As a showcase for team cooperation, the fresh exterior and interior styling of the 2019 Veloster was a shared effort of Hyundai designers from Seoul, South Korea and the U.S. design center in Irvine, California.
And as a result of its creative endeavor, Hyundai has solved the issue of access to a rear seat in a two-door sport hatchback.
Instead of clumsily entering the tight rear seat after levering a folding front seatback forward, Hyundai has designed an asymmetrical three-door configuration into the sporty, front-wheel-drive, fairly inexpensive Veloster. That third door is on the passenger side of the vehicle. The inset handle is placed in a high and vertical position on the door, almost hidden from view.
The third door is extremely handy for packages from shopping ventures. Also it is a boon if there is a child who has to be strapped into a rear booster seat. No more struggling to fit the child into the seat from a forward leaning front seat. A side door on a two-door sportster with a rear seating area is a rarity.
If more storage space is required, a rear hatch door opens to a cargo area of almost 20 cubic feet. The rear seat can be folded flat to expand that cargo area to 44.5 cubic feet.
Groceries and booster seats are not what this vehicle is about. The Veloster is about performance at an affordable (for most new car buyers) price ranging from $18,500 to $25,000. For a well-equipped Veloster, which was the tested sportster, the asking price was $22,900. This $22,900 buys the turbocharged 1.6-liter, four-cylinder engine, raising the horsepower from 147 to 201. The non-turbo 2-liter, four-cylinder is the other Veloster engine.
The turbo Veloster has thicker anti-roll bars and is 15 percent stiffer than base models.
According to factory tests, the turbo Veloster races from 0 to 60 miles per hour in 6.3 seconds. The non-turbo 2-liter has a factory time of 8.4 seconds. At all four corners and framing 18-inch alloy rims are Michelin 225 performance tires.
These are not the 0 to 60 mph performances of, for example, a two-door Mazda Miata which can scoot from 0 to 60 mph in 5.5 seconds. But the Veloster costs thousands of dollars less than the $25,000 to $35,000 Miata. If it costs less, one should expect less.
From the front, the tested Veloster LED headlights and Led Daytime Running Lights flank Hyundai's signature cascade grille that has changed into a three-dimensional grille.and taillights plus, what harkens to a design popularized by Porsche, dual center-mounted twin tailpipes. A spoiler sits atop the rear liftgate.
Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are standard with the eight-speaker Infinity Premium sound system. SiriusXM satellite radio is free for nine months and after that by subscription. Power includes express front windows, door locks and side mirrors. The driver's side mirror has an inset convex glass mirror that tracks vehicles coming alongside the Veloster. It keeps that vehicle in view until it has passed. This is a nice safety feature as drivers can try to move from the slow to the fast lane on a highway and not be aware that another vehicle is fast approaching.
In the cabin, sport trim includes a leather-wrapped steering wheel and upgrade cloth seats with yellow stitching. A one-inch yellow stripe runs down the center of the front seats. The Veloster logo is embedded in floor mats.
Vehicle: R-Spec model of 2019 Hyundai Veloster
Type: front-wheel-drive, two-door, four-passenger, subcompact sport hatchback
Engine: 1.6-liter, 201-horsepower turbocharged in-line four cylinder
Transmission: six-speed manual
Fuel tank: 13.2 gallons
Tires (225 Michelin), alloy wheels: 18-inch
Wheelbase, length, width, height in inches: 104.3, 166.9, 70.9, 55.1
Weight: 2,833 pounds
Leg room: 42.6 inches front, 34.1 inches rear
Cargo: 19.9 cubic feet rear seat up, 44.5 cubic feet rear seat flat
Warranty: five years or 60,000 miles, 10 years or 100,000 miles, roadside assistance five years or unlimited miles