Are Front Wheel Drive Sports Cars Any Good?
What are the challenges for a good FWD sports car, and how can they be addressed?
Hyundai Veloster N Drive With Manual Transmission - Sponsored by Hyundai.
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Can sports car be front wheel drive? Are they any good? The Hyundai Veloster N shows us just how fun a properly executed FWD hot hatch can really be. It's a joy to drive, even though FWD sports cars face many challenges. In this video, we'll break down weight transfer, the traction circle, limited slip differentials, torque steer, brakes, how FF layouts impact cost, driving in bad weather, and get into what makes cars fun to drive. Ultimately, which wheels are driven may have a lower impact than you'd initially expect on what actually makes a car fun to drive.

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  • Engineering Explained
    Engineering Explained

    Thanks for stopping by everyone! This is the second video of a three-part series I've teamed up with Hyundai on, covering the engineering of the Veloster N! Easy to agree on when I drove the car back in 2018 and loved it. Here are related videos if anyone's interested in more: *Videos That Are Not Sponsored:* Veloster N Review - Nurburgring Lap, Veloster N - How Veloster N's Anti-Lag Works - How Exhaust Crackles Work - *Sponsored 3-Part Series:* Part 1 - DCT vs Manual - What's the difference? Part 2 - This video! Part 3 - Coming December 23, dives into Veloster N DCT features!

    • datgamerboy123

      @trAovm rtqaq only for certain model years. My car, for example, an Elantra, is a 2009, worst model year is 2013. Haven't had any problems besides worn out parts.

    • الميرزا الميرزا
      الميرزا الميرزا


    • datgamerboy123

      @Temwanani Nkana F/R tire pressures are based on the amount of vehicle weight over those wheels. i.e. say you have a a vehicle that has 70% of its weight I've the front wheels, with 30% over the rear. If all tires have the same pressure, the front tires will look low compared to the rear. This would drastically increase the amount of tread wear. Solution? Increase the pressure.

    • Temwanani Nkana
      Temwanani Nkana

      Hi bro. Can you please make a video on whether front and rear wheels should have the same or different pressures. And if there are differences , whats the rule of thumb between front wheel drive cars and rear wheel drive cars????

    • From morningnight
      From morningnight

      review cars and get paid from the manufactures. thats the youtube way.

  • Isaac Sellers
    Isaac Sellers

    I own a 21 Sonata N-Line, my only two words are “Torque Steer”. Only under pretty moderate-high acceleration.

  • philbiker3

    @5:50 has nothing to do with why FWD sports cars are any good. MX-5 and Subarota twins are attainable RWD sports cars, similar price to the car you're driving. Lots of used stuff out there that's super attainable. Older German SLK/Boxter/Z3-4 are also attainable and loads of fun RWD sports cars.

  • Batemen

    the words "front wheel drive" and "sports car" should be at least 3 sentences apart

  • Fabian F-L
    Fabian F-L

    The veloster n, the civic type r, and golf gti are the kings of the fwd that can beat an rwd or awd. Honda, Hyundai, and Volkswagen has proven that a fwd can perform like a beast like in the track and drag strip like no other car. Whoever says that fwd sucks and boring just smack him in the face LOL and tell them that fwd is as fun as rwd or awd. In many scenarios, the civic type r 306 horsepower fwd beaten the challenger hellcat 707 horsepower rwd in the track and the type r was faster around the track than the hellcat. This is why fwd is the winner

  • brycerichert

    Go to the track .... you’ll soon see why you want rwd and a real lsd.

  • Mark Langridge
    Mark Langridge

    Sporty FWD cars also tend to be more versatile than RWD cars when you're talking about more affordable vehicles. Often, attainable FWD sports cars are hatchbacks or least medium sedans. So if you can only afford one vehicle, or want your main vehicle to still be able to handle trips to Ikea, you're better off with even a Veloster N compared to say a Toyota 86.

  • TooProductions

    I had a veloster turbo and absolutely loved that car. But had nothing but problems. It burned up one dct at 40,000 miles and then with a new transmission it lost 3rd gear at 50,000 miles. At 52,000 miles the the turbo broke causing total engine failure. Spent a lot of time at the dealer. Finally got it lemon lawed

  • Ajay Kumar Prasad
    Ajay Kumar Prasad

    4:53 This specific angle of Veloster reminded me of Kuroko Tetsuya from Kuroko no Basket Cute little prodigy

  • benny b
    benny b

    Front drive cars are not sports cars. They can be sport-ing/sporty cars...


    I've owned two Porsche and multiple BMW M cars, and I love my Hyundai Veloster N with manual transmission.

  • Mixup 221
    Mixup 221

    I think a FWD could be fun for cruising and even good for tracking if tuned right but my only concern is if I had a sports car I’d rather have the option to hoon it which I can really do with fwd

  • barebare

    FWD only exist to decrease cost, weight and increase cabin space. It will never be seen on an EV, it’s a bug, not a feature.

  • Nathan DeCastro
    Nathan DeCastro

    FD2 civic is a great example

  • bdk1417

    The Veloster N is a nice substitute for the GTI Clubsport we didn't get in America.

  • MR MOoLA
    MR MOoLA


  • Jordan King
    Jordan King

    2004 chevy monte carlo ss supercharged, you’re welcome

  • steve thomas
    steve thomas

    Looking to purchase a new car this next year to replace my WRX. Considering the Kona N if it has a manual transmission. Yes, I know it's slower but I still enjoy the pleasure of that left pedal. Owned a '85 CRX Si , FWD can be fun.

  • GermanCarsRule

    I agree on affordable sports cars being more interesting. Frankly, I am not very interested in the high end exotics. They might be worth a quick read or when a Bugatti becomes the fastest production car but they are only for the super wealthy. Give me sports cars under $100k and even better, $50k or below...used cars count, lol. The Hyundai Veloster N may be the best sports car dollar for dollar out there. It certainly gives the Type R, Golf R, and Impreza WRX’s a run for their money and that’s a good thing. I especially love the dual clutch option as it makes it more of a viable daily driver and city car. A manual in sporty high-torque car gets old fast in stop and go traffic.

  • cole2839

    FWD and "sports car" should not be in the same sentence.

  • Ry Rey
    Ry Rey

    Hey Jason, I'm torn between picking a used Veloster N or ND2 Miata for my next car. I drove a 2002 Sentra SE-R Spec V for many years and now about to finish off paying my 2015 Civic Si (both Sport versions of FWD economy cars lol). I drove an FR-S and it completely blew my mind on how fun the handling was and it was a car with a balanced lightweight ethos with RWD, 50/50, engine behind the front axle like the S2000/Miata, etc. Is the Veloster N awesome enough to consider getting yet another FWD? I'm seemingly thinking so, but still really torn. I have already watched your video with Matt Maran and pretty much all the videos on FIbill covering both cars, and still really not sure haha. I don't need tons of space and I rarely ever have more than one passenger in my car. Any input would be great from everyone! Thanks =)

  • sky 21
    sky 21

    I have a 2021 N in performance's so much fun!!

  • Marcous Gomez
    Marcous Gomez

    I have a veloster 😂and yes I do beat modded cars 🚗

  • thedownwardmachine

    You didn't explain torque steer, you kinda just said it was caused by torque. Tl;dr: it's caused when under acceleration one wheel slips but the other does not, so the vehicle pulls in the direction of the side that has traction. Authority: I own a Mazdaspeed3, and it skitters like a 6 month old Rottweiler on a hardwood floor. I am fine with this.

  • wpw

    Thinking back to my very first, a 1976 Honda Civic CVCC, front wheel drive has always seemed a compromise between efficient/cheap packaging versus stable handling. But don't fret -- in 5-7 years we're going to see four 50kW motors (one per wheel) driving our 2800 lb 2 seater electric, from a 100kWh battery. That's Porsche Cayman territory!

  • UserCid

    My mini JCW was the best driving experience I ever had

  • Graeme Holmes
    Graeme Holmes

    I have a Toyota Celica ZR Manual, revs to almost 9000. LSD, great fun around corners

  • Flyte Industries
    Flyte Industries

    You didn't really address the question in the title. It was more of an infomercial about the car.

  • Thomas

    no, they're not

  • datsuntoyy

    My wife has a whopping 211hp. Anything above 3/4 throttle and that front 225/50/17 Michelin pilot sport spins like there is no tomorrow. I had the same issue with my Geo Storm GSI and Nissan Sentra SE in years past. My AWD now only gets a quick chirp with 550. I'll have to say no to FWD sports cars.

  • Mike Chiodetti
    Mike Chiodetti

    I have noticed my 2020 RAV4 has "some" aggressive feel to it, and yes, I know it's a mini SUV with skinny tires for economy and an 8 speed automatic transmission, NOT a Tremec 6 speed manual performance transmission.

  • MarcraM82

    Not this, but Civic type r yes.

  • lancemgy

    Take a shot every time he says 'you know'. No, I don't know, so please tell me! ;)

  • Andru

    I hate this guy. He talks way too fast and includes way too much information. I end up learning more than I can process... I'm going to smoke some weed and take a nap, peace

  • Oleg Karelov
    Oleg Karelov

    Locking differential cases oversteer - it makes you faster on take off but you loose speed in fast corners. It’s not a solution. If you need cheap sport car buy Nissan 370z. Don’t waste money on this front wheel drive toy.

  • Juraj Zamek
    Juraj Zamek


  • Neri E.E.
    Neri E.E.

    Does my Maxima count? It has a bit over 300 horsepower and can accelerate reasonably fast. Where is the cut off line at?

  • Lonely Driver
    Lonely Driver

    FWD reduces weight when your stepping on the gas cuz of the 2 front wheels spinning it drags the weight of the back of the car but RWD its the back 2 wheels spinning and all of the weight is in the back so the tires has to push forward the other good thing is FWD Improves Fuel Economy & Traction since the Transmission also the weight of the Engine is above over the front two wheels

  • Clinton Beck
    Clinton Beck

    4 wheel drive like road rally .

  • Kevin's Channel
    Kevin's Channel

    It might be fun now that it is new but the bang for the buck disappears when things start breaking.

  • Ondřej Kovařík
    Ondřej Kovařík

    Hyundai: it’s hard selling FWD sporty cars to Americans 🙁 Jason: Hold my marker.

  • Buttercups True Love
    Buttercups True Love

    I'm always impressed by what manufacturers have done in the affordable car market with front-wheel drive. If you look at the top offerings in the sport segment from Honda, Mazda, and now Hyundai, great strides have been made on the engineering side of things. In the late '80s, Dodge campaigned two Dodge Daytonas in IMSA GTU (under 3.0 liters). The Archer brothers ran the racing program and drove the cars. One car was front-wheel drive (the only one in GTU as far I recall), the other was conventional rear-wheel drive. It was an engineering exercise to learn some things under harsh racing conditions on how to maximize front drive handling, braking, and tire management.

  • Abraham Arthemius
    Abraham Arthemius

    "Are FWD sportscar any good?" I mean we have the likes of Civic type-R, Golf GTI, Yaris GRMN, etc to answer that...

    • DriverJ

      @Abraham Arthemius ah okay i see!

    • Abraham Arthemius
      Abraham Arthemius

      @DriverJ Nope, Toyota made a hot hatch before GR Yaris called the Yaris GRMN. Yaris GRMN is FWD and using a supercharged 4cyl engine producing around 205hp, go look it up. Sadly it is a really limited run car.

    • DriverJ

      Yaris gr is awd

  • Charlie S
    Charlie S

    For safety's sake, they should make all FWD and RWD cars with an LSD for when you pull out of junctions in the wet - a big problem in the UK, especially when you pass over a metal drain cover.

  • Kyle Thurston
    Kyle Thurston

    Ann Arbor, MI

  • Derick Deridder
    Derick Deridder

    My Hyundai is falling apart already. Its a 2020

  • Cesur Uluocak
    Cesur Uluocak


  • Rumple

    9:30 his first car was an Acura Integra I think? There are vids of it on this channel.

  • Jeromy Williams
    Jeromy Williams

    Had a full bolt on/big turbo Speed3 and loved it. Was split between getting a 5.0 or an N. I ended up getting an N. Have absolutely no complaints about the car. 5.0s are a dime a dozen and I absolutely can't stand the sound of them.

  • Ryan Swenson
    Ryan Swenson

    Give me a Civic Type R or Megane RS300 Trophy on a wet Nordschleife and I'm happy.

  • Mark Thibault
    Mark Thibault

    It's a pity that they don't sell the i30N in North America. It's a much more useful shape than the Veloster.

  • RuSu

    pretty neat little car but i'll stick to my LNF thank you very much.

  • D Ha
    D Ha

    Honda Type R: am i nothing to you?

  • Justin Thorne
    Justin Thorne

    No sunroof???

  • Rahul Jangir
    Rahul Jangir

    Lets make it simple Front wheel car engine always pulls Rear wheel drive engine alwayd pushes. Now you decide which one is better.

  • Kraven83

    A Veloster N costs 28.000 euros while a Toyota GT86 costs 29.000 Seems like a RWD hatchback could be possible, if only someone dared to dream...

  • David Oscar
    David Oscar

    @EngineeringExplained I've always wanted to ask you this. Electric Cars & Regen related. Why is the passing air over a car at highway speeds, or an electric truck not being utilised? It's how windmills work to generate energy, both old school and renewables! If you had Venturi pipes running through the chassis with little turbines wheels or something? I understand I'm not an Engineer, though... It's at least a way to vastly increase the range in a car. On trucks cruising 500 mile long highways? You're welcome. Nikola Tesla's brother from another mother 💯👊

  • ILykToDoDuhDrifting

    If it were good, he would have a Veloster N instead of a Miata.

  • Taekwondo Time
    Taekwondo Time

    I'll always prefer RWD to FWD because it's more fun and more predictable. What he forgot to mention is that FWD is more dangerous because when you lose grip on the driving wheels, you lose all steering as well. In a RWD car, you get a bit of fish-tailing going on so you never lose steering even though the drive wheels as sliding. It lets you know where you stand. Also, the optimum vehicle setup (for performance) has proven to be RWD with a mid or rear mounted engine. That gives you optimum acceleration and handling and you can't beat it with FWD.

  • Philippe Bilodeau
    Philippe Bilodeau

    Is the less expensive Veloster Turbo as good as the N when it comes to handling, acceleration, etc.?

  • Robert O'Donoghue
    Robert O'Donoghue

    any chance you could do a video on liquid pistons HEHC rotary (not Wankel) engine, I'd love to hear your explanation of its benefits drawbacks, its an inside out compression ignition wankel engine, sort of.....

  • 4drturbo85

    Do you prefer the Hyundai Veloster N to your Mazda Miata?


    Well now you gotta talk about the Type R

  • TAM Liem
    TAM Liem

    Oil dilution is the main problem for many cars today, not FWD, RWD and AWD

  • Allen Lin
    Allen Lin

    Hey Jason so back in 2011 Toyota released new oil viscosity ratings for old vehicles dating back to the 90s, with many that were rated for 5w-30 oil now updated to be able to take 5w20 or even 0w20 oil, Id just like to know more about the topic since in the corvette video you mentioned you shouldn't go higher in the cold rating and lower than the hot rating. The UZ series engine was speced for 5W30 and now speced for 5W20, while the UR series engine with bigger bearing clearances are speced for 0W20.

  • Peter B.
    Peter B.

    I wouldn't push that car in the snow being so low. You get stuck when the car's weight is being carried by the snow instead of the tires.

  • Peter B.
    Peter B.

    The problem with having all the weight up front is it will mess up handling.

  • Johnny444

    FWD will always be a compromise. Physics can't be debated.

    • RS 390
      RS 390

      @Edward Jenkins AWD might still be a compromise without active diffs or something, with that heavy turn in...

    • Edward Jenkins
      Edward Jenkins

      Nearly every single car on the planet is a compromise. Having a FR layout is a compromise. Not having AWD is a compromise. Having a stereo and sound deadening is a compromise. Not having a full carbon fiber chassis/body is a compromise. It's like you didn't watch the video. Also, what layout doesn't really matter for the track under about 400HP. Drag racing, sure, you're right.

  • Fixing W/ Friends
    Fixing W/ Friends

    Fiesta ST, Focus ST, Civic Type R, Integra type R, Hyundai Tiburon, Veloster, Megan RS, Golf GTI...

    • D Ha
      D Ha

      Tiburon is not a sport car and neither is a fiesta st. What is a megan rs?

  • goblin.hunter

    Why rear spoiler on FWD Hyundai lol

  • john nedeau
    john nedeau

    You my friend needa work on ya arms

  • THE

    Looks over at SAAB dominating rally back in the day.

  • Scott Bartlett
    Scott Bartlett

    Please just give me a nicely powered light weight rear wheel drive. Especially an old-school one say a 240Z. I'll decide how bad I'm driving lol

  • Mike N6IMY
    Mike N6IMY

    the brake system is always prefilled not just with limited slip or performance driving.

  • jldude84

    I once had a 1998 Ford ZX2 with 5spd manual and boy let me tell ya there's no better way to wring the most fun out of a 130hp engine that bolt it to a manual in a 2,450# car. Most fun FWD car I ever owned.

  • Random Videos
    Random Videos

    So FWD cars are great in day to day driving, while outperforming rwd in bad weather...

    • MrLM002

      @Random Videos Exactly. A car should be built to thrive in the worst of conditions so it can live a long life in normal conditions.

    • Random Videos
      Random Videos

      @MrLM002 ohh ive been in slushy conditions already, big difference, but in normal day to day driving fwd did just fine,

    • Random Videos
      Random Videos

      @MrLM002 chevy silverado 2500 diesel, and 2009 mustang gt, all i know is gt struggled to get out of the parking spot i always parked in my civic, had to use the four wheeler to pull him out lol, wrx is just a daily haha, ill never take it offroad, i didnt buy it for speed cuz its not fast at all,

    • MrLM002

      @Random Videos What pickup do you own? Year, make, model, engine, transmission. What Mustang did your brother have year, engine, transmission? Did they have snow tires on both of them? Did they have any modifications to the vehicles other than stock. if so then what? AWD is the best and worst of both worlds, having most of the positives and negatives of FWD and RWD. Well don't think you're suddenly some amazing rally driver now that you got a WRX. Tons of people think 'I got an AWD Subaru or a lifted 4x4 pickup I can go anywhere or do anything, no need to actually learn how to drive' so they crash and or get stuck. You can't tell the difference between AWD and FWD because you haven't taken both in snowy and or slushy conditions.

    • Random Videos
      Random Videos

      @MrLM002 well a pick up truckis rwd, and i used to have 2013 civic si, also my brother in law had a mustang which sucked with traction, i now have a wrx, kind of best of both worlds...and even when i drive my wrx i cant tell the difference between fwd and awd.. i live in a climate where it doesnt snow much so fwd been really solid,

  • Martin River
    Martin River

    The best front wheel driver car on the planet Veloster N DCT!!!

  • zeus lim
    zeus lim

    Great points. A sports car really just needs to be fun while still being safe , it doesn't have to be a great race car , it just has to be faster than an average family car . Plus fwd tends to be more fuel efficient and as you said, they are a lot safer than rwd cars in bad conditions . I think they're great because they make sports cars more affordable, more people can get into the sport which helps with maintenance of race tracks and developing technologies . I really like what they've done with the brakes , the turbo and the valves too.

  • Enforcer1975

    The term Sportscar has been watered-down since you can basically make every car into a performance car if you put enough resources into it. Engine up front won't help much either even with all the weight. The tires are just going to be overwhelmed at some point especially if they have to do accelerating and steering at the same time even with a diff.

  • Vorch

    Did the e-LSD actually hold up on the Ring? Most of these multiplate clutch systems overheat with sustained spirited driving and go into the open diff mode.

  • Peter Ruiz
    Peter Ruiz

    Isorta got stuck with a car I normally would never have considered buying, but , here it is...A Ford Focus SVT, 2007. It has good power, handling, and I love having more gears than Ive ever (aside from semi trucks, with 15 fowards), six gears is fun. The tempation to flare, paint, and hot rod is there....I dont know where to start.. It has a Borla exaust, K&N intake, ignition stuff....Now I know why window tint is so popular....At 57 yrs, it feels, uh, ...Silly

  • AJ Calderon
    AJ Calderon


  • James Haulenbeek
    James Haulenbeek

    Fwd is loads of fun! I could throw my '91 civic through corners at speeds Porsche owners didn't dare (personal experience)... and my '16 Golf is a blast as well!

  • 100willsame1

    With FWD a car goes in every second somewhere between the cars own direction (momentum), and the direction of the front wheels. The only thing to influence the back of the car is the handbrake (and of course its braking). With other words U never can achieve oversteering with a FWD vehicle. And I dont speak here about drifters, or broadsiders. But that means, that your steering is limited, and it can only be effected by the steering wheel, what U have to overturn (because of, and depends on the momentum) to turn the car into a direction U want. Actually the cars back is that wants to go straightforward, and pushes the front out of the corner. Front wheels (with throttle) tries to hold it in. Steering is up against the momentum. With RWD by the way U can get (a little) spinning impulse with throttle, separate the accelerating forces direction from the cars moment and therefore U have a much greater control of your cars turn (when U do it properly). Simply because U have the opportunity, to spin and control the back of the car, that way, that the moment and force sum of the mass centre points the right way in the corner. Steering (with throttle) uses the momentum. Compared to AWD... I dont think I need to explain that case.

  • Krajišnik 7
    Krajišnik 7

    More fun than rwd for sure.

  • dwori

    FWD cars can't be sportscars... they are just fast econoboxes. Sure they can be very fast but there's no sport associated with driving it. Only RWD and AWD cars can give you options to start playing with the weight of the car and that's when it becomes a sport. I speak from experience, I fell into this fwd trap too for few years, sadly. Driving FDW teaches you close to nothing sporty. The only notable exception are FWD rally cars with a proper handbrake, that at least makes a little bit of sense.

  • zrRyan2

    that's a Hyundai..... not a sports car.

  • James Moros
    James Moros

    Great review as always. Perhaps the biggest drawback is going up hill or doing a hill climb event in the wet .. 😊 I had the experience of such an event and the car was simply skidding.

  • Jon Svenonius
    Jon Svenonius

    We don't get the Veloster N here in Europe but instead we get the i30N. I've owned mine for about three months now and it's such a fun car.

  • Ben Haynes
    Ben Haynes

    Take a breath big fella! I don't mind "bum draggers". I'm seriously considering swapping out my Mazda ND Miata for an Hyundai i20N (then I come to my senses)

  • Aman Panesar
    Aman Panesar

    They are good Good for nothing

  • Marcus Pearse
    Marcus Pearse

    I absolutely love my Veloster N!! It brings back joy to driving that I'd lost with a dull GTI. The cockpit feel, the road feel, the feedback, the crackles and pops, the hum of the exhaust when accelerating(especially during hard acceleration), and the lower sporty feel!!! The GTI is great at so many things, but it doesn't have the sporty joy you get when driving a Veloster N.

  • Leitch Hui
    Leitch Hui

    Hi, thx for doing these feature videos. Been a big fan of N cars. Just wondering, you’ve been able to drive the manual and DCT back to back, which one do you prefer? Since I’m not going to the tracks, I would like your inputs on this, thx! Will there be an Elantra N DCT video in the future as well?

  • Jonathan Garneau-Reid
    Jonathan Garneau-Reid

    Hyundai: some torque steer is a good thing. Cadillac when making the FWD Northstar models: here's a 275-300hp 295-300tq FWD V8 with no torque steer.

  • E F (TriTexan)
    E F (TriTexan)

    Before you ask if something CAN be done, one should start with SHOULD it be done. I'll leave the rest to you...

  • Michael Reilly
    Michael Reilly

    This video confuses the difference between a sporty car and a sports car. The Veloster may be a sporty car but it is not a sports car.

  • Andy Peek
    Andy Peek

    As the happy owner of a 1995 Mitsubishi FTO V6 Mivec powered sports car, yes they are great, Ive owned her for 19 years now, and dont want anything else, she does 220 kph, thats enough for our roads in NZ.

  • odhran

    its not hunday

  • Mases

    I love my MK8 FiSt

  • Plinio Designori
    Plinio Designori

    I have a manual '20 Veloster N and LOVE this car! I should confess that both my wife and I have a silly grin on our faces every single time the engine starts and the pops and crackles appeared, or while cornering hardly on twisty roads - I can't tell you how many times I deliberately picked the route with as many switchbacks as possible just to enjoy driving it a bit more. A friend of mine, who has an '18 Focus RS, has been impressed by this car, too. In fact, the only two features I'm somewhat missing are AWD and heated seats - other than that, I have no complaints, regrets, or qualms whatsoever. I think Hyundai did an amazing job of creating fun and driver-centered car on a budget. P.S. I test-drove Type R and WRX as well, and those are undoubtedly great cars either, but from the appearance and maintenance perspectives, as well as overall cost-to-benefit ratio, Veloster was the best option for me