2022 Hyundai Elantra N new car reviews

Photography by Chris Tropea

Has Hyundai really built a car capable of dethroning the Civic Type R?

We test drive one for ourselves to find out.

Other staff views

J.G. Pasterjak
JG Pasterjak
Production/Art Director

The Elantra scores high marks on being nicely sized–large enough to be comfortable and spacious, but small enough to feel tidy and easy to park.

The trunk is epic. Honestly, the car probably could have worked better as a Civic-style hatchback, because the actual trunk opening is slightly short vertically, but anything you can fit past the threshold will find so much room for activities once inside.

In the cabin, Hyundai channels ’90s and ’00s Toyota with excellent ergonomics, great visibility–seriously, it’s refreshing to not have windowsills right under your earlobes–and, perhaps best of all, BUTTONS!

Hyundai is killing it with UX, which is to say they’re providing actual, tactile buttons, knobs and switches for key functions, and leaving DIC menu-diving or touch controls to more secondary functions. And they’re doing it while still keeping their interiors clean, uncluttered and handsome.

The seat/wheel/pedal arrangement is likewise excellent. It’s very similar to the Veloster N, and probably shares a lot of the same geometry, although we preferred the Veloster’s layout marginally better. Both cars have excellent headroom for helmets, though, and enough vertical seat adjustability that you can get the steering wheel right up in your face, where you have a much more natural arm sweep for 9 and 3 rotation.

Also like the Veloster N, the Elantra N is serious business mechanically, and on paper should be a more potent machine than the Veloster. Both share the same 2.0-liter four, available with a six-speed manual or eight-speed DCT, but the Elantra N uses a larger turbocharger to produce 276 horsepower and 289 lb.-ft. of torque vs. 275/260 for the Veloster.

With a curb weight just 40 pounds heavier than a similarly equipped Veloster, the Elantra should have a straight-line advantage.

Look for more on this one from us soon.

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