Edgy styling. Now in its second generation, the 2020 Hyundai Veloster continues with the edgy styling that won it praise early on. The current version has a broad front end, a mesh-like grille, and swept-back headlights. The available contrasting black roof is a desirable complement.
As before, the Veloster is a three-door hatchback, with an extra door on the passenger side. On Turbo models, a pair of exhaust tips push out from the diffuser. Choose the top-end N model and the body kit is a prominent feature.
Much of the same edgy styling carries over inside, although hard plastics are evident. Piano black trim, brightwork touches, and detailed fabric give the Veloster a "class above" look.
If there is any misgiving we have, it's with the huge blind spots created by the rear roof pillars. With this, you need to become especially adept at using your mirrors when changing lanes and while backing up. Of course, the rearview camera is a big help.
Ample features for the money. With a starting price under $20,000, the Veloster certainly offers generous standard features for the money. Alloy wheels, full power accessories, Bluetooth, a 7-inch touchscreen, and a USB port are all standard.
You'll also find Android Auto and Apple CarPlay smartphone compatibility included, something Toyota still hasn't figured out. Even some luxury brands charge extra for these features.
At the top end, the N model comes with 19-inch alloy wheels, an 8-inch touchscreen display, and an Infinity audio system. These features match what you'd find in certain luxury models.
Standard automatic emergency braking. We're seeing manufacturers add more standard driver-assist safety features and that's always a good thing. Automatic emergency braking is one such feature you'll find on every Veloster model.
You'll also find blind-spot monitoring with pedestrian detection, lane keeping assist, and adaptive cruise control when you move beyond the base model. In general, the Veloster rates quite well in the safety department for a compact car.
Strong engine choices. The base model features the standard 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with 147 horsepower, the same as found in other budget Hyundai models, including the Elantra. Move beyond the base engine, and you'll find a pair of strong choices.
The middle Turbo trim comes with a 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder with 201 hp. Topping the Veloster's three engine family is a specially tuned 2.0-liter turbocharged engine for the N that makes 250 hp, or 275 when equipped with the special Performance Package. This one is ideal for the track and does an excellent job of showcasing Hyundai's performance prowess.
Final thoughts. Hyundai continues to double down on car models even as it releases additional crossovers. The 2020 Hyundai Veloster's low starting cost and punchy N model make it a formidable competitor to the Honda Civic Si and Volkswagen Golf GTI.
Hyundai's warranty remains an industry leader, giving consumers one more reason to seriously consider this Korean brand.