Driving a slick, raptor-like Hyundai Veloster last week, I was reminded again and again that the spunky little coupe is dramatic and refreshingly distinctive. My test model was particularly distinctive, painted a coppery orange that made the waves, tucks, creases, curves and swooping profile of Veloster’s body stand out all the more.
There was the Boston cop who stopped me after I turned onto Boylston from Ipswich Street, beneath the Green Monster of Fenway Park. He said I had disregarded the sign that prohibited a right on red. Of course, I couldn’t see the sign because a city utility truck was tucked close beside it. In any case, the officer seemed more interested in the Veloster than in my violation.
“Does this have three doors?” he asked me as he walked from one side to the other to appraise the vehicle.
“It does,” I answered. “It’s a pretty unique car.”
Then there was the guy hanging out the passenger window of a Ryder rental truck that drove beside me on Massachusetts Avenue in Boston. As we rolled between stop lights during an urban road crawl, he shouted down at me, “Hey, that’s an awesome looking car.”
“Thanks,” I popped back, happy for the compliment and unable to explain, in the traffic din, that it wasn’t really my car, that I was only driving the sprite Hyundai for the week, to evaluate it and tell my impressions to folks in the Merrimack Valley and Southern New Hampshire.
“Is it fast?” he shouted.
“Yeah. It’s quick,” I replied.
You can’t consider the Veloster fast the way an auto with a massive and muscular, pounding V8 is fast, or the way an expensive European sports car with a twitching six-cylinder engine is fast. But the Veloster I drove had a turbocharged four-cylinder that makes the car hop and scurry with gusto and entertaining elan.