Every Sports Car Needs This Button From the Hyundai Veloster N

hyundai-veloster-n-2019-cl-controls--interior--steering-wheel-02.jpg 2019 Hyundai Veloster N | photo by Christian Lantry

A $30,000 Hyundai hatchback shouldn’t trump the sports-carness of anything named AMG, M, S or RS, but a single button inside the Hyundai Veloster N leans that way. The Veloster N’s little race flag button below the right-hand spoke of the steering wheel unleashes the fury of 275 horsepower and the stiffest suspension tuning this side of a skateboard.

Related: 2019 Hyundai Veloster N Vs. Veloster R-Spec: Smiles Per Dollar Compared  

hyundai-veloster-n-2019-cl-center-stack-display--interior-08.jpg 2019 Hyundai Veloster N | photo by Christian Lantry

At one stab, the button unlocks N Mode and the top end of the Veloster N’s adjustable settings, which include steering, engine, electronic limited-slip differential, suspension, rev matching, exhaust and sport stability systems (275 hp, an electronic limited-slip differential and adjustable exhaust all come with an optional $2,100 Performance Package). N Mode is best for gobbling up corners — and it has a side effect of giving Volkswagen GTI and Golf R owners second thoughts.

Shop the 2020 Hyundai Veloster near you

2020 Hyundai Veloster 2.0
36,718 mi.
$18,000 $500 price drop
Good Deal
Hyundai Certified
2020 Hyundai Veloster 2.0 Premium
33,999 mi.
$20,488 $1,200 price drop
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CPO Warrantied

Track driving modes aren’t new and neither is placing the button on the steering wheel, but the user-friendliness of Hyundai’s execution in a sub-$30,000 car is something sports-carmakers should entertain, and something uncommon in similarly priced rivals. In most sports or sporty cars with adjustable driving modes, the modes are selected through a sport button or toggle switch requiring multiple taps, long presses or using multiple buttons to engage the sportiest settings. I’m often digging through owner’s manuals to figure all of this out during our dynamic testing here at In the Veloster N, however, one press engages its raciest mode, and it’s in the perfect spot on the steering wheel. You may ask if this is necessary on a Hyundai Veloster, but the Veloster N is legit to have a track mode; it’s an aggressively tuned car not for the faint of heart — think one notch below Honda Civic Type-R, but above Golf R.

Hit the N Mode button again and it flips to N Custom mode, which is a driver-tailored setup in which the aforementioned systems are individually configurable. I preferred N Custom on the street, where I had settings turned up to their max except for the suspension, so the ride was more livable — and to prevent peeing a little every time I violently jolted over a highway expansion joint at 70 mph.

The Veloster’s N button is most similar to more expensive cars, like the execution of the BMW M5’s M1 and M2 buttons. In the M5, you can program the highest sport settings and two-wheel-drive setting on the steering wheel’s bright red M buttons, and comfort settings on the other M button. Coincidence? Maybe not, as Hyundai has been poaching executives from BMW’s M division. As it has with many things, however, Hyundai made this button more user-friendly and for far less money.

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Managing Editor Joe Bruzek’s 22 years of automotive experience doesn’t count the lifelong obsession that started as a kid admiring his dad’s 1964 Chevrolet Corvette — and continues to this day. Joe’s been an automotive journalist with for 16 years, writing shopper-focused car reviews, news and research content. As Managing Editor, one of his favorite areas of focus is helping shoppers understand electric cars and how to determine whether going electric is right for them. In his free time, Joe maintains a love-hate relationship with his 1998 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am that he wishes would fix itself. LinkedIn: Email Joe Bruzek

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