2019 Hyundai Veloster

Performance


MSRP
$18,500
U.S. News Best Price Program

2019 Hyundai Veloster Performance Review

Scorecard

Performance: 8.2

The 2019 Hyundai Veloster gives you a choice of several engines. While their fuel economy numbers aren't as good as rivals', the engines deliver ample (or better) power. The Veloster also handles well and rides smoothly. Performance-wise, this Hyundai stands above most other compact cars.

  • "Hyundai put some real thought into this car, and [it] deserves credit for not dumbing down the mechanicals of the 2019 Veloster. The revised suspension pays dividends, and the turbo motor punches above the weight its raw numbers would suggest." -- Autoblog
  • "There is plenty of vroom right away as I carved up the winding desert roads in the hills above the city, with the Veloster offering amazingly flat cornering and easy to predict handling right away, along with a quick and nicely-tuned steering feel that soaks up harsh impacts while offering just the right amount of feedback." -- Autoweek
  • "Right from the first few moments behind the wheel it's clear that Hyundai has addressed the drivetrain bugaboos that made pushing the previous Veloster to the limit such an unrewarding effort. The delayed throttle response between upshifts – installed, so the theory goes, to protect the transmission's internal components – has been wiped from almost every area of the rev range, making it much more fun to run the car to redline." -- New York Daily News

Acceleration and Power

The Veloster 2.0 trim features a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that puts out 147 horsepower. This engine delivers ample power for almost all driving situations, but it doesn't have the energetic feel of the available turbocharged engine.

Veloster Turbo and Veloster R-Spec models come with a turbocharged, 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 201 horsepower. With this engine, the Veloster feels quick. Acceleration is good from a stop or on the highway, and there's not much turbo lag.

The performance-oriented Veloster N, which debuts in the fall of 2018, features a turbocharged, 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that puts out 275 horsepower.

A six-speed manual transmission comes standard. A six-speed automatic transmission is available with the base engine, and a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic is available in non-R-Spec Turbo models.

With the base engine and the automatic transmission, the Veloster gets an EPA-estimated 27 mpg in the city and 34 mpg on the highway. While those might look like good ratings, they're actually below average for the class. With the available turbo-four engine, the numbers are ever so slightly better: 28/34 mpg city/highway.

  • "With all that torque available down low, and an impressively flat torque curve, the Veloster Turbo models packs more punch than the horsepower figure suggests. Acceleration when powering around tight corners, or merging into Austin's surprisingly fickle rush-hour traffic, is strong and purposeful." -- Autoblog
  • "After spending 150 miles in Turbos, the 2.0 feels noticeably slower, though in Sport mode it does its gol-dangedest to deliver at least 60 percent of the driving joy. The engine's song at high revs is sweet. Wide-open throttle runs are smooth, but part-throttle hill climbs can result in upshifts that take the engine out of its powerband, resulting in busy gear changes." -- Motor Trend
  • "The turbo four is a stout motor, with virtually no lag. The Turbo R-Spec with the 6-speed manual is particularly fun to drive if you like rowing your own gearbox. Big improvements to clutch takeup and the tight, short throws of the B&M Racing shifter and linkage, make the 2019 Veloster plenty of fun to drive." -- Kelley Blue Book

Handling and Braking

You might not immediately think of a Hyundai when looking for a fun-to-drive car, but the new Veloster may change your mind. The redesigned Veloster features accurate steering, strong brakes, and buttoned-down handling that lets you zip around turns without trouble. It delivers this playful agility without compromising on ride quality, as road imperfections get absorbed with ease. You can also select from multiple driving modes that alter driving dynamics to your liking. Front-wheel drive comes standard. All-wheel drive is not available.

  • "Big improvements to clutch takeup and the tight, short throws of the B&M Racing shifter and linkage, make the 2019 Veloster plenty of fun to drive. It's quick and nimble and goes exactly where you point it. The steering feel is much improved, though still not quite as razor sharp as the action on, say, a Volkswagen GTI." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "What is nice about the new Veloster Turbo is the handling, which feels tight and sticky, though the steering feel, at least on my short amount of driving time, seemed to lack strong steering feel and predictability. But I wouldn't call the feedback bad." -- Jalopnik
  • "… the Veloster is notably more refined and athletic than before, with the sharpest body control of any Hyundai we've driven. Chassis response on curvy roads was sublime, and the body never keeled over onto its outside front tire as so many front-drive cars do. The suspension maturely irons out even brutal bumps without transmitting booms or crashes through the body or allowing any float, wheel flutter, or harshness. The Veloster's appeal to enthusiasts would be stronger if the handling allowed it to rotate a little more aggressively in tight corners." -- Car and Driver
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