Honda Civic Type R vs. Hyundai Veloster N ― 2019 Hot Hatchback Battle



CARLOS LAGO: While
it's not going to win any beauty pageants,
the Honda Civic Type R is the de facto hot hatch. It's a blast to drive, with
really engaging handling and pleasing road manners. KURT NIEBUHR: But what's
its biggest competitor? How about the
Hyundai Veloster N. It's Hyundai's first proper
hot hatch for the USA, and I think it's up
for the challenge. The question is, which
one's worth your money? That's what we're
going to find out. But before we get
started, don't forget to click Like,
Subscribe, and make sure to visit Edmunds to
find your perfect car. OK, OK. So these cars don't line
up quite so perfectly. Yeah, they're both high
performance hatchbacks. Both have 2-liter,
turbo-charged, four-cylinder engines, six-speed
manual transmissions, automatic rev matching, and
they both seat four people. There are differences,
though, and big ones, too. For example, the
Veloster has three doors. The Civic has three
exhaust pipes. Price is a bigger concern. The Honda costs $6,700 more
than the Veloster as equipped. And that's assuming you can
find one of these at MSRP. It's also more powerful,
even when the Veloster N is equipped with
its performance back, like this one is. So the question really is,
is the Honda's higher price worth the extra dough? First up, instrumented
performance testing at the Edmunds test track. With a superior
power-to-weight ratio, the Civic is unsurprisingly
faster than the philosopher in a straight line. This particular Type-R,
though, was a few tenths slower than the last one we tested. It had noticeable intervention
that prevented quick up shifts. We suspected this was due
to reliability concerns. After all, what good is
3/10 off your 0 to 60 time if you don't
have a transmission to drive home with. Launching the
Veloster N is tricky. The tires have a lot
of grip when warm, and it's difficult to find
the sweet spot between bogging the engine and
excessive tire spin. On the upside, you could shift
the six-speed transmission as quickly as you like. Both cars need to shift to third
gear to reach 60 miles an hour, which worsens their 0
to 60 time and makes it less indicative of
overall acceleration. Look at the quarter
mile, though, and you see the
Civic is much faster. The Civic consistently stops
shorter than the Veloster during testing, with a nine-foot
difference between the two best performances from these cars. Both vehicles are
stable and predictable under simulated panic stops. Neither car exhibited odor
or fade during testing, indicating they'll withstand
normal use on a race track. It's worth noting that the
lateral G-averages were the same regardless
of stability control, showing that both
car's stability control systems are tuned for
high-performance driving. CARLOS LAGO: So as
expected, the Honda Civic outperformed the handover lost
her hand at the test track. But will those results
translate to the racetrack? KURT NIEBUHR: Now, because
we're at a race track, you'll probably hear
some cars flying by. We spent all morning
lapping these two cars and destroying their
tires in the process. CARLOS LAGO: Much like you,
we aren't pro racing drivers. And if you Google around,
you'll find fast lap times for at least one
of these vehicles. What we're actually
interested in, though, is the
difference in lap time that we've got from
these two cars. And again, the faster
car is the Civic Type R. KURT NIEBUHR: So if that's
all you came here for, there's your answer. CARLOS LAGO: Now
for the rest of you who care about
how these actually drive from behind
the wheel, that's what really get into next. KURT NIEBUHR: So
Carlos, this car's fast. CARLOS LAGO: Yeah, boy howdy. I mean, of course, it's
the more powerful car here. It's the more fundamentally
designed vehicle here, and the more expensive
car, too, so no surprise. But man, you get going
real quick in this. KURT NIEBUHR: Yeah, it's
almost hard to drive this car. It takes a couple laps,
simply because you have to get used to how fast it is. CARLOS LAGO: But beyond the
speed this car feels special. It doesn't feel like
a tarted up Civic. It feels like a special
version of a car that has some resemblance to a Civic. Some of that's going
to be in the engine, and that's going to be in
the chassis, some of that's going to be in the
decorative stuff here, like the production number
right behind the shifter– the metal shifter, the
red interior accents. All that stuff kind of speaks
to how significant of a car this is. KURT NIEBUHR: Yeah, I
feel that a base Civic is at such a high level that it
allowed Honda to focus more on the little special
bits and pieces like that. CARLOS LAGO: You
get this suspension that feels really
sophisticated in the sense that it's really
comfortable on the road. This doesn't punish you like
so many firms sports cars do. This is a genuinely
daily drivable car. KURT NIEBUHR: Yeah, and you
could drive it in the plus R mode that we're in
right now, and it wouldn't be over the top. We're driving on a really
bumpy course surface, and it still rides really well. CARLOS LAGO: When the car
is smooth and controlled at high speed, you are concerned
about how it's moving around. And that allows you
to go even faster. KURT NIEBUHR: Yeah. CARLOS LAGO: It allows you to
go harder into braking zones, not be worried about, oh,
can I maintain this speed through this corner here. There's a couple hairy
corners on this track that this car feels
totally fine in. KURT NIEBUHR: Yeah, but it is,
after all, a front-wheel drive car. CARLOS LAGO: Yes. KURT NIEBUHR: And what
I found that I had to do was really manage the power
application coming out of even medium speed corners the
car will light the inside front tire up, and it's
cool, but it's slow. CARLOS LAGO: We have
a ton of torque, and we have
front-wheel drive car, so you have to drive
these things responsibly. When you do it, it rewards you. I would go as far to say
that this thing drives as good as its design is silly. KURT NIEBUHR: Absolutely. Absolutely. CARLOS LAGO: We've got
three exhaust tips. That's very silly. KURT NIEBUHR: Yeah. CARLOS LAGO: This
thing drives that well. On the downside, engine sound. KURT NIEBUHR:
Yeah, it's actually hard to drive this
car at the limit simply because when
you're wearing a helmet, it's almost silent
on the inside, even in plus R mode when it does
get a little bit more race-y, this is still not much
louder than a basic Civic. CARLOS LAGO: You have
to watch the tac. I caught myself frequently
balancing off the limiter just because I didn't realize
it because the sounds not there. I love these seats. KURT NIEBUHR: Yeah. CARLOS LAGO: Bucket
seats are tricky. When I get in and
out of this car, I have to put the seat back in
order to comfortably exit it because these thigh bolsters
make getting in and out difficult. But on the road
just commuting in this thing, they're wonderful. KURT NIEBUHR: They're also
very breathable seats. This car is so
comfortable on the road. This is the car I
want to drive home. CARLOS LAGO: It's
the little things. That get the shifter right. They get the clutch
engagement right. The steering feedback isn't
quite as there as the Veloster, but the effort is good. KURT NIEBUHR: Also, that
the brake pedal on this car really deserves special mention. It's high, it's firm,
but it's never touchy. It's exactly where you want
it to be on the street. It's exactly where you
want it to be on the track, and it adds confidence. CARLOS LAGO: Yeah, I think my
only real demerits on this car are engine sound, rev
matching isn't as aggressive as I would like it to be as
somebody who uses rev matching, and shame on me, and
blah, blah, blah. I can read the
YouTube comments now. And it has three exhaust tips. So the overall design
is just so cartoonish, the opposite of
how the car drives. It's an absolute standout. KURT NIEBUHR: And it's fast. CARLOS LAGO: It rips. It rips. It rips but it's stable. Like through this high
speed section here, you feel like you can
carry so much speed through this blind
complex of corners. And this is a hairy
corner at full speed. KURT NIEBUHR: It is. So that's thumbs up from you? CARLOS LAGO: I'd say two. Well, maybe a thumb
up and a half for– I hate to keep coming
down on the design, but– KURT NIEBUHR: I
would have to say that, even though I
like driving both cars, this is the car I would
want to drive home. CARLOS LAGO: I agree. KURT NIEBUHR: All
right, so why don't we go hop in the Veloster? CARLOS LAGO: I think we should. KURT NIEBUHR: I'm really
surprised that we're even driving a 2019 Hyundai Veloster. And it's because when the
Veloster first came out, it was such a unique
and interesting vehicle, but it wasn't that
good to drive. I expected it to just kind of
come out for a couple of years then Hyundai go, whoops, and
never build a second one. But I'm really impressed
that they came back and they built an all
new Hyundai Veloster. And you know what? I like it. CARLOS LAGO: Yeah, it's neat
that not only has a mainstream automaker decided to make
a three-door hatchback, they've also made
this N version, which is a really well
done $30,000 hot hatch. Yeah, they've transformed
the standard Veloster into a very enjoyable car doing
the usual hot hatch tricks. You know, really stiff
suspension, turbo motor that's really powerful, and they've
executed a really fun to drive car for the money. KURT NIEBUHR: Yeah,
and not only that, but in the process they've given
this car so much personality. It's scrappy. CARLOS LAGO: Both
of these cars– the Civic and the Veloster–
are slow cars made fast. This definitely feels
like a slow car made fast. KURT NIEBUHR: Absolutely. CARLOS LAGO: You still have the
Veloster interior trappings– this plastic is pretty stiff and
firm, not very good to look at. The shifter– it
works, but it still feels like it has the original
Veloster trappings going on with it. On the other hand
though, the trick bits are really trick, right? This engine makes good power,
has good throttle response, it's very vocal, a lot
more so than the Civic, and that means when you're
hitting red line you can actually hear it happening. And I'm not staring
at the tac in this car like I have to in the Type R. The rev matching
works really well, and that's one thing I
really like, as somebody who likes using rev matching. I know a lot of people out there
who don't, but I like the fact that I can just trust
it every single time. In the Civic, I don't. KURT NIEBUHR: And
there is something else that the Veloster has
that I wish the Civic had, and that's the ability to
really go in and adjust every electronic setting. So you can change the
way the car rev matches. You can change the
limited slip settings. You can change the suspension
settings, the throttle mapping, the exhaust settings. Everything can be customized. CARLOS LAGO: And then we
have to talk about the parts where this falters a little
bit versus the Civic. This car feels fast. KURT NIEBUHR: Yes. CARLOS LAGO: But the
data shows it is not relative to the Civic. KURT NIEBUHR: That
is true, and I think if you drove
them in isolation, you would swear they're just
as fast, especially with how involving it is to drive
the Veloster N. It's a very exciting car to drive. CARLOS LAGO: Yeah, but
when you look at the data, when you look at the lap
times, when look at cornering speeds driving the
two back to back, it's very apparent that the
Civic is that much faster. And, of course, it's
a more expensive car. No duh. It's more powerful,
and so on and so forth. But I think that really isn't
a discredit to the Veloster. I think it's part of the
driving satisfaction. The Veloster decided to go
with mechanically adjust– electronically controlled
mechanical flap in the exhaust that helps it make that pop. There's certainly a mode that
switches on when you do that. The Civic, they've opted to
go with a non-electronically adjustable thing. It's just those
three pipes that work with different kind
of back pressure to make it sound
the way it does. That's nice on the road
because it doesn't drone, but you don't get that
excitement on the track that this thing has. KURT NIEBUHR: And
I hate to bring in the way a car looks
because that's so subjective. The Veloster drives
like the Civic looks. The Civic drives
like the Veloster. CARLOS LAGO: Exactly. But this is a ton of fun. I can't say that enough. Steering is really
well weighted. Good feedback through it. Brakes are powerful. Everything here–
all the touch points. They've done their homework
in making of Veloster N. KURT NIEBUHR: I actually
prefer the feedback that comes through the
wheel and in the Veloster than I do through the Civic. And that may be a function of
how sophisticated and smooth everything is in that Civic. But I really like
it in this car. CARLOS LAGO: Yeah
I would not feel bad about driving
this car daily. KURT NIEBUHR: Not at all. CARLOS LAGO: Yeah. As we come around this
flat, skid pad like area– both of these cars
have a ton of power going into the front wheels,
and under steer fighting it, especially when you're trying
to power out is always an issue. What happened when
you were doing that? KURT NIEBUHR: I
found myself having to be very, very patient. Even though the limited slip is
very sophisticated in this car, you have to wait because
it's so easy to overwhelm the fronts on this car. And it's easy to get into
a corner a little bit too quickly. And it's easy to get out
of the corner a little bit too quickly. And front wheel
drive cars are so dependent on the front tires. If you overcook them,
you've lost them for a lap and you have to cool them down. CARLOS LAGO: Absolutely,
or as we found, you can shoot chunks
right off of them. KURT NIEBUHR: Yes, you can. CARLOS LAGO: What is amazing
about both of these cars– the Civic Type R is a very
torque-y front drive car. No torques here. This is a very torque-y front
wheel drive car, as well. No torques here. So verdict on the Veloster N? Thumb up. One thumb. KURT NIEBUHR: So, who wins? Actually, all of us win because
both are fantastic hot hatches. They're so fun to drive. CARLOS LAGO: But the
question we set out to answer is, is the Civic Type R's
additional price worth it? Yes. KURT NIEBUHR: Absolutely, yes. CARLOS LAGO: From the
moment that you sit in it, it feels very special. And then you start driving
the car and it's so fast and it's comfortable
and it's compliant, and it's really fast. Honda's made a
great hot hatchback, and that doesn't mean the
Veloster N is a bad car. If you can only swing
30 grand, you're going to have a lot of
fun with this thing. Hyundai's turned the
Veloster into something that's genuinely fun to drive,
and still is really functional as a daily driver, too. Problem is, the
Veloster N just can't hold a candle to how special
the Civic Type R is to drive. And that's why the Civic
wins this comparison. Now for more information
on vehicles like these and for all your
car shopping needs, be sure to visit Edmunds.com.

46 thoughts on “Honda Civic Type R vs. Hyundai Veloster N ― 2019 Hot Hatchback Battle

  1. Sorry, but not having a drone or excessive noise is NOT a knock to the Honda. I like quiet and fast. It's easy to make a shitty car "sound" great while it's just a yawner on the road.

  2. Let's do some real talk here,in 2 years u can buy that Veloster for 14k while the CTR will still be stuck at exactly MSRP price.
    Don't believe me? Try buying a 2017 CTR,show me ONE at 30k.

  3. WTF!! Hyundai?? VW Golf R and Subaru STI are the right match for Type R, Even the Honda Si or VW GTI beat the fxxk out of this piece of ugly shit! Btw, how much does Edmunds get pay from Hyunda to make this video?? LOL

  4. Stop comparing the Veloster N to the Civic Type-R. The Veloster has 30 less hp – and obviously Hyundai is capable of making a better interior than in the Civic (Google I30N Option). If the Veloster N had 300hp it would wipe the floor with the Type-R.

  5. If I was just looking for power, I'd go with the Civic. But the Veloster has the perfect combination of daily driver and sportiness, which includes its louder exhaust, sporty exterior design, and average interior, along with the programming for performance and ride quality.
    The Veloster would also make a good car to play around with to make into a street car that looks original.

  6. $16k more for 3tenths of a second in the type-r?
    0-60 in 5.7 1/4 mile 13.9 -14.2? Sounds like a 04 srt4.

  7. 가성비에서 이긴건가???? 성능차이가 나긴한데 아무리그래도 10000달러차이는 좀 심하지??

  8. I feel like anything north of 35k shouldn't be considered a hot hatch. A 23k fiesta ST is a hot hatch. This is something else entirely.

  9. Well Honda Civic Type R is the best in the segment and the Nurburgring Nordschleife lap time backs this up. So how about a comparison between the VW Golf R and Hyundai Veloster? Are you afraid that your beloved European original hot hatch will lose the contest?

  10. Hyundai literally said the N cars weren't designed to be the fastest thing in the class (a spreadsheet car), but the best balance between fun/performance/daily driver.

  11. Riddle me this… Why would you buy this, when it's the same cost as a Mustang GT, and the Mustang is all motor, rear wheel drive, and has over 200 more horses? Did I mention Ford has a deal if you order online, you have 0% APR? Cause with all the bells and whistles I want, my monthly payment is $550 where a Honda Type R is $600+ with no extra features. I actually like the look of the Type R and I love the sound I get from the turbo cars I've owned, but… logistically it doesn't make sense for me.

    TLDR; Mustang has more power, all motor, and has cheaper payments with Adaptive Exhaust, and performance pack 1.

  12. That front wheel CTR is even quicker than the Golf R 4×4 which is pretty impressive. As an older guy, I think it looks bitching inside and out. Definitely worth spending the extra 6 grand.

  13. you can just about buy a new mustang gt for the price of the civic r. thats like 460 horse for 2 grand more

  14. If they would sell these cars in awd they would be buy able cars. But for some reason all these car makers that have awd options remove that option from the sport packages. So in today's world the wrx or sti is pretty much the only option for me.

  15. aero elements(except some of the grills which one can get them open) in Type R works.. if that makes it cartoonish 😀 then we are in the world where people are totally dismissing functionality over form.

  16. Civic Type R is hideous, sounds like a vaccum, and the dealer markup only adds insult to injury. I'll take the more playful, better looking and sounding Veloster N. Will say both have terrible stock wheel designs. Miss the day of the Enkei or Rays wheels of the 370Z or Mitsubishi Evo

  17. I test drove the Veloster N a few months back and it really exceeded my expectations. Its genuinely a really fun car to drive. Ended up buying a used Stinger GT though, just love the styling and power.

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