Stick Shift: 2019 Hyundai Veloster N

Photo by: Brandon Randall

The 2019 Hyundai Veloster N is a fresh faced hot hatch that represents one of the better performance bargains around. It’s somewhat unexpected arrival proves once again, that Hyundai isn’t done surprising us. In ‘N’ form, this already spunky little sport compact, gets the serious ‘Hotwheels’ treatment, and we couldn’t be happier about it. 

This new and completely worthwhile performance package only tacks on $2,100.00, and comes with a long list of performance enhancing goodies. For starters, it will increase power output to an impressive 275 hp. With the extra power, a 0-60 sprint will only take 6.0 seconds. According to Hyundai. While this is already quick, your ‘butt dyno’ makes it feel much faster. A nicely calibrated six speed manual transmission works well with the 2.0L twin scroll turbo engine. Maybe not as precise and tactile as you’d find in the Mazda MX-5, but still a lot of fun to operate. In the more track-oriented N Mode, the manual transmission will even rev-match your aggressive downshifts. This smooths out the transition between gears and allows for a playful pop, crack exhaust soundtrack that never failed to put a smile on my face.

Braking in the Veloster N is sensitive enough without being overly touchy, making hard deceleration a stable, predictable business. A quick steering ratio with fast turn-in offers good build and feedback to the driver. Extremely helpful while powering out of a tight corner is a front axle limited-slip differential with torque vectoring. This combination helps eliminate torque steer. Stir it all together and you’re left with a car that begs to be thrown into apex after apex, powering out with turbo-charged efficiency. 

Photo via: Hyundai

On a smooth-as-glass road, N Mode stiffens up the electronically adjustable dampers, tightening the suspension immensely. If the road is anything but near-perfect though, this can create a Veloster that’s skittish and easily unsettled over bumps and road imperfections. When set to Normal, daily driving is much more comfortable, though the Veloster N, by its very nature, will always ride on the firmer side. 

A few cosmetic benefits of the N Performance package are beautiful 19” allow wheels, gloss black side mirrors, a two stage rear spoiler and lots of striking red trim elements. These travel from the bottom of the large trapezoidal front grille, across the bottom of the front bumper and back to the front wheel wells. Only to continue around the sides to the back splitter just above the dual exhaust. Small details like this go a long way to make a statement about the fun to be had behind the wheel of the Veloster N. 

On the inside, the N Package gets you exclusive sport seats, a leather wrapped steering wheel, floor matts and a custom N gauge cluster with race-inspired LED shift-timing indicator lights. The interior and exterior aesthetic match each other perfectly to communicate fun and function. Starting at $26,900, the incredible value can’t be denied. Though maybe not as well rounded a package as the Golf GTI or Civic Type R, for the money, the Hyundai Veloster N is as much fun to drive as its aesthetic would suggest, and at a fraction of the price.

By: Brandon Randall

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