With choking traffic and a growing level of ineptitude from behind the wheel, driving is usually anything but an enjoyable experience. So as Americans we try and isolate ourselves in big SUVs and I get why. But when a hot little hatchback like this shows up the driver within is exhumed. This is the new Hyundai Veloster N and it’s the most new car fun you can have for under $30k.
Do you drive stick? Then you should drive this. It’s the only way it comes and with standard rev-matching and its satisfying operation, this is a 6-speed that makes the argument for those Save The Manual sycophants.
My last go around in the new Veloster was the previous autumn with a Turbo R-Spec and it quickly became evident that this car was the real deal and ripe for the N treatment.
It’s matured into a driver’s car whereas before it was mostly all show. Bigger engine, an electronically controlled suspension, better brakes and all kinds of N goodies, this is the Hyundai for driving enthusiasts but it’s polished and practical enough to work for you on an everyday basis. When driven in Eco or Normal modes this Veloster, with its quirky 3rddoor, cargo-friendly hatch design, wealth of convenience amenities and 25mpg on regular gas makes for a happy go lucky daily driver that can ramp things up rather quickly on demand. And what I mean by that is in Sport and N modes the sounds get louder, the engine more eager, the steering heftier, suspension tauter, and electronic nannies dialed back. You can customize your own driving mode through these easy to use menus. In typical Hyundai fashion, the user interfaces are so simple to naviagte that it continues to boggle my mind why others haven’t just copied their formula.
When piloting a sports model the only thing the driver really wants is to feel connected to the car and in control and the Veloster N delivers those attributes in spades. I love how everything you touch works in concert with your desires. And this N mode is an absolute blast.