• Sportier model has a powerful engine and bolder styling
  • Price undercuts popular sport-compact competitors
  • Standard equipment includes 18-inch wheels, LED lighting and leather interior

Hyundai has released pricing for the 2013 Veloster Turbo, a sportier version of the three-door hatchback that made its debut in late 2011 as a 2012 model. With the turbocharged engine, the Veloster gains the power it needs to compete with perennial sport-compact favorites like the Honda Civic Si and newer entries like the Scion FR-S, but at a lower price. Starting at $21,950, the Veloster Turbo has a host of upgraded standard equipment and more menacing exterior styling than the standard Veloster.

The base model sees a $150 price hike for 2013; its starting price is now $17,450. It has a normally aspirated version of the Turbo's1.6-liter 4-cylinder engine. Direct injection helps the base engine to produce 138 horsepower and allows the Veloster to achieve 28 mpg in the city and 40 mpg on the highway with a six-speed manual transmission.

The turbocharged engine endows the car with significantly more power, but fuel economy remains commendable. The Veloster Turbo churns out 201 hp, putting it on par with other popular sporty compacts. Fuel economy is estimated at 26/38 mpg, just a couple of ticks off of the base Veloster's numbers.

Mechanical upgrades extend beyond the engine compartment to sport-tuned steering and exhaust. A choice of manual or automatic transmissions is offered. Both have six speeds.

The $4,500 price difference between the base and Turbo models buys a list of styling and equipment upgrades to complement the gutsier engine. A body kit includes an updated front fascia with a bigger grille, bolder side sills and a revised rear bumper with diffuser vents. A matte gray paint scheme will be available, and 18-inch alloy wheels are standard. LED lighting accents and a pair of round tailpipes round out the sportier exterior styling.

The Veloster Turbo includes upgrades inside, too. Leather seats, including heated, sport-style buckets up front, and an exclusive electroluminescent gauge cluster are standard. So is a Turbo-exclusive interior color palette of graphite black with blue accents.

The Veloster Turbo is well positioned among competitors. The Honda Civic Si produces an identical 201 hp, but its starting price is about $400 higher than the Veloster Turbo's. The Scion FR-S and Volkswagen GTI deliver similar power, but their starting prices are closer to $25,000. Furthermore, premium gasoline is recommended for these two, while the Veloster Turbo runs on regular unleaded.

One need not break the bank to enjoy a spirited driving experience and the look and feel of performance. The Veloster Turbo provides another choice among sporty compacts with a balance of athleticism and economy. And the Veloster Turbo comes with the added value of Hyundai's ten-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty.

What it means to you: You don't need to spend a small fortune to buy fun behind the wheel. The 200-hp Veloster Turbo is easy on the wallet, with a competitive skill set and good fuel economy.

author photo

Nick Palermo is an automotive writer and lifelong car nut. He follows new and late-model used vehicles for AutoTrader.com, writes about vintage cars for Hemmings Classic Wheels and blogs on all things automotive at LivingVroom. He lives in Atlanta with his wife and twins.

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