Forget what you thought you knew about the Elantra. Because this week I bring you the pinnacle of Hyundai performance - the Elantra N. (Not be confused with the N Line I reviewed here.) The 2022 Elantra N is Hyundai's new high-performance compact sports sedan and the top performer in its growing N-badge family. The Elantra N has been precisely tuned to enhance driving dynamics and performance - engineering tested on the Nürburgring in Germany. The result: a sporty ride that driving enthusiasts like myself can get excited about.
The Elantra N takes itself seriously as a sports compact sedan with the looks to prove it. It's low to the ground profile screams track sportiness. Hyundai says its matte black front end is inspired by a driver's race helmet.
My test model spreads the sporty vibe bumper to bumper in Intense Blue.. Red accents including N-badged side moldings and brake calipers amp the sporty look up further, but my eyes always go to the wheels and these 19-inch alloy wheels really pop.
The tail end really gets your attention with its wide, glossy black three-bridged rear spoiler wing and unique diffuser along with dual large bore exhaust. N badging denotes its status on both the grille and the tail end.
Notably, the Elantra N is equipped with LED headlights, LED daytime running lights and LED tail lights. But there's no sunroof in my 6-speed equipped test model.
The track capable Elantra N is powered by a turbocharged 2.0L engine that delivers 276-horsepower and 289 pound-feet of torque. Acceleration feels terrific.
My tester's standard 6-speed manual transmission features Rev matching, for smoother downshifts that you can feel. An 8-speed dual clutch automatic is available with a "N Grin Shift" mode that briefly increases output to 286 horsepower.
Notably, the Elantra N is the first N vehicle equipped with 245-section width Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires - wider tires for increased traction and cornering performance. I was super impressed with their amazing grip on the road. Stopping power is terrific too thanks to the N's large brakes.
Specialized high-performance handling features include N Corner Carving Differential (e-LSD) and Launch Control.
The Elantra N also features a special variable exhaust valve system that delivers a crackle and pop exhaust note that adds to the Elantra N's serious sports car appeal.
The N-branded interior features unique N elements including the steering wheel, shifter, seats, door scuff panels and metal pedals. Well-done light blue contrast stitching along with quality hardware abounds - though a few more soft touch surfaces would be nice.
The Leather-trimmed microsuede N light sport bucket seats with side-bolstering have a similar design to racing seats and both look and feel great. They sit 10mm lower than in a standard Elantra for, as Hyundai puts it, 'high performance visibility". The driver's seat is 6-way power adjustable, the passenger's seat is 4-way.
They look great too with contrasting blue stitching and impressive hardware in the back of the seat backs along with an N logo. Hyundai also says its reduced the thickness of the seats backs by two inches for more room in the second row.
The N-exclusive leather-wrapped steering wheel is in a word, cool. It has great blue contrast stitching and N buttons that enable an exclusive N graphics interface along with large red button for Rev Matching.
A large infotainment screen is slightly angled towards the driver. Climate and audio controls are simple and not overly "techy" on the center stack and use knobs and buttons.
The center console can be divided into three sections - a wireless charger, a section for the leather-wrapped manual gear shift knob along with buttons for the drive modes and panoramic camera and a glossy black area with a hand parking brake and cup holders.
The sort pedals and steel door entrance sill plates really add polish to the whole sporty vibe.
Convenience features include push-button start, heated front seats, dual zone climate, rear seat heater ducts, wireless charging and 64-color ambient lighting.
A one-piece bench folding rear seatback has a seat folding release in the trunk. Passengers get rear heat vents but no drop down armrest. The remote open trunk offers plenty of cargo space but not spare, just a tire mobility kit.
Technology and Sound
Technology impresses. In the cabin you'll find two 10.25-inch screens, one for the infotainment, navigation and backup camera system. The screen is responsive with great graphics. Dynamic Voice Recognition works great and the system is compatible with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto.
A premium 8-speaker Bose sound system with a subwoofer delivers great sound.
The other is the all-digital driver display. Along with the standard speedometer info, it also features an additional N Exclusive graphics interface with circuit driving info such as oil, coolant, torque, and turbo meters.
The Elantra N is equipped with USB ports and a 12-Volt. A Hyundai Digital Key is Android OS only.
Ride and Drive
The Elantra N's delivers an outstanding, sporty and engaging driving experience. It's very fun to drive with it's low stance, terrific sports seats that minimize body roll and super responsive steering. It delivers a stiff sporty ride as well -- so perhaps not the best ride to take your senior parents to the doctor in if you know what I mean!
Check out what's in the back when you pop the hood - a rear chassis brace which Hyundai says contributes to better body rigidity and in turn an improved ride and handling,
All this said - the Elantra N is also practical too as an everyday driver. So you're getting the best of both worlds. Fuel economy is 25 mpg combined and premium fuel is recommended. (Read Jerry's article on premium fuel here.)
Hyundai offers one of my favorite driver safety suites. Elantra N's driver assistance features include Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist, Lane Keeping Assist, Lane Following Assist, Driver Attention Warning, High Beam Assist, Blind-Spot Collision-Avoidance Assist, Rear Cross-Traffic Collision-Avoidance Alert, and Safe Exit Warning. Rear Seat Occupant reminder is standard across the lineup.
The Elantra N is equipped additionally with Parking Distance Warning w/Collision Avoidance Assist but it does not have Hyundai's awesome Highway Drive Assist semi-autonomous system.
What You'll Pay
There is no pricing provided on my Monroney sticker. But the website lists a base of $32,150. (No options are listed on my test vehicle but some of the exterior paint colors are extra). The total MSRP listed on the website is $33,245. What a value! Like with the all-new 2022 Toyota GR86, (and Toyota Supra) I'm astounded at the level of performance automakers are offering when it comes to attainable sports cars.
Hyundai doesn't disappoint with the 2022 Elantra N. Geared for driving enthusiasts, it delivers on its N-badge high-performance promises. While it's built track-ready, it's just at home on the highway or in city driving. An exceptional job from Hyundai!
- What I liked most: Handling, Leather/microsuede seats, 19-inch wheels, exhaust sound.
- What I would change: A little less plastic and more soft-touch materials for a slightly higher price.
- MSRP: Not provided on vehicle. Base: $32,150. Website MSRP: 33,245.
- Fuel Economy: 22 mpg city, 31 mpg highway, 25 mpg combined.
- Odometer reading when tested: 2,812 miles.
- Weight: 3,186 pounds.
- Spare Tire: Tire mobility kit.
- Length-Width-Height: 184.1 in” long/71.9” wide/55.7” high.
- Fuel Tank Capacity: 12.4 gallons with fuel tank on the driver side
- Recommend Fuel: Premium.
- Official Color: Intense Blue.
- Towing Capacity: N/A.
- 2022 Hyundai Elantra N in a few words: You'll never think of the Hyundai Elantra the same way again.
- Warranty: 5-year 60,000 mile New Vehicle Warranty; 10-year 100,000 powertrain, 7-year unlimited mile anti-perforation warranty; 3-year complimentary maintenance.
- Final Assembly Location: Not provided.
- Manufacturer's website: Hyundai