The Hyundai Veloster has been redesigned inside and out for the 2019 model year, but it continues to occupy a unique niche among rivals like the Honda Civic coupe, Volkswagen Golf, Mazda3 and even Hyundai's own Elantra GT. Starting at $19,385 including an $885 destination charge, the base price of the new Veloster is $400 more than the 2017 model but also happens to undercut many of its more conventional rivals.
Like the previous generation, the 2019 Hyundai Veloster maintains an unusual one-plus-two door layout. This features one larger door on the driver's side and two smaller doors on the passenger side. The result is a sportier coupelike profile along with the added practicality of having an actual door to access the rear seat.
The entry-level Veloster comes powered by a 147-horsepower, 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, which is also used in the current Elantra. The standard transmission is a six-speed manual, though most Veloster buyers will choose the optional six-speed automatic. The latter gearbox raises the price by exactly $1,000, to $20,385 (all prices include destination).
For comparison, the Honda Civic coupe, powered by a 158-hp, 2.0-liter four-cylinder and fitted with an optional continuously variable automatic transmission, carries a starting price of $20,245. A similarly equipped Elantra GT, with a slightly more powerful version of the four-cylinder found in lower trims of the Veloster, rings in at $20,235.
Buyers who desire additional power will want to consider the Veloster Turbo, which comes equipped with a 201-hp, 1.6-liter four-cylinder, available with either a six-speed manual or optional seven-speed dual-clutch automatic. These turbocharged models are priced at $23,785 for the manual and $26,285 for the automatic. EPA-estimated fuel economy for 1.6-liter models is 28/34/30 mpg city/highway/combined for the automatic and 26/33/29 mpg for the manual; that compares with the 2.0-liter's 27/34/30 mpg and 25/33/28 mpg for the automatic and manual, respectively.
In keeping with the Veloster's fun-to-drive image, turbocharged models come with an independent multilink rear suspension as standard. This more complex suspension arrangement should provide agile handling and a more refined ride.
All Veloster models, no matter the engine, also come with Torque Vectoring Control. The system works with the electronic stability control and engine management software to mimic the feel of a mechanical limited-slip differential. (It's kind of a cheat, but if it sharpens the steering, we'll let Hyundai off the hook.)
At the very top of the Veloster range are the Turbo Ultimate manual ($27,535) and Turbo Ultimate dual-clutch automatic ($29,035). While these come nearly fully loaded with everything you can add to the Veloster, the higher price and quirky door configuration might have some car shoppers considering more conventional offerings, such as the Volkswagen Golf GTI or Mazda3 five-door.
Hyundai continues its habit of adding a long list of standard features to its entire range, and the 2019 Veloster is no exception. Slightly longer than the outgoing model, the new Veloster comes standard with LED headlights and a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment screen in addition to available 18-inch wheels.
A premium system with an 8-inch screen is standard on Turbo models. It comes with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility along with available features like SiriusXM satellite radio and Hyundai's Blue Link concierge system. Safety has also been factored into all trim levels of the Veloster: Standard safety items now include forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking, a rearview camera, lane keep assist and a driver attention warning system.
The 2019 Hyundai Veloster goes on sale this spring. No word yet on pricing for the powered-up Veloster N model, set to arrive by year's end.
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