2019 Hyundai Veloster N – Review & Road Test

2019 Hyundai Veloster N –  Review & Road Test

Do I need to remind you what a Veloster
is? Just to be safe, here goes. The Veloster is a small hatchback
introduced by Hyundai way back in 2011 with one door for the driver and two on
the curbside. It’s asymmetrical charm was just strong enough to justify a
second generation. That’s this thing. Well, actually this is something special.
This is the Veloster N. Like past Veloster’s the second gen comes with
a 2-liter base engine or a gutsier turbocharged 1.6-liter, but choose a
Veloster with the N badge and you can experience radically expanded
performance horizons. Before you ask, yes it’s fast in all the ways that
matter. The N’s 2.0-litre turbocharged mill flings plentiful power to the front
tires. I can only describe power delivery as naughty. That makes me sound creepy doesn’t it? Creep or not, when you floor the
accelerator the briefest of pauses precedes a wild swelling ruckus of
thrust. It’s like Hyundai bottled the spirit of
that friend your mom told you to stay away from and injected it right into the
engine. My man, take it to redline. No one’s watching. Heightening driver engagement is a
six-speed manual transmission that you cannot swap for an automatic. Tight
ratios, quick throws, good times. I’m telling you, learn to drive a manual. As a bonus the
Veloster N includes automatic rev matching for effortless buttery down
shifts. Hmm, buttery. The Veloster N’s fast and fun premise is supported
aesthetically and audibly inside. There are sport seats, an N-design steering
wheel, a sequential shift indicator, and wonderful light blue accents. I
especially love the seatbelts. Outside there’s N specific front and rear
fascias and rocker panels, LED headlamps to really put out the vibe, a conspicuous
spoiler and dual exhaust pipes, and if you think I’m gonna linger on the
spoiler you’re wrong. We have to talk about the exhaust. In normal mode it’s nothing special. Change to sport and a burble emerges, but hit the N button, and oh, my word.
It’s not just the sound as you’re wailing on the engine it’s what happens
when you come off throttle. This overrun crackle as Hyundai calls it
is partly achieved by retarding off throttle ignition timing. I’ll also
mention that there’s an electronic sound generator at work enhancing the
powertrain sound. Enhanced or not this thing sounds ridiculous in a good way.
While reveling in the N’s absurdity let’s talk about ride and handling.
However fast you think you can take that on-ramp you can probably go faster. Facilitating questionable cornering
speeds are grippy summer tires. You can choose standard 18-inch Michelin Pilot Super Sports or optional 19-inch Pirelli PZeros. There’s also something called
an N power sense axel. Look I’m no engineer but Hyundai claims
the N’s front axle geometry improves steering response linearity and on
center feel. Nothing I’ve experienced makes me doubt
those claims. The Veloster N turns in with satisfying precision, and when you
get on throttle exiting a corner the torque steer does not grip the steering
wheel from your hand. The Micah Muzio driver satisfaction meter would be
pegged if I wasn’t stopped behind this Cadillac STS. They bought it in Whittier.
This is the moment I need to acknowledge some unfortunate marketing verbage.
Hyundai refers to its drive mode selection system as N Grin control. No
N Grin control would not have been my first choice, but let’s focus on what it
does, not what it’s called. Normal, sport, eco and custom modes change the steering
feel, exhaust note, throttle and suspension damping rates as you’d expect,
however, activate N mode and it truly feels like you’re driving a full-tilt
racecar. Words and video don’t adequately convey
how laughably stiff N mode feels on the streets. Luckily there’s a place for
this kind of unrelenting ride quality, the racetrack. Did we cut to the racetrack yet?
While conducting Kelley Blue Book’s performance car comparison
this bad boy magically appeared. Revelation number one, the Veloster N
looks best in blue. Number two, the traits that make the N so fun on the streets
fully blossom on the track. Incidentally we happen to have a Honda Civic Type R
with us, and yes we did pit them against each other. That’s for another video, but
the critical takeaway is that the Veloster N is no poser. It is undoubtedly
track worthy. Helping guide power to ground during hardcore track sessions is
an optional electronically controlled and corner carving limited slip
differential. Once again I’m not sure I would have
signed off on the corner carving branding, but I do love confidently
blasting out of corners with minimal front drive understeer drama. The
deceleration duty 13-inch front rotors come standard, but optional performance
rotors are available 13.6- inches front and 12.4-
inches in the rear. Reliably slowing at the end of a long straight sure is nice.
The Hyundai Veloster N’s performance chops hog the limelight, it also has a
practical side. The driving position is comfortable and those seats your hold
you in place. There’s a healthy 19.9- cubic feet of cargo space,
though the opening is small. The hidden passenger side bonus door is handy for
loading passengers, assuming they’re cool with the Veloster’s cosy rear quarters and
the standard feature set is lengthy including an intelligent access with
push-button start, a premium audio system with eight speakers and a subwoofer, a
ten-year powertrain warranty, and an easy to operate eight-inch infotainment
display featuring Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. If I were to lodge one major complaint
it will be the unabashadly plastic interior. Juxtaposed with the zoomier N details, this stuff just doesn’t cut it. The best strategy is to treat the
Veloster and like a museum, look but don’t touch,
and again all that plastic helps keep the price down. Even in costlier 275-
horsepower guise the Veloster N is cheaper than the Honda Civic Type-R, though the
R’s superior power figures help justify its price premium. If saving money is the
goal, there’s a whole Veloster lineup to choose from starting at a modest
$19,500. If you want more power, a value rich Veloster
Turbo R-Spec has an MSRP starting under $24,000, but honestly the Veloster N
may have ruined lesser Veloster ‘s for me. It’s impish fun on the street and on
the track. Are you in the market for a bad influence? Come and get it.


  1. It's an impressive package but after a test drive I walked away still thinking that the GTI is the best all-rounder…then I got into my impractical,mostly plastic, but insanely fun 500 Abarth and drove away.

  2. hyundai's decision not to have an automatic version is good for the veloster branding imo…it's like saying pretentious performance car "enthusiasts" can go take a hike

  3. I know as well it's only a piggyback and not a real tune from what I've heard, but racechip has already started working on the Euro/Aussie counterpart, the I30N and the tq gains are pretty good. Once tuners start working on these, I bet itll be real fun.

  4. With the Ford Focus ST and Fiesta ST no longer available here in the U.S., I think that this Hyundai Veloster N is a more-than-worthy substitute for an inexpensive FF hot-hatch. It's a bit of a shame that the i30N isn't also offered in the U.S., as a proper five-door hatchback is a more practical body-style. But for a first time effort for Hyundai, this i30N/Velster N is quite impressive. I'd have one of these over a Golf GTI.

  5. Well this is basically the return of a "hot hatch." Old times hot hatch meant great engine, great handling and very very cheap interior. No complains from me.

  6. The Civic type R fetches almost $50k at dealers…
    For that you can get used bargains such as the ATS-V, M3 Comp, M5 (f10), CTS-V (Gen II), C63 AMG, RS3 and so on
    Or you can get the Veloster N for its price.
    Honda… dafaq you doing

  7. No matter the MSRP. Expect high dealer markup. Type Rs are stickers here around $35k but selling for $55k. I imagine a $30k N will be around $40k at dealers. The 2nd gen Tiburon was marked up $5k back in the day so there’s nothing to think this won’t happen here with the N. Other than that I like this car

  8. In Australia,we get the i30N,not the Veloster N.And regards to the hard plastics in the interior,virtually all of the R & D on the N cars were on the ‘oily’ bits…like the
    engine,the exhaust,their own brake calipers (no Brembo brakes here).This was done to ensure that the N cars were as affordable as possible for the buyer.I for one who owns
    a red i30N in Australia can live with the interior.I did option my car with the AUD$3,000 ‘Luxury Pack’ which spruces up the interior somewhat,especially with the great
    leather/alcantara seats.Also.you need to remember that this N car is Hyundai’s first attempt at the ‘hot hatch’ market.All in all,a great car.

  9. When comparing the type R and the Veloster N Car and Driver says "Both cars hold in common a fluid chassis, a responsive powertrain, and an absence of torque steer."
    In other words the cars are similar . Obviously the type R is more powerful

  10. The Veloster is a disposable Korean piece of junk when you have to explain what's your car is it is irrelevant! You don't have to explain St IRS Focus ST GT SS Z28 01 ZO6 ZR1 Shelby Etc you're not saying a Type R is over most as good as a Hyundai Hyundai always say they're almost doesn't almost at that's why they'll never be!

  11. It's hard to pinpoint the N's competitors because there really isn't any in my opinion. It sits very neatly between the Focus ST/ RS… The Civic SI/Type R…. The Golf GTI/R.

    The important thing to highlight though is the fact that on average I would think it is closer to the lower end of those 3 pairings in price, but closer to the higher end in performance. This makes it a hell of a deal I would think.

  12. Can you guys review the Veloster N without performance pack? Since it does not have the active exhaust, does that mean it’s quite?

  13. Well, I bought my 2013 WRX hatchback brand new on December 1, 2012. It’s six years and two months old. I love my car. In two years, I’ll see how the car is holding up. I’d like to get nine years out of my WRX, but I can’t say if it’ll happen.

  14. I honestly don't understand why people complain so much about the plastic interior, who drives around and touches the dash and other plastic areas as they drive or even as they are stationary.

  15. Went to 3 Dealer's to compare price
    Honda type R $38,064
    Veloster N $37,465
    That's only $599.00 Difference.
    This is Ontario CA.
    Also noticed that Honda is willing lower the price compared to Hyundai.

  16. I regret Honda Civic Type-R…..It is little better handling , little better thrust C.I.V.I.C. That is it. Type R sounds…meh~

  17. …i kinda work for them as a tech and have to admit sheepishly …. This thing is awesome for the money and the option in that lineup with the least mechanical failures.

  18. Terrific looking both inside & out. The power either 250hp or optional 275hp which comes with the performance package is really what makes this hot hatch stand out from the crowd, as well as the price for under $30,000. I have to agree with you about ALL THE HARD PLASTICS IN THE INTERIOR,…Something I've commented on before. I think Hyundai could use better materials in those areas of the car mentioned in the video without raising the price all that much, and I for one would pay the extra money. I believe that Hyundai is a great automobile manufacturer, because of the quality of their vehicles, the technology they put in them, as well as the great features, value & price!…The hard plastics at least for me, are a major area of concern because I've noticed this trend in most of their vehicles, which I don't like!!!!!

  19. So I've heard some complaints about the regular Veloster Turbo's Oncenter feel as being numb or not there at all. How is the N in comparison to that?

  20. So torn between this and the mazda 3. Love the mazda 3 looks and interior but want the power of the veloster 🙁

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