2022 Hyundai Veloster N Review: Party All The Time
|2.0L I4 Turbo
|275 hp, 260 lb-ft
|US fuel economy (MPG):
|CAN fuel economy (L/100KM):
|Starting Price (USD):
|$33,545 (inc. dest.)
|As-Tested Price (USD):
|$35,045 (inc. dest.)
|Starting Price (CAD):
|$39,624 (inc. dest.)
|As-Tested Price (CAD):
|$42,224 (inc. dest.)
There aren’t many simple hot hatches left these days.
That’s what makes the 2022 Hyundai Veloster N such a riot. No umpteen-way adjustable seats. No predictive interior features. And what’s that … just one touchscreen? Why, I never.
As the only remaining front-drive hot hatch on the market for now—the Type R is taking a time out, and the GTI is more warm than hot—the Veloster N runs the risk of feeling like an anachronism. And it is one: a joyous, feel-good drive that brings some of its love home for you.
The Veloster came in for a light refresh last year. There were slight visual changes here and there, but largely, the funky four-door asymmetry party tune kept playing. Hyundai dropped in excellent new front seats, and brought the infotainment system into this decade. Nothing dramatic.SEE ALSO: 2022 Hyundai Kona N First Drive Review: Pint-Sized Pocket Rocket
This is now the only Veloster you can buy new, too. A year after this generation debuted, Hyundai Canada chopped the non-N models; a year later, so did the US. The previously optional Performance Pack, which bumped horsepower to 275 from 250, also became standard.
The biggest change came with the introduction of the eight-speed dual-clutch transmission found here. Being manual-only limited the N’s appeal, no doubt. But would dropping an auto ‘box in dull the experience? The short answer: not a bit.
2022 Hyundai Veloster N driving impressions
Hyundai’s DCT fires off shifts with the quickness you’d expect of any dual-clutcher. Whether the driver is conducting via the wheel-mounted paddles or the gear selector, or if they’re leaving things in the capable hands of the auto setting, the eight-speed never misses a beat. I found little of the low-speed juddering that other Hyundai/Kia products have exhibited, too.
Stick to one of the more aggressive driver modes and there’s an accompanying parp-parp from the twin exhaust pipes. Even when it isn’t backfiring up a storm, the 2.0-liter has a deep, characterful exhaust note that’s rare for turbo-fours.
Some folks believe hot hatches need AWD now that horsepower figures are hovering around 300. To that, I say pffffft. The mix of grippy 235/19 tires and a limited-slip differential means the Veloster is positively tenacious around corners, putting power down cleanly. The steering is light, yet quick and accurate, making it all so easy to place the Veloster on the road. Adding power to the rear axle would rob the car of this pointy front-end, and blunt the delivery from the torquey turbo-four. Is launch control a little dramatic funnelling all that power through two contact patches? Yes—that’s what’s fun about it.SEE ALSO: 2022 Volkswagen GTI and Golf R First Drive Review
A unique perk of the DCT-equipped N cars is N Grin Shift. Like it says on the tin, NGS will have you flashing your toothy best whenever you poke the wheel-mounted button. You’ll get 20 seconds of overboost, lifting peak torque to 278 lb-ft, along with altered shift mapping to make the most of it. As a “push to pass” feature it’s a hoot, the hardest part being the cool-down wait until NGS can deploy again.
2022 Hyundai Veloster N interior and comfort
I’m not going to lie to you: the Veloster N interior feels a little low-rent, excellent seats aside. There are a few flashes of that signature robin’s egg blue to brighten the space up, but otherwise this is very much “old Hyundai,” whereas the Sonata and Santa Cruz are “new Hyundai.”
And you know what? That’s okay! The lap of luxury shouldn’t be found inside a hot hatch. The important touch points are all good here, anyway. A right-thickness steering wheel and a shifter that doesn’t demand a stretch is pretty much all you need. It’s all manual adjustments for those buckets too, but I challenge anyone to not feel secure and comfortable here. The bolstering provides a welcome hug, without being too tight.
An important ingredient in any good drive is visibility, and that’s present in the Veloster. Well, so long as you subscribe to ol’ Enzo’s “what’s behind you doesn’t matter” mindset. The thick rear pillars and tiny rear window conspire to block entire cars from view on the highway. In close encounters, you’ll have to rely on a backup camera with all the resolution of your childhood Game Boy.SEE ALSO: Honda Civic Type R vs Hyundai Veloster N: Fast Goodbye
As someone who rarely needs a second row, I appreciate the asymmetric door setup on the Veloster. The back door leaves a modest port for folks to clamber in, but headroom is tight for anybody who can legally drive. Legroom isn’t exactly palatial either, but I’m more forgiving of that based on the Veloster’s small footprint.
Storage space comes in at 19.9 cubic feet (564 liters) with the seats up. Drop ’em for 44.5 cubic feet, but that doesn’t fix the high load height.
2022 Hyundai Veloster N technology and features
Our Canadian-spec Veloster N included standard heated front seats. That alone should be a big selling point for folks in colder climes—sorry, America, it’s not even an option down there. Automatic climate control is standard on either side of the border, however.
An 8.0-inch touchscreen handles infotainment duty. It’s the same basic unit you’ll find in many modern Hyundais like the Elantra, though it loses out on the wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The menus are easy to read, and response time is good. The N also includes a fun performance page to handle launch control and check out how many lateral gs you’re pulling.
You won’t find a digital instrument cluster here, but the dials are clean and highly legible.
No matter the transmission, every Veloster N comes with blind spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert, both very welcome given its shape. You’ll find lane assists and automated emergency braking as well.SEE ALSO: 2022 Honda Civic Si First Drive: Five Things We Learned
2022 Hyundai Veloster N pricing and competition
The Veloster N rolls into 2022 with a single loaded trim, priced from $33,545 ($39,624 CAD) including destination. The only option is whether to go DCT or not, which adds $1,500 ($1,600 CAD) to the bottom line. America gets four no-cost exterior color options; Canadians have to pay $200 for any of them besides white, and also get the option of this tester’s matte dark gray for a cool grand.
A Volkswagen GTI will undercut the N, netting buyers a more mature five-door hatchback. The latest Mk8 model spits out 241 horsepower, and similarly comes in two- and three-pedal flavors. The Type R retired last year, and we fully expect the next one to come with a higher sticker price. So around $8,000 more than the N.SEE ALSO: 2022 Hyundai Elantra N First Drive Review: Big Grin Machine
There’s also the small matter of the other two, newer, N cars. Want a sedan? Elantra N starts at $32,945 ($38,924 CAD), with the same transmission choices as the Veloster. Meanwhile, the more practical Kona N comes only with a DCT, which explains its higher $35,385 ($41,824 CAD) sticker.
Verdict: 2022 Hyundai Veloster N Review
The 2022 Hyundai Veloster N is always up for a good time. Hyundai made a lot of noise about this “Corner Rascal” at launch, and a few years and a new gearbox later, that infectious attitude remains.
It’s not the most spacious hatchback, nor the most comfortable, or even the most affordable. But the Veloster N has the ability to lift spirits every time you get behind the wheel. It’s a happy car, and we all need a little more of that these days.
Will there be a 2022 Hyundai Veloster N?
Yes. With the arrival of the 2022 Kona N and Elantra N, we’re not sure how much longer the original North American N model will live on, however.
Is the 2022 Hyundai Veloster N AWD?
No, all Hyundai Ns are front-drive only, for now.
Will the 2022 Hyundai Veloster N hold its value?
It’s hard to predict the future, but the relative rarity of the Veloster has kept used prices very solid so far.
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- New DCT is excellent
- Flexible, great-sounding engine
- Unique door design sets it apart
- Tight second row
- Cabin feels dated
- Kona N does a lot of the same things
Kyle began his automotive obsession before he even started school, courtesy of a remote control Porsche and various LEGO sets. He later studied advertising and graphic design at Humber College, which led him to writing about cars (both real and digital). He is now a proud member of the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC), where he was the Journalist of the Year runner-up for 2021.
More by Kyle Patrick