By on August 16, 2020

The Hyundai Veloster remains an automotive oddity in a vehicle landscape rapidly shunning nonconformity, and for that, we give Hyundai credit. The car still exists. You author can still recall the first time he ever encountered one in the wild — in historic Vieux-Québec, with the “three-door” hatchback resting quietly under a streetlamp on those cobblestone streets.

A second-generation model landed in the latter part of 2018, with newfound power coming by way of the first N-badged Hyundai. With 250 horses and 260 lb-ft of torque, the Veloster N was a vehicle worthy of the hot hatch banner. And come 2021, it’ll be the only Veloster offered north of the border.

As reported by Driving, the base and mid-level Velosters will disappear from Canadian dealerships for the upcoming model year. That means buyers will no longer have the choice to outfit their oddball hatch with a fairly tepid entry-level 2.0-liter (147 hp, 132 lb-ft) or stouter 1.6-liter turbo (201 hp, 195 lb-ft).

In Canada, the Veloster will only exist to enhance the brand’s performance cred. And performance buyers shall receive, as the 275 hp Performance Package becomes standard for the coming year.

Hyundai Veloster N

Reasons? Hyundai isn’t saying, but one needs only look at the model’s sales figures to guess why. In all of 2019, Hyundai Canada sold just 1,420 Velosters. Compare that to the model’s debut year, where 5,741 Canucks lined up to look offbeat — and that was in the absence of any N-derived heat. In the first seven months of 2020, Veloster sales amounted to just 572 vehicles.

With an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic arriving for 2021, the hottest of Hyundai’s hatches opens itself up to buyers who never wanted, or never learned, to row their own. Sadly, the elimination of the lower-end Veloster comes at the same time as two other discontinuations in that northern market. The Accent, available only in five-door hatch form in Canada, vanishes from that market come 2021 (the sedan-only model remains in the U.S.), and the same goes for the Elantra GT in North America as a whole.

The latter model was available in turbocharged N Line guise, replacing the identically-equipped Sport model. Replacing all of these affordable hatchbacks? An affordable crossover of diminutive proportions (and power). For an automotive brand that introduced itself to the North American market through its hatchbacks, Hyundai seems to want to get rid of them in a hurry.

[Images: Hyundai]

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9 Comments on “Hyundai’s 2021 Veloster Comes in Three Flavors, but North of the Border, It’s a Very Different Story...”

  • avatar

    IDK what’s going on in Canada, but here in the US nearly all the small cars are going away. I think it’s 2 things: one, the fuel economy regulations penalize the small cars, especially in the next couple of years. And second, the small cheap car buyer is simply going away. Lower income people just don’t have the money at all to be buying cars.

    • 0 avatar

      One of the major points is that the US market is a bit of a driver of the Canadian market. Since we’re so small, sales wise, we don’t get much distinct from the US, since it rarely makes sense to spend so much to federalize for a few thousand sales.

      Another big point is that interest rates being so low for as long as they have, have helped push up transaction costs since the extra carrying cost is minimal. Plus, as is frequently mentioned, cars lasting so much longer makes a used car a equally sensible choice.

  • avatar

    Wouldn’t be surprised if we don’t see another Veloster, it having been effectively replaced by the Kona and Venue, including an N variant f or the Kona.

    For those looking for more performance/handling, there will be the upcoming N midship, as well as the performance-oriented electrics.

    In contrast, the i30 over in Europe should be safe for a while longer; sold around 12,500 of the i30N, alone, last year.

    • 0 avatar

      I love my Veloster N but I am going to guess you are correct. If I had to guess, Hyundai will continue to offer a hot hatch here but the next gen will pobably be based on the i30. The segment won’t embrace a crossover “hot hatch” like a Kona N. That’s a different segment.

      I don’t think the Veloster is sold in any large markets other than NA and South Korea now anyway, and it isn’t selling well here. So it’d make little sense to design a whole car just for the N treatment.

      • 0 avatar

        While think it would be smart to converge the i30 and Veloster into one model, wouldn’t see it here unless Hyundai also builds it somewhere aside from Europe.

        Hyundai recently announced that they are discontinuing the Elantra GT here, so doesn’t look promising in seeing it return.

        The only option for a sporty hatch (that isn’t a CUV) may end up being the N midship (if it goes to production), but that would be at a higher price point.

        • 0 avatar

          I think it would be akin to VW continuing the GTI here but not the Golf. A Kona N would kind of be like the Nismo Puke or GLA45. I don’t know how big sales would be and I think it will be a completely different market. I think there’s a reason you don’t see a lot of those.

  • avatar

    I saw a current generation Veloster a couple weeks ago and noticed it seemed a bit bigger than the last. Is my memory correct in that they used the same, or similar, platform as the Elantra this year versus the first generation riding on the Accent’s platform, or a related platform?

    • 0 avatar
      Todd Hoover

      Correct, the current Veloster is built on the Elantra GT platform so it’s larger than the original Veloster. I have a 2020 Veloster Turbo and it has been great so far. Nice small hatchback with pretty good pick up (the turbo has 201 hp). I know everyone wants a crossover these days but it fits my needs just fine.

  • avatar

    What subcompacts are left? Spark, Rio, Versa, Accent?

    In Canada the problem is the value of the dollar. How can Nissan or GM make any money selling $10,000 cars – or 7500 US $ ?

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