2019 Hyundai Veloster 2.0 Premium: This Hyundai Hatchback Is Refined But Spirited

2019 Hyundai Veloster

This fun and feisty ‘starter sports car’ will inspire you to do more.

Hyundai has been working hard to shed its “starter car” image. However, in the case of the 2019 Hyundai Veloster, ‘starter’ is right where it wants to be.

That’s because this Hyundai hatchback might be viewed as the gateway to a performance-driving hobby.

We took the 2019 Hyundai Veloster out to Palm Springs not long ago with a group of women. Our goal was to drive cars, take photos, learn track driving and have fun.

We drove a lot of cars over the three days: fun crossovers, elegant family cars and feel-good rag tops, but the car that made us grin like a teenager? The Hyundai Veloster.

Further reading: Need more room than hatchback? Check out the redesigned Hyundai Santa Fe SUV

2019 Hyundai Veloster Best Hatchback For Sport Driving

The 2019 Hyundai Veloster 2.0 Premium deserves its own parking space… so we gave it one!
Photo: Scotty Reiss

Who This Hyundai Hatchback is For

Redesigned for 2019, the Veloster has refined lines on the outside and a new lineup of features. It appeals to both new drivers and those who want the Veloster experience and a good-looking sports car. This car is best for:

  • Drivers who love a sporty drive experience, who love to be close to the road
  • First-time car buyers or owners who want a true driver’s experience
  • Buyers who want to be a part of #VelosterNation
  • Drivers who occasionally need to accommodate backseat passengers
  • Buyers who love the space and flexibility of a hatchback

Further reading: More details on how Hyundai is #KeepingVelosterQuirky

2019 Hyundai Veloster Best Hatchback For Sport DrivingWhat This Car Costs

This might be the best part of the Veloster lineup: there are no add-ons. Customers can buy the trim that fits their needs. Here’s how pricing breaks down and what you get:

  • 2019 Veloster 2.0 with 147 horsepower, lane keep assist, forward collision avoidance, infotainment system, 7” display screen and Apple Car Play or Android Auto, $18,500
  • For $22,750, Veloster 2.0 Premium adds heated seats, blind spot monitors, lane keep assist, sunroof, Qi wireless charging and premium Infinity sound system.
  • The Veloster Turbo R- Spec takes the horsepower up to 201 and adds sport-tuned suspension for $22,900
  • Veloster Turbo adds a sunroof, heated front seats and blind-spot monitors, $25,400
  • Veloster Turbo Ultimate adds a head-up display, adaptive cruise control and wireless charging, $26,650
  • Delivery charge: $885
  • Price of the model we drove with delivery: $23,760

Soon, Hyundai dealers will have the Veloster N in stock. It features 275 horsepower, track tuning and more. Pricing has not yet been announced, but expect this to be what #Velosternation aspires to.

Further reading: We loved the last model year of the Hyundai hatchback, too! Check out the 2017 Hyundai Veloster

2019 Hyundai Veloster Best Hatchback For Sport Driving

The stripe on the steering wheel of the Veloster 2.0 Premium is a visual cue that this is a driver’s car. Photo: Scotty Reiss

Close to the Road, Right Where You Want to Be

It’s that moment that you learn the beauty of velocity. The road comes at you fast, and you can see the curbs, the bumps and the turns as they unfold in front of you. You shift your mind into drive mode, and your posture stiffens. Your hands take a natural place on the wheel. You’re in the zone. You’re really driving.

2019 Hyundai Veloster Best Hatchback For Sport Driving

The 2019 Hyundai Veloster (left) compared to the prior model design (right). Note the streamlined headlights, more elegant front hood lines and how the new grille design integrates into the bumper. Photo: Scotty Reiss

We so rarely get to do this. Our SUVs—which we LOVE for all they do for us— our kids, our cul-de-sacs, speed-bumped neighborhoods, and traffic-clogged highways keep us at a safe and civil pace. But when we get the chance to have the road to ourselves, to feel the pull of velocity in our bellies, to really feel every one of those horses, it makes us grin.

That is what the Veloster is designed for. Yes, it’s fine crawling along the 405 freeway, hitting the drive-through at In-n-Out, or inching along in the preschool pickup line. But when traffic necessitates a detour on Mulholland Drive or the Palisades Parkway (or the detour is intentional), the Veloster is at its best. Even the 2.0 Premium edition, with 147 horsepower, versus 201 in the Turbo edition, was sporty, responsive and fun to drive. It reminded us why we fell in love with driving to begin with.


Roomy and Comfortable for the Long Haul

What do we really love about a hatchback? The space. On our drive to Palm Springs, I had my friends Dawn and Karen in the car with me. Our luggage fit with room to spare in the cargo area, so we were comfy and relaxed on the ride. Of course, we chatted the whole way! Conversation was easy and the cabin was quiet, even on some of the more rutted roads on our journey. I appreciated the cruise control (though I would consider upgrading to turbo Ultimate for about $3,900 just for that feature) but most of all, Apple Car Play! We were able to plug our phones into the USB port and get Apple Car Play instantly. I love this about Hyundai.

2019 Hyundai Veloster Best Hatchback For Sport Driving

There was plenty of room for luggage for three of us in the cargo space… and we could have fit more! Photo: Scotty Reiss

On the return trip to LA, we had four passengers plus luggage and were still comfy! It probably helped that some of our passengers were not particularly tall.

2019 Hyundai Veloster Best Hyundai Hatchback For Sport Driving

The rear of the 2019 Veloster compared to the prior model design. The new design keeps the Veloster DNA but has tail lights incorporated into the liftgate and more undulations in the rear to maximize airflow. Photo: Scotty Reiss

Small Car But Accessible Space Thanks to the Third Door

Yes, this is a three-door car, as in three passenger doors: One on the driver’s side, two on the passenger’s side. This lets your friends (or kids) hop in and out easily without having to push the driver’s seat forward. It’s also great for a new parent with a child in a car seat who doesn’t want to give up the sports car: you can easily access the rear seat from the rear passenger door to install a car seat and get your kid strapped in.

And when that parent is ready to upgrade to a more mature and sophisticated car? Hyundai certainly has lots of options. However, after driving the Veloster, we wouldn’t be surprised if the N edition was their next car. After all, any good starter will clearly direct you where to go next, in this case to one that evokes even more grins and sport-tuned fun.

Disclosure: The Hyundai Veloster was provided for this story; all opinions are my own.


2019 Hyundai Veloster Best Hyundai Hatchback For Sport Driving

Four of us nestled comfortably into the 2019 Veloster. Photo: Scotty Reiss

2019 Hyundai Veloster Best Hatchback For Sport Driving

The wireless charge pad under the center console in the 2019 Hyundai Veloster is a welcome upgrade. This one has ample charge power, so it charged through my phone’s case. To use Apple Car Play or Android Auto, plug your phone into the USB port. Photo: Scotty Reiss

The 2019 Hyundai Veloster Is Updated And Refined, A Starter Car That'S The Gateway To Performance Driving--And Will Make You Remember Why You ❤️Driving!

Journalist, entrepreneur and mom. Expertise includes new cars, family cars, 3-row SUVs, child passenger car seats and automotive careers... More about Scotty Reiss