Hyundai Veloster N vs. Mercedes-AMG GT 4-Door Coupe: Big money vs. little money

by admin January 6, 2020 at 9:52 pm

The Hyundai Veloster N and Mercedes-AMG GT 63S 4-Door Coupe aren’t natural competitors, but we compare them for one important reason. Does magnitudes more money buy magnitude more fun?

For the record, neither won this year’s award for Best Car To Buy.

The fact that the $189,880 Mercedes-AMG GT 63 S 4-Door Coupe and $29,885 Hyundai Veloster N were both nominees for the same award shows the breadth of vehicles Motor Authority evaluates each year.

How does a small hot hatch based on an economy car fare against the strengthened bones of a luxury car turned big high-performance hatchback? Surprisingly well.

2019 Hyundai Veloster and 2019 Mercedes-AMG GT 4-Door - Best Car To Buy 2020

2019 Hyundai Veloster and 2019 Mercedes-AMG GT 4-Door – Best Car To Buy 2020

By the numbers

While both cars are turbocharged, they have vastly different power ratings, transmissions, and performance specifications.

The AMG is a monster with two turbos huffing between the cylinder banks of its 4.0-liter V-8 to create 630 horsepower and 664 pound-feet of torque. The power is sent to all four wheels via a 9-speed automatic transmission. This is a Mercedes-Benz, so no manual transmission is offered, though it does have steering wheel-mounted shift paddles.

The Hyundai makes do with only 2.0 liters, 4-cylinders, and a single turbocharger to produce 250 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque, though the $2,100 Performance Package increases output to 275 hp (it also adds a limited-slip differential, a variable exhaust system, larger brakes, and Pirelli P Zero summer tires on 19-inch wheels). The power is sent through a 6-speed manual transmission and goes only to the front wheels. Can’t drive stick? The Veloster N isn’t an option.

On paper and in most performance metrics, the AMG stomps on the less-expensive Hyundai. The German horsepower machine can sprint from 0 to 60 mph in 3.1 seconds on its way to a top speed of 196 mph. Hyundai hasn’t released any performance specifications for the Veloster N, but it feels considerably slower.

2019 Mercedes-AMG GT 4-Door - Best Car To Buy 2020

2019 Mercedes-AMG GT 4-Door – Best Car To Buy 2020

2019 Mercedes-AMG GT 4-Door - Best Car To Buy 2020

2019 Mercedes-AMG GT 4-Door – Best Car To Buy 2020

2019 Hyundai Veloster N - Best Car To Buy 2020

2019 Hyundai Veloster N – Best Car To Buy 2020

2019 Hyundai Veloster N - Best Car To Buy 2020

2019 Hyundai Veloster N – Best Car To Buy 2020

On the track

Numbers are great for bragging rights at Cars & Coffee or on social media, but in the real world, numbers aren’t as important as feel.

The feel behind the wheel and through the wheel creates the fun.

On the track, the AMG comes alive with brutal acceleration, but its handling becomes ham-fisted in tight turns. The twin-turbo V-8 pins occupants into their leather-wrapped seats as the 9-speed fires off quick shifts, but in corners the AMG’s 4,500 pounds of heft make itself known. The big luxury hatchback wants to plow into tight turns, has issues transitioning from side to side and then back again.

That’s all before the AMG GT 4-Door starts to cook its brakes. In our half day of track testing at Atlanta Motorsports Park, the brakes of the AMG GT 63 S smoked heavily after a few laps, though they never faded. The available carbon-ceramic brakes would have remedied this issue as we learned during our first drive at Circuit of the Americas outside of Austin, Texas.

To its credit, the big luxury hatchback from Benz is rock-steady stable at high-speed cruising.

The track is where Hyundai’s mission for the Veloster N comes into play. Hyundai says it isn’t chasing lap times, but instead aiming for driving feel. That makes the Veloster N the polar opposite of the AMG on the track, with responsive turn-ins and incredible stability in high-speed side-to-side transitions. Despite the difference of 355 horsepower, the turbo-4 is the little engine that could—it gives everything, all the time. The 6-speed manual can be a bit ropey, but we didn’t have many issues with it on the track.

2019 Mercedes-AMG GT 63 S 4-Door Coupe

2019 Mercedes-AMG GT 63 S 4-Door Coupe

2019 Hyundai Veloster N - Best Car To Buy 2020

2019 Hyundai Veloster N – Best Car To Buy 2020

2019 Hyundai Veloster N - Best Car To Buy 2020

2019 Hyundai Veloster N – Best Car To Buy 2020

On the street

The AMG GT is clearly designed to devour miles of Autobahn asphalt at triple-digit speeds. On the street, its four-corner air suspension provides a smooth, comfortable ride regardless of drive mode. The 9-speed searches for gears at low speeds. While the Sport modes fix this issue, their shifts can be too harsh for day-to-day driving. The supportive seats hug occupants’ bodies in all the right places.

The Hyundai isn’t nearly as comfortable, but it’s tolerable on the street. That is, until it’s put in N mode. The dampers firm up so much that the ride feels like it could liquefy our kidneys. The 6-speed’s gearing allows third and fourth gears to serve for a lot of the driving, then straight to sixth for highway cruising. The car doesn’t suffer from exhaust drone or grabby brakes, and it also doesn’t let drivers play with their cell phones thanks to the manual transmission.

2019 Hyundai Veloster and 2019 Mercedes-AMG GT 4-Door - Best Car To Buy 2020

2019 Hyundai Veloster and 2019 Mercedes-AMG GT 4-Door – Best Car To Buy 2020

Value

The AMG looks like it costs nearly $190,000, and the Hyundai feels like it costs less than $30,000.

With 22-inch chrome monoblock-like wheels, a rear-mounted wing, matte-blue paint, massive front intakes, and the gaping Panamericana front grille, our AMG GT screamed “Look at me!”

The Veloster is, oddly, more subtle, with 19-inch wheels courtesy of the Performance Package, a well-integrated rear spoiler that doesn’t stand out, and Gulf blue paint. Only the red lipstick on the nose sticks out. It still says hot hatch, but compared to the AMG GT or the Honda Civic Type R, it’s not as in-your-face bold.

2019 Mercedes-AMG GT 4-Door - Best Car To Buy 2020

2019 Mercedes-AMG GT 4-Door – Best Car To Buy 2020

2019 Mercedes-AMG GT 4-Door - Best Car To Buy 2020

2019 Mercedes-AMG GT 4-Door – Best Car To Buy 2020

2019 Hyundai Veloster N - Best Car To Buy 2020

2019 Hyundai Veloster N – Best Car To Buy 2020

2019 Hyundai Veloster N - Best Car To Buy 2020

2019 Hyundai Veloster N – Best Car To Buy 2020

The cabin of the AMG GT is awash in leather, wood, metal, soft-touch plastics, and silver matte plastics. A wall of screens with a 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster next to a 12.3-inch infotainment screen creates a tech-heavy environment. It all looks expensive.

The Veloster N’s interior shows its economy-car roots with hard plastics, a simple analog gauge cluster, a manual emergency brake lever, and an 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system.

Both the AMG GT and Veloster N are compromised hatchbacks. The Mercedes has four doors plus a hatch, but the rear isn’t large or well-packaged, though two will fit in the back seat well provided they aren’t too tall. The Hyundai has three doors and a hatch, making getting in and out of the rear seat a chore. The rear seat is short on head, knee, leg, and foot room and is better used for cargo or small kids.

2019 Hyundai Veloster N - Best Car To Buy 2020

2019 Hyundai Veloster N – Best Car To Buy 2020

There’s a winner

Of course there’s a winner.

The Mercedes-AMG GT 63 S 4-Door Coupe is blazing fast, sounds mean, and has all the techno wizardry we expected from a German luxury sedan, but it’s heavy, expensive, and compromised for space.

Quick enough, visceral, and mostly livable, the Veloster N is the definition of a hot hatch. Its interior feels budget-grade and the ride can be too harsh. A hoot on the track and a weapon on the street, its performance value proposition is hard to beat.

Most importantly, the Hyundai Veloster N is fun. In fact, it’s more fun than the more-expensive, more-luxurious, and faster Mercedes-AMG GT 4-Door Coupe. That earns the Hyundai Veloster N the win in this comparison.

Source link

more news from the blog

Add Comment