Ace of Base: 2019 Hyundai Veloster 2.0

Matthew Guy
by Matthew Guy
ace of base 2019 hyundai veloster 2 0

Someone once uttered several unkind words about the name “Veloster,” claiming it to be one of the most convoluted and forced names to grace a car since the Mitsubishi Mini Active Urban Sandal.

I’m not sure I agree. After all, at least it is an actual name and not something plucked from an upset bowl of Alphagetti. The 2nd-generation Veloster bowed for the 2019 model year and, given Hyundai’s M.O. of high content and low price, we figured it’d be wise to inspect one for this week’s Ace of Base trial.

Retaining its bizzaro-world asymmetrical 2+1 door configuration, the new Veloster inhabits a kind of not-quite-coupe segment in which it is one of the only players. Plenty of indirect competition exists, however, given the V’s price point.

That point starts well below twenty grand — $18,500 in fact. For that sum, buyers will find a coupette (remember where you saw that word first, folks) endowed with a level of kit normally reserved for cars further up the food chain.

Power accessories, body-color heated mirrors, tilt/telescope wheel, Bluetooth, cruise — one could easily create a standard equipment list longer than an Adrien Brody acceptance speech. Technically called the Veloster 2.0, this machine should leave few drivers complaining about value for money. Even though I don’t usually mention it, $1,000 bonus cash off the sticker price is easily found. Bonus.

That 2.0 suffix is not a cheeky and hip reference to the fact that this is a 2nd-gen Veloster, although it certainly could. The number is instead in reference to the size of the engine found beneath the newly-sculpted hood, one which measures 2.0 liters in displacement and makes 147 horsepower. A GTI-fighting turbo is available, just not on the base car. Don’t race for slips and you’ll be fine.

The all-important air conditioning is standard but satellite radio is not. I find this vexing and will simply have to banish the scourge of terrestrial radio by way of an iTunes library, I suppose. Safety nannies like lane keeping are standard, so that’s a plus.

Looks are subjective, but I do believe the Veloster’s truncated trunk cuts a fine shape, with flared haunches and a couple of angry vertical slashes on the rear bumper. At least it doesn’t look like everything else on the road. All six colors are offered with a black interior and cost $0, unlike in the Great White North where some bold shades on this very car cost extra cheddar.

A kicker? Hyundai’s 10-year powertrain warranty, which should provide peace-of-mind to shoppers in this segment — many of whom are first-time car owners.

Whether one likes the name or not, at $18,500 with $1,000 on the hood, it’s tough to argue the Veloster’s value proposition.

[Images: Hyundai]

Not every base model has aced it. The ones which have? They help make the automotive landscape a lot better. Any others you can think of, B&B? Let us know in the comments. Naturally, feel free to eviscerate our selection.

The model above is shown in American dollars with American options and trim, absent of destination charges. As always, your dealer may sell for less.

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  • PrincipalDan PrincipalDan on Sep 26, 2018

    So have sales of this gone up since there is no Scion tC to compete with anymore? (Rode in a tC once, surprisingly roomy inside.)

  • Otaku Otaku on Sep 26, 2018

    This is easier to look at than the first generation. Then again, that's setting the bar pretty low. I think these use a version of the independent rear suspension found on the Elantra Sport, so they probably handle fairly decently. Some reviews say that the mailslot-sized rear glass makes it challenging to see anything behind you. Not sure there's either much rear seat space or cargo area available, despite its asymmetrical doors/hatchback configuration. Can't help but wonder whether Hyundai might've been better off bringing back a second-gen Elantra coupe instead.

  • MaintenanceCosts We hear endlessly from the usual suspects about the scenarios where EVs don't work as well as gas cars. We never hear the opposite side of the coin. From an EV owner (since 2019) who has a second EV reserved, here are a few points the "I road trip 1000 miles every day" crowd won't tell you about:[list][*]When you have a convenient charging situation, EV fueling is more convenient than a gas car. There is no stopping at gas stations and you start every day with a full tank.[/*][*]Where there are no-idling rules (school pickup/dropoff, lines for ferries or services, city loading, whatever else) you can keep warm or cool to your heart's content in your EV.[/*][*]In the cold, EVs will give you heat from the second you turn them on.[/*][*]EVs don't care one bit if you use them for tons of very short trips. Their mechanicals don't need to boil off condensation. (Just tonight, I used my EV to drive six blocks, because it was 31 degrees and raining, and walking would have been unpleasant.)[/*][*]EVs don't stink and don't make you breathe carcinogens on cold start.[/*][*]EV maintenance is much less frequent and much cheaper, eliminating almost all items having to do with engine, transmission, or brakes in a gas car. In most EVs the maintenance schedule consists of battery coolant changes and tire maintenance.[/*][*]You can accelerate fast in EVs without noisily attracting the attention of the cops and every passerby on the street.[/*][/list]
  • MaintenanceCosts Still can't get a RAV4 Prime for love or money. Availability of normal hybrid RAV4s and Highlanders is only slightly better. At least around here I think Toyota could sell twice the number of vehicles that they are actually bringing in at the moment.
  • Tree Trunk Been in the market for a new Highlander Hybrid, it is sold out with order time of 6 months plus. Probably would have bit the bullet if it was not for the dealers the refuse to take an order but instead want to sell from allotment whether it fits or not and at thousands over MRSP.
  • AKHusky The expense argument is nonsense. My mach e was $42k after tax credit. Basically the same as similarly equipped edge. And it completely ignores that the best selling vehicles are Rams, F150s, and Silverados, all more expensive that a bolt, MAch e or ID4. As an owner, I'd say they are still in second car territory for most places in the country.
  • Johnster I live in a red state and I see quite a few EVs being purchased by conservative, upper-class Republicans (many of them Trump-supporters). I suspect that it is a way for them to flaunt their wealth and that, over time, the preference for EVs will trickle down to less well-off Republicans.
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