Monday, October 21, 2019

2019 Hyundai Veloster N: The Brand’s Performance-Oriented Model

Highlight: This is one of two vehicles to wear the N designation, which represents performance.

Test Vehicle’s MSRP: $29,885 (Base model: $27,885)

Seating Capacity: 4 (super tight fit in the back seat)

Standard Safety Features:  ABS; airbags; an electronic stability control system; a rearview camera; and a tire pressure monitoring system

Standard Equipment: 18-inch wheels; a 6-speed rev matching manual transmission; an electronically controlled suspension system; large bore exhaust outlets; a driver selection mode; a unique sport-tuned steering; LED headlights/tail lamps; tinted glass; cloth front performance seats with highlighted blue stitching; 6-way adjustable driver’s seat; an 8-inch infotainment screen; a leather wrapped steering wheel; alloy pedals; automatic temperature control; a manual operated tilt/telescopic steering wheel; a push button keyless ignition starter system; and a keyless entry system

Optional Features On Test Vehicle: 275-hp engine; 19-inch wheels; summer tires; n corner carving differential limited slip differential with electronic control; a dual variable exhaust valve system; 13.6-inch front rotors; and 12.4-inch rear rotors

Standard Audio On Test Vehicle: an 8-speaker Infinity with SiriusXM

Bluetooth Connectivity: Yes

USB Connectivity: Yes
Bumper-to-Bumper Warranty: 5 years or 60,000 miles

Powertrain Warranty: 10 years or 100,000 miles

Standard Engine/Horsepower: 2.0-liter, 4-cylinder/250-hp

Recommended Fuel: Regular Unleaded

Standard Fuel Mileage: 22-city/28 -hwy

What’s New: The second generation Veloster has been reworked inside and out for the 2019 model year. In addition to a new redesign, the pocket rocket Veloster N joins the line up.

Why: The redesign Veloster is available in a manual or an automatic configuration. The three-door hatchback is available in a variety of trims with a choice of engines.

However, while the non performance base Veloster is outfitted with a 1.6 liter turbo engine, which produced 201-horsepower, the N Performance model, which we reviewed, was equipped with a 250-horsepower engine. The Veloster N is only available with a manual.

For those seeking a little more thrill and excitement, we recommend stepping up to the optional performance package, which kicks out a whopping 275-horsepower. The easy-to-shift 6-speed manual transmission turned the sporty three door hatchback into a factory tuned, street legal race car. And to complement the added power, the infotainment screens houses an app, which caters toward those seeking the push the limits, measuring lap times and more.

While the Veloster N is available in a variety of exterior colors, the vehicle we reviewed had a jet black main exterior color, which was appropriately accented with red trim around the lower edges of the car, as well as the front and rear fascias. The Veloster N was also equipped with matching red brake calipers, too. The black and red combination, with its sporty wheels, made this vehicle a standout from other vehicles. The vehicle just screamed it was here to take names and make a statement. And, we must say, it did not disappoint.

Inside the vehicle, the Veloster was outfitted with the N’s signature blue seatbelts, performance –oriented seats which were designed for racing or cross country trips. We found the seats to be extremely supportive and comfortable, even when taking sharp curves. A few of the higher end brands can take a page from Hyundai in terms of balancing comfort and sportiness.

Hyundai’s engineering team also placed close emphasis on making sure the vehicle wasn’t harsh and overly firm like the Hyundai Genesis R Track Coupe we reviewed years ago. The engineering team was able to hit a sweet spot with the suspension system in our Veloster N, balancing both comfort and handling capabilities.

In addition to the look and ride of the vehicle, the well-equipped sports car included such features as a push button ignition starter system, a 60/40 split fold down rear seatback, an 8-inch infotainment screen and an upgraded Infinity 8-speaker audio system with a SiriusXM audio system.

For buyers seeking premium luxury features in the Veloster, they’ll find leather seats, a wireless charging pad, a heads up display system, a navigation system and HD radio are available in the non performance top of line Ultimate trim. Added to that, a new two tone color treatment is available too.

Lastly, depending upon the trim, such safety-driving aids as a blind spot collision warning system, a rear cross traffic collision warning system, a forward-collision avoidance assistance, with pedestrian detection, and rain sensing wipers, can be outfitted in the non performance Veloster too.

But: The Veloster N does not offer any of the electronic semi driving safety aids, a navigation system or a sunroof on this performance model. The only self-driving aid we wish the product planner should consider is an electronic blind spot system.

And, unlike in Ford’s Mustangs outfitted with sound enhanced muffler system, the occupants aren’t able to experience the noise inside the cabin.

Moreover, for those seeking an automatic transmission they’ll have to revert to a non performance Veloster. This is a true driver’s oriented vehicle. One won’t find shifters here.

Furthermore, the concave rear window contains blind spots, which impedes the view of the driver.

Lastly, the Veloster’s rear seating is not designed for teens or adults. One literally has to squeeze and hold their breath to enter and exit the area. And with this being a three door, occupants can only enter and exit the rear on one side of the vehicle.

Verdict: The Veloster N is the second performance model to join Hyundai’s performance line up. The stylish Veloster N, with its fun to drive nature, will easily appeal to the tuner crowd and/or those looking for a great alternative to sports coupes such as the Camaro and the Mustang.

For those seeking to add some excitement to what has become somewhat of a hum drum experience in most of today’s vehicles, especially as more self driving features are infused into today’s vehicles, the Veloster N reminds one of all the thrills of what driving should be, as long as one is not confined to congested highways and street traffic. This is definitely a road runner to consider.

Competition:  Honda Civic Hatchback and Mazda3 Hatchback

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