Sep 27th, 2011 by Ross Edwards
With the Hyundai Veloster and Honda CR-Z, the annoyingly-similar named Japanese and Korean car companies have both come out with sporty hatch backs designed to bring back the fun-to-drive-even-though-it’s-not-a-speed-demon class of cars (I know that’s a long name for the segment, so we’ll go ahead and stick to the traditional “hot hatch” nomenclature, even though the original hot hatch, the Volkswagen GTI has grown into a $24,000 monster, not exactly approachable for most young buyers who have things to worry about like impressing the judgmental teenage self that still lives in their heads and constantly asks ‘why aren’t you doing something cool? there’s a go-kart track near here, you know”). The Hyundai Veloster and Honda CR-Z are both small, fun-looking cars that can be easily parked in a tight spot but also fit a lot of stuff thanks to their hatch backs.
The 2012 Honda CR-Z starts at $19,345 and comes with a hybrid drivetrain with 128-hp and 123 lb-ft of torque. The 2012 Hyundai Veloster base model is $17,300 and has a direct-injected gasoline engine with 138-hp and 123 lb-ft of torque. The 2,637-lb CR-Z is 53-lbs heavier than the 2,584-lb Veloster.
Fuel economy, where the Honda CR-Z should take the win, according to the common assumption that a hybrid powertrain means amazing gas mileage, instead goes to the Hyundai Veloster. The Veloster gets 40-mpg on the highway, three better than the CR-Z’s 37 highway. To be fair, the CR-Z gets three MPG better than the Veloster in the city, with a 31-MPG rating to the Veloster’s 28, but the CR-Z also has a fancy hybrid drivetrain and a $2,000 higher starting price.
The 2012 Hyundai Veloster has 39 inches of front head room to the CR-Z’s 36.9 and 43.9 inches of leg room up front compared to 42.7 in the CR-Z, so taller buyers might be more comfortable in the Veloster. Wider buyers will also feel more comfortable in the Veloster, which has 55 inches of shoulder room and 53.2 inches of hip room, compared to 53.8 and 51.5 in the CR-V. Where the Veloster falls short is cargo space. The 2012 Honda CR-Z has 25.1 cubic feet of cargo room while the 2011 Hyundai Veloster has just 15.5.