Despite what it says in the dictionary, two doors no longer do a coupe make. It has been redefined by automakers to refer to sporty vehicles and can include four doors, or even three, like the singular Hyundai Veloster sport coupe. Latino Traffic Report recently attended the launch of the all-new 2019 Veloster in Austin, TX. Its cleaner exterior design and improved engine choices will excite fans and attract new ones.
The new fascia resembles Hyundai’s current design DNA more faithfully than its predecessor. The grille is less cluttered and a darkened roof is standard on the top-of-the-line Turbo Ultimate trim, reflecting the current industry trend. While the two-tone look is not available across the lineup, each trim does come in unique colors, materials, and accents.
The Veloster’s appeal may be connected to its sportiness but it is a hatch and as such, it offers something other sport coupe’s don’t, utility, namely 19.9 cubic feet of cargo room behind the second row seat, more than Mini Cooper, Mini Clubman, and VW Beetle.
A 2.0-liter engine four-cylinder engine with 147 horsepower and 132 lb.–ft. of torque powers the base model. It’s matched to either a six-speed manual or a six-speed electronically controlled automatic transmission.
Ramping up the sportiness factor is the turbo-charged 1.6-liter direct-injected four-cylinder engine on the Veloster Turbo and Turbo Ultimate that produces 201 horses and 195 lb.–ft. of torque. It’s paired with a six-speed manual transmission or a seven-speed dual clutch transmission with steering wheel mounted paddle shifters and SHIFTRONIC transmission gear control. The automatic will earn the best EPA estimated fuel economy of 28 miles per gallon (mpg) in the city and 34 mpg on the highway. We drove both at the launch and clocked an average fuel economy of 32.9 mpg. While the manual may be slightly less fuel-efficient, it has a definite advantage when it comes to the driving experience, offering more power, responsiveness, and fun.
To customize the driving experience, Drive Mode Select is standard on all Velosters and offers three driver-selectable modes—Normal, Sport, and Smart. The cherry on top of every Veloster powertrain is Active Engine Sound that enhances that engine rumble that sports car enthusiasts crave.
Still mindful of the competitive advantage safety technology adds to any modern vehicle, the 2019 Veloster includes standard Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist with autonomous braking to help the car detect and avoid an imminent collision, Lane Keeping Assist, and a rear view camera with dynamic guidelines.
Features like Blind-Spot Collision and Rear Cross-Traffic Collision Warning, as well as Blue Link, Hyundai’s onboard emergency, diagnostic, guidance service are standard on all but the base trim—it would be nice if these features were at least available on it. The base model does come with a blind spot mirror.
Standard creature comforts include the basics like air conditioning, power windows, remote keyless entry, a seven-inch display screen with AM/FM radio, dual USB ports, steering-wheel-mounted audio, Bluetooth, and cruse control, plus Apple CarPlay/Android Audio. Stepping up to the 2.0 Premium brings fancier features like an eight-inch display with the Infiniti Premium audio system and SiriusXM satellite radio, a proximity key, and heated front seats. The Turbos add a wide sunroof and leather seats to the list.
Hyundai likes to call the Veloster a “reverse halo” but if a halo car is one that attracts folks to a dealership, then the Veloster is simply a halo, no qualifiers necessary. Pricing for the 2019 Veloster starts at $19,385.