Sedans & Coupes

This Budget 2021 Hyundai Veloster N Is Really Quick for Under $30,000

Powerful vehicles often come with hefty price tags, but you’ll find plenty of other affordable options if you know where to look. Though the Hyundai Veloster N is a pricey performance vehicle, the Turbo R-Spec trim is an excellent alternative at a lower price point.

In fact, this trim offers so much bang for your buck that it made U.S. News’ list “30 Fastest Cars Under $30K in 2021.”

Hyundai Veloster Turbo R-Spec vs. Veloster N

Starting at just $23,450, the Hyundai Veloster Turbo R-Spec earned a performance score of 7.9 out of 10 from U.S. News. This model packs a 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that makes 201 hp. A six-speed manual transmission also comes standard.

The Turbo R-Spec boasts LED headlights and taillights, high-performance tires, and a sport shifter. Other advanced features include blind-spot monitoring, automatic climate control, and an available eight-inch touchscreen. U.S. News calls this trim “much livelier” than the base model and praises its power and lack of lag.

The Hyundai Veloster Turbo R-Spec is excellent, but how does it compare to the performance-oriented Veloster N? The latter has a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine producing 275 hp. Like the Turbo R-Spec, the Veloster N comes standard with a manual transmission. 

An eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission is newly available for the 2021 model. Sport suspension, variable exhaust, an electronic limited slip differential, and summer tires are also standard. They’re included as in the performance package, which was formerly only optional. The Veloster N’s impressive horsepower is also higher for 2021. Until now, it was 250 hp.

The biggest difference between these two trims

RELATED: The 2021 Hyundai Veloster Actually Comes With Plenty of Standard Safety Features

Performance-wise, the Hyundai Veloster Turbo R-Spec and Veloster N trims are surprisingly similar. The biggest difference is in the price: The Veloster N has an MSRP of $32,250. That’s almost $10,000 more than the Turbo R-Spec.

These two trims also differ in their fuel economy, another area where the Turbo R-Spec trim has a slight edge. With a dual-clutch automatic transmission, this trim gets 28 mpg in the city and 34 mpg on the highway, while the Veloster N with an automatic transmission gets 20 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on the highway. For both trims, mileage drops by about 2 mpg with the standard manual transmission.

What else to expect from the Veloster

For all Hyundai Veloster trims, U.S. News praises the attractive, sporty interior. In particular, reviewers note the modern design and colorful trim pieces. However, the Veloster’s cabin has numerous hard plastics, resulting in a less upscale appearance.

As for cargo space, the Veloster holds its own against compact sedans but isn’t particularly competitive with hatchbacks. This vehicle offers 19.9 cubic feet of storage with the back seats upright and 44.5 cubic feet with them folded down.

One thing that stands out about the Veloster is that it has three doors: one on the driver side and two on the passenger side. That’s to make it easier for passengers to access the rear seats, which U.S. News observes are roomy enough for short trips but will quickly become uncomfortable for taller passengers.

Overall, the performance between the 2021 Hyundai Veloster Turbo R-Spec and Veloster N is pretty similar. Though the Veloster N offers a bit more power, the Turbo R-Spec is a pretty sweet budget option offering excellent performance for nearly $10,000 less.