Cute and quirky are just some of the words used to describe the 2019 Hyundai Veloster. Other words like unicorn, oddity and must have work, too. All new for 2019, the Veloster sticks to its original 3-passenger door design, with a front and rear door on the passenger side and a single elongated door for the driver (Hyundai calls it a 2+1). Although it looks like a cramped, low slung coupe, the Veloster is actually quite accommodating, with plenty of room up front and a small, but usable rear seat. Cargo space is generous at 19.9 cu ft., and that’s before the rear seats are folded down. Beyond its clever packaging, what makes the Veloster so much fun is its available turbocharged engine, 6-speed manual transmission and varying trim levels ranging from simple to sporty. The interior is also unique, but in a pleasing way that delights the eye and coddles its passengers. Along with its reasonable price, good fuel economy and racy looks, the Veloster also comes standard with a 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty at no extra charge. Now that’s a real value story.
What’s New for 2019?
For 2019, the Veloster has been completely redesigned, riding on a similarly sized wheelbase, but with a wider body, more power and more features. Along with the carryover trims is a new, high-performance N model that’s designed to take on the likes of the Honda Civic Type R and the Volkswagen Golf R. See the 2019 Hyundai Veloster models for sale near you
What We Like
- Powerful turbocharged engine
- Standout styling
- Impressive feature set
- Big cargo bay
- Great warranty
What We Don’t
- Handling still not up to Civic standards
- Tight rear seat
- Manual only seat adjustments
In the base Veloster, power is provided by a normally-aspirated 2.0-liter good for 147 horsepower. When equipped with the 6-speed manual transmission, the EPA rates the Veloster at 25 miles per gallon in the city and 33 mpg on the highway. Move up to the 6-speed automatic and fuel economy jumps to 27 mpg city/34 mpg hwy. The Turbo trims employ a 1.6-liter turbocharged engine producing 201 hp. Cars with the manual transmission can earn a respectable 26 mpg city/33 mpg hwy, while those equipped with the dual-clutch 7-speed automatic get 28 mpg city/34 mpg hwy. Finally, there is the N model that uses a turbocharged 2.0-liter engine good for either 250 or 275 hp, depending on packaging. This model only comes with a 6-speed manual transmission and earns an EPA estimated 22 mpg city and 28 mpg hwy.
Standard Features & Options
The 2019 Hyundai Veloster comes in six trims: 2.0, 2.0 Premium, Turbo R-Spec, Turbo, Turbo Ultimate and N. All but the N come as a complete package, meaning the only options are some dealer installed accessories.
The Veloster 2.0 ($19,420) comes with a 6-speed manual transmission, 17-in alloy wheels, drive mode select, forward-collision warning, a driver’s blind-spot mirror, driver attention warning, lane-keeping assist, a rearview camera, dual power heated outside mirrors, automatic headlights, a rear wiper/washer, air conditioning, power windows, power locks, a tilt-and-telescopic steering column, exterior temperature display, remote keyless entry, cruise control, a 7-in display audio with 6 speakers, Bluetooth, USB port plus Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
The 2.0 Premium ($23,670) adds a 6-speed automatic transmission, 18-in wheels, blind-spot monitoring, an 8-in touchscreen display with SiriusXM satellite radio, an 8-speaker Infinity audio, a wide power sunroof, a wireless charging pad, Blue Link connected services, rear cross-traffic alert, automatic climate control, a one-touch up driver’s side power window, heated front seats, cloth seats with leather bolsters and a proximity key entry with push-button start.
The Turbo R-Spec ($23,820) deletes blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, the power sunroof and heated front seats but adds a 201-hp turbocharged engine, a sport-tuned suspension, LED headlights with auto high beam assist, Michelin Pilot Sport 4 tires, manual climate control, adjustable rear seat head restraints and alloy pedals.
The Turbo ($26,320) adds back the heated front seats, blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, a power sunroof and automatic climate control, then adds power lumbar for the driver, auto defogging windshield and a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.
The Turbo Ultimate ($27,570) adds back the manual transmission, forward-collision warning with pedestrian detection, rain sensing wipers, adaptive cruise control (requires automatic transmission), leather seating and a head-up display.
The Veloster N ($27,820) gets a 250-hp 2.0-liter engine, 6-speed manual with rev matching feature, a driver blind-spot mirror, a rearview camera, LED headlights, air conditioning, cloth seats, proximity key, 8-in audio display, Infinity 8-speaker audio, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Optional on the N is the $2,100 Performance Package that includes an additional 25 hp, an electronic limited-slip differential, 19-in wheels, variable exhaust system timing and larger front and rear brakes.
The 2019 Veloster includes standard anti-lock brakes, electronic traction and stability control plus front and side-impact airbags. Standard driver-assist features include forward-collision warning and breaking, lane-keeping assist and a driver attention monitor. Available assists include rear cross-traffic alert, blind spot monitoring and adaptive cruise control.
As of the time of this article, neither the government nor the independent Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has crash tested the 2019 Veloster.
Behind the Wheel
Jason Fogelson recently test drove the 2019 Veloster, here are some of his observations:
We drove both the 2.0-liter and Turbo models of Veloster during Hyundai’s launch event. Unfortunately, only automatic transmission vehicles were available during the event. But the Veloster still delivered on its fun-to-drive promise, especially in its Turbo trim. With three drive modes (Normal/Sport/Smart), the Turbo feels sporty and quick. The suspension is just stiff enough to give you some confidence, and the Veloster can hug the curves just fine. Torque steer makes an occasional appearance, but is easily managed. The Veloster’s limits are not the highest, but it delivers some good fun within them.
Other Cars to Consider
2019 Honda Civic Si Coupe—The Civic Si has about the same horsepower as the Veloster Turbo, but it performs a bit better in the curves. However, the Civic Coupe doesn’t offer advanced driver assists, nor is its warranty as long.
2019 Volkswagen GTI—The GTI isn’t as powerful as the most powerful Veloster, but it drives better than even the N trim, offers a more upscale interior and has four-doors versus three.
2019 Mini Cooper — The Mini is a blast to drive, offers far more options and interior upgrades, as well as the John Cooper Works package. The Cooper comes with two or four doors plus offers convertible and all-wheel-drive models.
Used VW Golf R — A 2015-2017 VW Golf R delivers nearly 300 hp, has standard all-wheel drive and some of the best sport seats in the industry.
If you’re just looking for a fun, nicely equipped coupe without a lot of power, the 2.0 Premium has the right balance of features and pricing to make it our choice. From a performance stance, we’d go with the Turbo Ultimate over the N for its available automatic transmission and additional driver-assist features. Purists looking for the ultimate ride will find the Honda Civic Type-R or the VW Golf R, though more expensive, are more satisfying choices over the Veloster N. Find a Hyundai Veloster for sale