Mazda MX-5 1.5-litre automatic 2015 review
Richard Berry road tests and reviews the Mazda MX-5 1.5-litre automatic with specs, fuel consumption and verdict.
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It's been a long time, but well worth the wait. When the Hyundai Veloster first came out, with its out-there looks and unusual architecture, it shaped up to be a challenger to the hot-hatch mob.
Unfortunately, somebody had forgotten about giving it the performance to match. The Veloster was held back by a naturally aspirated four-cylinder engine. Fortunately, we forgave shortcomings, much talk being of the hatch-cum-coupe styling, with two doors on the passenger side, only one on the driver's side.
The result was the dismissal of the inconvenience of squeezing in and out of the back seats through a single entrance as in a conventional coupe.
It wasn't until later when a turbocharger was hung off the motor that things began to heat up. I have had to wait until now and the Series II to taste the added grunt with a stint with a range-topping Veloster SR + Turbo, which comes to market at $36,490, plus on-road costs.
Veloster Series II has taken on more of Hyundai's Fluidic Sculpture styling with a distinctive grey grille surround and 18-inch alloy wheels in a choice of two new styles, both shod with sporty 225/40 R18 tyres.
The new unique Blue Sprinter matt paint finish of the test vehicle that 'stole the show'
However, the popularity of the Veloster seems to have dampened some of the car's curiosity quotient. It was, in fact, the new unique Blue Sprinter matt paint finish of the test vehicle that 'stole the show'.
Taking up from the exterior, the test car cabin had blue highlights scattered all around, including the word 'turbo' on the sides of the front seat backs. No need for this, it's a bit naff, really.
Contrasting stitching can be found on the steering wheel and coloured seatbelts are about to be installed with the newest models. Also new is an electroluminescent sports-style instrument cluster, while driver and front passenger are treated to power adjustable heated and ventilated seats.
The whole thing is topped off with a panoramic glass sunroof.
Up-to-date connectivity comes courtesy of a 7.0-inch LCD touchscreen displaying satellite navigation, CD player, MP3 input and three years HERE MapCare.
Veloster Series II is powered by Hyundai's direct-injection 1.6-litre Gamma engine, in naturally aspirated or turbocharged form. Power and torque figures for both engine types are unchanged. Turbo + power and torque are 150kW at 6000rpm and 265Nm between 1750 and 4500rpm.
Exclusive to the SR Turbo range is a smooth shifting seven-speed double clutch transmission with steering wheel-mounted paddle shifts.
The Veloster is short on the out-and-out exuberance of a true hot-hatch, even when using the paddle shifts
The all-new seven-speed DCT offers fast changes and improved fuel economy, measured on the official test at 7.1L/100 km, down from 7.6.
Six airbags – driver and front passenger, driver and front passenger side (thorax), full-length curtains – offer passive protection for occupants, while electronic stability control including, traction control, anti-lock braking, electronic brake force distribution, brake assist, vehicle stability management aim to keep the car out of trouble in the first place.
Hill-start assist control, somewhat pointlessly offered with auto only, helps with setting off on steep inclines. A rear-view camera lets you keep track of obstacles when reversing.
After a slowish turbo take-up, the engine chimes in with a rorty note when urged with continued pedal pressure but the Veloster is short on the out-and-out exuberance of a true hot-hatch, even when using the paddle shifts.
Fuel consumption of the test vehicle was clocked at 6L/100km in highway cruising but turned out a thirsty customer with up to 13L/100km guzzled in the suburbs.
The Veloster SR + skipped along nicely, the wheels anchored firmly to the bitumen, even on the broken surfaces of some poorly maintained roads, thanks, no doubt, in no small part to the Aussie input of the suspension and steering tuning.
Veloster Series II has dumped the previous Veloster's 16-bit motor driven power steering in favour of latest-tech 32-bit system. The SR Turbo + also adopts Hyundai's driver-adjustable three-mode Flex Steer system.
While not calling up the word ‘tepid', the Veloster SR + fails to match performance with many of the so-called hot hatches of today. What it does have is looks to carry it off. And there's the sub-30K turbo tag.
|(base)||1.6L, ULP, 6 SP MAN||$12,500 – 18,150||2016 Hyundai Veloster 2016 (base) Pricing and Specs|
|+||1.6L, ULP, 6 SP DUAL-CLUTCH AUTO||$16,300 – 22,660||2016 Hyundai Veloster 2016 + Pricing and Specs|
|SR Turbo||1.6L, ULP, 6 SP MAN||$16,000 – 22,220||2016 Hyundai Veloster 2016 SR Turbo Pricing and Specs|
|SR Turbo +||1.6L, ULP, 6 SP MAN||$17,300 – 24,090||2016 Hyundai Veloster 2016 SR Turbo + Pricing and Specs|