2019 Hyundai Veloster Review and First Drive — Cars.com


do you like small sporty fun to drive
compact coupes well if you do just know that right this very second there are
probably fewer of you than there were about ten minutes ago the segment is
shrinking and everyone seems to be flocking to compact SUVs but Hyundai
says not so fast there are still a number of people that like to drive and
like to drive small cars and for them they’ve made this this is the new 20 1909 inside and out and if you like a
good value and you like cars that are fun to drive you do need to check this
out the changes from the 2018 to the 2019 are subtle in terms of styling it
looks very similar to the outgoing one but it is a little bit different you’ve
got a wider grille up front you have different headlights standard LED
running lights and optional LED headlights you have something in the
front they call air curtains what are their curtains I don’t know what era
curtains are I think it’s a word they’ve made up to now describe the fact that
it’s got vertical slats in the front bumper down the side you’ve got much
more prominent fenders than you did before
it gives it a longer look despite the fact that it really isn’t any longer
than the old car the wheelbase is exactly the same you get 17-inch tires
and wheels standard these are the 18 inches you have three different kinds of
18-inch wheels as options depending on the trim level that you have the
velocity looks lower than before but the height really isn’t any different it’s
the same height as the outgoing car they’ve achieved this through a little
bit of a trick and design the roofline slopes a little bit faster than it did
before when that’s led to this smaller rear window and taillights that are up a
little bit higher as well so they’ve changed the proportions of the car but
it still has quite a bit of cargo room back here you’ve got more cargo room
behind the rear seats than you view in a Jeep renegade or a chevy trax
so it actually can carry quite a bit of stuff and when you put this rear seat
down even more while all of the styling is subtly different there is one element
that is exclusive to the Veloster that has remained there still one door on the
driver side and two doors on the passenger side they’ve updated the
Velocity’s interior as well as the exterior and they’ve really rearranged
what it’s like in here it’s asymmetrical like the outside of the vehicle is
wonder on the left two doors on the right one theme on the left different
theme on the right front seat comfort is acceptable I’d say the seats are mostly
supportive the backs a little supportive there’s two different kinds of seats
depending on what trim level you get some have cloth some have leather some
that power lumbar adjust like this one in the turbo ultimate some dunk but
overall up front it’s not bad Headroom is a little bit limited when
you get the sunroof but not bad at all when you don’t have the sunroof in back
it’s tight there’s really not a lot of headroom back there it’s meant for
sometimes bringing people along or occasional friends or friends you don’t
really like that you’re gonna take on a long drive and hope to never see it
again frankly either way it’s really just meant for an occasional use the
third door on the right side is more about convenience you could put things
in a lot easier than you could in a two-door it’s a cargo feature more I
think than a passenger feature but it’s definitely unique and it’s a I think a
selling point for the Veloster this being Hyundai’s sporty coupe they’ve
given it a sporty option you can still get a manual transmission in the
Veloster it comes in two of the models you could either get it in the base
model 2-liter or you can get it in the 1.6 litre turbo now if you do get into
the turbo you can only get it in the r-spec which is the entry-level model
for the turbo but that’s actually kind of a really neat deal for just under
twenty four thousand dollars you get a manual transmission you get pilot sport
for tires you get sports suspension you get all
the racy details in here that’s a really decent price for that now the
transmission itself the manual is pretty good it’s pretty Snicket e it’s very
precise it’s actually a lot of fun to shift I only have a couple of issues
with it it’s located on the center console pretty far forward so anybody
who’s taller who’s sitting back from the steering wheel of a decent ways in order
to be comfortable really has to stretch in order to get to fifth gear or even
sixth gear I mean it’s it’s a bit of a ways out there
the other issue I have with it is that there’s not a whole lot of room in the
footwell the pedal box area is actually kind of small so I keep hitting my foot
on the bottom of the instrument panel when I’m transitioning from the dead
pedal to the clutch and back it’s a minor annoyance and if you don’t have
size 12 like I do it probably won’t be an issue but this really is a vehicle
for someone who is smaller in stature Hyundai is priced the Veloster to be
what they call their entry-level halo vehicle it’s a downward halo as they’re
calling it which I don’t know what that’s the circling on the anatomy but
still it’s something that’s supposed to be aspirational for first-time buyers so
if you can afford to get in something really cool and desirable the base model
has the 2-liter non turbocharged engine but for a few dollars more you can get
this turbocharged model which has considerably more horsepower and a lot
more scoop to it now for the price of this one this is the r-spec model it’s
just under twenty four thousand dollars which is a pretty decent price for an
entry-level sports coupe you’ve got the more powerful motor
you’ve got the manual transmission you’ve got aggressive summer tires
you’ve got all the looks and race eNOS the seats actually look fantastic you’ve
got standard apple carplay or Android auto depending on which system that you
have which personal piece of electronics you own that’s really an excellent deal
quite frankly for a car that is a lot of fun
the driving position is actually quite good
you’ve got decent forward visibility the problem is the visibility out back the
low roofline means you’ve got a very low rear window and frankly I don’t think I
can see anything more than about a hundred feet beyond the back of the car
most vehicles behind you you’re going to see the bumper and that’s really pretty
much it if there’s a cop coming up on you from the horizon you’re not gonna
see it until it’s actually on you the car makes all the right noises too and
it’s kind of interesting in terms of the noise that it’s generating because you
can adjust how it sounds now the engine noise is piped into the interior but you
can turn it off or you can turn it on you can turn it louder if you really
want to that’s there’s not many cars out there that let you adjust just the noise
usually that comes with adjusting the exhaust as well but it sounds pretty
good and the reason they they pipe these kinds of sounds in is because frankly
these engines don’t make a whole lot of noise unless you put a great big exhaust
on them there are two possible power trains for the 2019 velocity first we’ve
got the base model engine a 2-liter four-cylinder engine making 147
horsepower and the optional engine is a 1.6 liter turbocharged motor making 201
horsepower now that’s the one you want the biggest model engine is fine but the
201 horsepower turbo engine that is really a lot more entertaining there are
three possible transmissions the base engine comes with either a 6-speed
manual or 6-speed automatic and the upgraded one comes with either that
6-speed manual or a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission like we see in this one
here Hyundai has thoroughly reworked the suspension in the Veloster gone is the
torsion beam in the back now there’s a multi-link suspension back there it
really does create a much more entertaining platform everything really
very tight the suspension is firm but not punishing the steering is actually
very direct it’s got a very quick ratio as well so you get a lot of
responsiveness when you’re changing direction it’s also got an adjustable
steering feel you’ve got three different drive modes in the automatic two in the
manual transmission model the ride on the more aggressive turbo model is firm
I mean it’s a little bit bouncy but it’s really not uncomfortable it is
appropriate really to the sportiness of the vehicle the handling is really quite
good you’ve got a multi-link rear suspension
now instead of the torsion beam and that really has enabled them to open up some
options in terms of balancing the ride on the handling this thing really is a
proper little sports coupe when you put this car on the Michelin Pilot Sport
four tires that you get as part of the r-spec package that handling is even
better it is a little bit loud this model does have quite a bit of road
noise tire noise and out on the highway you’re gonna find yourself talking at
louder than normal volumes but frankly it’s a sports coupe if you didn’t want a
little bit of noise in the interior and you should have bought something a
little bit more cushy acceleration from that 1.6 litre turbo is really quite
enjoyable 201 horsepower is nothing to sneeze at and it makes a lot of its
torque down low as well right around 1,200 to 1,300 rpm which is really quite
reasonable there isn’t really any turbo lag at all and the DCT really ships
quite quickly there’s no lag there’s no springiness there’s no rubber band style
feel that we saw in the original DCT in the velociter they’ve really retuned
this well they’ve created something that’s frankly a lot of fun to drive I
keep saying that the velocity er is fun to drive and it really is it’s frankly a
lot more entertaining than the previous model it’s more comfortable it handles
better the steering feel is better the brakes they’re firm they’re progressive
we haven’t gotten too rough on them and I urban drive around Detroit and some of
the suburbs but you know we have to think that under the track to really see
how they hold up under serious sport use but overall this package especially for
the money it seemed like a winner so for all of you out there that still
like to drive cars and a fine entertainment value in a small sports
coupe you need to check out the 2019 philosopher and Veloster Turbo they
start at right around nineteen thousand dollars and fully loaded you’ll go up to
just under thirty grand which is a heck of a lot of car for not much money these
days if you’d like to learn more about the Veloster look us up at cars calm you