2021 Hyundai Veloster N
The Hyundai Veloster is the last of a fondly loved segment – the small sports coupe.
From the beginning, the Veloster was quirky choice in this segment. The three side doors, including the passenger side rear door, was attractive to those looking for more practicality in a coupe. Even in its second generation, the Veloster attracts an enthusiast base with some other owners looking for something different on the road.
However, the enthusiasts were search for more. Hyundai delivered with the performance-oriented N model. The N stands for the two tracks where Hyundai developed their performance models – Namyang in the Republic of Korea and the Nurburgring in Germany.
The first result of this performance sub-brand is the Veloster N. It made a lot of people notice, at first. Then, it started winning races – and championships.
For 2021, Hyundai added an eight-speed dual clutch transmission as an option on the Veloster N. We were curious whether adding this transmission would lessen the appeal of the Veloster N.
In the design of the second-generation Veloster, Hyundai melded family design elements onto the three-door hatchback by giving it the family front end treatment. The “cascade grille” dominates the front end, which is flanked by LED headlamp units with driving lights. The side profile may look chunky, but very useful – especially on the passenger side with the rear door added. The rear end has a very small glass for the hatchback. LED taillights finish up the expressive rear end.
The Veloster N adds more with additional lower aerodynamics and ground effects from the front clip to rear diffuser. The side ground effects add a nice touch along the rocker panels. There are two huge exhaust ports sticking out of the rear diffuser. On top of the hatchback is a rear wing that hangs over the glass. Our tester came with 19-inch alloy wheels with Pirelli P Zero performance tires.
Inside the Veloster is a driver-focused cockpit full of N badges and light blue accents. One such light blue accent is the seatbelts, which can jut out from the B-pillar through an extender. The Veloster’s instrument panel is ergonomically right for the driver. The driver-oriented cockpit gives the driver access to all key functions on the steering wheel and on both sides along the beltline. The center stack offers great access to the climate and audio controls, crowned by an 8-inch tablet-like touchscreen.
Up front are a pair of cloth racing-style seats, with the blue stripe down the middle. The N badge on the seatback lights up day and night. The rear seats are split by a couple of cupholders, yet there is not much room back there. Maybe if you have average-sized adults, it would be a push to seat them comfortably.
Between the single rear door and the hatchback is 19.9 cubic feet of cargo space behind the second row of seats. If you fold the rear seats down, you will get up to 44.5 cubic feet. In all, the Veloster is the most useful coupe in the marketplace.
The Veloster N is powered by a 275-horsepower 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder. You have the choice of either a six-speed manual gearbox or the new eight-speed wet dual clutch transmission. Our tester had the latter transmission, sending power to the front wheels.
The throttle response is extremely good. You could enhance it by clicking on the Drive Mode button on the steering wheel to Sport. The gears enable the engine to rev higher for more exciting drives. You could also press the checkered flag button for the N Modes. The NGS button will force you to use the paddle shifters for a more engaging and track-fueled drive.
As for fuel economy, we averaged 28.6 MPG.
We found the ride to be firm but compliant enough for some give. The suspension is more compact, yet it defies its size by great shocks managing bigger bumps. The overall handling was superb, as it managed the turns and evasive maneuvers with a sharp feeling and response.
The steering started out as balanced. However, a switch into Sport model and beyond will give you more turning weight at the wheel, which is perfect for greater control. The turning radius seemed a bit wide, yet it felt you can point the Veloster perfectly into a turn.
The braking system starts with a great response from the pedal. There is no delay – a more assured and direct feel. We experienced great stops in normal and panic situations.
Pricing for the 2021 Hyundai Veloster N starts out at $32,250. Our tester with the dual clutch transmission came with a sticker price of $34,745. The Veloster lineup itself starts from $18,900.
To say that the Veloster N has no peers would be almost far from the truth. It remains a very unique offering. However, the Veloster N has been compared to the likes of the Honda Civic Type R, Subaru WRX and WRX STi.
Having no peer affirms the special nature of this fantastic performance coupe. In its own way, the Hyundai Veloster N is indeed one of a kind.
Story Credits: CarSoup Editors