The Hyundai Veloster is something of an oddball.

It created more of a stir than anything we’ve seen in the BusinessCar car park in a while, which is a massive credit to Hyundai, and proves the car has succeeded in bringing some attention to the fast-growing Korean brand. But it does take a little explaining, due mainly to its unusual door configuration.

Look from the driver’s side and it appears to be a regular three-door coupe like the Renault Megane Coupe or VW Scirocco, but walk around to the passenger’s door and there’s another door behind it for access to the rear seats. The idea is to combine the practicality of a hatchback with the style of a coupe, and to a large extent it works, although the car is effectively only a three-seater, as access to the seat behind the driver is tricky. But for one rear passenger it’s a much better alternative than having to climb through past the front seat.

There’s only one engine choice at present, though a much-needed turbocharged alternative is in the pipeline. It’s much-needed because the 138hp 1.6 petrol engine is lacklustre and at odds with the Veloster’s styling that implies a more sporting drive. The ride is also poor and lumpy, while the steering doesn’t give the kind of consistent feedback you’d want from a sports coupe.

But the Veloster’s odd 1+2 door layout works, and turns out to be more logical than you’d expect, and it would be interesting to see how car policies that don’t allow three-door models will treat it, while the 320-litre boot offers almost hatchback-like practicality. It’s priced to meet rivals from mainstream brands head-on, rather than slightly below them as Hyundai had been doing previously, but is well-kitted out and turns heads like nothing else in the class.

Running costs are reasonable thanks to a residual value of 35.4%, according to KwikCarcost, although it can’t match the VW Scirocco that in 1.4 TSI form is actually cheaper than the Hyundai, even if it is less powerful and not as well equipped.

The Veloster is attractive and surprisingly sensible, but not as satisfying to drive as its rivals. However, the looks alone will sell the new coupe to potential drivers, and it’s an interesting new addition from fast-improving Hyundai.

Hyundai Veloster
P11D price £20,331
Model price range £17,995-£21,745
Fuel consumption 44.1mpg
CO2 (tax) 148g/km (20%)
BIK 20/40% per month £68/£136
Service interval 20,000 miles
Insurance (1-50) group 18
Warranty 5yrs/unlimited mls
Boot space min/max 320 litres
Engine size/power 1591cc/138hp
Top speed/0-62mph 124mph/9.7secs
On sale Early 2012
Score 6/10
Verdict Dramatic looks not
backed up by
driving experience