Technology

2021 Hyundai Veloster N DCT review: Rowdy, raucous and really damn good

veloster n ogi

I am unable to cease occupied with this automobile.


Daniel Golson/Roadshow

The Hyundai Veloster N is considered one of my favourite automobiles on sale at the moment. It is precisely the form of sporty automobile I 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 mates, I am comfortable to report that not solely does the brand new DCT not destroy the Veloster N’s enjoyable, I truly assume it is the transmission to get.

Like

  • Supremely enjoyable to drive with the brand new automated
  • Extra normal options and tech
  • Among the finest exhaust noise in the marketplace

Do not Like

  • Not fairly the discount it was once
  • Disappointing lack of heated seats
  • Nonetheless no adaptive cruise management

For 2021 the N’s beforehand non-compulsory $2,100 Efficiency Bundle is now normal, which means each Veloster N will get 275 horsepower (up from 250 on the outdated base automobile), an digital limited-slip differential, bigger brake discs, 19-inch wheels with Pirelli P-Zero summer time tires, and an extremely loud,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 handbook, 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 great canyon highway. 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 15 minutes within the automobile I begin pushing it more durable and more durable, and I am simply in a position to get near the boundaries of the automobile with out it being scary. On the flip aspect, there’s not a ton of traction should you aren’t light with the throttle off the road, leading to some hilarious wheel spin akin to just a little terrier attempting to take off on a hardwood ground. The N’s journey will also be very harsh even with the suspension in Consolation mode, but it surely mellows out on the freeway. 

The DCT is the transmission you need

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

2021 Hyundai Veloster N DCT

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


Daniel Golson/Roadshow

Hyundai says the eight-speed DCT is a model new unit developed in-house by the N efficiency crew, however I’ve a feeing it seemingly shares elements with the transmission in the updated Santa Fe. It is a moist dual-clutch, which means the transmission makes use of oil for higher lubrication and cooling, and it is obtained an electrical oil pump and digital actuators.

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

Downshifts may very well be a tad sharper, however in any other case the brand new DCT is fast to react to driver inputs. It is not practically 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 while you begin driving aggressively it is wanting to up- or downshift because the state of affairs requires, all the time placing itself in the proper gear. The transmission is so good, in reality, 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 straightforward-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 handbook has these, too). N Energy Shift prompts when greater than 90% throttle is utilized, enable for optimum torque supply to the wheels throughout upshifts. There’s additionally N Observe Sense Shift, which is a flowery solution to say that the transmission can inform when it is time for sporty driving and optimizes gear choice and shift timing — in all probability the explanation the automatic-mode tuning is so correct.

2021 Hyundai Veloster N DCT

These large exhaust ideas make all the great noises.


Daniel Golson/Roadshow

Activated by a button on the steering wheel is the unusually named N Grin Shift operate, one other DCT-exclusive characteristic. It is form 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 enhance and the transmission will get extra responsive. It is good for passing on the freeway or getting an additional increase of velocity on a straightaway between corners.

The DCT additionally maximizes the depth of the extraordinarily good noise offered by the N’s twin exhaust. Put the exhaust in Sport Plus mode (you need to all the time do that) and downshifts lead to a cacophony of loud pops, bangs, crackles and sputters, whereas upshifts produce wonderful barks. It is unimaginable to not make your self snort 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 handbook counterpart by 2 miles per gallon within the metropolis, 1 mpg on the freeway and three mpg within the mixed cycle, in accordance with the EPA. (Normally handbook 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 score. However total, because of the mixture of principally metropolis driving in Los Angeles and my want to make as a lot noise as potential, I averaged just a few mpg beneath the Veloster N’s 20-mpg metropolis score. Like, I used to be getting about 14 mpg. Oops. 

Higher seats, with a serious caveat

The Veloster N’s exterior design stays unchanged — except for a brand new white paint colour changing the outdated white — and that is positive by me. I like how this bizarre little hatch seems. It is not as in-your-face loopy because the Civic Kind R, but it surely’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, but it surely bridges the practicality hole between a coupe and a frumpier four-door. (I want the driving force’s aspect rear window rolled down, although, as solely the passenger-side one on the third door does.)

2021 Hyundai Veloster N DCT

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.Four kilos lighter than the outdated 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 automobile is parked. And don’t be concerned, there are nonetheless blue seatbelts and accents all through.

As earlier than, an 8-inch touchscreen is normal, however the Veloster N now additionally will get navigation and HD radio. The infotainment system is redesigned to higher align with different new Hyundai fashions; it seems slicker than earlier than and works nicely, however I want there was a devoted bodily dwelling 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 inbuilt quite 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 previously three many years, you possibly can regulate the engine, transmission, suspension, steering, stability management, limited-slip diff and, most significantly, the exhaust sound. I usually preserve the automobile in what we prefer to name auto journalist mode: Put all the pieces within the sportiest setting apart from the suspension, which you retain as smooth as potential. Totally different screens additionally present a g-force meter, a lap timer, turbo increase and torque output, oil temperature and extra.

Irrespective of the transmission the Veloster N additionally will get a bunch of recent lively security options as normal 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.

2021 Hyundai Veloster N DCT

A brand new infotainment system spruces up the inside.


Daniel Golson/Roadshow

I do must 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 12 months I obtained extraordinarily excited by these new bucket seats. They appeared nice and have been lined in suede, however most significantly they have been heated. The shortage of heated seats was my one main gripe with the Veloster N, and the 2021 mannequin mounted the issue. Even higher, the up to date N additionally obtained a heated steering wheel.

So you possibly can think about my excessive disappointment once I obtained into this US-spec automobile and observed that not solely are the seats upholstered in (admittedly good) material and leatherette, they are not heated. There isn’t any heated steering wheel. And it is not like these options are non-compulsory, within the US they simply aren’t accessible. It is actually devastating. What the hell, Hyundai?

Much less of a discount, nonetheless essentially the most enjoyable

The draw back to the 2021 Veloster N coming with far more goodies as normal is the next worth. It is nonetheless a efficiency discount, 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 12 months. With the Efficiency Bundle, although, the 2020 mannequin was $30,675, which means the value enhance for ’21 is de facto solely $2,570. Including the brand new DCT pushes the value 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 Kind R, which begins at $38,450.

2021 Hyundai Veloster N DCT

This three-door physique is not for everybody.


Daniel Golson/Roadshow

If It have been my cash, I would choose the Veloster N daily of the week. It is not as snug or sensible as a GTI, and the Kind R is sharper and extra targeted in the case of observe driving. However the Veloster N is essentially the most enjoyable. It is the new 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 way of the canyons. I am unable to cease speaking to mates about how a lot I miss this automobile.

On a much less private notice, the DCT will definitely assist broaden the Veloster N’s enchantment to an entire new set of shoppers along with making it extra livable day-to-day. The three-door physique is a tough promote towards extra conventional and sensible opponents, and being manual-only makes it even more durable nonetheless. Being supplied with an automated implies that far more folks 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. Anticipate the Elantra to supply each the handbook and the DCT, and it may very well be priced just a little cheaper than the Veloster. My colleague Steven Ewing simply obtained to drive a prototype of the Elantra N, and it appears to be simply as enjoyable because the Veloster. Good.

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Author

Daniel Golson