It’s quirky, quick, eye-catching and fun to drive. The 2021 Hyundai Veloster N, the automaker’s top performing 3-door sports coupe, has a new dual clutch 8-speed transmission and additional standard and optional features in this price-competitive vehicle’s third year.
The Veloster remains one of the best-looking compact hatchback coupes on the market with a stealth passenger-side rear door, rising beltline, sleek body, raked windshield, massive black front grille, flared wheel haunches, body-tight spoiler and dual growling exhausts.
It looks fast and it is, with Hyundai saying the N designation stands for the South Korean’s R&D research center or Nürburgring, the German 12.9-mile track for stress-testing new high-performance cars.
Behind the wheel, our test ride was in the front-wheel-drive 2021 top-trim Veloster N which was a delight to drive, conquering steep hills, carving out sharp curves with superb handling aided by stiffened steering, torque vectoring and an electronically controlled suspension. In fact, the suspension reacted up to 5 G-Force to hydraulically adjust shock absorbers for balance and control.
The new 8-speed dual-clutch transmission, which can also be manipulated with blue-colored wheel mounted manual paddles, performed seamlessly in any drive mode – Eco, Normal, Sport, N and N Custom.
There is also a (“N Grin Shift”) NGS button that adds 18 extra ft-lbs. of torque to boost acceleration for 20 seconds and activate driver adrenaline.
Traveling on 19-inch alloy wheels wearing summer tires, the firm ride allowed an appropriate feel for road imperfections typical of sports cars.
This car comes with forward collision avoidance, lane keeping assist and blind spot detection were standard top safety features, but dynamic cruise control was missing and not an option.
The ergonomically designed cabin includes an 8-inch touchscreen with navigation, Infinity premium audio and comfortable sport bucket front seats (manually adjustable) for snugness in turns and support on long trips. Front seatbacks have a neat N-shaped badge that illuminates at night and rear seat room is adult friendly but not spacious.
Cabin materials are average, helping keep the price down to make the Veloster price-competitive with other sports coupes. Design touches include blue stripes in all four seats and some blue accenting on the dashboard.
Veloster is equipped with Blue Link, a telematics system that provides customers with automatic crash notification, vehicle diagnostics, and remote control of vehicle features, among others. Remote Access can warm or cool the car ten minutes before entering.
Cabin storage space is ample, including a cargo area with rear seats upright.
Complimentary maintenance covers three years or 36,000 miles.
At a Glance
LIKES: Price, looks, power, driving fun, handling, cabin comfort
DISLIKES: No cruise control, short visors, no spare tire
BOTTOM LINE: Affordable, appealable to sport enthusiasts and a joy to drive
Fact File: Hyundai Veloster N
2.0-liter twin scroll turbo, GDI
8-speed, dual-clutch automatic
22 mpg city and 30 mpg hwy
0-60 in just under 5 seconds
If you are shopping for a new or pre-owned car, let AAA’s Auto Buying Service do the work for you. We can find any vehicle make and model, and we’ll pass the manufacturer’s savings on to you. Buying has never been easier. Reach out to our experienced sales team at 1-866-710-6226 or get a quote today, and we will help you get started with your search.
Tom Crosby has written more than 1,000 automotive reviews and is a retired Vice President of Communications for AAA Carolinas. He has seen dramatic changes in the automotive industry over the past 25 years and ponders the advent of self-driving vehicles, electric-only vehicles, sophisticated in-car telematics, and the financial challenges facing automotive manufacturers in an increasingly congested worldwide market.