by Aiden Eksteen
Subcompact hatchbacks are a rare sight in the USA, let alone hot-hatches, despite the fact that they have a lot to offer in driving proficiency and enjoyment and pleasant urban meandering. The 2021 Hyundai Veloster N comes imbued with a feisty 275-horsepower turbo 4-cylinder engine and an impressive array of precision-tuned underpinnings that have it measure up admirably against its contemporaries - the Volkswagen Golf GTI and the Honda Civic Type R. However, with its second-rate cabin design, cramped rear seats, and diminutive cargo bay, it's not the most pragmatic 5-door vehicle money can buy. But even so, it's one of the most attractive and value-rich cars in the class, with Hyundai presenting the 2021 Veloster N hatchback at a price of $32,250. It comes with a fairly comprehensive array of features, too, and it's reafuel-efficient. The second-generation Veloster N is a fun car, but is its fun-focused design enough?
The 2021 Veloster N comes standard with last year's Performance Package. As such, you get 19-inch wheels wrapped in Pirelli rubber, an electronic limited-slip differential, a variable valved exhaust, and a 25-hp boost in power. Other notable improvements include additional standard safety equipment and an upgraded eight-inch display with navigation. Finally, the addition of a new eight-speed wet dual-clutch automatic transmission is big news, and up to 278 lb-ft of torque can be unleashed temporarily with turbo overboost. It brings with it steering-mounted paddle shifters and launch control. Golf GTI, be worried.
See trim levels and configurations:
2.0L Turbo Inline-4 Gas
NHTSA safety ratings are not available at this time.
In terms of performance, the 2021 Hyundai Veloster N is a really proficient and exceptionally entertaining hot-hatch that performs and handles like a genuine sports car. Its peppy engine is complemented by a standard electronically controlled suspension setup and a variable valved exhaust system, which also provides a really sweet soundtrack. It comes standard with some good comforts, conveniences, and driver assists, and the IIHS's review of the 2021 Hyundai Veloster N returned a Top Safety Pick award. This is supplemented by a superb safety rating and a solid reliability track record. That being said, there are several disadvantages to the Veloster N to consider. Though the cabin looks quite modern and nicely laid out, the infotainment touchscreen is unfashionably average, and there are numerous low-grade materials and hard plastics scattered throughout. The second-row seats are quite cramped, too, and there isn't much room presented within the trunk. As a car aimed at enthusiasts, the Veloster N hatchback isn't meant to be a versatile or pragmatic everyday vehicle. So for it is at its heart, this is an excellent little hot-hatch.
As the performance-tuned model, the Veloster N is put forward as a specialty, free-standing model. You do get a choice between the manual gearbox or CVT, the former delivering the most fun and engagement, while the DCT brings the speed and driving convenience. Sticking with the manual also spares you a $1,500 upshot in price - money we'd then use to purchase some proper track tires so you can really push the hot-hatch to its limits. The Veloster N hatch looks really good in any of the exterior paint colors, but the Performance Blue contrasts nicely with the black and red accents. If you don't like the overtly sporty impression, the Ultra Black or Racing Red forgo the red accents for a more urbane look.
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