2020 Hyundai Veloster Expert Review
Unlike most sporty small coupes, the 2020 Hyundai Veloster distinguishes itself by a unique rear door on the passenger side. Although this design doesn’t detract from the Veloster’s overall good looks, it definitely makes it easier for people and things to move in and out of the rear seat.
Various trim levels bring various levels of performance, allowing the Veloster to appeal to first-time buyers as well as performance junkies looking for a fast, but inexpensive ride.
Up against more expensive, sedan-based rivals like the Subaru WRX and hatchback Honda Civic Type R, the Veloster comes up a bit short in the horsepower department, but it’s still quite quick and its price undercuts the WRX, GTI and Civic Type R by thousands of dollars.
Driving the 2020 Hyundai Veloster
One of the most significant changes made to last year’s all-new model was the addition of a multi-link independent rear suspension. As a result, the 2020 Hyundai Veloster has a more planted feel when you’re pushing it. Other improvements include better steering response, though it still could be sharpened to European levels.
The Turbo models pump out 201 horsepower from 1.6-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engines, while the standard, normally aspirated 2.0-liter models make 147 horsepower. The Turbo models aren’t that much more expensive and offer levels of performance more in line with the vehicle’s looks.
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. Hyundai has done an excellent job of controlling noise, vibration and harshness. There’s very little wind or tire noise transmitted to the cabin. Given its price point, if you had your eyes closed, you’d swear you were in a class-above car.
The Turbo R-Spec model comes with the much-improved 6-speed manual transmission, while higher-spec Turbo models are equipped with a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission that has both paddles for shifting and a sequential mode on the gear selector. The Veloster features Normal, Sport and Smart driving modes — in Sport, the exhaust note is a bit louder and amplified through the sound system. The drive modes make a noticeable difference in throttle response and the shift points of the dual-clutch automatic.
The performance-oriented Veloster N, particularly when equipped with the optional Performance package and its electronic limited-slip differential, feels totally at home on a racetrack, yet it does not beat you up with overly stiff suspension in everyday driving. With 250 horsepower under the hood, the N is the most powerful trim in the Veloster lineup.
This is a car that has been tuned on the famous Nürburgring in Germany, and it shows. Each downshift of the 6-speed manual transmission is accompanied by an automatic throttle blip, and the chassis responds beautifully to steering inputs. Perhaps most important, the electronically controlled differential allows the driver to power out of tight corners without inducing any of the wild inside wheelspin so common with other powerful front-wheel-drive cars.