2019 Hyundai Veloster First Drive Review

The 2019 Hyundai Veloster is a quick, quirky small car with three doors and loads of personality. It’s fun to drive, starts at an affordable $18,500 and it’s undeniably a Veloster.

Since I first laid eyes on the Veloster I was in love the the edgy style and futuristic look. I wasn’t writing about cars the first time a Veloster rolled by, but I knew there was something special.

Now, eight years later Hyundai is back with the second generation to deliver the all-new 2019 Veloster.

After spending the day tearing up twisty roads around Detroit, this is what I learned about the $22,900 2019 Hyundai Veloster R Spec with six speed manual transmission.

Driving the 2019 Hyundai Veloster

The 2019 Hyundai Veloster is fun to drive, especially with the 1.6L engine matched to a 6-speed manual transmission with a short throw shifter. Arguably this is the best way to drive a fun hatch, but it’s not the only way.

You can opt for a 2.0L with manual or 6 speed automatic or a 1.6L with a 7 speed dual clutch transmission as well.

The Veloster is well-mannered enough to be your daily driver, handling Michigan’s notoriously rough roads with ease, yet fun enough to bring a smile to your face.

Detouring along twisting roads that encircle the many lakes in the area the Veloster proves it needs to be a hatchback that you consider if you are also looking at the Mini, the Mazda 3 hatchback, Golf and other hot hatches.

The 2019 Veloster R Spec is the basis for the upcoming N Spec, which is put together by the head of BMW’s M dynamics team and you can tell.

Overall handling and body control is great, allowing you to feel as the car reaches limits in corners, though traction control does kick in a little too early. Hyundai includes the option to turn on Sport mode, which tightens up the steering significantly when you are out of traffic and in more dynamic driving conditions. Braking is very good and the ride is nice thanks in part to the new suspension.

You’ll definitely want to downshift to pass and if you want more power going into turns. The clutch is excellent, allowing for smooth shifts after a few minutes of driving.

The Veloster pumps in artificial engine noise into the cabin. It’s tied to the driving you are doing and it’s not too over the top loud when turned on, however I quickly turned it off and found the real engine noise sufficient and pleasing.

2019 Hyundai Veloster Tech

You get Android Auto, Apple CarPlay and BlueLink connectivity to remote start and more form your phone, watch or with voice assistants.
You get Android Auto, Apple CarPlay and BlueLink connectivity to remote start and more form your phone, watch or with voice assistants.

The 2019 Veloster is packed with all the tech you need and want. Hyundai also includes a decent number of driver convenience features and options.

The 8-inch touch screen is easy to see and responsive. When you plug-in an iPhone or Android phone you get access to Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, which makes music, messages, maps and calls a simple and elegant affair.

You can also stream and make calls on Bluetooth and on some models drop a phone on the wireless charger to top up your power.

Hyundai also includes three years of BlueLink with the 2019 Veloster. This lets you remote start the car from your phone, including setting temperature and defrost options. You can also use many voice assistants to simplify your morning routine. This also includes options to set curfew, alarm notifications, speed alerts, a geo fence and Valet alert along with other options to know where your car is.

Hyundai includes a number of standard safety features and a collection of optional features. These vary by trim level, so you’ll need to double-check the options.

  • Forward Collision-avoidance assist – Standard
  • Forward Collision-avoidance Assist with Pedestrian Detection – Turbo Ultimate
  • Blind Spot Mirror
  • Blind Spot Collision Warning with Rear Cross Traffic Alert
  • Lane Keep Assist
  • Automatic High Beams

This is a good mix of safety and convenience features that pair up with other in vehicle safety features.

2019 Hyundai Veloster Design

The Hyundai Veloster retains a fun design that's full of personality.
The Hyundai Veloster retains a fun design that’s full of personality.

Hyundai updates the design of the Veloster with a faster roof line and other stylistic changes, but it retains the three door coupe style that presents the driver with the look of a coupe, but includes a third door on the passenger side that makes it easier to reach the back seat.

The style isn’t as out-there or concept-like as the original Veloster, but it’s still a fun looking small car with a lot of personality. The new roof line tapers faster and the car looks small from the outside, but is actually roomy for a small vehicle. If I was placing an today, I’d pick up the Turbo R-Spec in Sunset Orange, but I’d be tempted to wait for the upcoming Veloster N.

The interior is well appointed for the price. The seats are comfortable and I like the accent colors on the dash and on the seats. The interior fits the vibe of the Veloster perfectly.

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