With A Heavy Heart, I Regret To Inform You That The Fantastic Hyundai Veloster N Is Dead

Hyundai Veloster N Topshot

Hyundai kills a few models including the Veloster N, Ford does away with brochures, BMW introduces crappy paint. All this and more on today’s edition of The Morning Dump.

Welcome to The Morning Dump, bite-sized stories corralled into a single article for your morning perusal. If your morning coffee’s working a little too well, pull up a throne and have a gander at the best of the rest of yesterday.

Hyundai Puts A Few Nameplates On The Chopping Block

Hyundai Veloster N 2
Photo credit Hyundai

With supply chain issues still weighing on the automotive industry’s chest, automakers may find themselves pumping the brakes on low-volume, low-margin vehicles. As such, it shouldn’t be a huge surprise seeing Automotive News report that Hyundai has taken the chance to eliminate from its lineup some slow-sellers, and cars effectively replaced by better ones. I won’t lie, there will be some that I’ll be sad to see go, starting with the Veloster N hot hatchback.

The Veloster N was always a bit of a strange proposition. On the one hand, it wasn’t a brilliant hatchback. The asymmetric door situation hampered practicality, as did the four-seat configuration and the bizarrely high liftover height for the cargo area. On the other hand, the Veloster N excelled as a hot hatch. It was as obnoxious as half the Jackass squad, had the ride quality of a Big Wheel, crop dusted pedestrians with its loud exhaust, and did all the wonderfully anti-social things you want a hot hatch to do. Every single moment I’ve spent behind the wheel of a Veloster N was one of pure, unadulterated joy. While I will concede that the Elantra N is a better car for less money, the Veloster N fills a beautiful niche between the low center of gravity of the Elantra N sedan and the practicality of the Kona N crossover. Still, the SCCA classes the Kona N crossover in D Street, so weekend warriors needing more practicality than an Elantra N can still have a bit of fun. Godspeed, Veloster N. We’ll miss you.

2022 Hyundai Accent
Photo credit: Hyundai

I’ll also really miss the Hyundai Accent because it’s genuinely honest transportation. It starts at $17,740 including freight charge, gets an honest 36 mpg combined, and definitely doesn’t feel crappy. It’s a perfectly good car that makes no qualms about its price-conscious mission yet doesn’t penalize consumers looking to save a buck. What I likely won’t miss so much is the Ioniq, the Prius-esque electrified hatchback Hyundai launched way back in 2016. While it’s still adequate economical transportation, it’s a bit long in the tooth. The all-electric Ioniq was axed last year when the Ioniq 5 came in to make the Kona Electric Hyundai’s entry-level EV, and the Elantra Hybrid largely fills the role of the Ioniq Hybrid. While it’ll be sad to see some Hyundai models go, there’s some small solace in knowing that not all consumers considering these recently-discontinued models will end up completely displaced.

Ford Kills Brochures

2019 Ford Mustang GT
Photo credit: Ford

Moving onto a less critical death but nevertheless a sad one, CarsDirect reports that Ford will no longer be making brochures for new models. Indeed, Ford seems to have phased out both print and electronic brochures starting today, as Ford’s website suddenly seems absolutely devoid of 2022 model year brochures. While dealerships could still order printed materials as recently as yesterday, the next batch being shipped to dealerships might just be the last American Ford brochures ever. Now, I know that printed materials are wasteful, inefficient, and generally get tossed in the recycling, but I feel like moving to discontinue brochures is a bit shortsighted.

For one, think of the print designers that pour their hearts and souls into these brochures, wrestling the bear that is Adobe InDesign. There’s so much talent going into brochure arrangement that discontinuing brochures feels like a waste. Furthermore, manufacturer spec hosting for older models isn’t great, and it’s nice to see claimed measurements directly from OEMs. Properly-archived print brochures are a great way to keep accurate specs alive. Finally, there’s the pure joy in print. Call it the little collector in me, or nostalgia for childhood wonder, but there’s just something so special about a tiny little book about a car. Even if it’s directly from the manufacturer, there’s something lovely about thumbing through thick, glossy pages, brand new interiors preserved forever in ink.

Toyota’s Having A Hard Time With Fasteners

2022 Toyota Tundra Platinum Blueprint 061.jpg
Photo credit: Toyota

Look, it’s not been a brilliant few weeks for Toyota and fasteners. First the bZ4X electric crossover got recalled for wheels that might come loose, now the brand new Tundra full-size pickup truck gets hit with a recall over axle shaft bolts backing off. You know, there are many fasteners I don’t want backing off on a vehicle, and axle flange bolts definitely qualify. Let’s take a deeper look at this recall to see exactly what’s going on.

See, the new Tundra’s rear axle shafts are held into the solid axle housing by a series of nuts on the axle tube flanges. Fairly standard stuff, right? Ford’s iconic nine-inch rear end used in all sorts of aftermarket and classic OEM applications uses a similar method of axle attachment, so it’s not like we’re dealing with anything hugely new here. Unfortunately, Toyota’s recall report states that the studs that the nuts attach to weren’t all pressed in properly, which combined with “greater than expected serration resistance,” led to a reduction in axial force. As such, a recall has been issued and NHTSA documents state that 46,176 2022 model year Tundras may be affected. When I say “may be affected,” that’s because rear ends arrive at the Tundra’s assembly plant pre-assembled, so it’s difficult to discern which faulty assemblies went into which trucks. Owners will receive notification letters by late July, so hang in there. I won’t lie, this is a fairly harrowing recall, so if you own a 2022 Tundra and feel a new vibration, stop driving immediately.

BMW Is Very Proud Of Its Crappy Paint

I4 M50
Photo credit: BMW

When you picture crap paint on a car, you may think of Chrysler’s infamous peeling issues, or red Mazda Miatas turned pink from the sun. However, BMW’s taking a very different approach on crappy paint, announcing that some new matte finishes will use paint based on crap. No, I’m not making this up. In a press release, BMW states explicitly that “Renewable raw materials such as bio-waste or waste from sewage treatment plants serve as the starting material for the paint.” Erm, right.

Don’t worry, extra-cost matte finishes on BMWs made in Leipzig, Germany and Rosslyn, South Africa won’t have a funny smell to them. Paint supplier BASF has a powerful and extensive refining process to clean up the base materials. What this does mean is that these new paints are expected to save more than 15,000 tons of CO2 by 2030, a properly big number if ever I’ve seen one. That’s roughly the weight of 3,309 GMC Hummer EVs, 2,268 African bush elephants, or one and a half deflated Goodyear blimps. As for how the matte paint holds up over time, we’ll have to wait and see. While matte paint in general tends to age like milk, BASF knows how to make good paint systems, so I’m genuinely not sure whether to expect any deviation from typical matte paint aging.

The Flush

Whelp, time to drop the lid on today’s edition of The Morning Dump. Happy Friday, everyone! We’re heading into a long weekend which means that travel hell is officially here. Between obscene flight costs, rental car prices that feel like highway robbery, and brutal gas prices, this is one hell of a weekend to travel on. How are you holding up? Are you making adjustments, paying the premium, or simply canceling your travel plans altogether in an attempt to stay sane and not bankrupt? I’m taking the latter route, largely just planning to chill big at home.

Lead photo credit: Hyundai

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45 Responses

  1. Staying home and puttering, so ssdd,
    no where I want or need to go.
    Also dog doesn’t handle fireworks well, and neighbors are d.bags!
    Sorry, not sorry about the Veloster, I liked it better before I drove it, it just wasn’t comfortable.

  2. “Are you making adjustments, paying the premium, or simply canceling your travel plans altogether in an attempt to stay sane and not bankrupt?”

    Well, considering that I’m trying to trade a VW Jetta TDI for a VW Phaeton you could probably say that I’m actively trying to become insane and obscenely broke.

    1. You should tell me where the Phaeton is instead. Because I won’t go broke.
      I’ll go completely insane from VW electrical, which makes Lucas look like saints, but at least I won’t be paying somebody else.

  3. I have never understood why anyone would want matte paint on a car. I looks OK when it’s new, but once it gets dirty it just looks bad. Plus, scratches and other imperfections stand out. It just seem like a really bad idea.

  4. “Hyundai has taken the chance to eliminate from its lineup some slow-sellers, and cars effectively replaced by better ones.”

    Everyone: ‘GIVE US A HOT HATCH WITH A 6 SPEED MANUAL!!’
    Hyundai: ‘Okay, here you go.’
    Everyone: ‘.. I r too smart to buy new, I will buy used in 2 years and save 50%!’
    Hyundai: ‘Guys? We gave you what you wanted. Why aren’t you buying it?’
    Everyone: ‘BECUZ I SMRT AND BUY USE!’
    Hyundai: ‘… well, we’re axing some of the slower sellers. The hot hatch is on the list.’
    Everyone: ‘(WAILING AND GNASHING OF TEETH!) This isn’t fair it’s a conspiracy they’re denying us fun cars!! It’s a conspiracy by big automatic!!’

    Like, fucking, clockwork. (Not calling you out here Thomas, for the record.) Every time. Manufacturers make exactly what enthusiasts insist is exactly what they want, the enthusiasts brag about how they’re too smart to ‘lose 50% of their money driving off the lot,’ the car gets cancelled because of low sales, then the enthusiasts whine that it got canceled and there’s none on the used market.
    Wash, rinse, repeat.
    And for you self-proclaimed ‘enthusiasts’ who think this is the green light for you to get a ‘killer deal’ on one? 1) Get fucked, the time to buy was before, not now. 2) Ha ha super fuck you no. Less than 2,100 MY21 Velosters. Not N’s – ALL of them. You had your opportunity, and now it’s gone.
    Hyundai sold maybe, maybe a couple hundred Veloster N’s last year, if that many.

    And for you Veloster owners, FUCK YOU SO VERY MUCH FOR DRIVING LIKE ASSHOLES, GO GET YOUR LICENSE PERMANENTLY REVOKED. Want to know why I didn’t buy a Veloster N? Because every fucking owner drives like an asshole. 15.4% of all Veloster owners – not just N owners – have received a significant speeding ticket. The 5th highest rate out of all cars, coupled to the 8th highest rate of total moving violations – not just speeding. Subaru has vape bros, Velosters have ASSHOLES. Nothing, but, assholes.
    And every insurer knows this. Insurance operates off data and statistics. And the statistics say that Veloster owners of all models, are assholes who speed, frequently cause wrecks, and frequently get in avoidable wrecks. So consequently, it would cost me more to insure a Veloster Turbo – a Turbo – than a Porsche 911, more than a Porsche Cayenne, more than a $120,000 Grand Wagoneer, even more than a pedestrian-seeking Mustang.

    1. Can’t give you a thumbs-up for the first part of this because I don’t believe it’s fair to blame enthusiasts for cars like this getting the axe – there are just too few enthusiasts car-shopping in any given year to make that much of a difference. I don’t have numbers, but I suspect car enthusiasts represent a fairly small fraction of the overall population. And enthusiasts tend to have very specific, uh, enthusiasms. I’m glad the Veloster N was available, but never would have even remotely considered one. No value judgement intended, just doesn’t scratch my particular itch.

      Second part of your comment sounds likely to be true based on my anecdotal observations. It does bring up a question – is it possible to be a nice person but an asshole driver? I’ve known people who are generally nice, but once behind the wheel they become a completely different (asshole-ish) person. Is driving sort of like alcohol – it reveals your true personality? Or is it more revealing how people deal with stressful situations?

      1. I think it’s possible (and even common) for a nice person to be a bad driver. Given the number of bad drivers, the odds would prove that many would have to also be nice people.

        However, in my experience based on people I know, asshole drivers all start out as assholes. Perhaps my sample size is a bit small, but it’s 100% in my case. Funny enough, one such asshole even drives a Velostar. One drives a WRX with a fart can. The rest, interestingly, all have trucks and SUVs to go be antisocial in.

    2. Man, your whole comment makes me miss turbo-hatchback-era Saab so bad.

      “Think about it: has a Saab ever jumped a red light or tailgated you on the motorway? Have you ever seen a Saab being driven in anything other than a considerate and stealthy fashion? No, and neither have I. This is because the sort of people who are drawn to this image-free environment are the sort of people who don’t use their subconscious to drive. They know that to do it properly they have to concentrate, absolutely, on the job in hand. So they do.”
      -Jeremy Clarkson

      1. I mean, I have. Hell, I do on a regular basis.
        But it’s a 9-3 Viggen with more horsepower than god, a steering wheel that is a trebuchet for your wrists, and suspension to make dentists wealthy.

        And then they drive home from the track.

          1. That was an excellent Saab RCR story. My stepmom was a Saab nut and had a ’89 black 900 and upgraded those flattish 3 spoke wheels. Was a hoot to drive when she let me, could carry a couch too. She later upgraded to a red 900 convertible (like in Sideways movie). She has since passed but that red 900 was passed onto my stepsister, its a garage queen, gets all the Saab maintenance it needs, and we all love it.

      1. Probably not, but jesusfuckingchrist man.. 15.4%. That’s literally worse than pedestrian-seeking Mustangs at C&C. By orders of magnitude, no less. And 8th highest rate of moving violations out of all cars? You have to be a REAL asshole to be worse than 1998 Pontiac Grand Ams with one headlight, more rust than body, and no will to live.

  5. Aw, c’mon… we all knew the Veloster N wasn’t long for this world once they killed off the plain-Jane model. I think they were just using up inventory and planned to kill the N as soon as the parts ran out.

    As for the Accent, I’ve rented several and while they’re certainly adequate cars, the problem is that the Elantra exists, and it usually sells for only a grand more than the Accent, and it’s a better car by every metric. No great loss here.

    I’m not dumb enough to travel this weekend, but I have to travel for work next weekend. It could have been a 6 hour drive which I would have gladly done, but noooo, the boss insisted on a plane. I’d MUCH rather drive it.

  6. Sad about the Veloster N, makes sense tho, they never sold in great numbers, esp Gen2’s. I have a ’13 Blue 6MT that I love, I may replace it with a N at some point once this insane market calms down.

  7. The Veloster N is exactly the class of car I’m interested in, but I’ve never really been interested in the Veloster N.

    Firstly I don’t care for the styling, which from the rear (the most-viewed angle on a car) gives me serious “squashed toad” vibes. The fact that it is always shown in press photos with periwinkle blue paint over red accents doesn’t help, and while of course it does come in other colors—black, white, and red—I don’t want any of them.

    Secondly, from all reports this car has no chill. It always wants to be ridiculous, all the time. It’s exciting, excitable, and can’t calm down. I’m fine with that some of the time, but god dammit sometimes I just want to get to work with as little drama as possible, and when I’m going home after a hard day on the roof I don’t always want it to be An Event. Sometimes I want to relax, and my impression is that the Veloster N sucks at that. A hot hatch should strive to be a one-car solution, and sometimes people want their car to be a restful sanctuary, not a bouncy pit bull puppy with endless energy.

    Also, no AWD option. I realize that rules out most hot hatches right away, but I do things and go places where some basic AWD capability is helpful, and anyway an FWD performance car has just never felt right to me no matter how much people say that GTIs and SIs and the like are great to drive. I’m just not interested.

    It’s a shame that the hot hatch pickings are so slim right now, because that’s pretty much what I’m looking for—an all-purpose car that is fun to drive, practical, is neither a sedan nor a crossover, and which can also be a sensible commuter car when called upon. In the end I’m looking at a Mazda3 Turbo because even though it’s not a true hot hatch, it’s fast enough to be fun, looks great, is comfy and quiet inside, has a well-thought-out UI, and has AWD. The only other real option (aside from superwagons with six-figure price tags) would be a Golf R, which costs $10,000 more, has an absolutely crap UI that I know would drive me right up the wall, and has a reputation for being constantly broken.

    Anyway, the Veloster N was always a close-but-no-cigar thing for me. Always in the back of my mind, but never a serious contender when I actually thought about what I wanted in a car. I’m sad to see it go, but I understand why it didn’t sell. It’d be nice to see Hyundai come out with a new hot hatch at some point, but I doubt it’ll happen. The industry is just moving away from that kind of thing.

    1. If I still lived out east I probably would own one. Working from home == no commute to relax in, and I ride a stupid, small, and ridiculously loud bike so this would complete the set. I’m sad to see it go, but for the reasons you listed (which I assume apply to most people) I’m not surprised. Kinda wish I would have owned it and bought one anyway.

    2. You’re absolutely correct about the no chill. It’s comically uncomfortable on the bad roads in my state. New ones were getting markups by dealers a few months ago when I was looking. Elantra isn’t a pretty car either. So I went with a used gti I randomly found under kbb. It’s pretty civil, looks good enough my wife likes it and doesn’t break me on my way home after a 12 hour shift. Hot hatches are supposed to be an all in one solution to family, cargo, transportation and fun right?

  8. The brochure loss makes me sad. I have the brochures for my Fords, and it’s always a small joy to come across them.

    Little time capsules of what Ford thought was cutting-edge at the time (2 airbags!), what it played up/played down (the power curve graphs in my Mustang brochure make me particularly happy), and all the other colors I might have chosen.

    They’re worth a few minutes of pleasant reverie at least.

    1. Go back far enough, and you might actual colors as opposed to the monochromatic world we currently live in. De Blob needs to come in and colorize the automotive palette. Like a modern day Ted Turner.

  9. I’m still not sure why they didn’t offer the i30N in North America. Our family is in the market for a hot hatch and we never considered the Veloster N for the simple reason that is doesn’t have 4 doors. All the reviews say it’s awesome, a really great value, and comes with a great warranty but we are holding out for the Corolla GR or the Civic Type R. The final decision really comes down to which dealer wants to rip us off the least – we’d be happy with either.

  10. Our weekend travel plans include a casual walk to the neighbors house to watch the people across the street set off their fireworks. They have a contracting company and bring out all their employees to put on a show so we’ll be on ‘fire watch’ with many cold, conveniently sized containers of liquid.

  11. I’m not letting the high gas prices spoil my long-weekend fun. I’m kicking things off with a road trip with my kids to visit a potential college, and Monday morning I’m hitting the best driving roads in my area with some of my enthusiast friends.

    I’ll worry about the gas prices when my credit card bill comes next month!

  12. “Are you making adjustments, paying the premium, or simply canceling your travel plans altogether in an attempt to stay sane and not bankrupt?”
    I think I’m going to skip my class reunion. If my Niro weren’t in the shop, the trip would be alright, but I would have to choose between a full-size pickup, an expensive flight (exacerbated by my workplace going back to COVID protocols that would require me to quarantine for a few days after), or an expensive rental.

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