When the Veloster, Hyundai’s quirky three-door hatchback, quietly discontinued its sales in North America, many saw it as another sacrificial offering to the crossover craze. Therefore, it was to our delight when we found out Hyundai had not only kept the Veloster N around but also added a dual-clutch transmission model promising to broaden its appeal. This is the 2022 Hyundai Veloster N DCT and boy is it a good one.
Despite being nearly four years into this current generation, the 2022 Hyundai Veloster N remains an attractive little hatchback. It features an ingenious three-door layout that gave us the best of both worlds – a coupe-like appearance with a wide opening for drivers and an extra rear door on the opposite end to make ingress and egress a breeze. We love the clean bodylines of the Veloster N and the Cyber Grey exterior colour with red accents is a perfect complement to the Veloster N’s trendy design.
Powered by a two-litre turbocharged engine, the Veloster N has a power output of 275-horsepower and a torque output of 270 lb-ft. Power is delivered to the front wheels using either a six-speed manual or a quick-shifting DCT here, and purists will hate to hear that the DCT is the one that brought us the bigger smile. The transmission response is intuitive on its own and instantaneous when you flick the paddles, rewarding drivers with a satisfying feel that is not unlike that of the Mercedes-AMG dual-clutch gearboxes.
275-horsepower may not seem like a lot these days but thanks to its compact size and ferocious power delivery, the Veloster N feels peppy and ready to excite at all times. Those looking for a little extra oomph will get it by pressing the NGS (stands for N Grin Shift) button on the steering wheel for 20-seconds of over-boost. While we could not objectively tell you whether the Veloster N was any faster with the boost supplement, features like this and the crackling Active Sport Exhaust make this pocket rocket a genuine joy to mingle with.
Steering is fast and direct; the Veloster N simply goes where pointed and the chassis is good in staying tidy on the streets. Push it harder towards its limits though and it will understeer, and fortunately the high-performance N-exclusive braking system is excellent to rein the Veloster in when that happens.
There are adjustable drive modes available on the steering wheel – a dedicated N mode for the most aggressive performance setting and a N Custom mode with seven different customizable variables including steering weight, engine mapping, suspension stiffness, and exhaust sounds. This level of customizability is unseen in this price range and gives Veloster N owners a truly fun and tailored driving experience.
The Hyundai Veloster N is rated at 10.6L/100km in the city and 8.3L/100km on the highway for a combined 9.5L/100km fuel economy rating. During our drive, we observed a slightly higher 12.0L/100km consumption, which we attributed to the car being brand new with less than 100km on the odometer when we picked it up, and we expect a reversion to the mean once the vehicle has had its full run-in. Premium fuel is required for the Veloster N’s 50-litre tank.
Moving on inside, there lives a rather basic interior that reminds us of the Veloster’s economy roots. The dedicated N-exclusive features such as the bucket seats and steering wheel are excellent, but we would have liked to see some carbon fiber or metallic trim pieces to go with the expressive personality. Despite its plain-jane design, the layout is quite intuitive with all functions well within reach and lots of clearly labeled shortcut keys available.
The Veloster N has a surprising amount of head and legroom for a compact hatchback even in the rear seats, with acceptable visibility thanks to its large side windows. Thanks to the performance-oriented suspension setup, ride is quite firm and its occupants can feel every bump on the road, but it felt less punishing than previous Veloster Ns we have tested.
We are not sure if Hyundai has made tuning adjustments or if we simply felt some added livability without the third pedal, but the Veloster N no longer feels like a tuner car on racing coilovers. Cargo capacity is rated at 565 litres which was more than expected given its size.
The infotainment is delivered using the touchscreen atop the centre console and is quite easy to use, though we did notice some system lag that hampered our experience. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration is supported and the standard Infinity eight-speaker stereo system has good sound quality.
Where the Veloster N shines is in its full suite of safety features that are sometimes not found in other sub-$40K hot hatches. It comes with standard Blind-Spot Collision warning, Rear Cross-Traffic Collision Warning, Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist with Pedestrian Detection, Lane Departure Warning with Lane Keeping Assist and Lane Following Assist systems. The Lane Following Assist system deserves particular praise for its ease of use and accuracy in keeping the vehicle centered in between the dotted lines even on winding roads.
Pricing of the 2022 Veloster N DCT model starts at $39,399 – a $1,600 premium over the manual version, and our as-tested price was $39,599 after adding the $200 Cyber Grey paint. It competes in a hotly contested segment against the Volkswagen Golf GTI, the Subaru WRX, and the Mazda3 Turbo. The GTI and Mazda3 have a more refined interior and ride quality, and the Subaru gives you that winter driving confidence through its symmetrical full-time all-wheel drive system, but the Veloster N wins our heart for being the most engaging and smiles-inducing one of all
The 2022 Hyundai Veloster N DCT is a ‘fun car’ above all else and is one that truly deserves to be preserved. We do not say this often, but by adding a DCT, the Veloster N somehow became even more engaging. Purists would not be unhappy with the manual version but the rest of us should give the Veloster N DCT a strong consideration if you are in the market for a hot hatch, and with Hyundai expanding their N performance lines to the Kona and Elantra, we would surely expect to see (and hear) more of them around in the near future.