Top 10 cars for summer

3. Hyundai Veloster

Ahn Young-joon/AP/File
Models pose next to Hyundai Motor Co.'s Veloster Turbo during its unveiling in Seoul last month. Make sure to include the $2,000 "Style" package to get the panoramic sunroof.

Although not a track-day contender as its name might suggest, the Veloster brings nice design flair and usability to the sport compact market. “Flair” really is an understatement. The car is very visually engaging; so much so that Hyundai hopes it will break down any remaining brand resistance from diehard fans of the long-established Japanese marquees that have historically dominated the sport compact world.

The first time I saw a Veloster in the wild, it stopped me in my tracks. Literally. That’s saying something from a guy who grew up at car shows. The look is in line with Hyundai’s current style but with a big boost of drama. The scoops below the headlights and center-exit exhaust add a nice dose of sportiness without being too “Fast & Furious.”

The Veloster’s main competitors at the most economical end of the value-driven sport compact market are the Scion tC and Honda CR-Z. The Hyundai outshines both in fuel economy, and with its unique three-door layout (two dedicated passenger doors, one driver door) it will be the easiest to get in and out of.

Though the Veloster lists at $17,300, the $2,000 “Style” package is necessary to get the panoramic sunroof, which is of course an essential element to your summer Saturdays.

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