Hyundai downsizes its quirky hatchback lineup. With plenty of small crossovers satisfying the demand for hatchbacks, Hyundai has shrunk the Veloster lineup down to just the performance-oriented N trim. This potent hot hatch has all the makings of a track superstar, but it misses the mark in the people-hauling department.

Weird looks, but what if you don’t like “weird”? The 2022 Hyundai Veloster strikes a chord with us thanks to its funky looks. Its quirkiness puts it up on the level of the Civic Type R and a step above the more mundane VW GTI. It’s an eyeball grabber, especially now that it’s only available in the performance-oriented N trim.

That said, maybe “weird” isn’t what you want in your hot hatch. In that case, there’s a VW dealer somewhere to pick up the more traditional-looking GTI.

One area we can say the Veloster gets a little too weird for our taste is its three-door design. Instead of having two rear doors, the Veloster continues to offer only one rear door on the passenger’s side. We’re sure bike messengers in New York appreciate its lack of a rear passenger door, but it makes loading kids a bit of a circus. There is no reason for this – neither form nor function – so we’re almost certain it’s just a gimmick.

Hello, 60 mph; goodbye gasoline. The 2022 Hyundai Veloster comes standard with a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-pot that delivers a respectable 275 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. Buyers can opt to push this power through a DIY six-speed manual or an eight-speed dual-clutch transmission, and both are well-sorted.

Getting to 60 mph takes just a touch under five seconds, making this quite the straight-line mover, but it also handles quite nicely – on par with the Type R and GTI. However, it’s quite thirsty at 22 miles per gallon city, 28 highway, and 25 combined with the manual transmission. With the DCT, the fuel economy plummets to 20 mpg city, 27 highway, and 20 combined.

The GTI is not as quick as the Veloster – over a second slower to 60 mph – but its 24 mpg city, 32 highway, and 27 combined may make it a better balance for a daily commuter.

If you want an all-wheel-drive hot hatch, your closest option is the Mazda 3 Turbo. However, the Mazda 3 Turbo isn’t a true performance car, and its 60-mph sprint time is still a second slower than the Veloster.

Posh in the front, but forget about the rears. The 2022 Hyundai Veloster’s front seats are plenty grippy without losing their comfort. Plus, there is ample room for people of all sizes.

In the rear, though, the 34.1 inches of legroom fall an inch short of the Mazda 3 and 1.5 inches short of the GTI. Plus, that tiny rear door makes it none the easier, and the 35.9 inches of headroom will cause plenty of claustrophobic feelings. For reference, the GTI has 38.1 inches of rear headroom, and the Mazda 3 has up to 37.2 inches.

Final thoughts. The 2022 Hyundai Veloster is great fun and a fantastic value for a family of two. Whether it’s straight-line acceleration or a windy country road, the Veloster delivers all the thrills you need.

However, the beauty of hot hatches is supposed to be their dual function as a family car. With a tight rear seat and its odd third rear door, the Veloster is nowhere near a family car. Buyers seeking that better balance of family duties and track days may want to check the GTI or Mazda 3 Turbo.

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