At its debut as a 2012 model, the Veloster was arguably the most interesting vehicle Hyundai had ever produced. Though not as performance-oriented as the Genesis Coupe that had arrived a couple of years previously, the Veloster sported a more innovative three-door coupe body that placed its third passenger door on the passenger side to ease access to a surprisingly useful rear seat.
Though there had been some doubt whether Hyundai would follow up with a second generation Veloster, the South Korean automaker erased any ambiguity when it unveiled all-new 2019 model in early 2018 at the Detroit auto show.
While it's typically tough to follow up a car as quirky as this (Nissan didn't even try to do a second generation of its froggy-looking Juke crossover), Hyundai has done an admirable job of preserving the first-gen Veloster's shape with styling details that link the car to its other recent designs. And yes, they even kept that third door.
Where the original Veloster shared its entry-level engine with the Accent subcompact, the new model instead starts out with a larger 2.0L good for 147 hp and 132 lb-ft of torque. Carried over from the outgoing car is a 1.6L turbo engine that makes 201 hp and 195 hp. Both engines come standard with a six-speed manual transmission. In 2.0L cars, the option is a six-speed automatic while the turbo gets a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic.
Hyundai calls out the new Veloster's standard multi-link independent rear suspension. It replaces a torsion beam setup that was one of the old model's weak points, so we expect this new design will deliver better handling and better high-speed stability over uneven pavement.
Other standard features include 18-inch wheels, automatic headlights, LED daytime running lights, cloth upholstery, heated front seats with manual six-way driver and four-way front passenger adjustments, six-speaker stereo, 7.0-inch infotainment touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, air conditioning, heated steering wheel, trip computer, keyless entry and power windows.
Veloster Turbo adds LED headlights and tail lights, sunroof, combination cloth and leather seating, leatherette door trim, red accents and a 4.2-inch TFT gauge cluster display.
A Turbo Tech package brings leather seats, driver seat lumbar, eight-speaker stereo, 8.0-inch infotainment display with navigation, automatic climate control, head-up display and rain-sensing wipers.
Advanced safety kit is limited to blind spot detection with rear cross traffic alert, standard in all trims. The Turbo Tech adds rear park assist.
Fuel consumption ratings are 9.4/7.1 L/100 km (city/highway) with the 2.0L engine and manual transmission; the automatic is marginally more efficient in city driving. Estimates for turbo cars are 9.4/7.0 with the stickshift and 8.5/6.9 with the seven-speed automatic.