Hyundai Kills Most Veloster Trims, Keeps N

Tim Healey
by Tim Healey

Hyundai’s Veloster is dead.


Don’t worry, performance fans — the one trim that lives on is the high-zoot N.

Yes, you read that right — a brand (mostly) killed a car and kept the best version of it on sale. Usually, it’s the other way around — the cool version gets the ax and the most boring trim soldiers on.

Still, I admit to mixed feelings. The regular Veloster could be a lot cheaper, depending on how it was optioned out, and the R-Spec trim offered performance at an affordable price. The Turbo model balanced comfort and fun and was even available with a clutch, at least at launch.

I never have much cared for the three-door setup, but otherwise have found the Veloster a fun little hatchback that can be fun to drive. Now we’re left with the N, which is a wonderful hot hatch but a bit too stiff-riding for easy commuting.

Still, it’s good to see the N keep on keepin’ on. There are too few sporting machines on the market that are both affordable and excellent at what they do, so kudos to Hyundai for keeping the N.

That said, couldn’t they have shuffled the decks to have the R-Spec be a base performance car, with a Turbo trim for a balance of fun and daily driving?

Fine, we’re stuck with the N. Could be worse.

[Image: Hyundai]

Tim Healey
Tim Healey

Tim Healey grew up around the auto-parts business and has always had a love for cars — his parents joke his first word was “‘Vette”. Despite this, he wanted to pursue a career in sports writing but he ended up falling semi-accidentally into the automotive-journalism industry, first at Consumer Guide Automotive and later at He also worked as an industry analyst at Mintel Group and freelanced for, CarFax,, High Gear Media, Torque News,,, among others, and of course Vertical Scope sites such as,, and He’s an urbanite and as such, doesn’t need a daily driver, but if he had one, it would be compact, sporty, and have a manual transmission.

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4 of 14 comments
  • Tankinbeans Tankinbeans on Jul 14, 2021

    To my eyes the Veloster is the least ugly of the current crop coming from Hyundai by a country mile. It'll be interesting to see if euthanizing the rest of the model line will goose sales with that exclusivity (perceived or otherwise). Has the Veloster been a poor seller. I recently watched a Hagerty video about the first Taurus SHO and how, in the presenter's estimation, it didn't sell because of the overabundance of standard Tauruses that sold. He surmised that the would-be buyers of the SHO didn't want to look like a faff with go faster bits on a Taurus.

  • Lightspeed Lightspeed on Jul 14, 2021

    Good on Hyundai for building the Veloster in the first place. I love the styling of the first gen, somehow they made it look chopped and lowered, very clever. How many people were hoping it would goad Toyota into making a hot-hatch for North America? Well they did for Europe of course.

  • Daveo Daveo on Jul 14, 2021

    Always an awkward design and never really sold in numbers. Seems like they are doing the same thing VW did with the Golf/GTI.

  • Bd2 Bd2 on Jul 14, 2021

    Once the model run is over for the Veloster-N, that'll be the end for the nameplate. Unlike for the Golf which still sells in volume in Europe, the Veloster doesn't sell much in Korea.