There aren’t many cars out there with decent handling, three doors, and some style for less than $20,000. That was the Hyundai Veloster’s pitch to consumers when it hit the market for the 2012 model year, and sales peaked soon thereafter.
For the 2019 model year, Hyundai gave the Veloster a complete overhaul. Gone is the Value model that appeared for 2017. In its place, at the top end of the lineup, will come a performance model with the most power ever seen in a vehicle with this nameplate.
Here’s everything you need to know about the all-new Veloster.
1. Base 2.0 models
While the 2.0 base ($18,500) model falls below a key price point even with destination charges ($885) added, there’s quite a bit of separation between it and higher trims. This model comes standard with a four-cylinder engine (147 horsepower) and six-speed manual transmission.
The 2.0 Premium ($22,750) shares the same powertrain but adds 18-inch alloy wheels, a sunroof, and a premium audio system. Every Veloster gets standard forward-collision assist and lane-keep assist.
Maybe the biggest downside is the noticably less attractive grille on the 2.0 Velosters. Starting with the Turbo R-Spec ($22,900), you get the redesigned “cascade” grille seen on the 2019 Santa Fe.
Still, the functional air curtains and lower-sloping roof do make the 2019 Veloster more distinctive across the board. These models get 30 mpg combined with automatic transmission and 28 mpg with the manual gearbox.
2. Veloster Turbo editions
Turbo models use an 1.6-liter inline four-cylinder engine capable of 201 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque. After R-Spec, which gets the same manual eight-speed, Veloster Turbo ($25,400) gets a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. Turbo Ultimate ($26,650) gets the manual standard with the dual-clutch transmission as an option.
All three turbo models have the new grille and contrasting colors on the exterior, with Turbo Ultimate models getting a different-colored roof. Manual models with 18-inch wheels get Michelin Pilot Sport 4 summer tires.
Fuel economy is just about the same. Turbo models rate at a combined 29 mpg combined with manual transmission and 30 mpg combined with automatic transmission.
3. Interior design and caro capacity
Lower Veloster trims feature cloth seats that are adjustable six ways, with leather trim and power lumbar coming in Turbo and Turbo Ultimate. Meanwhile, heated front seats come in the upper trims and Premium 2.0 edition.
Otherwise, the leather-wrapped steering wheel and alloy pedals you expect to find in the upper trims are also here.
As for cargo space, that’s always been one of Veloster’s strong suits and continues to be in the redesigned model. Behind the second-row seat, it has 19.9 cubic feet of interior volume.
4. Interior tech
The 2019 Veloster brings a lot of advanced tech for consumers. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay come standard. Only the base model comes with 7-inch color touchscreen audio. Otherwise, an 8-inch screen is standard in every trim, with Turbo Ultimate getting navigation as well.
Infinity premium stereo with eight speakers and subwoofer go in every model except the base model. (So do Sirius XM Radio, Bluetooth hand-free phone, and Blue Link Connected Care.) Finally, Premium and Turbo Ultimate buyers get wireless charging, with the top trim getting Veloster’s first heads-up display (HUD).
5. Veloster N performance model
The biggest splash Hyundai’s 2019 Veloster brings to the market comes in the form of the N high-performance model. Born in Korea but reared at the Nurburgring, it delivers 275 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque from its 2.0-liter direct injection turbo engine. That gets matched to a close-ratio six-speed manual transmission.
N models get special exhaust notes, limited slip differential, unique suspension tuning, and optional oversized brake rotors (13.6 inches by 12.4 inches). On the exterior, you’ll find the N-design grille and front fascia with special air ducts and badging. You can opt for 18-inch or 19-inch wheels as well as an N-only Performance Blue color.
Out back, N models get a special rear spoiler and fascia with an integrated diffuser and dual exhaust. The interior also features a number of design elements unique to Hyundai’s performance line.
While the rest of the Veloster line hit the market in summer 2018, N model production begins in Korea this September and will make it to the U.S. closer to the end of the year. We’ll learn about pricing in the fall.