Rumor mill: no more Hyundai Veloster?

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Sales for the Hyudai Veloster have been lackluster at best. Could it be going the way of the dodo?

The Hyundai Veloster fills a pretty important slot in their lineup. It’s the sporty three-door hatchback that’s meant to be affordable and fun. The problem? No one is buying the car.

Last year, worldwide sales totaled about 60,000 units, but only about 3,000 were sold in Hyundai’s domestic market. The little hatchback with its asymmetrical doors hasn’t been performing as well as the company expected, and at least one top executive at Hyundai has claimed, off record, that the car’s future remains uncertain.

The Hyundai Veloster is certainly an attractive looking car for its segment.

The Hyundai Veloster is certainly an attractive looking car for its segment.

The Hyundai Veloster is due for a mid-cycle refresh/facelift sometime within the next year or so, likely as a 2015 model, but will it be enough? The new facelift will be the first update to the vehicle, which was launched in 2011.

Unlike in the US, however, the Hyundai Veloster is doing pretty well down under in Australia. In the Australian market, the Hyundai Veloster accounted for over 20% of all sales of sports cars under $80,000. The only vehicle that fared better was the Toyota 86 (that’s Scion FR-S/Subaru BRZ for us Americans), which took 34.4% of that market.

The rear fascia looks incredibly sporty, thanks in no small part to its center-exit exhaust.

The rear fascia looks incredibly sporty, thanks in no small part to its center-exit exhaust.

Casey Hyun, Hyundai’s creative design manager, has a more optimistic view on the future of the Veloster. He says, “The Veloster has really made people understand that Hyundai is not just a volume brand. It is a very defining car – and so we will continue to develop something that is different and challenging.”

Note that he said “continue to develop something that is different and challenging,” not, “continue to develop the Hyundai Veloster for a new generation.”

What do you think? Would you buy a Hyundai Veloster for yourself or your teen driver? Personally, when I last sat in one, I found interior quality to be adequate, but where the car fell short was rear seat headroom. The high swoomping rear door and raked roof made it where I was hitting my head on egress of the Hyundai Veloster – and I am not a very tall person. While it may be adequate for children, it’s certainly lacking in headroom for teenage passengers.

 

Interior quality is excellent for the segment and price point.

Interior quality is excellent for the segment and price point.

...but rear seat headroom in the Hyundai Veloster leaves much to be desired for many passengers.

…but rear seat headroom in the Hyundai Veloster leaves much to be desired for many passengers.

The 2014 Hyundai Veloster Turbo R-spec which is pictured in this article boasts 201 horsepower from its 1.6L turbocharged gasoline engine.

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Photo credit: Hyundai

Ray Saez, Jr.

Ray is a lifelong auto enthusiast. His father worked on the dealership side of the industry for many years, and his passion for fast, fun, and unique cars has been passed on. Particularly fond of American cars and trucks, Ray is an avid General Motors fan. When not writing, he can be found with his dogs, or at a local car show.

View all contributions by Ray Saez, Jr.

Website: http://autowaffle.com

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