Turbo Veloster proves yet again: DON’T buy a car in the first model year!
By David Menzies for MSN Autos
Dear reader, please heed the following sure-fire, money-in-the-bank, piece of advice when it comes buying a new car. And if you do heed this warning, you will emerge as happier camper. These words of wisdom are free of charge! (You’re welcome.) Don’t ever buy a new car in its first model year.
That’s what I told my pal Bob two years ago when Hyundai unveiled the Veloster.
Bob had taken a shine to the latest sporty car from South Korea and began to seriously think about buying one. I urged Bob not to. Naturally because it was me giving advice, Bob listened very intently.
And then he proceeded to do the precise opposite.
So it was that Bob visited his friendly neighbourhood Hyundai dealer and faster than you could say “Sonata”, Bob had a bright blue Veloster occupying his driveway.
Right about now, Veloster fans are scoffing, “What do you have against the Veloster?”
But what I do have a bias against is this: buying ANY car in the first year.
Simply put, the auto industry is the master of the slow tease. Year one, a Plain Jane model is unveiled and the automakers gamble there’ll be enough trailblazers out there who absolutely must be among the first to own a snazzy new model and they’ll snap ‘em up in sufficient numbers.
But invariably, the really “good stuff” will follow later. Because what happens next is this: a high-performance “GT” model comes along. And later still, a convertible is unveiled. And then perhaps a high-performance convertible. By this point in time, it’s time for the model’s second-generation to be unveiled. And then the cycle repeats itself yet again.
The point is, regardless of make or model, you do not get the whole she-bang on Day One. Never.
Oh, by the way, don’t even think about getting in touch with an automaker and asking any question pertaining to a model that has yet to be officially unveiled. Spokes-thingys for every automaker say exactly same thing when asked about anything that may be in the pipeline. And it’s this: “We do not discuss future products.” PERIOD. It is as though the future does not exist. Or it’s classified information. Or they secretly hope you’ll buy whatever is available in the here and now if you simply don’t know any better. Seriously, that’s how they think.
Also, even if you are completely happy with the first year offering as is, keep in mind that during the first model year, the manufacturer has no idea how the model is going to stand up to daily driving conditions. The feedback received from owners via dealership servicing will likely lead to some minor tweaks to the car’s mechanical pedigree in time for the next model year.
Back to Bob. Last year, Hyundai introduced a turbocharged version of the Veloster. Bob recently got a chance to drive one. The turbo delivers 201-horsepower; Bob’s Plain Jane Veloster has only 138 ponies. How does that saying go? Once they’ve seen Kansas City how do you keep ’em down on the farm?
My pal’s a bit miserable these days. Hate to say I told you so. OK, I actually love to say I told you so.
Still, I do feel kinda bad for the guy though…