alfa

1. Hyundai Veloster If you want a head-turning family car that’s also fun to drive, the Veloster trumps the cramped and costly Alfa Romeo.

2. Alfa Romeo Giulietta Its engine is a gem and it looks great, but ultimately it disappoints. This family car actually has less interior space than the GTC.

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