Is the 2019 Hyundai Veloster N the Best New Hot Hatch? | First Drive | Edmunds

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Edmunds Vehicle Testing Manager Jonathan Elfalan heads to Thunderhill Raceway Park in Northern California to test-drive the new 2019 Hyundai Veloster N. The Veloster N is a high-performance model of the stylish yet quirky three-door hatchback from Hyundai. Hot hatches are known for their attractive blend of utility and performance, and the N competes against some really strong performers such as the Ford Focus RS, the Honda Civic Type-R and the Volkswagen Golf R. Is the Veloster N the best hot hatch for the money?

Q: How much does the 2019 Hyundai Veloster N cost versus the rest of the field?
A: Base price, including freight, is estimated to start at $28,000 for the standard 250-horsepower model. Add an extra $2,000 if you want the 275-hp Performance Pack model (you will want it), which also includes an electronic limited-slip differential, larger and stickier tires, larger brakes and variable exhaust actuators. The next closest hot hatch in price is the Civic Type-R with a starting MSRP of $34,700 without freight. The Focus RS and the Golf R both start north of $40K.

Q: What kind of engine does the Veloster N have and how much power does it make?
A: The Veloster N is powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four that makes either 250 hp in base trim or 275 hp when equipped with the Performance Pack. Peak torque remains the same in either configuration at 260 pound-feet. The power increase comes purely from software tuning, and there are no hardware changes. Oh, did we mention it takes 87 octane? No need to spring for premium fuel.

Q: What kind of transmission options are there?
A: The Veloster N is only offered with a six-speed manual transmission at the moment. Hyundai mentioned a performance dual-clutch is in development, but that's at least a couple of years away. The manual transmission comes equipped with an automatic rev-matching function, which makes downshifts buttery-smooth and eliminates the need to know how to heel-and-toe. It's easy to turn off this function if you're someone who likes to do your own rev-matching.

Read our First Drive of the 2019 Hyundai Veloster N here:

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