My 2018 Honda Civic Si was great in many ways except it lacked a wow factor. Maybe it needed more power, quicker acceleration or a sporty exhaust note. Being a fan of sporty compacts, I considered my high performance compact options. I've never been a fan of the VW Golf R and I wasn't head over heels about the looks of the upcoming Toyota GR Corolla. Which narrowed my choices to either the Hyundai Veloster N or the 2023 Honda Civic Type R. So when Honda took the wraps off their new Type R, and I wasn't impressed by the redesigned looks, I decided to give Hyundai's N line-up a serious look. I was oddly intrigued by the Kona N and have always been a fan of the Veloster. I had hoped to find a Hyundai dealership near me that had both a Kona N and a Veloster N, but knowing that 2022 was the Veloster's last year, I knew finding both at a dealership would likely be difficult. When I finally found a dealership with a Racing Red Kona N, I made an appointment for a test drive. The Kona N didn't dissapoint. I liked its wild appearance, the reconfigurable gauges, the wireless phone charging pad, the bolstered drivers seat and the exhaust note and this was all before driving it. The test drive didn't dissapoint either. The Kona N is a wild little high performance crossover, but the itch to see and drive a Veloster N was strong and the salesperson could tell that I was a car guy that wasn't ready to own a crossover, even if it was a high performance crossover that handled very much like a car. Quick thinking by the salesperson who knew their dealership had a Veloster N roll off the delivery truck earlier in the day gave me my original comparison wish. Moments later the salesperson wheeled the Racing Red Veloster N in front of the dealership and it was literally car love at first sight. Not even a quarter mile into the test drive, I knew I found the wow factor in every aspect of the Veloster N that my Honda Civic Si lacked. For me it was the complete package of looks and performance. Every time I look at and drive my Veloster N, I smile. Every time. After 3 weeks and just over 1,000 miles, I'm learning why so many automotive journalists hold high praise for the Veloster N. Thank you Hyundai for making a high performance compact that's as much fun to drive as it is to look at.