2019 Hyundai Veloster: Hot 3-Door Hatch

Hyundai excels in the sedan and SUV segments, but it is the three-door hatched Veloster that enters the brand into the sporty ring. From the beginning, the Veloster had a unique shape and the odd-numbered entry points definitely made it stand out amongst the competition. The newest edition to the Veloster model lineup is no exception and in fact, offers customers the cargo benefits of a sedan, the sportiness of a hatch, and that certain something only Hyundai can offer.

If you’re considering the 2019 Hyundai Veloster, read on. The popularity of this reasonably-priced model is enough to stand shoulder-to-shoulder beside the trendy crossover segment in confidence.

Performance Specifications

Powerplants for the 2019 Veloster include a 147-horsepower 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine capable of 132 lb-ft of torque and a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine packing 201 horsepower and 195 lb-ft of torque. A six-speed manual transmission is standard on select models, while the base Veloster models come equipped with a six-speed automatic transmission. Higher trim levels feature a seven-speed dual clutch automatic transmission. All Veloster models are front-wheel drive.

While Hyundai has confirmed the existence of the Veloster N model, which boasts 275 horsepower from a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, coming fall 2018, not much else is known about the vehicle beyond that.

Customers can choose from the following colors for their 2019 Hyundai Veloster:

  • Chalk White
  • Space Gray
  • Thunder Gray
  • Sunset Orange
  • Ultra Black

Fuel Efficiency

Models equipped with the six-speed manual transmission achieve 29 city and 33 highway EPA-estimated miles-per-gallon. The six-speed automatic transmissions rank in at 25 city and 33 highway mpg, with the seven-speed dual clutch automatic transmission models topping the list at 30 city and 34 highway mpg.

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Entertainment and Safety Features

Not counting the Veloster N, there are five trim levels available on the 2019 Hyundai Veloster.

The base Veloster model is powered by the 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine paired to a six-speed manual or automatic transmission. This model begins around $18,500 but upgrading to the 2.0 Premium model will get you a six-speed automatic, 18-inch wheels, and a wide sunroof.

Base Veloster models come with a seven-inch touchscreen and cloth seats. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are featured alongside Bluetooth and a short-throw shifter on models equipped with a manual gearbox. Premium and Turbo models come with leather seats and an eight-inch touchscreen. Customers can also enjoy the benefits of the Blue Link Connected Car technology which allows you to start the Veloster remotely and find it in a large parking lot. Driving modes include Normal, Sport, and Smart.

Turbo R-Spec models are the cheapest trim you can purchase with the 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine. With sport-tuned suspension and several upgrades, the Turbo R-Spec is a great trim to consider if you’re looking for the largest amount of sportiness from this hot hatch. Kelley Blue Book states the Veloster Turbo R-Spec is “one of the best values” and even Edmunds recommends it for the same reasons.

Turbo and Turbo Ultimate models feature the same 1.6-liter engine as the Turbo R-Spec. Turbo models receive a wide sunroof, while Turbo Ultimate models are available with a two-tone roof, an eight-inch navigation system with heads-up display, and a wireless charging pad.

Standard safety features include forward collision avoidance with automatic braking, lane keeping assist, automatic headlights, and backup cameras. The 2019 Veloster safety ratings are not yet available.

How the 2019 Veloster Stacks Up

Overall, reviewers of the 2019 Hyundai Veloster had more praise than they did complaints. Edmunds experts note the Veloster “won’t win any horsepower awards” but does give it points for being more comfortable than last year’s model. While Consumer Reports doesn’t recommend the Veloster for long-distance trips and didn’t appreciate the road and wind noise, they thought cranking up the volume on the easy-to-use sound system can drown out the noise.

Kelley Blue Book and Consumer Reports both compared the Veloster to the Civic Si, which offers a similar package to Hyundai’s model. The Civic Si exudes sportiness and potential as well, but it’s really up to the consumer as far as what they’re looking for in their new car. Some might prefer the body styling of the Veloster while others might trust the time-tested components Honda depends on to bring their customers back for generations.

Other popular hatchbacks include the Honda Fit, Chevy Sonic, Toyota Yaris, and Volkswagen’s Golf and GTI twins. Some might consider the FIAT and MINI Cooper to be part of this segment as well. However, you stock the playing field, the odds are tough and the competition even tougher.

VW has a great thing going with the Golf and GTI. Add cheap to reliable and you get the perfect combination for a first car, affordable daily driver, and/or fun hatch to bop around town in. As far as luxury goes, there are more expensive options you can add to the GTI to bring the VW uptown, but the Golf/GTI could never be confused with the Audi A3 hatch.

Honda and Toyota also know a winning combination of affordability and dependability means big sales, so their Fit and Yaris are built accordingly. All the same, these models lack a certain luxurious element. Drivers wishing for a bit extra will find themselves unsatisfied by the plastic trimming and simple accents in these models.

FIATs and MINIs are where the sportiness factor comes into play. Abarth has boosted the FIAT to new levels of power and even the electric powertrains in those tiny Italian buggies rival similarly-capable vehicles. MINI Coopers have a certain history they pull from as well, but interior space shrinks the farther you move backwards in these models.

Consumers might be able to get into a low-level crossover SUV for the same pricing as a Veloster, but for the money, you might as well choose the hatch. Most models will keep their value — if taken care of properly — and parking a tiny hatch is a lot easier than finding space big enough for a small SUV.

Pros

  • Fuel efficiency
  • Unique styling
  • Standard safety features

Cons

  • Not the sportiest hatch on the market
  • Limited cargo space
  • More suited to around-town driving than long trips

In an ever-divided automotive industry, the hatchback has certainly found its way into the hearts of consumers worldwide. Though crossovers and SUVs might be taking over where sedans use to confidently rule, there’s still something to be said for a tiny car that can whip around town as much as it will sip gas to avoid the pump.

The 2019 Hyundai Veloster is no exception. Pair the jaunty nature of a hatch with the open cabin spacing of a large family sedan and you’ve got the odd-ball, three-door Veloster. If you’re not convinced this model has found its niche, stop by your local Hyundai dealer today and decide for yourself. And yes, don’t forget to take a look at just how they manage to squeeze that third tiny door into the passenger side.

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