First impressions aren't always the most important. Most people's first look at a Hyundai Veloster results in some puzzled expressions. It's a somewhat (ahem) unusually-shaped three (yes three) door coupe. In a standard Veloster, the second impression would be the driving, and any Veloster is a lot of fun, based on some very sharp handling characteristics.
But if it's the Hyundai Veloster N, there's a third impression---one of speed.
As we outlined in the review of the Hyundai Sonata N-Line in March, "N" is Hyundai's version of BMW's "M". The "N' stands for Namyang Proving Ground and Hyundai is beginning a string of "N" and "N-Line" cars.
For the Veloster N, an already great-handling machine gets some chassis tweaks turning it into a real-life slot car and...
...an engine swap. The 2.0-liter inline four making 147 horsepower and 132 pounds per foot of torque is replaced by a 2.0-liter twin-scroll turbo four cranking out 275 horsepower and 260 pounds per foot of torque. And you better believe you can feel the difference.
Sixty miles an hour happens from a standing start in 5.2 seconds with a six-speed manual like our test car. Old-school car guys won't want to hear this, but spending $1,500 for the eight-speed DCT automatic gets you going even quicker, 4.8 seconds.
And all that power won't rob you blind at the pump. The EPA fuel economy average is 22 miles per gallon city, 28 highway.
The base price of the 2021 Hyundai Veloster N is $32,250. The window sticker is at the end of this review so you can see for yourself, but among the standard equipment highlights at that price are N-exclusive electronic stability control, the aptly named N-Grin Control System (adaptable drive modes that, especially in Sport, N, or N Custom will have you grinning), torque vectoring control, 13.6-inch front and 12.4-inch rear brake rotors, an electronically controlled suspension with five G-force sensors, 19-inch wheels and satellite navigation.
And that---is that. Everything's standard. No extra-cost options. So, with $1,005 inland freight and handling, the as-tested price of the 2021 Hyundai Veloster N is $33,255.
That's an insanely low price for an insanely fun automobile. Trust your third impression.