The 2021 Hyundai Veloster returns with hardly any changes. The only newsworthy upgrade comes on the performance-oriented Veloster N, which gains an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.
Choosing Your Hyundai Veloster
The Veloster comes in six trims: 2.0, 2.0 Premium, Turbo R-Spec, Turbo, Turbo Ultimate, and N. The price range is considerable, as a base Veloster starts at $19,875 including destination, but a Veloster N costs $29,775.
The Veloster comes with three engine possibilities. Most of the trims are named for their engine possibilities: 2.0 trims get the base 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, while Turbo variants get the 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder. The Veloster N is the outlier, receiving a 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder in two different tunes.
|Engine Type||Horsepower||Torque||Fuel Economy (Combined)|
|2.0L 4-Cylinder||147 hp||132 lb-ft||30 mpg|
|1.6L Turbo 4-Cylinder||201 hp||195 lb-ft||30 mpg|
|2.0L Turbo 4-Cylinder||250 hp||278 lb-ft||25 mpg|
|2.0L Turbo 4-Cylinder||275 hp||278 lb-ft||25 mpg|
All Veloster models utilize front-wheel drive. The 2.0 trim comes standard with a six-speed manual transmission, while a six-speed automatic is available for $1,000. The automatic gearbox is standard on the 2.0 Premium.
The Turbo R-Spec and N come standard with the six-speed manual and offer no automatic option, while the Turbo and Turbo Ultimate get a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic standard. The N is also available with the new eight-speed dual-clutch automatic.
Passenger and Cargo Capacity
The Veloster seats four – as long as passengers enter from the curb. The second row has only one door on the passenger side of the car. With 34.1 inches of leg room, the rear seats are cramped enough that you won’t want to ride there much, anyway.
Behind the rear seat is 19.9 cubic feet of cargo space, which expands to 44.5 cubic feet with it folded down. That’s respectable for a small hatch, and miles better than a sedan.
Every Veloster comes with automatic emergency braking, forward collision warning, lane keeping assist, and a driver attention monitor. Blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert are included on all trims except the base. The Turbo Ultimate adds pedestrian detection and adaptive cruise control.
The 2.0 trim starts with a 7-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Bluetooth and a 3.5-inch driver information display are also included. All other trims utilize an 8-inch unit with satellite radio, an eight speaker Infinity audio system, and a 4.2-inch driver information display.
The 2.0 Premium, Turbo, and Turbo Ultimate also get wireless device charging, while the Turbo Ultimate also adds navigation, a head-up display, and HD radio.
Aside from basic infotainment features and 17-inch alloy wheels, the Veloster 2.0 keeps things simple. Upholstery is cloth, headlights aren't LED, and this is the only trim without niceties like push button start. That helps keeps things affordable.
Hyundai prefers to sort its features by trim rather than package, so aside from exterior color and dealer accessories, the transmission is the only choice buyers have to make.
The 2.0 Premium trim allows buyers to add luxury without spending on power. The wheels grow to 18 inches, while the roof gains a tilt-and-slide sunroof.
Inside, wireless charging and premium audio come standard, as do automatic temperature control, push button start, and keyless entry. Infotainment is upgraded to the 8-inch screen, while the seats have leather bolsters, and the front two are heated.
The Turbo R-Spec is priced near the 2.0 Premium, but it has the opposite personality – more power, fewer features (it misses out on the sunroof, heated front seats, and wireless device charging). This is the first trim to get the 1.6-liter turbo engine and the accompanying 201 horsepower.
The R-Spec comes with the larger infotainment system, but otherwise the interior closely resembles the base 2.0. The R-Spec does get LED headlights and taillights, a sport-tuned suspension to match its extra power, unique cloth upholstery, alloy pedals, and a unique shift knob.
The Turbo trim adds back some of the luxury features. The sunroof, heated front seats, and wireless charging are all back. The driver's seat also gains power lumbar support, while the side mirrors add turn signal indicators.
The Turbo Ultimate unlocks some exclusive features, as it should for nearly $30,000. This is the only trim to get adaptive cruise control, navigation, and leather seating. A head-up display, HD radio, and a sharp two-tone roof round out the upgrades.
The racer of the Veloster lineup adds a larger turbo engine for at least 250 hp. The boost isn't without compromise – the Veloster N loses the leather upholstery, navigation, and some of the active safety tech.
In exchange, it gains the upgraded engine, an electronically controlled sport suspension, and exclusive N-badged accents. The new powertrain comes with selectable drive modes to make sure throttle response matches expectations on canyon backroads.
Drivers who want the new eight-speed dual-clutch automatic will need the Performance Package ($2,100). The package also brings an extra 25 hp, an electronic sport differential, 19-inch wheels, and upgraded brakes.
Value is best toward the middle of the 2021 Hyundai Veloster range – the Turbo R-Spec and 2.0 Premium are good bets. We wouldn’t say no to a Veloster N, though.