WHAT IT IS: The Veloster is Hyundai’s three-door compact car that is aimed at younger buyers interested in something a little more unusual than a traditional sedan. The 2.0-liter, 147-horsepower engine is standard, but a 201-horsepower, turbocharged, 1.6-liter is available if you want more oomph.

The Veloster appears to be a two-door coupe, but on the passenger side of the vehicle there is an additional door that features a door handle that is camouflaged into the side of the window. To be clear, there is no second door on the driver’s side of the vehicle. It’s a little quirky, but highly effective and significantly better than having someone crawl over a folded down front seat.

Hyundais have had great standard features, even on base models, and the Veloster is no different. 17-inch alloy wheels, a 7-inch infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility, lane-keep assist, driver attention-warning system, and forward collision-avoidance system are all great features in a car priced under $20,000.

The 2.0-powered Velosters are a little lethargic for a car who has an exterior that communicated sportiness. Moving up to the turbocharged model is a hefty $4,400 extra, but you also get a bevy of additional features such as 18-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights, a sports-tuned suspension, sport exhaust and Hyundai’s Blue Link system for three years. The cheapest turbocharged spec is only available with a manual transmission, so you’re looking at spending even more to move up to a dual-clutch transmission.

The 2019 Veloster is new for this model year and it’s a big improvement from the outgoing model. The design language is much more refined, but it may not be good enough to force current Veloster owners to upgrade right away.

MPG: 28 city/34 highway

PRICE: $18,800 base price. $26,650 fully-loaded.

UPSIDES: Fun, unusual and inexpensive.

DOWNSIDES: None.

WRAP-UP: The Veloster is fun and quirky, but I have to imagine that most eyes at the Hyundai dealerships will be looking at the Kona or Tucson compact crossovers which are similar in price and provide the higher ride height that many current owners prefer. If you prefer the better-handling nature of a car and would prefer something that not everyone owns, then the Veloster is a great choice. Hyundai still offers one of the best warranties in America, and while I would likely recommend the traditionally shaped Elantra to most buyers, the Veloster would be a rock-solid choice for years to come.

Wilson Calvert
Author: Wilson CalvertEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Columnist / Director of Operations
I am a long-time Houstonian and am obsessed with cars, soccer, traveling, bourbon and airplanes. I write a regular car review column for The Tribune and travel articles a few times per year.

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