2022 Hyundai Elantra N new car reviews

Photography by David S. Wallens

The Veloster may be no more, but does Hyundai's Elantra N have what it takes to keep up with–or even surpass–the latest Civic Si?

Other staff views

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens
Editorial Director

Other than a few seemingly harder-than-they-need-to-be plastic interior bits–mainly talking about the door caps–this one’s nearly perfect. (Okay, maybe I’d drop the wing since I like to keep things on the D.L.)

The Elantra N is fast, composed and comfortable. It’s quiet on the highway.

It’s the right size. The trunk is generous. It looks good. You can easily park it and, just as importantly, see out of it.

The radio operates via buttons. The shifter makes sense. You don’t need to crack open the owner’s manual to figure things out.

The seats wrap around just the right amount–I’d call the bolsters more aggressive than the ones in my E46 M3. The steering wheel is just meaty enough. Good, clear gauges.

The car quickly paired with my phone. That doesn’t always happen as easily as you’d think.

Why the second bite at this one as we’ve driven it before? I borrowed it for a run up to Savannah to drive the Ioniq 6–more on that one soon.

The Elantra N was perfect for the mission, and I’m not just saying that since Hyundai bought me dinner. The Elantra N was quiet on the highway. No objectionable wind or tire noise. I didn’t arrive any more tired or irritated than usual. It looked perfect at Waffle House.

Once in Savannah, it was easy to park. No issues with carrying my stuff.

My one issue goes back to the tops of the doors. I tend to prop my elbow there, and I found the plastic to be a bit firm to my liking.

That’s it.

You know how I’m a fan of the Civic Si, and I’d put the Elantra N right up there. It’s really the sport sedan for us.

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Comments
Colin Wood
Colin Wood Associate Editor
6/23/23 9:56 a.m.

You know, it's probably for the best that I didn't get a chance to drive this one. I probably would have driven it to the dealership and asked to buy one.

DirtyBird222
DirtyBird222 PowerDork
6/23/23 11:46 a.m.
Colin Wood said:

You know, it's probably for the best that I didn't get a chance to drive this one. I probably would have driven it to the dealership and asked to buy one.

I had a Kona N for a few months. It was a hoot of a car and wouldn't mind having another one. They did a good job with the N models. 

livinon2wheels
livinon2wheels GRM+ Memberand Reader
6/23/23 3:15 p.m.

Everything I have read is that the manual transmission model is plagued by a funky clutch, making smooth starts nearly impossible, and I am loathe to buy a sports car with an automatic, never mind if it might actually be faster than a manual transmission model, I still want a manual gearbox because a proper sports car is supposed to be equipped that way. I know there are those that will disagree...but in this case given that the manual is a clunky option due to the clutch issues, an auto would seem to be the only reasonable choice but I would hate myself every day for making it.

bobzilla
bobzilla MegaDork
6/23/23 3:57 p.m.

In reply to livinon2wheels :

That's news to me. But I've had Korean clutches for 2 decades now and they all feel normal to me. 

mad_machine
mad_machine GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
6/25/23 9:44 a.m.

isn't this the car that guy in California got ensnared with red tape over because a cop thought his factory fresh car was too loud?

DirtyBird222
DirtyBird222 PowerDork
6/26/23 9:02 a.m.
mad_machine said:

isn't this the car that guy in California got ensnared with red tape over because a cop thought his factory fresh car was too loud?

Yes there is a case of that. There are a few exhaust settings and when you go into full "N" mode it's got a nice note. Some municipalities in California don't mess around. Every time I would visit Laguna Beach, they  would have LEOs out there with decibel meters and citing all the supercar owners for said issue. Just another superfluous law in that state to generate revenue for gov't. 

ConiglioRampante
ConiglioRampante New Reader
6/26/23 10:12 a.m.

I know that race car /= street car, but I can't help but notice how successful the Elantra N (and the Veloster N before it) has become in the international TCR class.

I know I'm supposed to proclaim on the interwebz that "marketing BS doesn't work on me!" but the old adage "win on Sunday, sell in Monday" seems to influence my aging lizard brain to this day.blush

kanaric
kanaric SuperDork
6/26/23 1:52 p.m.

How are Hyundai's DCTs? Been curious about that. 

ProDarwin
ProDarwin MegaDork
6/26/23 2:53 p.m.
livinon2wheels said:

Everything I have read is that the manual transmission model is plagued by a funky clutch, making smooth starts nearly impossible, and I am loathe to buy a sports car with an automatic, never mind if it might actually be faster than a manual transmission model, I still want a manual gearbox because a proper sports car is supposed to be equipped that way. I know there are those that will disagree...but in this case given that the manual is a clunky option due to the clutch issues, an auto would seem to be the only reasonable choice but I would hate myself every day for making it.

When I had my Veloster, the throttle programming was the issue, not the clutch.  In "normal" mode it was a berkeleying nightmare to start (although you could get used to it).  "sport" was like a regular car.

My Kia has really E36 M3ty throttle programming also, which I am reminded of every time I go back and forth between it and the BRZ.

It would not surprise me if this was a brand-wide issue.

AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter)
AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UberDork
6/26/23 3:02 p.m.

I own an Si currently and these really do seem like great cars (the Elantra N).  Performance wise it's seems better than the Si and on par with the Type R which is amazing.  I'd drive one except my Si gets better mpg and on my commute that matters.  Heck if the Elantra  had a larger fuel tank I'd consider it but I like getting fuel every 3 commutes vs 2.  

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