In world full of practical family sedans and crossovers, it seems that quirky new models are fewer and farther between than ever before. But Hyundai broke the mold with its segment-busting Veloster, introduced for the 2011 model year. Part economy car, part sporty small car, the unique three-door hatchback aims to woo younger buyers who want to stand out on the road.
The Veloster was highly anticipated by enthusiasts in its run up to production, but reaction has been mixed. Reviews praise the car’s interior and high-tech creature comforts, but criticize the car’s lack of sporty handling and point to a low-powered base engine. Hyundai responded to the criticism with a Veloster Turbo model for 2012, but reviews continue to vary.
Since the Veloster straddles several segments, we were curious as to which cars consumers are shopping the model against. Is the car appealing to drivers of truly sporty small cars like the Scion FR-S, Subaru BRZ, and Hyundai’s own Genesis Coupe? Or is it appealing to economy-minded drivers who gravitate toward tried-and-true models like the Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla, and Ford Focus?
To find out, we used exclusive CarsDirect cross-shopping data from the past three months to take a look at the top five vehicles currently cross-shopped against the 2013 Hyundai Veloster.
(The percentages refer to the percentage of total Veloster shoppers who also cross-shopped the alternate models listed. For example, 25.8% of buyers who shopped a Veloster also shopped a Hyundai Elantra GT.)
Hyundai Elantra GT: 25.8%
Hyundai Elantra: 20.1%
Honda Civic: 18.4%
Ford Focus: 17.5%
Hyundai Sonata: 15.7%
CarsDirect’s take: Despite its sporty pretensions, the Veloster isn’t being cross-shopped in large numbers with well-known sport compact models. Rather, the Veloster seems to primarily be attracting the interest of buyers who lean toward practical small vehicles such as the Elantra GT, a traditional small hatchback. The fact that the majority of the cars on the list come from the Hyundai family also indicates that the Veloster isn’t attracting conquest buyers in great number, but is succeeding providing a unique alternative to Hyundai’s traditional offerings, likely helping the brand retain buyers who might otherwise go elsewhere for a quirky option.