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Discussion Starter #1
I've been a fan of the Veloster N since the first time I test drove a 2020 N back in June of this year.
The one positive thing I can think of with this Covid virus is that I was able to test drive the 2020 without a salesman babysitting me during the drive.
I took the car out for a very long test drive, 50 minutes and was able to take it on many different driving conditions....twisty back roads, regular city streets and the highway.
I was pleasantly surprised, as I had my heart set on the Civic Type R, but I had much more fun driving the N. Bye bye Civic.
Sure the R was a little quicker, but it really lacked the sporty visceral feel of the Veloster.
The Civic Type R's exhaust note is so quiet, it sounds more like a vacuum than a sports car.
To me the more visceral the car feels the more exciting it is to drive.
I've owned many sports cars in my life, to many to list here but here are a few: Acura NSX, Porsche Boxster, Subaru STI, Corvette, Ford Focus RS and one you may not have heard of unless you're a real car guy is the Ariel Atom, which was by far the most extreme, most fun and definitely the most visceral car I've owned.
Anyway back to the test drives.
I have to say that exhaust note is much louder and extreme in the manual N than in the DCT N.
I had more fun driving the manual N than the DCT.
The DCT N did feel slightly quicker, probably because the computer can change gears faster than I can.
I put the DCT in manual mode and the shifts were immediate with no hesitation when using the paddles.
The new N bucket seats are much better than the 2020 cloth seats, more bolstering to hold you in when cornering aggressively. They also look way better in my opinion, with the faux leather and cloth (alcantara) centers.
The 2021's also come with all the safety features like lane keep assist, blind spot monitoring etc, and also come with navigation.
Canadians also get a bonus of heated seats and a heated steering wheel. Very nice on those cold days.
I'm not too happy with the $2,000 increase in price, however they have added quite a lot to the 2021, did I mention those lovely seats?
My test DCT car came in the new grey color which now is my second favorite after Performance Blue.
For any one thinking of getting the Shooting Star matte grey paint, you really need to do your homework, as matte paints take much more committed maintenance, and can easily get ruined without proper care and special products. Way too much maintenance for me.
I've owned manual cars all of my life and really enjoy the driver involvement and engagement and fun that the manual offers.
If you're on the fence like I was, and love driving a manual then that is definitely the way to go.
The only reason I would opt for the DCT is if I had to commute in heavy traffic on a daily basis, wanted the auto for the racetrack for slightly quicker lap times, or had to share the car with another driver who couldn't drive a manual.
You really can't lose with either N, but I found the manual more fun in the end.
Hope this helps those thinking of an N.
I may have set a record here for the longest first post.
 

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Great review,
Im really excited to drive the DCT but ill never get rid of my manual. The seats and tech tempt me to upgrade but theres no point lol ill snag those seats eventually!

Id love to drive an ariel atom. Ive heard such amazing things about how it feels to drive.

And even for daily traffic the manual isnt bad at all. The thing practically drives itself and the clutch isnt heavy enough to really be annoying. In my opinion i think a dct will probably be MORE uncomfortable and annoying in the long run for traffic but im not familiar with wet DCTs and their long term comfort. The 7 speed dry dct is miserable in traffic, i know that 1st hand.
 

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Great review! Although I haven't had a chance to test drive them like you have, my expectations lined up exactly with what you described, and for that reason I went with a manual. Can't wait to actually get a chance to drive it - glad to hear the seats are a noticeable upgrade (and who doesn't love the look of those buckets...).
 

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Wow! Awesome write up. Everything you said lines up with my expectations. I know this is off topic but you've owned some really cool cars. Which engine did you have in the Atom? How was the maintenance? I got my eyes on the Lotus Exige, but I'd consider an Atom. Such a cool car.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Jimmy my Ariel Atom was one built at Brammo in Ashland Oregon. Same guys that manufactured Jay Leno's Atom.
Mine came with the 4 cylinder supercharged engine from the Chevy Cobalt SS.
It only had 265hp but it still hit 60 mph in around 3 seconds because they are so light weight, and the wine from the supercharger was intoxicating.
Many Atom owners from across the country met up in the San Francisco area which was amazing. We all crossed the Golden gate bridge and really freaked out the other drivers seeing so many Atoms at once as they are quite a rare car.
From San Francisco we all headed for a track day at Laguna Seca which is an awesome track.
The car was sooo much fun and in the beginning you really felt like a rock star with all the attention you get, but it did get tiring after a while.
Same questions over and over.
"What is it"
"Did it build it yourself"
"What engine is in it"
"How much horse power does it have"
"Is it street legal"
"How fast does it go"
The Atom on the race track was amazing. Since the car is open all your senses are stimulated.
If you are driving at 60mph in the Atom it feels more like 90mph.
I remember being on track at Auto Club Speedway and on the banked oval section of the track I hit 116 mph which felt more like 175, and I got freaked out when the front end of the car started to lift. The steering got extremely light so I knew it was lifting, real scary.
Some pics.
 

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