It’s a spirited technology for prime-efficiency hatchbacks. The Ford Fiesta ST, Focal point ST and Focal point RS procure abandoned us. We now procure got to support some time for the next Volkswagen GTI and Golf R to tumble. Shrimp car gross sales are down all around the board. However the relaxation opponents are stronger than ever and the most modern participant within the mix, the 2019 Hyundai Veloster N, is coming out swinging tough.
Having pushed its opponents, I decided to present the explanations this new, sizzling Veloster—positive, that’s a thing now—belongs in your list of vehicles to take a look at out.
(Full Disclosure: I asked Hyundai’s reps if I could perchance perchance presumably borrow a Veloster N they occasionally were kind sufficient to produce it happen for me.)
The Veloster N is a minute, gentle and highly effective hatchback that lists at $26,900 and 250 horsepower, optioning up even better. However the coolest thing about this car is that it’s managed to slice its grasp niché in a apt nonetheless longstanding sport compact market.
Honest now the hatch scene is rather mighty populated by Honda’s Civic Kind R at the upper cease of efficiency, the Golf GTI as the gold long-established of car-for-your-money, and the Mini Cooper S as the whimsical method-centered need.
Since almost each and every quiz I got asked about the Veloster N used to be some accomplish of “how does it compare” to with out a doubt among the above, we’ll fight thru the Hyundai’s strengths and weaknesses within the accomplish of a lowkey facet-by-facet.
When you zoom out to ogle the total unusual sport compact vehicles, the Subaru WRX, Honda Civic Si and Toyota GT86/BRZ elevate their very grasp advantages, too. And whilst it’s best to procure to issue all-stress-free-vehicles-below-$30,000 you’ve got to let the Mazda Mazda3 into the tent, alongside with the minute-engined variations of the Ford Mustang, Chevy Camaro and Dodge Challenger… plus, like, half of of Craigslist. It’s a apt time to be right here.
But for the sake of simplicity, we’ll follow a hypothetical non-empirical unusual-technology sizzling hatch showdown.
But First: Don’t Skip The Veloster N’s Performance Equipment
The $2,100 Performance Equipment you have to be ready to spec on a Veloster N is with out a doubt one of basically the most easy deals in car alternatives–unlocking an additional 25 HP, a mountainous brake upgrade (13.5-rush entrance; 12.3-rush rear ventilated rotors), 19-rush split 5-spoke wheels, an electronically managed dinky-scamper differential, and a multi-mode exercise blueprint.
That brings the Veloster N’s MSRP to true a hair below $30,000; its complete claimed output to 275 HP and 260 lb-ft of torque. The transmission is a six-walk manual most efficient; two-pedal alternatives are fully off the menu. Curb weight is 3,106 kilos, the wheelbase is 104.3 inches and the total car measures 167.9 inches entrance-to-aid based mostly totally on the brochure, which furthermore says:
“N. It’s the first letter of Namyang–the placement of our global R&D facility, the establish the items are created. And it’s furthermore the first letter of Nürburgring, the yarn observe the establish they’re extra tested and developed. The method of N: to ship a walk-impressed thrill surging thru you the moment you grab the wheel.”
My brief takeaway is that the car lives in an even searching medium between stress-free, funky and speedily. Now let’s in finding a small bit extra carefully at the method in which it compares to your diversified alternatives in 2019.
Versus Civic Kind R
The Honda Civic Kind R is a beast; it almost transcends “sizzling hatchback” and traits toward “coarse efficiency car that happens to be entrance-pressure.” The shifter makes each and every gearchange feel divinely definitive; turbo vitality swells and surges as you gallop the gasoline pedal.
It’s mighty (306 HP, 295 lb-ft) it’s no longer heavy (3,117 kilos) nonetheless it’s furthermore a small bit spendy ($36,300) and arguably tough to search out at. More vastly, it’s rather hardcore for day-to-day riding responsibility.
When you’re procuring new, I hypothesize that a Civic Kind R will preserve shut its label better than a Veloster N. Kind Rs justify high prices attributable to us appear to procure an elevated reverence for them, and I will’t boom I’m no longer a small bit seduced by the “Kind R memoir” myself. Finally, lots of us car followers grew up studying about its heroism. But whilst you have to be ready to search out the money for both one, you are going to aloof severely preserve shut in mind the Hyundai because it’s a first-rate step up in practicality and step down in label without sacrificing all that mighty substantial efficiency.
The N looked quieter, extra compliant on the freeway and true most regularly extra cosy around town than the Kind R on my commutes in and around Los Angeles. The Hyundai’s vitality’s no longer as explosive and its handling is a small bit softer, nonetheless man, as a long way as backroad riding stress-free goes it’s in actuality rather shut.
The Hyundai is brutally stiff in its most-hardcore “N Mode,” nonetheless the entirety’s adjustable to the point the establish you have to be ready to dwelling its suspension to “Comfort,” the entirety else to “Sport +,” and ranking and expertise I discovered very effectively-balanced for life like riding.
One Veloster N analysis I be taught known as the interior “chintzy” when in comparison with the Kind R, which I most efficient elevate up because I disagree. The N’s interior is Horny; materials are true OK nonetheless the fitment is apt and the ergonomics are good. The interface itself is refreshingly simplistic–gauges, infotainment, HVAC–the entirety’s the establish it could perchance maybe maybe perchance presumably aloof be and simple to account for.
The Civic’s interior could perchance perchance presumably need a a small little bit of extra sturdy vibe, nonetheless the variation is regularly mostly that the Honda is brightly colored interior. The cockpit of the Veloster N’s powdered donut blue, sorry “Performance Blue,” seatbelts and shapely are peculiar and sharp even supposing, and the Hyundai cockpit has one vast thing that the Civic Kind R sorely lacks: a manual hand brake.
I aloof procure there’s some weirdness with being a Volkswagen fan in a post-Dieselgate world. It must always be a small little bit of irrational, nonetheless years later I true don’t desire to have faith any specs the firm publishes now.
On the diversified hand, we don’t need a accomplish sheet to repeat us that a Golf GTI is a stress-free car. And the indisputable fact that you have to be ready to allege one thing with plaid seats, purposeful kit and a manual transmission with a list label below $29,000 in 2019 is rather frigid.
If it’s important to use aid seats generally, a Golf is going to be vastly more uncomplicated to stay with than a Veloster. Its increased cabin and better seating situation procure the funds for better visibility, and the interior accomplish feels true a small bit extra dapper. The VW’s stereo on/off icon rotating with the amount knob makes me desire to circulate gorilla and break the entirety around me every time I in finding it, nonetheless otherwise I love sitting in Golfs.
But stripes on the VW seats apart, the Veloster N has extra style–and plenty extra vitality. The GTI claims 228 HP–a 47 horse deficit–and the VW’s about 80 kilos heavier (3,186-pound claimed curb weight) standing at almost precisely the the same overall length. The Veloster N’s weight is noticeably lower: It’s 54.9 inches immense with the Performance Pack; a GTI is 57.8.
It’s been too lengthy since I’ve pushed a new GTI for me to tumble a gavel and claim the Veloster N is extra stress-free within the aid of the wheel, nonetheless I produce procure the Hyundai’s cockpit is cooler and I discovered its digital interface to be extra intuitive to use than Volkswagen’s.
When you don’t need your aid seat for toddler seats, it could perchance maybe maybe perchance presumably presumably be value edging a small bit extra from family-friendliness toward seven-day weekend warrior mode with the Veloster N.
Versus Cooper S
It’s no longer too tough to preserve shut a new Mini Cooper S accomplish around $30,000, even with about a alternatives. The John Cooper Works I’ve pushed, the efficiency-oriented flagship of Mini’s immediate, used to be too numb and soulless to justify its $44,100 as-tested list label. (That mentioned, diversified contributors right here are JCW followers.)
I procure the 189-HP Cooper S is a better steal for of us which could be involving about compact sport-luxurious and infatuated by Mini’s cutesiness.
A Mini’s major serve over diversified sport compacts in 2019 is method. These vehicles are stress-free to search out at and feel particular interior. They furthermore ranking lots of what a driver will perceive as “sportiness” from the method in which they in finding. Which is totally fine, as a long way as I’m alive to.
A Mini is plenty extra of a luxurious car than a Veloster N. The seats are thick, the switchgear’s all polished and rather, and there’s an no longer mandatory panoramic sunroof. But while a two-door Mini has better visibility than the Hyundai and an impressively low claimed curb weight of 2,760 kilos, its backseat is borderline unusable for adults, so it’s tough to declare which is regularly extra purposeful.
You could employ about a extra bucks and ranking the longer four-door Cooper S, nonetheless the extra doors in finding preposterous on this car and whilst you’re going to ranking a Mini you’los angeles effectively purchase serve of the indisputable fact that it’s basically the most easy true hatchback “coupe” you have to be ready to steal new apt now. The Clear (are they aloof selling that?) doesn’t depend.
When you’re into the hypothesis of a zippy Mini nonetheless you’re no longer married to the emblem and its pleasant face, you will earn the Veloster N no longer most efficient vastly extra enticing to pressure, nonetheless similarly east to stay with and much more cost-effective.
It’s All In Fun-Wheel Power
The purpose right here isn’t to keep the Veloster N as the mightiest of stress-free entrance-pressure stress-free vehicles in 2019—even supposing I produce procure it’d be a real contender. My method is goal to specialize within the establish it’s apt and the establish it’s no longer within the context of its rivals, all of that are quality vehicles with lots of cachet.
And clearly the Hyundai’s no longer without weaknesses. The paint job on my take a look at rig wasn’t in particular soft, gasoline financial system used to be form of aged pondering the minute footprint, and no longer having heated seats or a sunroof, at the same time as alternatives, makes me unhappy.
The Civic Kind R, Golf GTI and Cooper S are all keen and procure their very grasp advantages, nonetheless Hyundai’s new sizzling hatch could perchance perchance presumably aloof be raising extreme eyebrows in this section and I am hoping it raises the stakes for sport compact competition going into the future.
What impressed me most about the N wasn’t its flat-out walk or gasoline financial system; the car’s coolest circulate is how effectively balanced it’s miles, with merely sufficient gimmicks to present it some personality without getting embarrassing to be considered in or tiresome to stay with. And the value is regularly nearby for a vast community of car enthusiasts.
I in actuality liked the N’s on-the-waft customization while I had it–being ready to cycle between dramatically diversified suspension feels, throttle response and even auto rev-matching settings gave the car lots of versatility, and to crib a line from online sport reviewers, high replayability.
When you’re having a gaze at sizzling hatchbacks, it’s important to purchase a shut in finding at this car. When you’re hunting cheap thrills in long-established, it could perchance maybe maybe perchance presumably aloof positively be in your radar.