As a three-door hatch, the 2021 Hyundai Veloster definitely stands out. It has a youthful, edgy vibe to it, and this is a primary reason why some people are drawn to it. It sits low to the ground, has that unique hatchback shape that some people prefer, and prominently features interesting angles and curves.
Another thing that's working for it is its starting price. The Veloster's base model is priced under $20,000, and at the top end, the highest trim is still under $30,000. There are a total of five trims for the 2021 Hyundai Veloster. This gives potential customers a lot of different options.
All of the trims have the same dimensions, so it makes sense to mention them before diving deep into the details of what sets the trims apart from each other. Leg room in the front is a comfortable 42.6 inches, and head room is 38.1 inches. In the back, things are certainly tighter, since there's only 34.1 inches of leg room and 35.9 inches of head room.
Behind the rear seats, the height of the cabin contributes to the generous cargo volume of 19.9 cubic feet. When the rear seats are folded down, cargo capacity is increased to 44.5 cubic feet. Tie-down hooks in the cargo area make it easier to secure items. While the Veloster isn't going to be the first choice among anyone who wants a large vehicle, it is nice that there's some versatility to it. If needed, the Veloster can accommodate a significant amount of cargo, especially when compared to compact sedans.
Compare the 2021 Hyundai Veloster 2.0 vs 2.0 Premium Trim Levels. What is the Difference?
These are the two trims that run on 2.0-liter engines. These engines have four cylinders, and they can output 147 horsepower and 132 pound-feet of torque. Front-wheel drive is standard. The Veloster 2.0 comes standard with a six-speed manual transmission and provides customers with the option to get a six-speed automatic. The 2.0 Premium, on the other hand, is only offered with the automatic transmission.
The vehicle has fairly good efficiency. With a manual transmission, the Veloster gets an estimated 25/33 (city/highway) miles per gallon. Having an automatic transmission boosts efficiency to an estimated 27/34 miles per gallon.
While there isn't any all-wheel drive available on the Veloster, there is something called Drive Mode. This program comes with three different settings so that drivers can make adjustments to how their vehicles handle themselves. Normal is the default mode that offers a nice blend of qualities. Eco is the mode to choose whenever efficiency wants to be prioritized. Sport mode gives the Veloster a more exciting ride, with greater responsiveness and feedback through the steering wheel.
The 2.0 rides on 17-inch alloy wheels, and the 2.0 Premium sits on 18-inch alloy wheels. These 18-inch versions are the same type seen on all the higher trims of the Veloster.
The two trims have many similar exterior features. Their projector headlights can turn on automatically, the LED Daytime Running Lights are an important safety feature, and the side mirrors come with a heating element. The trims also have a rear spoiler and tinted glass. Since the hatchback does have a more vertical rear window, it comes with a single-speed rear wiper. Only the 2.0 Premium has a wide sunroof to let more natural light into the cabin.
There are some more differences visible inside the cabin. First, the 2.0 has cloth seats and the 2.0 Premium has cloth seats with leather bolsters. Plus, the Premium trim has heated front seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, and a leather-wrapped shift knob. Whereas the 2.0 has a manually controlled air conditioning system, the 2.0 Premium has an automatic temperature control system that includes an automatic defogging function.
For anyone interested in technology, these next differences are sure to be significant. Out of these two lower trims of the Hyundai Veloster, only the 2.0 Premium has an eight-inch touchscreen, SiriusXM Satellite Radio, voice recognition, wireless charging, and Blue Link connectivity. The 2.0 does have a seven-inch touchscreen, smartphone compatibility, and Bluetooth, but it lacks the more high-end components. The Infinity audio system on the Premium comes with eight speakers, to include a subwoofer, and Blue Link allows people to access their vehicles remotely from a mobile app. They can do things like start their engines, unlock the doors, and pinpoint vehicle location from their smartphones.
The instrument cluster on the 2.0 measures 3.5 inches, and it's 4.2 inches on the 2.0 Premium. Further, only the Premium has a Proximity Key. This type of key can stay in one's pocket while the driver touches the door handle to lock/unlock it. This type of key also allows for a push-button start.
These two Veloster trims do very well in the safety department. They both have vehicle stability systems, anti-lock brakes, and multiple airbags placed strategically throughout the cabin. They also have numerous driver-assist systems. Standard on the Veloster are forward collision-avoidance assist to keep drivers from rear-ending other vehicles, lane keeping assist to help drivers stay in their lanes, and driver attention warning, which is a system that keeps people focused on the road ahead.
However, the 2.0 lacks some of the more advanced systems that are seen in higher trims. Two technologies found in the 2.0 Premium and not in the 2.0 are blind-spot collision warning and rear cross-traffic collision warning. The 2.0 only has a driver's blind spot mirror.
Compare the 2021 Hyundai Veloster 2.0 Premium vs Turbo R-Spec Trims. What is the Difference?
The primary difference between these two trims is that the Turbo R-Spec runs on a turbocharged engine. This engine has a displacement of 1.6 liters, and just like the 2.0 Premium, it has four cylinders. With the turbocharger in its engine, the Turbo R-Spec can churn out 201 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque.
Active Sound Design is incorporated into the Turbo R-Spec. It's an interesting element, as it can use the sound system to emit an engine sound that may be different when the car is driving in different situations.
In the R-Spec, drivers get to use a six-speed manual transmission and a B&M Racing Sport Shifter. The steering system is sport-tuned, and the performance tires can boost handling. There's a slight drop off in efficiency with the Turbo R-Spec. It can achieve up to 26/33 miles per gallon. The one mile per gallon difference in efficiency is minimal, but deserves to be mentioned.
On the outside of the Veloster Turbo R-Spec, there are LED projector headlights. LEDs are also used in the rear taillights. Unlike the 2.0 Premium, the Turbo R-Spec does not have a sunroof.
Inside the Turbo R-Spec, there are some sportier elements that some people will appreciate. For example, it has special R-Spec cloth seats, a unique shift knob, and alloy pedals. Its rear seatback has adjustable head restraints, and it has the same type of infotainment system as the one incorporated into the 2.0 Premium. A few notable things are that the Turbo R-Spec doesn't have the wireless charging pad and automatic temperature control that the 2.0 Premium has.
When comparing the Turbo R-Spec to the 2.0 Premium, there are no changes in terms of safety. Potential customers should consider this a positive thing, since it means that the 2.0 Premium, as the second-lowest Veloster trim, has a full array of advanced components.
Compare the 2021 Hyundai Veloster Turbo R-Spec vs Turbo. What is the Difference?
At the Turbo level, the Hyundai Veloster loses the manual transmission in favor of a seven-speed EcoShift dual clutch transmission. This type of transmission is often seen in high performing vehicles, and many people prefer it so they don't have to manually shift. Rather than using performance tires like the R-Spec does, the Turbo uses all-season tires. For all of these reasons, the Turbo is slightly more efficient than the R-Spec, earning an estimated 28/34 miles per gallon.
On the outside of the Veloster Turbo, there is the addition of turn signal indicators that are integrated into the side mirrors. These turn signals can be easier for other drivers to see. The Turbo also has the wide sunroof seen in the 2.0 Premium.
The Turbo's cabin is similar to that of the Veloster 2.0 Premium in that it has cloth seats with leather bolsters. It has the heated front seats that many modern consumers are looking for so that they can stay cozy in the winter. The driver's seat in the Turbo has a power lumbar adjust to provide some more comfortable and support. Other features seen in the Turbo and not the Turbo R-Spec are a leather-wrapped shift knob, wireless charging, automatic temperature control, and a perforated leather-wrapped steering wheel.
Compare the 2021 Hyundai Veloster Turbo vs Turbo Ultimate Trims. What is the Difference?
At the top of the lineup sits the Turbo Ultimate. As previously mentioned, the Hyundai Veloster is a competitively priced vehicle, but the Turbo Ultimate pushes the upper boundaries of that affordability. It comes in at just over $28,000, and for that, customers get a few extra features.
Perhaps the most obvious element is the two-tone roof. This style of roof makes the car look much more striking, whether one chooses a neutral or more bold exterior paint color.
The Turbo Ultimate is the only trim to have leather seats. These seats really add to the sophistication of the cabin, both in terms of how the seats look and how they feel. While it might be assumed that this top trim would have a power-adjustable driver's seat, unfortunately that's not the case here. The driver's seat is a six-way manually adjustable model that's the same as what's found in all the other trims. In the Turbo Ultimate and the Turbo, there are heated front seats, rear seats with adjustable head restraints, and a front passenger seat that slides and reclines.
Another component that has only been built into the Turbo Ultimate is navigation. Having navigation makes it simple to access directions, explore different routes, and avoid traffic congestion. The Turbo Ultimate is upgraded to have HD Radio and a Heads-Up Display, a system that can project certain vehicle information onto the windshield so drivers don't miss it.
Smart Cruise Control is integrated into the Turbo Ultimate. When this is activated, the Veloster can not only independently maintain its speed but also adjust its speed based on what other vehicles are doing. It can alleviate some of the pressure on the driver when traveling on the highway for extended periods of time by making sure proper distancing is occurring.
With its advanced forward collision-avoidance assist system, the Turbo Ultimate can detect the presence of pedestrians in addition to vehicles. This can give people more confidence and assurance as they drive around parking lots, cities, and other crowded areas. Further, the Turbo Ultimate comes with rain-sensing wipers that can automatically turn on when the weather changes.
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Which Trim to Choose?
While all five trims of the 2021 Hyundai Veloster are attractive, some stand out more than others. From a technology standpoint, the lower trim doesn't match up with the others since it has the smaller touchscreen and lacks SiriusXM Satellite Radio and voice recognition. From a performance perspective, the top three trims have an advantage because they're powered by turbocharged engines. Since the difference between 147 and 201 horsepower is significant, the turbo versions are recommended.
Once the choices are narrowed down to the top three Veloster trims, one has to decide whether a manual or dual-clutch transmission is better. For most drivers, the dual-clutch is going to win this matchup every time.
Between the Turbo and Turbo Ultimate trims, there are more similarities than differences. If a customer has the budget to absorb the higher costs of the Turbo Ultimate and wants upscale touches like leather seats and navigation, than it's certainly the right choice. However, the Hyundai Veloster Turbo is going to be the trim most recommended. It's more affordable, and it still comes with many advanced technological components and convenient amenities.
• Compare the 2020 Hyundai Veloster Trim Levels