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AUTONETWORK: 2019 Hyundai Veloster R-Spec: The Brand’s Second-Generation Hatchback Adds Punch

NNPA NEWSWIRE — … the Korean brand has made an investment in updating its three door-hatchback. The seemingly well-built vehicle is stylish, spirited and fun to drive, depending upon the trim. Furthermore, the vehicle is affordable too.

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Photo: Courtesy JeffCars.com

By Jeff Fortson of JeffCars.com, NNPA Newswire Contributor

Highlight: This Korean hatchback contains three doors.

Test Vehicle’s MSRP$23,785 (Base model: $19,385)

Seating Capacity: 4 (super tight fit in the back seat)

Standard Safety Features: ABS; airbags; a tire pressure monitoring system; automatic headlights; heated folding manual mirrors; a rear spoiler with center high mounted stop lamp; rearview camera; a forward collision avoidance assistance center; driver’s blind spot mirror; a lane keep assist system; an electronic stability control system; and a tire pressure monitoring system

Standard Equipment (Base Model): 17-inch wheels; a 6-speed manual transmission; driving select mode sport and normal; tinted glass; cloth seats; a manual operated tilt/telescopic steering wheel; a 7-inch infotainment screen; Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatible

Optional Features on Test Vehicle: none

Standard Audio on Test Vehicle: an AM/F

Bluetooth Connectivity: Yes

USB Connectivity: Yes

Bumper-to-Bumper Warranty: 5 years or 60,000 miles

Powertrain Warranty: 10 years or 100,000 miles

Standard Engine/Horsepower: 2.0-liter, 4-cylinder/147-hp

Recommended Fuel: Regular Unleaded

Standard Fuel Mileage: 25-city/33-hwy

What’s New: The second-generation Veloster has been reworked inside and out for the 2019 model year.

Why: The redesign Veloster is available in a manual or an automatic configuration. The three-door hatchback is available in a variety of trims with a choice of two engines.

I had an opportunity to review the brand’s fun-to-drive R-spec trim with the 18-inch wheels and Michelin summer tires. The roomy compact was powered by the larger 1.6-liter turbo engine, which produced 201-horsepower. The easy-to-shift, 6-speed manual transmission was outfitted with a B & M racing sport shifter, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and alloy pedals.

The R-spec, which was outfitted with a compliable suspension system suitable for a long distance trip, also included such features as a push button ignition starter system, a 60/40 split fold down rear seatback, an 8-inch infotainment screen and an upgraded Infinity 8-speaker audio system with a SiriusXM audio system.

For buyers seeking premium features in the Veloster, they’ll find leather seats, a wireless charging pad, a heads-up display system, a navigation system and HD radio are available in the car’s top of the line Ultimate trim. Added to that, a new two-tone color treatment is available too.

Lastly, depending upon the trim, such safety-driving aids as a blind spot collision warning system, a rear cross traffic collision warning system, a forward collision avoidance assistance with pedestrian detection and rain sensing wipers, can be outfitted on the Veloster.

But: The R-spec model I reviewed does not give buyers the option to add a sunroof and such safety driving aids as a rear cross-traffic collision warning system. Buyers will have to step up to a pricier trim to access the aforementioned features.

And, with the R-spec model, the vehicle contains an active engine sound. Unfortunately, unlike in Ford’s Mustangs outfitted with a similar feature, the occupants aren’t able to experience the noise inside the cabin, which adds to the thrill of driving a sports car.

Lastly, the Veloster’s rear seating is not designed for rear seat occupants.

Verdict: As Hyundai and others struggle with their car line up, as a result of consumers shift to crossovers, SUVs and trucks, the Korean brand has made an investment in updating its three door-hatchback. The seemingly well-built vehicle is stylish, spirited and fun to drive, depending upon the trim. Furthermore, the vehicle is affordable too.

Competition: Chevy Cruze Hatch; Honda Civic; and Mazda3

Jeff Fortson is the host of SiriusXM Channel 141 “Auto Trends with JeffCars.com.” It’s a weekly multicultural automotive show, which includes in depth conversations with today’s influencers and trendsetters. For show times and to price a new-vehicle, cruise over to JeffCars.com.

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