2022 Hyundai Veloster N Driveway Test


What a nice shade of blue, I thought when I first saw the 2022 Veloster N sitting in my driveway. When I opened the door, I was pleased to see that “Performance Blue” exterior paint mirrored throughout the interior of the sporty little hatchback. The seatbelts, the stitching and, most important, the drive mode buttons on the steering wheel all proudly fly the periwinkle flag.

The seats are a sturdy cloth trimmed in leather. They’re supportive, with enough bolstering to keep you firmly in place without feeling like you’re in the grips of a boa constrictor. The harness pass-throughs flank an illuminated “N” logo. A black, blue and gray striped ribbon runs down the centerline of the seatback and cushion. There are no power seats here — all adjustments are manual. No heated seats either.

The Veloster N has an 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system sitting atop the center stack, below it are a number of hard buttons for menu shortcuts, with audio and climate controls below that. Tucked away even further down are a pair of USB ports and a 12-volt socket.

Directly in front of the driver is an instrument panel with analog gauges on either side of a small digital display. At the top of the cluster is a set of five LED shift timing lights that illuminate from left to right in the order of white, orange, orange, red, red. Pay attention; with the transmission in manual mode, it will continue to hold the gear once you hit the rev limiter. The shift paddles on the back of the steering wheel treat you to a quick swap of the cogs from the eight-speed wet dual-clutch transmission.

In addition to cloth and leather, there are a few other materials and textures throughout the cabin. There are hard but nicely textured plastic trim pieces and upper dash, hard and more traditionally grained plastics on the lower dash, and some firm but not entirely hard plastic at certain touch points like armrests.

As far as storage goes, there’s not a lot. There’s a cubby for a phone under the center stack. Two cupholders sit in front of the small-ish center console storage bin. There are door pockets, but the left rear just gets a little armrest divot. There’s no center seat in the back, so that’s where Hyundai put the rear cupholders and a small cargo tray. There are no pockets on the backs of the front seats, either.

The car’s diminutive stature suggests there’s not a lot of space to go around, and that’s the case. Front headroom is minimal, and it’s in even shorter supply in the rear. I put my son’s car seat on the passenger side, and moved the front passenger seat forward to give him space. Sitting behind me wouldn’t be fun. There’s not a lot of legroom, and you have to crawl in from the passenger side, as there’s no rear driver-side door. Careful in that transit, though. The center cupholders between the rear seats hurt like hell if you bash your elbow or knee on them.

The trunk is spacious, despite a small opening. It can be tricky loading large or heavy items in there. I also found it a little difficult to dig out the rear LATCH anchor from under the load floor. It’s nice that you can hide them, though, in case you’ve got scratch-prone cargo to put back there.

The whole ensemble works nicely together. It’s not a luxury car, and it’s not a typical family vehicle. This Veloster N is all about having the sporting touches to match its hot-hatch performance. For a sticker price of $35,005, with absolutely zero added options, it’s a successful execution.

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