When Hyundai first released the Veloster N hot hatch several years ago, it seemed the Korean car giant finally hit all the right notes when it came to making a fun performance car. The Veloster N packed an impressive amount of power, technology, and value into its flanks. However, the interior resembled a pieced together Fischer Price kit and it was a manual-only offering. Hyundai is not only committed to enhancing the Veloster N’s sales success but also learn from past mistakes with the 2022 Hyundai Veloster N which adds a DCT and a few welcome enhancements into an already potent package.
Veloster N’s Interior Benefits From New Seats
The exterior styling of the Veloster N rolled into the 2022 model year largely unchanged so we’ll instead focus our attention on some of the updates that the cabin has received. The dashboard and center stack still has a plastic fantastic theme, but the all-new cloth/leatherette seats do a wonderful job of dressing up the interior. Hyundai claims that the new chairs offer better bolstering and are also four pounds lighter than the pure cloth seats that defined older models.
In our time with the Veloster N, we found that the seats did a good job of delivering support but it appears to have less bolstering than the outgoing thrones. The light up N logos in the upper part of the chairs are also a nice touch and they helped our tester stand out slightly when viewed at night. Our lone complaint centered around the lack of seat heat with Michigan’s cold weather making its absence all the more noticeable. The Hyundai’s funky three-door arrangement still takes some getting used to and entry and exit for rear passengers is still hampered by the odd layout.
Thankfully Hyundai’s straightforward control layout for various functions is still intact while the touchscreen infotainment system continues to be one of the best in the industry thanks to its good menu layout as well as the minimal load time when moving between various menus. That’s in stark contrast to some of the newer infotainment systems seen in rivals like the Volkswagen GTI which embraced a haptic feedback control scheme for core functions and sacrificed precious on-the-move usability for the sake of sleek futuristic lines.
Hyundai’s New DCT Is A Welcome Veloster N Upgrade
The standard six-speed manual is still available in the Veloster N and while it may offer a higher degree of driver involvement, the all-new eight-speed DCT makes a very compelling case for itself when you give it a chance to show what it can do. The DCT was built in-house by Hyundai engineers and is a noticeable improvement over older Hyundai DCTs. That’s mainly due to how smooth the shifts are with the DCT in the Hyundai having no stumbling or jerkiness to it when tasked with daily commuting. The DCT also comes with the “N Grin Shift” system which raises the engine’s torque from 260 to 278 lb-ft of torque for 20 seconds. That bump in torque makes its presence felt in off the line acceleration, but you do have to wait a few minutes after you use it before the system becomes active again so use this feature wisely.
Performance for the 2021 Veloster N still comes from a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder, but the once optional performance package is now standard which allowed our tester to arrive with 275 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque. Our tester was capable of making the sprint to 60 mph in 4.8 seconds, but frosty weather later in its visit forced our summer tire-equipped tester to sit on the bleachers when a blast of snow blew through the Metro Detroit area but it was back in action after the snow melted shortly after. Owners in our part of the country will have to have a set of winter or all-season tires in the rotation if they want to make the Veloster a true four-season offering.
The cold also impaired the handling of our tester, but when driven with care, our tester still managed to shine in the corners with the steering delivering impressive amounts of feedback and communication. The suspension has also been retuned for the DCT equipped Veloster to help sharpen handling even more while also addressing the shift in balance brought on by the DCT.
Visibility rearward is still a Veloster quirk but Hyundai has equipped the Veloster with an impressive array of standard safety equipment and we were glad to have blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert to make lane changes easier.
Base price for the 2022 Hyundai Veloster N starts at $32,500 before any taxes and fees are factored in for the base manual model with our lightly optioned DCT example having a final sticker of $35,043 before fees. This pricing puts the Veloster in an interesting spot when compared with some of its rivals like the Volkswagen GTI. The base $29,545 S model is less expensive than the Hyundai in manual trim and the DSG equipped version is also slightly less pricey. However, the Hyundai manages to outshine the SE and the Autobahn in that regard and in the process retains its value factor even when you add in the DCT’s $1500 premium.
Another contender is the Honda Civic Si which will be the sole performance Civic offering (minus the track only Type R TC) for customers in the near future. The Si is only available as a sedan but it also aims to hit the mark on value thanks to its $27,300 base price and some of the upgrades that Honda has made to the interior and performance hardware. However, the Si is only available in manual form and its 1.5 liter 200 hp turbocharged four-cylinder makes less power than the Hyundai’s boosted offering.
The addition of the DCT for the Veloster N will allow it to grow into an offering that can appeal to a wider range of customers especially younger buyers that might want one for their garage but may not have grown up with as much exposure to a traditional manual offering as some of their peers. The DCT will also allow the Veloster N to go toe to toe with Volkswagen’s DSG transmission and it will be interesting to see how a Veloster N equipped with the DCT measures up against a DSG equipped Golf GTI or R model. The Kona N performance CUV will also be on dealer lots and it will be interesting to see how the corporate rivalry plays out in sales.
Carl Malek has been an automotive journalist for over 10 years. First starting out as a freelance photographer before making the transition to writing during college, his work has appeared on numerous automotive forums as well as websites such as Autoshopper.com.
Carl is also a big fan of British vehicles with the bulk of his devotion going to the Morgan Motor Company as well as offerings from Lotus, MG, and Caterham. When he is not writing about automobiles, Carl enjoys spending time with his family and friends in the Metro Detroit area, as well as spending time with his adorable pets.