By on January 15, 2018

2019 Hyundai Veloster N

It wasn’t a secret that Hyundai was set to launch its next Veloster in 2018. It also was fairly certain that there would be a turbo model available.

Yet Hyundai still managed to stuff a surprise up its sleeve – the high-performance N version will come to America.

Hyundai promises “up to” 275 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque from the 2.0-liter direct-injected turbocharged four-banger, and the sole transmission is a six-speed manual.

N models are visually distinguished from other Velosters by a large rear spoiler, unique front fascia and grille, and functional air ducts for cooling the front brakes.

The dual exhaust and rear fascia (with diffuser) are also different. The N has unique side-sill rockers and is available with 18- or 19-inch wheels.

2019 Hyundai Veloster

Hyundai gives N owners five drive modes to choose from, and the N has a limited-slip differential.

In non-N news, the other two available engines are a 2.0-liter four-cylinder (147 horsepower/195 lb-ft of torque) and a turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder that makes 201 horsepower and 195 lb-ft. The standard four-pot mates to either a six-speed manual or automatic, while the turbo pairs with either a six-speed manual or seven-speed dual-clutch automatic. Both models are available with three drive modes.

All Velosters, including N models, have torque-vectoring control. Of course, the Veloster remains a three-door.

2019 Hyundai Veloster

The “regular” Veloster’s exterior design is toned down compared to the previous car, but it’s not too radical of a departure – the car is still instantly recognizable as a Veloster. The N’s exterior add-ons make it look better than the base car – the Veloster at least looks like a serious performance hatchback.

Judged based on specs and appearance alone, the new Veloster looks like it’s finally a serious entry in the sporty hatch category. The first-generation Veloster was supposed to be that car, but it ended up falling short.

2019 Hyundai Veloster N

Hyundai can now credibly claim it has a Veloster that may serve as an alternative to the GTI, thanks to the N model. However, it’s easy to make claims on paper.

If Hyundai gets the driving experience right, the car may finally fulfill its initial promise.

[Images © 2018 Matt Posky/TTAC]

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32 Comments on “2019 Hyundai Veloster – N Stands for Next...”

  • avatar


  • avatar

    If it is 8.5/10 of a GTI and the price is right I would seriously consider this. I don’t need back doors. That light blue with the red trim looks great.

    • 0 avatar
      Tim Healey

      Well you get *one* rear door.

    • 0 avatar

      That was the recipe with the Elantra Sport (vs the Civic Si) and I can say I’m super happy with it. If they can work the same magic this could be a winner.

      • 0 avatar

        I would take Elantra Sport over Si any day on price alone per performace. But… Not sure I want to spend my time in that interior. Although, Si is not much better considering dash/console design

        • 0 avatar

          This is a toss up for me, but full disclosure: I have driven a Si, but not an Elantra Sport (I have driven an Elantra, but it was a more basic version).

          The Elantra Sport’s only real drawback at first glance is the interior – it’s a dank, zerp-style cave in there, folks, and it feels only slightly less cheap than my Jetta. On the plus side, Elantras do have straightforward instrumentation and controls, and terrific infotainment systems

          I liked the way the Civic Si drove, and Civics have far better interior quality and materials; then again, I hate the instrument cluster they use on them. And don’t get me started on that awful touchscreen radio.

          I’d have to drive an Elantra Sport to see if the driving experience outweighs the dank interior. But unless this car really blew me away, my first choice in this class is still “none of the above.”

          (Translation: GTI, which is no-excuses awesome to drive and has a beautifully executed interior.)

          • 0 avatar

            I test drove both and I can tell you that neither made me think, “this one”. I ended up with another Mazda. Now

            Elantra sport
            Pros: Great brakes, engine sound, clean under hood, plenty of standard features. Drives well. Leather standard (con to me).
            Cons: Rental Interior (but seats), clutch engages right off the floor (I stalled twice, I! who never drives AT). Clutch too light. Feel of operation of knobs and switches – just horrible, hand brake feels like it is going to fall off. Plastic backing on front seats.

            Civic Si
            Pros: Its Civic that comes only with MT. Very nice seats.
            Cons: Dash and center console. Spongy/numb brakes. Mess under hood – windshield washer filler between fender and frame (WTF?). Clunky gear box – you hear “clunk, clunk” when changing gears.

            Elantra of course got the brakes right. But besides that, both of these don’t have steering, clutch and gearbox operation near level of Mazda. And to me this is most important measure.

    • 0 avatar

      The overseas reviews say the i30N is better driver than the GTI with a number of comparison with the even more hardcore Civic Type R saying that the i30N would be their pick (more fun, even tho the Type R is the faster track car, and more livable as a daily driver).

      As the Veloster-N shares its underpinnings and powerplants with the i30N, no need to say that claims are easy to make on paper b/c Hyundai has already delivered.

      Unfortunately, we aren’t getting the i30N (still hope for the i30N Fastback) and instead, are stuck with this thing.

      As for the Elantra Sport, could use better steering feel and the interior is dated.

      A good substitute for the Elantra Sport may be the new Forte which in GT guise will likely get similar suspension tuning and power (1.6T) with a seemingly nicer interior to boot.

    • 0 avatar

      Wow, I thought that was white with funky ambient light going on. I dig that color too!

  • avatar

    The overall look of this vehicle screams EV..

  • avatar

    The new Veloster shape has me thinking Scion tC – if the tC had survived one more generation I could see it evolving to this.

  • avatar

    I like it. Looking forward to seeing it in regular colors. Hopefully a nice foil to the anodyne GTI.

  • avatar

    I’ve never been a fan of the asymmetrical Veloster, and still – looking at the narrowness and height of the hatch opening – would think the new Elantra GT in an ‘N’-version would be more popular as a useful daily driver / hot hatch.

  • avatar

    So what’s up with “up to” 275 HP – is it a package or something, or a separate model?

    And 275 hp in a FWD car sounds like it could be something of a handful.

  • avatar

    The “N” stands for ‘Nope’. It’s still a weird looking little thing.

  • avatar

    “2.0-liter four-cylinder (147 horsepower/195 lb-ft of torque) ”

    “195” must be a mistake

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    The Veloster is the only Hyundai I truly can’t stand, and this regurgitation doesn’t make it any better.

  • avatar

    I aploud Hyundai for doing this, especially since I would have bought this back when the first Veloster turbo came out. I have grown up a bit since then, and can also afford a sports car to compliment my daily driver.

  • avatar


  • avatar

    Yeah, I didn’t like the OG Veloster, and while this is better I don’t like it either. Make a speedy Elantra GT-I with this engine perhaps.

  • avatar

    It is ok. Especially with those huge discounts the Hyundai dealers usually have. Especially later in the year.

  • avatar

    Interesting, Ford seems to be trimming down its hot-hatch offering, or out right existing ( I’m looking at you Fiesta ST and Focus ST/RS) while others are rolling out new hot-hatch offerings.

    Ford reshapes the market with the Fiesta & Focus hot-hatch offerings then leaves it to others to run away with it.

  • avatar

    Interesting, Ford seems to be trimming down its hot-hatch offering, or out right exiting ( I’m looking at you Fiesta ST and Focus ST/RS) while others are rolling out new hot-hatch offerings.

    Ford reshapes the market with the Fiesta & Focus hot-hatch offerings then leaves it to others to run away with it.

    • 0 avatar

      I think your observation is pretty spot on.

      As a Fiesta ST buyer and owner in the US I am sad that Ford seems intent on only offering fun to drive vehicles over 3000 lbs in future. I would consider jumping to the next gen Fiesta ST at some point if it were offered here, but otherwise it is hard to imagine jumping to a similar kind of car when I am very happy. I might have considered an RS just for the AWD difference and that crazy blue paint. So far the only other hot hatch I feel any interest for in the U.S. could be this Hyundai Veloster N. Pending driving it, of course. (Disclaimer: I know the GTI is good but I didn’t connect to driving in it, and it cost about 40% more than the Fiesta ST at the time.)

      If I did jump within Ford, I’d probably go for a V8 Mustang of some kind which are generally much more costly than hot hatches. Unfortunately the more exciting trims are often saddled with huge ADMs and weird dealer behavior. In the last few weeks, I have seen dealers still asking for $5,000 and $10,000 ADM over MSRP on base GT350s.

      Unfortunately it looks like I won’t be likely to buy any new Ford US offerings for the forseeable future. The used market will be full of gently used Mustangs, I hope with some of the air taken out of the prices.

      I’m worried that Ford is going to go entirely into selling self driving trucks and let their stellar Ford Performance division wither on the vine.

      On the other hand, and to twist back more onto topic, I am glad Hyundai is making this Veloster N. And I kind of like the robin egg-ish paint!

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