New 2019 Hyundai Veloster Coupe New 2019
Hyundai Veloster Coupe

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KBB Editor's Overview

By KBB.com Editorial Staff

The 2019 Hyundai Veloster is a sporty hatchback coupe that distinguishes itself by its unique body style -- it has one door on the driver’s side, and a front and rear door on the passenger side. But aside from its unusual portal arrangement, the Veloster has a larger role to fill as sort of a “reverse halo” car that offers sporty looks and performance as a way to entice younger buyers to the brand. This approach is different from the traditional halo car, a range-topper which most people aspire to, but can’t afford. Manufacturers count on these cars to get shoppers into the door which perhaps leads them to buying a lesser model. Veloster buyers, on the other hand, thanks to its affordable price, can have their cake and eat it too. And given the improvements in the newest version, it is quite tasty indeed.

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You'll Like This Car If...

The new Veloster is for you if you want something that is fun-to-drive when a stylish and functional hatchback body style is on your wish list. Now that the Hyundai Genesis Coupe is no more, this is the only sporty non-sedan alternative in the Hyundai lineup.

You May Not Like This Car If...

While Hyundai touts that the Veloster has more cargo space behind its second row than subcompact crossovers like the Toyota C-HR, Jeep Renegade and Chevy Trax, it’s still a car not an SUV.

What's New for 2019

This is the second generation of the Veloster, so it's slightly bigger with a much more aggressive look. The interior has been redesigned and the base engine tweaked to produce more power, while the uplevel 2.0-liter turbo has been carried over. There’s also been considerable improvement in the clutch take-up and shift action on the 6-speed manual transmission.

Driving It

Driving Impressions

The other big change to the 2019 Hyundai Veloster is the switch from a twist-beam rear axle to a multi-link independent rear suspension. The car 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 that’s 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 new 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.

Favorite Features

DOOR CONFIGURATION
While the 3-door layout may seem odd, you never look at both sides of the car at the same time. So, when you walk up on the driver’s side, it looks like a coupe. Come at it from the passenger side and it looks like a 4-door hatch. That extra portal makes a huge difference in the usability of the rear seating area. And the hatch adds additional functionality to a sporty looking package.

ACTIVE ENGINE SOUND
A sporty hatchback like the Veloster should sound as good as it looks and Hyundai goes an extra step with the enhanced engine sound which we touched on earlier. You can turn off the enhanced sound, or let it come on when Sport mode is activated. You can also crank it up more through a third mode available in the vehicle settings menu.

Vehicle Details

Interior

Hyundai has come a long way in improving the interiors of its products, and the Veloster is no exception. There are plenty of soft-touch surfaces and a twin-cockpit design to the cabin that separates the driver and front passenger spaces. Base and Turbo R-Spec models come with cloth seats while Premium and Turbo models sport leather and cloth upholstery, while the top line Turbo Ultimate has full leather. The rear seat has functional 60/40-split fold-down capability. Hyundai has resisted the trend towards huge touch screens controlling all functions, and does a masterful job of blending traditional buttons and switches for the climate control and sound systems. The center infotainment display is a 7.0-inch screen on base models, while the uplevel Premium and all Turbo models come with an 8.0-inch unit. A new 8.0-inch head-up display is also offered as an option, and it shows safety, navigation and audio information, and switches over to an analog tach and digital speed display when Sport mode is engaged.

Exterior

Compared to the previous model, the 2019 Hyundai Veloster has a much bolder and aggressive look thanks to its larger, cascading grille design that features a mesh insert. There are also larger lower inlets and supplemental slots to improve front wheel-arch aerodynamics that also add to the more muscular appearance. The Veloster also sports a more sharply raked roofline, a rear deck top spoiler, and a more pronounced rear diffuser and twin round center-mounted exhaust tips. There are LED daylight running lamps and taillights, while LED main lighting is an option. Beefy 18-inch aluminum-alloy wheels contribute to the Veloster’s hunkered-down stance. The Turbo Ultimate model is further distinguished by a black roof.

Notable Standard Equipment

There are five trim levels, 2.0 Base, 2.0 Premium, Turbo R-Spec, Turbo and Turbo Ultimate. Even Base models benefit from such upscale safety features as forward-collision avoidance with automatic braking, lane-keeping assist, and automatic headlights. Premium and up models get blind-spot collision warning as well as rear cross-traffic collision warning. A Drive Attention Warning system is standard on all models, monitoring your driving and alerting you when it’s time to take a break. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility comes with all models, as well as cruise control, Bluetooth connectivity, and LCD touch screens. Base models come with 17-inch alloys on Base while all other models have 18-inch rims.

Notable Optional Equipment

Uplevel models can be had with features like wireless charging, proximity keys with push-button start, Infinity premium audio with 8-speakers, a sunroof, heated seats, automatic climate control, rain-sensing wipers and LED headlights. Also available are Michelin Pilot Sport 4 summer tires on the 6-speed manual Turbo R-Spec and Turbo Ultimate models, smart cruise control on 7-speed automatic models, a 4.2-inch TFT digital display in the instrument cluster and the 8.0-inch head-up display.

Under the Hood

The 2019 Hyundai Veloster is powered by a normally aspirated 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine making 147 horsepower in Base and Premium trims. The uplevel Turbo motor pushes out 201 horsepower from its 1.6-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder, as does the Turbo R-Spec model. Base and Turbo R-Spec models come with a 6-speed manual, while 6-speed automatic is available on the former and standard on Premium trim models. Turbo and Turbo Ultimate models come with 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmissions. All Velosters are front-wheel drive only. Combined fuel economy for the 2.0-liter model is 28 mpg for the 6-speed manual gearbox, 30 mpg with the automatic, while the Turbo models are 29 mpg combined with the manual and 30 mpg with the 7-speed automatic.

2.0-liter inline 4-cylinder (Veloster Base & Premium models)
147 horsepower @ 6,200 rpm
132 lb-ft @ 4,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 27/34 mpg (automatic), 25/33 mpg (manual)

1.6-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder (Veloster Turbo R-Spec & Turbo models)
201 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
195 lb-ft of torque @ 1,500-4,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 28/34 mpg (automatic), 26/33 mpg (manual)

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Pricing Notes

The 2019 Hyundai Veloster 2.0 Base starts at $19,385. The 2.0 Premium trim level starts at $23,635, while the more powerful Turbo R-Spec is a relative deal at just $150 more, clocking in at $23,785. Turbo models are priced from $25,285, while the top-sped Turbo Ultimate starting at just $27,535. All prices include an $885 destination charge. There’s plenty of value in this sport hatch that’s only further enhanced by Hyundai’s 5 year/60,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty and 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain guarantee. Before buying, be sure to check the KBB.com Fair Purchase Price to see what others in your area are paying. It's too early to assess the resale strength of the new Veloster, but our last calculation had the car performing at about average for the class.

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