I can not cease fascinated with this automotive.

Daniel Golson/Roadshow

The Hyundai Veloster N is one in every of my favourite automobiles on sale as we speak. It is precisely the type of sporty automotive I really like — not essentially the most well-rounded in its class, however simply essentially the most enjoyable and memorable. For 2021 the Veloster N will get a brand new transmission choice within the type of an eight-speed dual-clutch automated. The Veloster’s quirky three-door physique model and beforehand manual-only setup made it a brilliant area of interest product. However buddies, I am glad to report that not solely does the brand new DCT not spoil the Veloster N’s enjoyable, I really suppose it is the transmission to get.

Like

Supremely enjoyable to drive with the brand new automaticMore customary options and techSome of the most effective exhaust noise in the marketplace

Do not Like

Not fairly the discount it used to beDisappointing lack of heated seatsStill no adaptive cruise management

For 2021 the N’s beforehand optionally available $2,100 Efficiency Bundle is now customary, that means each Veloster N will get 275 horsepower (up from 250 on the previous base automotive), an digital limited-slip differential, bigger brake discs, 19-inch wheels with Pirelli P-Zero summer season tires, and an extremely loud, crackly exhaust. That is all nice information.

The Veloster N’s turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four additionally makes 260 pound-feet of torque, with peak twist arriving between 1,450 and 4,700 rpm. With the DCT Hyundai says the Veloster N will zip to 60 mph in 5.6 seconds, a pair tenths faster than with the guide, and it feels even faster than that. There’s noticeable turbo lag at low speeds in some conditions, however that simply means you get to listen to the turbo spool up and make enjoyable wooshing noises.

These P-Zeroes and the e-LSD give the Veloster N an insane quantity of grip, and it is an absolute hoot on a very good canyon street. The steering is fast and has a ton of really feel for a contemporary electrical system, and the entire chassis setup instills confidence. After even simply quarter-hour within the automotive I begin pushing it more durable and more durable, and I am simply capable of get near the bounds of the automotive with out it being scary. On the flip facet, there’s not a ton of traction in case you aren’t mild with the throttle off the road, leading to some hilarious wheel spin akin to slightly terrier making an attempt to take off on a hardwood ground. The N’s trip may also be very harsh even with the suspension in Consolation mode, however it mellows out on the freeway. 

The DCT is the transmission you need

Let’s be sincere, the Veloster N’s customary six-speed guide transmission is just OK at greatest. It is definitely not the worst guide on the market, however I want the clutch pedal felt higher, that the shifter’s throw was shorter and that it simply felt tighter general. Up towards the close to perfection of the Honda Civic Sort R’s guide (or a Mazda Miata’s), the Veloster N simply cannot compete. Fortunately, the $1,500 DCT is completely suited to this sizzling hatch.

The Veloster N’s new eight-speed DCT is incredible.

Daniel Golson/Roadshow

Hyundai says the eight-speed DCT is a model new unit developed in-house by the N efficiency staff, however I’ve a feeing it possible shares parts with the transmission in the up to date Santa Fe. It is a moist dual-clutch, that means the transmission makes use of oil for higher lubrication and cooling, and it is bought an electrical oil pump and digital actuators.

Steel shift paddles are mounted on wheel, regardless that Roadshow workers with appropriate opinions favor them on the column, however they really feel good and have fairly good motion nonetheless. You may as well shift with the shifter itself, pulling for upshifts and pushing for downshifts — the way in which it ought to be.

Downshifts might be a tad sharper, however in any other case the brand new DCT is fast to react to driver inputs. It is not almost as jerky at low speeds as Hyundai/Kia’s earlier DCTs, even within the sportier drive modes. The tuning in automated mode is near-perfect, too. On the freeway or round city shifts are imperceptible, however whenever you begin driving aggressively it is desperate to up- or downshift because the scenario requires, all the time placing itself in the fitting gear. The transmission is so good, in actual fact, that even on canyon roads I discover myself simply leaving it in automated mode more often than not, solely shifting myself once I wish to make some further noise.

Including the DCT brings just a few further options to the Veloster N, too. A simple-to-use launch-control system lets you choose the engine velocity to launch at, and there is a nice set of shift-indicator lights within the gauge cluster (the guide has these, too). N Energy Shift prompts when greater than 90% throttle is utilized, enable for max torque supply to the wheels throughout upshifts. There’s additionally N Monitor Sense Shift, which is a flowery approach to say that the transmission can inform when it is time for sporty driving and optimizes gear choice and shift timing — most likely the explanation the automatic-mode tuning is so correct.

These large exhaust ideas make all the nice noises.

Daniel Golson/Roadshow

Activated by a button on the steering wheel is the unusually named N Grin Shift operate, one other DCT-exclusive function. It is type of like Porsche’s Sport Response button: Push it, and for 20 seconds peak torque will increase from 260 lb-ft to 278 lb-ft, the engine revs improve and the transmission will get extra responsive. It is good for passing on the freeway or getting an additional enhance of velocity on a straightaway between corners.

The DCT additionally maximizes the depth of the extraordinarily good noise supplied by the N’s twin exhaust. Put the exhaust in Sport Plus mode (it’s best to all the time do that) and downshifts lead to a cacophony of loud pops, bangs, crackles and sputters, whereas upshifts produce superb barks. It is unimaginable to not make your self snicker when driving the Veloster N, and the automated transmission makes it even simpler to make a ton of noise.

The Veloster N with the DCT will get worse fuel mileage than its guide counterpart by 2 miles per gallon within the metropolis, 1 mpg on the freeway and three mpg within the mixed cycle, in keeping with the EPA. (Often guide automobiles are much less environment friendly.) On a few freeway cruises within the Regular drive mode I noticed averages of round 32 mpg, 5 mpg higher than the EPA’s freeway ranking. However general, because of the mixture of largely metropolis driving in Los Angeles and my want to make as a lot noise as potential, I averaged just a few mpg under the Veloster N’s 20-mpg metropolis ranking. Like, I used to be getting about 14 mpg. Oops. 

Higher seats, with a serious caveat

The Veloster N’s exterior design stays unchanged — other than a brand new white paint colour changing the previous white — and that is high quality by me. I really like how this bizarre little hatch appears to be like. It is not as in-your-face loopy because the Civic Sort R, however it’s much more fascinating and thrilling than a Volkswagen Golf GTI or a Subaru WRX. Certain, the three-door physique model is not for everybody, however it bridges the practicality hole between a coupe and a frumpier four-door. (I want the motive force’s facet rear window rolled down, although, as solely the passenger-side one on the third door does.)

The brand new bucket seats are nice, however they nonetheless aren’t heated.

Daniel Golson/Roadshow

The most important change contained in the Veloster N is a brand new pair of entrance seats. They’re thinner and 4.4 kilos lighter than the previous seats, they usually each feel and appear higher, too. I significantly just like the blue light-up N logos within the backrests, although they’re solely illuminated when the automotive is parked. And don’t fret, there are nonetheless blue seatbelts and accents all through.

As earlier than, an 8-inch touchscreen is customary, however the Veloster N now additionally will get navigation and HD radio. The infotainment system is redesigned to raised align with different new Hyundai fashions; it appears to be like slicker than earlier than and works nicely, however I want there was a devoted bodily house button to get again to the primary screens simply when utilizing Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. The usual 8-speaker Infinity sound system is fairly nice, too.

Hyundai in-built a lot of N-specific pages to the Veloster’s infotainment, chief amongst them the setup for the N’s customized drive mode. Utilizing a spider chart that can look acquainted to anybody who has learn a Automobile and Driver journal prior to now three a long time, you’ll be able to modify the engine, transmission, suspension, steering, stability management, limited-slip diff and, most significantly, the exhaust sound. I usually hold the automotive in what we prefer to name auto journalist mode: Put all the things within the sportiest setting aside from the suspension, which you retain as tender as potential. Totally different screens additionally present a g-force meter, a lap timer, turbo enhance and torque output, oil temperature and extra.

Regardless of the transmission the Veloster N additionally will get a bunch of latest lively security options as customary for 2021. You now get automated emergency braking, automated excessive beams, blind-spot monitoring, lane-keeping help, rear cross-traffic alert and a driver consideration monitor. Adaptive cruise management is unfortunately nonetheless absent.

A brand new infotainment system spruces up the inside.

Daniel Golson/Roadshow

I do have to take a paragraph or two to yell at Hyundai for one thing, although. When the up to date Veloster N was unveiled in Korean spec earlier this yr I bought extraordinarily excited by these new bucket seats. They seemed nice and have been coated in suede, however most significantly they have been heated. The dearth of heated seats was my one main gripe with the Veloster N, and the 2021 mannequin fastened the issue. Even higher, the up to date N additionally bought a heated steering wheel.

So you’ll be able to think about my excessive disappointment once I bought into this US-spec automotive and seen that not solely are the seats upholstered in (admittedly good) fabric and leatherette, they don’t seem to be heated. There is no heated steering wheel. And it isn’t like these options are optionally available, within the US they simply aren’t obtainable. It is really devastating. What the hell, Hyundai?

Much less of a cut price, nonetheless essentially the most enjoyable

The draw back to the 2021 Veloster N coming with far more goodies as customary is a better worth. It is nonetheless a efficiency cut price, simply not as main as earlier than. The 2021 mannequin begins at $33,245 together with a $995 vacation spot cost, up from $28,575 final yr. With the Efficiency Bundle, although, the 2020 mannequin was $30,675, that means the worth improve for ’21 is actually solely $2,570. Including the brand new DCT pushes the worth to $34,745.

Whereas the brand new updates and DCT put the Veloster N previous the bottom worth of a Volkswagen GTI — $30,315 for the bottom S mannequin with the DSG automated — it is nonetheless cheaper than the manual-only Honda Civic Sort R, which begins at $38,450.

This three-door physique is not for everybody.

Daniel Golson/Roadshow

If It have been my cash, I would decide the Veloster N every single day of the week. It is not as comfy or sensible as a GTI, and the Sort R is sharper and extra targeted in the case of observe driving. However the Veloster N is essentially the most enjoyable. It is the recent hatch I take into consideration essentially the most typically and bear in mind driving essentially the most fondly. It makes me smile whether or not I am driving to the grocery retailer or chasing a supercar by the canyons. I can not cease speaking to buddies about how a lot I miss this automotive.

On a much less private observe, the DCT will definitely assist broaden the Veloster N’s enchantment to an entire new set of consumers along with making it extra livable day-to-day. The three-door physique is a tough promote towards extra conventional and sensible rivals, and being manual-only makes it even more durable nonetheless. Being supplied with an automated signifies that far more individuals will get to expertise and benefit from the N, and that is an excellent factor.

There’s much more good N-related information. An Elantra N is on the very close to horizon and will pack the very same powertrain because the Veloster N, wrapped in a way more palatable sedan package deal. Count on the Elantra to supply each the guide and the DCT, and it might be priced slightly cheaper than the Veloster. My colleague Steven Ewing simply bought to drive a prototype of the Elantra N, and it appears to be simply as enjoyable because the Veloster. Good.

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