The 2021 Hyundai Veloster N is fun to drive and now comes with more standard performance features, not to mention an available eight-speed automatic transmission. Previously, like the Honda Civic Si and Subaru WRX STi, the hottest version of the Veloster could only be had with a six-speed manual.
After driving it, we can vouch the automatic doesn’t diminish the Veloster’s appeal one bit. If anything, the addition of the automatic gearbox allows you to enjoy other aspects of this three-door hatchback even more, such as razor-sharp handling and punchy acceleration.
You can find our complete review of the 2021 Veloster N by following the above link. For a quicker spin around some of the things we like best about this sporty hatchback, plus a few less appealing items, keep reading below.
Things We Like
1. Excellent Automatic Transmission
Until now, the Hyundai Veloster N only offered one choice of transmission, a six-speed manual. New for the 2021 model year is the addition of a wet dual-clutch automatic which, during our time with the car, proved perfectly matched to its performance and attitude. Shifts are nearly seamless, and having more transmission choices helps broaden the car’s appeal.
2. N Grin Shift
Silly name, cool feature. The comically titled N Grin Shift allows for 20 seconds of turbocharger overboost. This gives a notable jolt to available torque and helps the Veloster N sprint down the road even quicker. According to Hyundai, the Veloster N takes 5.6 seconds to accelerate from 0-60 mph. From the driver’s seat, this hatch feels even faster.
3. Sharp Steering
One of the main attractions of the Veloster N is its agility and quick steering responses. Point the car where you want to go, punch the gas pedal and hold on tight! The suspension is firm, but the Veloster N remains flat during hard cornering as the electronic limited-slip differential fends off understeer.
4. Performance-Focused Sport Seats
Another notable addition to the 2021 Veloster N are its new manually-adjustable sport seats. They keep you firmly in place when hugging tight curves, and help give the somewhat mundane cabin added sparkle. The illuminated N logos on the seats are equally fun.
5. Style Statement
The Veloster N stands out in a crowd but doesn’t have the extravagant styling of some direct rivals. We like that it’s more subtle than the Honda Civic Type R and Subaru WRX STi, though not as under-the-radar as the Volkswagen Golf GTI and Golf R. Color options like blue and black help make the Veloster N’s red exterior accents pop more, too.
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Things We Don’t
1. Rigid Ride
There’s no getting around the Veloster N’s harsh suspension tuning. The rigid road feels great when cornering hard, gripping the road with tenacity. But if long-distance driving comfort is a top priority, the Veloster N could be a tough sell.
2. Limited Backseat Space
The good news is there’s a backseat with room for two adults. The bad news is they’d better not be very tall or expected to ride for long. While we appreciate the quirky three-door approach that makes accessing the backseat easier than in a coupe, there is a limited amount of headroom and legroom.
3. Cabin Quality
We wouldn’t mind some higher-quality trim and plastics used in the cabin. After all, this is a car with a starting price of approximately $33,000, including destination. The new sport seats do a nice job of enlivening the interior, but many of the materials used on the dash and doors are what you’ll find in the standard, economy-minded Veloster that stickers for roughly $20,000. Since these carryover parts help keep the Veloster N’s price within reason, it’s easier to forgive some of the cheaper-looking cabin trim.
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