Photography and video by ©2016 Toni Avery

Certainly the most aggressive looking Veloster in the lineup, the Rally Edition offers import enthusiasts an acceptable choice when searching for a hatch-style car with head-turning looks. I was certainly convinced after seeing photos when trying to decide which Veloster to test. Whether you like the exterior design or not, one things for sure, the Veloster offers great value. But does its performance match its daring looks? Read on to find out.

This Veloster is equipped with a 1.6 L twin-scroll turbocharged 4-cylinder engine producing 201 HP and 195 lb-ft of torque mated to a six-speed manual transmission.

The Veloster isn’t the most fun I’ve had for under 30K, but it’s certainly a good alternative to the more conventional favorites. It feels slow almost all the time unless you’re driving around town at lower speeds and RPMs, where cornering can get you into the yellow zone on the fun meter. Decreasing my desire to flog it up an onramp is significant torque steer that pulls the wheel slightly to one side in a lower gear or in higher RPMs in a lower gear.

The torque curve is also very progressive to the point where I could never quite tell where it was kicking in, even though it arrives early at 1750 RPMs. Unlike most turbocharged cars I’ve tested where you can definitely feel when torque kicks in.

Thanks to the upgraded shocks, springs and stabilizer bar the ride quality wasn’t objectionable. You can still feel the road and occasional hard bump but don’t feel like you’re filings are coming loose. Being the first Veloster I’ve tested, I can’t say for certain whether these upgrades improve upon lower trim levels.

Shifting was easy and smooth thanks to the upgraded B&M Sport Shifter linkage. The transmission is Mazda good while the clutch is a bit springy and takes some getting used to.

Braking power was adequate for a car of its size with no significant braking issues or fading during my week test. And thanks to the great gas mileage, I didn’t have to fill up the tank. Other than the transmission, the fuel economy is a big plus for me.

Something I’d have to change immediately after purchasing this car is the exhaust. It’s almost hybrid quiet with little to no sound coming from the pipes or the motor. I’d have to go for an aftermarket exhaust in order to enjoy the driving experience a little more.

The exterior of this Veloster features matte-blue paint, carbon fiber accents, and 18” RAYS wheels.

The Veloster is one of the better-looking cars for under 30K on the market and in the case of this trim level, under 25k. Hyundai went all out giving this car a completely fresh look from the paint to the aggressive black wheels. This car looks like you’ve spent some cash on mods while you’ve actually just driven it off the lot.

Inside the Veloster are Rally Edition leather seats, blue accents throughout and premium Dimension sound system.

Most of the interior is black and plastic but the Rally Edition seats really elevate the look and offer a sportier feel. The blue accents do add a bit of color to the cabin. The rear door on the passenger side is a really interesting way to allow rear passengers better access to the rear seats than simply climbing from the front. Even with an extra door, the body doesn’t feel any larger. The trunk is another plus with plenty of room for groceries or an extended getaways luggage.

The best part of the interior, other than the Recaro like seats that hold you snug during spirited driving, is the sound system. Standard in the Rally Edition is a premium 450w Dimension sound system with an external amp and subwoofer. I was impressed with just how clear the sound was and that fact that I didn’t need to turn the sound way up to hear good quality music.

In the ever-growing Hot-Hatch market there are a few winners and others that don’t quite hit the mark. If you are in the market for a Hot-Hatch but don’t want to sacrifice performance for a low price tag I’d fully recommend the Ford Fiesta ST. That’s not to say that the Veloster isn’t a good option, it’s performance just isn’t where it should be to get the “Hot” designation for a Hot Hatch.

2016 Hyundai Veloster Rally Edition

Base Price: $23,950

Destination Charge: $825

Total Price: $24,775

Fuel Economy: 25 City, 33 Highway, 28 Combined 

 GirlsDriveFastToo gives the 2016 Hyundai Veloster Rally Edition an overall rating of (out of 5 total):