...it'd look like this

When you walk in the South Hall at the L.A. Convention Center for the L.A. Auto Show,  the very first vehicle to greet you is the Hyundai Veloster Turbo. It’s the perfect car to remind you why you go to car shows.

If ever there was a Swiss Army Knife for car enthusiasts, the Veloster Turbo is it. It’s small enough to be city, sippy enough to return 35 MPG highway, zippy enough (thanks to turbocharging) to get there fast, and handles well enough to keep the driver engaged. Also, it has that asymmetrical third door, to load people — small people — into the back seat. The rear hatch holds enough for a weekend getaway. PS– there’s a sunroof that almost seems bigger than the car itself.

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But I just like the way it looks: especially with its matte grey finish, and aggressive front end. Boys love their wide grilles and front-end scoops.  The Veloster T features  driving lights, 18″ wheels and chrome-tipped dual exhaust. It’s a lot of “Look at Me!”, for a starting price around $22K.

For the slightly more conservative, there’s the standard Veloster (below), almost as fun to drive and look at, for $17.5K.  I think the original is fine, but the Turbo is ….. fine.

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Hyundai’s battle plan of offering various trim levels at various prices is nothing new, and the Korean car maker knows how to do it. You want a rear-drive coupe that won’t embarrass at the supermarket parking lot? Get a Genesis Coupe 2.0T for $24,000.  You want to do some (legal) street racing,? Get the 2.0 R-Spec for a couple $K more….

You want good ol’ fashioned v-6 grunt? Go for the upmarket Genesis Coupe 3.8. It’s offered in a touring package, that won’t embarrass at the golf course parking lot.  You want to put it on the track? Voila, there’s a Coupe 3.8 Track model (below), that won’t embarrass at the races. Most of these cars sell in the high $20s;  only the top-tier goes for more than 30.

I’ve done seat-time in all of these cars: Hyundai is doing-right by drivers who look on their cars as more than mobile connectivity pods to get from Point A to Point B. 

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(Photos courtesy manufacturer)