2019 Hyundai Veloster N new car reviews

Photos Courtesy Hyundai

With the N model, the Hyundai Veloster finally kicks open the door to the private lounge of A-list sport compacts and demands to be taken seriously. Developed by Hyundai’s Albert Biermann–formerly of a little division you may have heard of at BMW called M–and a team of seriously hardcore engineers, the N adds some subtle and not no-so-subtle upgrades to the Veloster, which was already growing into one of the sleeper picks for fun, modern hot hatches.

Not merely a badge-and-boost package, the N designation adds some legit engineering to the Veloster platform. Several dozen additional spot and seam welds, along with a few carefully placed braces, stiffen the chassis, and electronically controlled shocks and differential provide some of the most intuitive handling we’ve experienced in a car of this class.

The 275-horsepower engine available in the Performance Package trim has a flat torque curve from about 3000 rpm all the way to the too-low-feeling, sub-7000 rpm redline. (The standard-issue Veloster N get 250 horsepower, an open diff and 18-inch wheels instead of the available 19s.)

Actually, if we were picking nits we may say that the Veloster N’s linear power delivery actually makes it a little less exciting for everyday driving. It serves to mask the actual quickness of the car, as the engine never really feels like it’s working too hard.

On track, it’s great, though. That flat torque curve works well along with the magic “corner carving” diff. (Hyundai’s designation, although we’re not going to argue.) End result: You can seriously fine-tune front end attitude with the throttle during cornering.

The chassis is darn near magic, and easily one of the most accessible front-drive platforms we’ve ever driven. Any cornering attitude is available to even moderately skilled drivers.

Want benign understeer? Just slow to corner-entry speed in a straight line and throttle through the apex. Want a little bit of oversteer? Wait on that braking and trail into the corner until the rear is at the desired slip angle–and then get back on the gas. It’s all immensely fun and immensely satisfying on track.

Seemingly durable, too: The Performance Package’s upgraded brakes with the dealer-available track pads installed never complained during a day of hard laps by journalist at Thunderhill. Hyundai techs said they probably wouldn’t even need pad replacements after two days of abuse by the media types, who can be a little tough on equipment at times.

Maybe the most exciting part of the Veloster N, though, is Hyundai’s direct outreach to the track community. In addition to those Pagid pads, they’ll sell you some R-compound Pirellis through the local Hyundai dealer.

We got to sample an N fitted with the 235/40R19 Pirelli Trofeo R tires and can report that the chassis is easily up to the task of handling the additional grip and capability of the more hardcore rubber. Yeah, all cars go faster with R-comps, but some cars easily have their chassis overwhelmed by the additional friction. Steering feel can go away, and handling at the limit can become somewhat unpredictable. Not so with the Veloster N, which just stays composed, intuitive and friendly, just with more grip.

There’s a lot here to like, and not enough room to discuss it, so we suggest you head to our YouTube page at youtube.com/grassrootsmotorsports and check out our comprehensive review of the Veloster N. It should be in dealers soon, with the Performance Package equipped cars coming in under the $30,000 mark.

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Karl La Follette
Karl La Follette UltraDork
11/2/18 4:54 p.m.

is that IRIS Blue ?

z31maniac MegaDork
11/2/18 4:58 p.m.

Reminds me of the Gulf color scheme, I dig it. 

That would be an interesting option if I needed a practical car. 

BlueInGreen - Jon
BlueInGreen - Jon SuperDork
11/2/18 5:13 p.m.

Do want.

A few years ago I never thought I’d say that about a Hyundai.

Appleseed MegaDork
11/2/18 5:17 p.m.

That baby blue with red accents is HAWT!

11/2/18 7:48 p.m.

I'd love one of these. If only Hyundai would've thought of the Accent...

MondoMike None
11/3/18 2:35 p.m.

Albert Biermann and Hyundai have officially developed a "hot hatch." Bravo!  This is a good thing.  Unfortunately, like so many modern cars, the Hyundai Veloster N  looks like a Transformer. Apparently, automotive design is now all about computer modeling and wind tunnels, so looking like a Transformer must be mandatory.  The 2019 Hyundai makes sporty, burbling noises. It is front wheel drive and weighs over 3100 lbs, just like the other commuter cars on the road. There's different driving modes and various electronic safety devices to minimize the chance of a crash if you screw up. Yes, it's pretty fast on a track, but if you can't make a car perform well with 275 HP and 235/40/R19 tires you are in the wrong line of work. My brain says I'm glad to see another competitor in the market place, especially at a lower price point,  but my heart says "meh." It's a "me too" car,  built to meet a benchmark at a specific price point.  There's nothing "wrong" with this Hyundai. I guess I'm still waiting to see something truly innovative from someone that colors outside the lines. 


Snrub HalfDork
11/3/18 3:03 p.m.

If I was looking for a Car in this segment I'd be very tempted by this. It's interesting that Hyundai is one of the few manufacturers building small displacement turbo engines with linear power delivery and that pull hard to redline.

kazoospec UltraDork
11/3/18 3:18 p.m.

My brother tells me he's ordering one.  Not sure of the time table.  Further bulletins as events warrant.  

Toebra Dork
11/3/18 8:47 p.m.

Close enough to Gulf Blue, would look good liveried up I bet.  

BluEvo210 New Reader
11/4/18 9:24 p.m.

There's no accounting for taste.

The Veloster has always been ugly as sin.  The Veloster N is no different. 

Why are we getting a "Veloster N" when the rest of the world gets the "N" treatment on the Elantra hatchback body?  The Elantra looks much better. 

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