2020 Hyundai Veloster

Performance


#8 out of 13 in Compact Cars

MSRP
$18,600
U.S. News Best Price Program

2020 Hyundai Veloster Performance Review

Scorecard

Performance: 8.1

The 2020 Hyundai Veloster delivers excellent performance for the compact car class. It has several engine options, poised handling, and a comfortable ride. The Veloster isn’t the most fuel-efficient choice in the segment, but it's worth a look if you’re shopping for a performance-oriented vehicle.

  • "The … Hyundai Veloster is a revitalized version of a type of car many mainstream automakers are slowly giving up on entirely: the affordable sports car. Rivals like the Honda Civic Si and Volkswagen GTI spring to mind, but, generally speaking, car companies crank out more and more SUVs and crossovers while this once thriving segment dwindles in numbers. That's too bad, because it takes only a few minutes behind the wheel to realize the crossover and SUV crowd are missing out on a lot of driving fun." -- Autoblog (2019)
  • "Overall, the Veloster feels light on its feet and is easy to drive quickly, but also has a stiff feel to the body and chassis." -- Kelley Blue Book (2019)
  • "No matter the method, the drive is rewarding. A new multi-link rear suspension keeps the car well composed in tight corners, and lighter aluminum steering knuckles has the car digging into turns with confidence. The car feels vastly more solid than it ever did, and when the curves get tight, there's little body roll." -- CNET (2019)

Acceleration and Power

The Veloster has lots of engines to pick from, including its standard 2.0-liter four-cylinder that produces 147 horsepower. This engine should be sufficient for your daily commute, but you'll want to step up to one of the available engines if you’re searching for spirited acceleration.

Opt for the Veloster Turbo, Turbo Ultimate, or R-Spec model, and you'll get a more powerful turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 201 horsepower. For the liveliest engine in the lineup, you'll want the performance-enhanced Veloster N model. It features a 250- or 275-horsepower 2.0-liter turbo-four.

A six-speed manual transmission is standard and the only available transmission in R-Spec models. With the base engine, a six-speed automatic transmission is available, while a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic is standard in Turbo and Turbo Ultimate models. These transmissions pair well with their respective engines, but the manual transmission will give you the most engaging ride.

As far as fuel economy is concerned, the Veloster gets below-average figures. With an automatic transmission, the base Veloster gets 27 mpg in the city and 34 mpg on the highway. Models with the 1.6-liter turbo-four and an automatic transmission get 1 additional mpg in the city.

  • "Beyond its clever packaging, what makes the Veloster so much fun is its available turbocharged engine, 6-speed manual transmission and varying trim levels ranging from simple to sporty." -- Autotrader (2019)
  • "The Veloster's engine and transmission work more harmoniously together in the new … model." -- New York Daily News (2019)
  • Power from either of the two available engines won't win any horsepower awards, but the turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine (201 hp, 195 lb-ft) is plenty sporty for this lightweight, sub-3,000-pound car. The new base engine, a 2.0-liter four-cylinder, produces 147 hp and 132 lb-ft of torque. It's enough to get the Veloster moving, but that's about it." -- Edmunds (2019)

Handling and Braking

In years past, the Veloster was by no means a fun-to-drive vehicle. That all changed with this hatch's recent redesign. Its suspension system skirts the line between comfortable and sporty, and the result prevents body roll around corners and smooths out road bumps. Additionally, the Veloster provides accurate steering and agile handling, which contribute to its enjoyable ride. This Hyundai also features three driving modes – Normal, Sport, and Smart – that help tailor the ride to you. The Veloster is pretty sporty in Normal mode, but Sport mode gives it sharper steering and projects performance-focused information onto a dashboard display. Smart mode adjusts the ride to how the vehicle is driven. Front-wheel drive is standard.

  • "Adding to the Veloster's drivability is its ride and handling. Sporty hatchbacks usually come with stiff suspension systems that are unforgiving on rough roads. The Veloster has a suspension system that walks the line between sporty and comfortable without going too far in either direction. It's stiff enough to easily push through winding roads, but compliant enough to not jar your spine when the road gets rough." -- Boston Globe (2019)
  • "The Veloster Turbo has three available drive modes: Normal, Sport, and Smart. We spent most of our driving time in Sport mode, which sharpens throttle response and adds further heft to the steering. Regardless of setting, the steering is nicely weighted, and even in Normal mode the Veloster Turbo feels sporty enough to remind you that it's a fun little hatchback suitable for enthusiasts." -- Autoblog (2019)
  • "The ride is well controlled without being harsh and there's plenty under the hood to keep you amused when the road begins to bend." -- Kelley Blue Book (2019)
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