Veloster

Hyundai Veloster information and reviews

Hyundai's official Veloster page.

Or for the spicier version of the Veloster, the Veloster N.

Safety: The IIHS scored the Veloster a Top Safety Pick.

According to the 2020 JD Power Initial Quality Study, the Veloster tied for first in class.

MotorTrend sampled both engines in the new Veloster and came away impressed. They are pleased with the grown-up-yet-funky design as well as the myriad suspension improvements over the outgoing model. The R-Spec (manual transmission "base" turbo with summer performance tires) brings agility comparisons to the Civic Si and Focus ST yet comes with a supple BMW-like ride quality (a benefit of Hyundai poaching the lead engineer from BMW M performance division a few years ago). But they go on to say that all trims of the Veloster are fun to drive and handle well, with a great ride quality, and all trims live up nicely to what they are trying to accomplish with each one.

Using words like "unflappable chassis" and "chassis response on curvy roads was sublime" and "sharpest body control of any Hyundai we've driven", Car and Driver thoroughly enjoyed their time behind the wheel of the Veloster. While they spent more seat time in the turbo variants, they did add that the non-turbo versions' chassis are as well tuned as the turbo versions. They sum up with "well-rounded, stylish, a value, and satisfying to drive". I look forward to test driving one with you!

Consumer Reports recommends the Veloster due to fun-to-drive handling, confident braking, and easy-to-use controls. They add that acceleration is also a strong point.

Automobile Magazine took the 2.0 non-turbo out for a drive. They were surprised at the amount of acceleration delivered by a car with only 147 horsepower but then realized that it is a very light car. They drove the Premium package which is very well equipped, especially considering the price of the car. As for handling, that was once again a surprise for them at how well the all-season tires held the road around corners. Click here to see all of their comments.

In this video review, Cars.com can't stop talking about how much fun the car is to drive. They drove the Turbo and pointed out that the R-Spec manual transmission is a great value. In the walk-around, they also talk about its unique styling and very practical cargo space.

Cars.com then follows up with a written review. They once again talk about how great the Turbo Veloster is to drive, but apparently someone else wrote the review than did the video. This reviewer said that the cargo capacity/flexibility is limited. But he was comparing it to a wagon-esque hatchback as opposed to a fastback coupe-like vehicle like this. When compared to others of its ilk, then the cargo room and flexibility is excellent.

But if you want a short and concise list of Cars.com's likes and dislikes, this is your article.

AutoGuide also provides a video review of the Turbo model. They talk enthusiastically about the improvements to the steering, ride and handling of the updated Veloster. In fact, they say that they prefer the 1.6T engine over that of the Civic Si. They say if you opt for the manual, then enthusiasts will enjoy the short-throw B&M shifter and great feel of the clutch, not to mention the very sticky sticky summer performance tires if you opt for the R-Spec.

Consumer Reports drove the Veloster Turbo and really enjoyed it. They called the ride "well mannered" but also fun and engaging, while the car itself offers a degree of practicality while also being affordable.

Automobile Magazine has driven the redesigned Veloster Turbo. The R-spec (manual transmission only) is the one they recommend most. While the Veloster Turbo with automatic transmission is fun to drive, the sport quotient is elevated with the R-spec. The R-spec has sport turned suspension and steering and had Michelin summer performance tires (not so functional in bad weather, but very road-sticky in good weather). They said the manual transmission was excellent, as well as the balance between sport and comfort (holds very level while cornering but doesn't make for a harsh ride). See all their comments about the R-spec and automatic transmission Turbo Velosters here.

AutoBlog drove the Veloster Turbo and Turbo R-Spec. They get into some of the suspension improvements to the front suspension and rear suspension, including use of aluminum bits to lower weight, and adding a multi-link independent rear suspension. They also mention that the powertrain is plenty power-ful and that the controls are easy to use. But to sum it up, what is important is that the car is a whole lot of fun and even enthusiasts will enjoy it.

Edmunds.com also drove the Turbo and Turbo R-Spec. They, too, loved it! They were impressed by the improved handling calling it athletic. They also appreciated the fun character. They mentioned that the R-Spec's tires are a little noisier than the all-seasons on the other cars but provided more grip. They summed up saying the new Veloster "feels like a potential home run for Hyundai".

Starting at about 5:50 into this video, Consumer Reports starts talking about their instrumented testing of the Veloster Turbo R-Spec. They say it handled the avoidance maneuver at the fastest speed they have ever tested at 60 MPH. This is faster than cars they have tested by the likes of Porsche and Lotus. They say that the stability control is tuned perfectly and the grippy summer tires that comes on the car from the factory are amazing. They kept talking about how the new Veloster Turbo R-Spec "blew (them) away", not just in the handling but in it's perfect stick shift (which they said is better than the Civic Si). They wrap up saying that Hyundai "got (this car) right".

AutoWeek drove the Veloster Turbo R-spec and came away impressed. They praised the R-spec's flat cornering, quiet interior, plethora of standard technology, great steering feel, and even the feel of the clutch and shifter. They commented that the Veloster is serious competition to sporty cars priced $10,000-$15,000 more.

Aaron Gold, senior editor at Automobile Magazine, wrote this review specifically of the Veloster Turbo R-Spec. He sums it up as "Abso-friggin'-lutely brilliant." I'm not sure that I can accurately sum up all of his superlatives, so give this entertaining article a read. In it he jokes that he is quitting his job because if Hyundai can build this good a car at this price point then his job of reviewing other cars is forever ruined.

Savage Geese has a cult following. They are typically very deadpan in their delivery but here a few smiles emerge. The Veloster N tends to have they effect. In this video, they get the bad out of the way in the beginning - Hyundai did not spend the money for this car on interior upgrades or a great sound system. So where did the money go? It is ALL about the drive.

New for 2021 on the Veloster N is the availability of a wet-type dual clutch transmission. Car and Driver reviewed this option and the other improvements for the Veloster N starting for the 2021 model year. Oh, and that DCT? Car and Driver points out that it has a quicker 0-60 and quicker quarter mile than the Civic Type R, its chief rival.

Considering that the Veloster N was up against performance cars costing 2, 3, up to almost 11 times as much, and came from manufacturers named McLaren, BMW, Lamborghini, etc, I'm really proud of where it placed among that competition for 2020 MotorTrend Performance Car of the Year. Where did it finish? First place. That's right! How the heck did it do that? Read the article to see how. Comments include "makes a Volkswagon Golf R irrelevant...No front drive car should work this well...only one machine garnered rave reviews all week...only one gathered an almost unanimous vote..." and many more like it.

AutoWeek really enjoyed their time behind the wheel of the Veloster N after driving it on a race track, autocross course, and regular roads. While this car can be a lot of fun on the track, it is comfortable enough to be a regular everyday driver as well. The electronically variable steering and shock valving makes a real difference between the various modes allowing for such a great change in use. The journalist sums up saying that he doesn't think there is a car in its price range that he'd select over this if he were looking for this kind of car.

Road and Track says the Veloster N is "the real deal". In their laps around the Nurburgring, they note that the "turn-in response and front end grip is reminiscent of the (Civic Type R)". But they also drove it on the neighboring roads of the race track and liked the way it rode as well. They said it was giggle-inducing on the track and felt quicker than the 6.1 second 0-62 speed Hyundai claims for it. See all their comments here.

In another article from Road and Track, they comment about just how incredibly different the drive modes are in the Veloster N. The car really is a comfortable everyday driver, as well as a hoot on the track. This article gets a little more into the fact that the car was designed more as a driver's car as opposed to something that gets the best numbers at the track. Cars designed for the best track numbers usually have to make too many compromises for everyday use. This article really helps you get a feel for exactly what the Veloster N is trying to be.

Car and Driver also weighed in on the Veloster N. To no surprise, they, too, say it has what it takes to be considered among the best in class. One thing that is fun to notice in all of these reviews on the Veloster N is how shocked the automotive press is about how great this car really is. Drawing comparisons to the Honda Civic Type R, they say the Veloster N has a "fluid chassis, a responsive powertrain, and an absence of torque steer. See all their praises here.

Or maybe you just want to watch a video of Car and Driver flinging a Veloster N with Performance Package around a race track.

In this article, Car and Driver updates the changes and ranks the Veloster N for 2021. It rates very well with a 9 out of 10 score, also earning a Car and Driver Editors' Choice award.

And here is a fun list. Car and Driver rates the Top Ten Quickest front drive cars they've ever tested. The Veloster N? #2

Car and Driver had a Veloster N in their long-term test fleet for 40,000 miles. This is the article in which they wrap up their thoughts on their time with the Veloster. To their surprise, the Veloster got significantly quicker during its time with Car and Driver, wheresas the Civic Type R got slower. By the end, the Veloster was actually quicker than the Type R, despite the power advantage of the Type R. As "icing on the cake", the Veloster N cost Car and Driver $1981 over their time with the car (maintenance, new tires and wiper blades) vs $5577 for the Civic Type R (TWO sets of tires, new brakes, and a seat repair afte the warranty ran out).

Are you lazy and would rather just watch a video of an Edmunds.com driver drive the Veloster N on the Nurburgring for 2 laps and comment on it while he drives? Okay. Then this is for you.

But if you want a longer video of the Veloster N from (in this case testing manager of) Edmunds.com, with more detail, then this one is kind-of fun to watch. What amused me most is the automotive journalist's obvious fun and giggles he had while driving the car. By the way, I found this video on my automotive news feed on Twitter (I follow Edmunds.com and a number of automotive sites there). Their comment on the Tweet: "Next to the @Honda Civic Type R, @VW Golf R and the @Ford Focus RS, can the @Hyundai Veloster N even be considered legitimate competition in the #hothatch segment? We think so." High praise, indeed.

Automobile Magazine drove the Veloster N on the Nurburgring in Germany, as well as on German roads (including the Autobahn). It is a fairly technical review but they come away heaping glowing praise on the Veloster N, including "feels faster and more agile than the porkier Focus RS and luxe Golf R". Another comment said that driving at 164 MPH the car was "alarmingly poised". They ended the article saying that this car is a testament to Hyundai's drive toward toppling the status quo.

Then they drove it here in the states. A few quotes: "And the grip - oh, man, the grip!" "the real deal, a serious hot hatch that can run with the best." "The ability to morph between weekend racer and weekday commuter is arguably one of Veloster N's best features, as anyone who drives a Mini JCW daily might agree - fun is fun, but it isn't fun all of the time."

So when Automobile Magazine had a chance to add one to the long-term fleet after the departure of the Civic Type-R, they couldn't resist. They said it took no time at all to compile 1000 miles on the odometer since everyone wanted to drive it. Comment after comment mentioned the smile-inducing drivability of the car. They pointed out that the Civic Type-R is a better vehicle in the sporty bits but if one of these are your everyday driver, the Veloster N's wide adjustability for suspension, steering, and engine make it a much better daily driver. Their initial summation? "This thing is brilliant!"

A quarter of the way into their year with the Veloster N they claim that if it keeps impressing like it has been, it has the chance to go down as one of their very favorite long-term fleet cars ever.  Oh, and it set a quicker time than the Subaru WRX STI Type RA on the NCM MotorSports Park racetrack... and is comfortable enough to be driven as an every day commuter. 

So what is it like on a 600 mile road trip? Again they say that this car does a great job both on the track and as an everyday driver. But this time it had to unintentionally had to handle some desert off roading on what could barely be called a "road". What did Automobile Magazine have to say? "I remain more convinced than ever that the Hyundai Veloster N might well be one of the best cars in the world."

AutoGuide had a chance to drive the Veloster N at a raceway in California but also on regular roads. They came away very impressed praising the car's personality and how fun it was to drive. They loved the confidence-inspiring brakes and the feedback of the steering. They also said that they would choose this over any of its competition if they were buying. They said it is more fun than a WRX STi and more trackable than a GTI or Golf R. Their coverage of it starts just over 4 minutes into the video and lasts about 10 minutes.

In this review, AutoBlog focuses almost entirely on the performance of the Veloster N, and that almost entirely on their on-track observations. They made some interesting comparisons to performance models from VW and Honda, and how in some ways the Veloster N out-performs the competition. They mention things like how much more linear the power delivery is in the Veloster than the VW, allowing for easier power modulation when cornering. They mention that Hyundai's electronic differential allows for more aggressive cornering than the VW and Honda competition that uses a mechanical differential. See all their notes here.

This AutoBlog post does a deep dive into the front and rear suspension of the Veloster N. While I didn't understand a lot of it, some of you reading this may be more mechanically inclined than myself and may really enjoy it. It is hosted by an automotive engineer who has done work for Hyundai. (The link at the beginning of the paragraph includes still shots with explanation in an article from the host.)

©2021 Tim Bergey

The views expressed on this website are not necessarily those of my employer.
Images copyright John Barclay, Hyundai.

 

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