Hyundai continues to push the envelope with what consumers expect from its products for a long time now — and this 2022 Elantra N model keeps that pace. Hyundai first launched its “N” performance line a few years ago as a moniker that consumers know means performance. It does come from the famous Nuremberg track in Germany after all.
This is far more than a typical 4-door sedan. It’s clearly aimed at the likes of the Honda Civic-R and other performance compact sedans. You’ll see extensive use of blackened trim-lines along with a red-line stripe that goes around the entire vehicle.
It has 19-inch wheels with Michelin Pilot Sport S tires and some massive 14.2-inch disc brakes up front and 12-inch disc in the rear, for superb stopping power. Move to the rear and the first thing you’ll notice is the truck-lid mounted, double-dipped wing for extra downward force at higher rates of speed. We also love the look of the rear air diffuser and the huge exhaust tips that put out some wonderful, ultra sporty exhaust notes.
The engine is a turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine that’s rated at 276 horsepower with 289 lb-ft of torque. It’s mated to a 6-speed manual gearbox or there’s an optional 8-speed automatic as well. The EPA provides an economy rating of 22 mpg around town and up to 31 on the highway. If you opt for the automatic, it drops to 20/30 respectively. Zero to sixty in the Elantra N is rated at 5-seconds.
Inside, you’ll immediately notice the racing-style seats, both up front and in the back. The nifty, illuminated “N” logo on the front seats is a nice touch as well. The seating surface is a great high-quality suede material that helps prevent you from sliding around in the seats during harder driving.
Our test vehicle was the six-speed manual and it drives like a dream. Hyundai completely nailed it when it comes to the driving dynamics and lovely exhaust theater – it’s a rather emotional experience. There’s instant throttle response and the car beckons you to push it ever harder, ever faster. One other features that gearheads will love is the button on the steering wheel that engages its rev-matching function.
There’s some really nice performance tech available for the driver as well. Hyundai included its “N”-mode that gives you all kinds of key data, including lap times, a map of the track, throttle input, oil temp, engine time, and braking pressure. Other drive modes include ECO, Sport and Normal.
Driver aids include, adaptive cruise control, lane keeping assist, forward collision braking and warning, blind spot monitoring, and parking sensors.
The infotainment system features a large 10.5-inch touch display that’s easy to use and easy on the eyes. Its Bose audio system is good but not nearly as great as the Harmon/Kardon audio that Hyundai used to use. Support for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto is standard. Along with using the standard key fob remote, there is also Hyundai’s digital key system that lets you install an app and use your phone to lock/unlock the doors etc.
There’s no question that Hyundai has raised the bar for a compact performance sedan and backs it with an industry-leading warranty as well. With prices starting at $32,425, it’s going to give the Honda Civic-R a run for the money and we’re confident it will help take away some market share from Honda in this segment.
If you’re after a stellar performance sedan that helps bring the fun back to driving, then make sure to check out the 2022 Hyundai Elantra N as soon as you can.