2019 Hyundai Veloster: Yep, It Still Has Funky Doors

Hyundai created the first Veloster by taking the bones of its familiar and conventional Accent compact car and whipping up a hatchback that, at first glance, looked as if it had a conventional five-door layout. Of course, that was only if onlookers were on the passenger side, which sported two portals.

On the driver’s side, they’d think it was a three-door, as there was just one door there. Even now, more than six years after that car went on sale in the United States, this layout is still weird. Unfortunately, the funkiness and fun promised by the oddball door design didn’t carry over to the driving experience, as even the hottest versions proved to be lukewarm. This all-new 2019 model promises more performance while still keeping the funk factor high.

A Little Sportier in Real Life

While it now shares its architecture with the new Elantra GT hatchback, the 2019 Veloster skips that car’s twist-beam rear axle in favor of an independent multilink setup; both use struts up front. For Veloster duty, Hyundai thickened the front anti-roll bar by 1 mm, to 24 mm, and added a 19-mm bar at the rear. Brake-activated pseudo torque vectoring is now standard on the base Veloster, while the Turbo receives a retuned and quicker steering rack, plus optional 18-inch Michelin Pilot Sport 4 performance tires.

Inside, the center stack’s thicker and steeper right edge provides a visual separation of driver from passenger, Infinity replaces Dimension as the brand for the uplevel audio system, and a larger, 8.0-inch touchscreen controls Hyundai’s latest Blue Link apps. A head-up display placed on the cowl, like those in Mazda vehicles, is now optional, along with Qi wireless-device charging.

I Wanna Be Your N Game

Pricing, fuel economy, and complete specifications aren’t yet available. Hyundai also revealed the long-awaited Veloster N, which will pack up to 275 horses and 260 lb-ft when it goes on sale later this year as a competitor as a competitor to hot compacts such as the Honda Civic Si and Type R and the Volkswagen Golf GTI and R. While it’s impossible to tell from this static reveal whether the new Veloster will be a solid basis for the new N division, the fact that the model is getting a second act—one that includes a high-performance variant—proves that Hyundai still knows how to be daring once in a while.