2012 Hyundai Veloster

2012 Hyundai Veloster, On the heels of the redesigned Elantra compact and Accent subcompact, the new 2012 Veloster adds a coupe to Hyundai's burgeoning small-car offering (see them compared). The distinctive Veloster is a true three-door hatchback: It has a liftgate, two front doors and a single rear door on the curb side for easier backseat access. By Hyundai's estimation, the Veloster competes with the likes of Honda's CR-Z hybrid and the Scion tC and might be cross-shopped with the Fiat 500, Mini Cooper and Volkswagen Beetle.

The 2012 Hyundai Veloster is a distinctive, high-mileage sport coupe that hints at the excitement to come in future variants.

Hyundai simplifies things by offering just one Veloster trim level starting at $17,300, distinguished only by three interior color schemes, which include gray, black and a red-and-black combination. The interior choices depend on the exterior color chosen. Options include an automatic transmission for $1,250 and two feature-filled packages. With currently known options, the Veloster tops out at $23,310.

I drove the Veloster with both manual and automatic transmissions.

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