Edmunds Compare Volkswagen Golf GTI and Hyundai Veloster N

Volkswagen’s redesigned 2022 Golf GTI will arrive at dealerships this fall. It is the latest generation of the car that pioneered the hot hatch segment when it was launched in the US for the 1983 model year. Nearly four decades later, the GTI still stands as a benchmark for sporty performance and everyday practicality on a budget.

A major rival is the 2022 Hyundai Veloster N, Hyundai’s distinctive and high-performance three-door hatchback. Which of these hot hatches is better to buy? Experts at Edmonds put two fast compacts face-to-face to determine the winner.

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The Volkswagen Golf GTI’s turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder produces 241 horsepower and 273 lb-ft of torque, an increase of 13 horsepower and 15 lb-ft over the previous GTI. In testing Edmunds, the 2022 Golf GTI with the automatic transmission accelerated from zero to 60 mph in a quick 5.9 seconds. The new GTI also gets shorter braking distance, responsive steering and confident handling around the turns.

As impressive as the GTI is, it still lags behind the Hyundai Veloster N. Powering the Veloster N is a turbocharged 2.0-liter engine that’s good for 275 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque. On Edmonds’ test track, an automatic-equipped Veloster N exploded from zero to 60 mph in just 5.4 seconds. It also edges the GTI with added handling grip and more steering feel. For the driver’s delight, Hyundai has come up with a better recipe.

Winner: Veloster N

practicality

Everyday utility is a must for every good hot hatch. The 2022 Volkswagen Golf GTI is bound with its four doors and classic upright hatchback roofline. Both the sides together provide easy access to the spacious rear seat. With 19.9 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seats, the Golf GTI can also hold more luggage than the trunk of a typical midsize sedan.

The Velostar N also offers 19.9 cubic feet of room, but the cargo area isn’t that helpfully sized. Open the rear hatch and there’s a relatively high liftover and then a drop down on the load floor. This makes it difficult to load and retrieve objects. For passengers, the Veloster has a unique three-door layout with one door on the driver’s side and two doors on the passenger side. It’s an interesting idea, but the Golf GTI’s traditional four-door setup shows it’s something that didn’t need fixing.

Winner: Golf GTI

Rest

Hot hatches expect owners to drive them daily. Comfort is as important as performance. To that end, the Velostar N and Golf GTI both offer adaptive suspension dampers so that drivers can choose between a firm, performance-oriented setup or a more modest ride. They come standard on the Veloster N, but you need to upgrade to the range-topping Autobahn trim to get them for the GTI.

However, springing for the Autobahn may be worth it. This GTI trim has a much more pleasant ride than the Veloster. You can even move around in the sport driving mode of the GTI and not feel like you are being punished. In contrast, the Veloster’s Comfort mode is fine, but selecting any of the sportier settings reveals a harsh, rugged quality. The GTI is also quiet at highway speeds.

Winner: Golf GTI

Technology

Hyundai and VW come with a complete set of technical features; The primary differentiator is execution. For example, both come with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, but the GTI offers wireless connectivity as well. This means you don’t need to use a USB cord to mirror your phone’s apps on the touchscreen. The GTI’s voice controls also control a wider set of functions, and its premium stereo sounds a bit crisp. And while the Veloster has a good range of advanced driver aids as standard, traffic-adaptive cruise control is notably absent from the list.

Winner: Golf GTI

value

The Golf GTI has always given a lot for the money. Even the base trim, which costs $30,540 including destination, offers a bounty of grin and a well-appointed interior. But the $33,525 Veloster N has a set of features like the midtrim Golf GTI for a few thousand dollars less. And remember how the GTI’s adaptive suspension dampers only come on the $38,990 Autobahn trim? Hyundai then closes the door with a longer warranty period and a slightly more generous complimentary service itinerary.

Winner: Veloster N

Edmonds says:

Both the 2022 Volkswagen Golf GTI and Hyundai Veloster N will satisfy buyers looking to add a fun-to-drive hot hatch to their garage. In direct comparison, the Golf GTI’s superior blend of utility and comfort helps it take the win. But the Veloster’s sheer acceleration and emphasis on value can’t be ignored.

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This story was provided to The Associated Press by the automotive website Edmunds.

Cameron Rogers is a senior news editor at Edmonds. Twitter: @_croggers.

Related Links:

2022 Volkswagen Golf GTI Review; 2022 Hyundai Veloster N Review; Edmunds’ Top Rated Hot Hatchback

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