In the highly competitive compact sedan class, the Hyundai Elantra has often been overshadowed.
The competition has historically been intense, especially when pitted against perennial favorites like the Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla. A long list of competent rivals also includes the Mazda 3, Volkswagen Jetta, Nissan Sentra and Kia Forte. Yet shed no pity for the Elantra, which was introduced in 1993. The venerable Elantra has exceeded sales of 100,000 or more 19 times, including the last 13 years.
Unwilling to rest on its laurels, the remodeled Elantra was named 2021 North American Car of the Year after adding a new platform, bolder styling, and introducing a hybrid version and the Elantra N, a turbocharged trim model that was easily the most powerful Elantra ever.
The South Korean auto manufacturer went a step further with the introduction of the 2022 Hyundai Elantra, adding the Elantra N to its existing four trim models (SE, SEL, N Line, Limited). Other than causing confusion, we’re not sure why Hyundai decided to have an N Line and N trim. But what has become obvious is compact car shoppers now have more reason than ever to consider an Elantra.
There are no mistaking Hyundai’s efforts with the fully loaded Elantra N. Performance is at the top of the list. It has impressive credentials that include:
- Turbocharged 2.0-liter, 4-cylinder engine
- 276 horsepower and 289 pound-feet of torque
- Standard 6-speed manual transmission
- Optional 8-speed N-tuned wet dual-clutch automatic transmission (DCT)
- 19-inch wheels with summer sport tires
- High-performance brakes
- Electronic sport-tuned suspension
- Exclusive exterior and interior N styling
Elantra buyers can choose either a six-speed manual transmission or an eight-speed automatic. If one doesn’t mind shifting gears and the enjoyment it can bring, the manual is the obvious choice. Note that the automatic version travels 0-60 mph in quick fashion at 5.4 seconds. That is a second faster than the manual (0-60 mph, 6.4 seconds).
Regardless of which version of the Elantra one picks, expect a smooth ride as the compact sedan navigates adroitly over bumps in the road. On challenging, twisting roads, the Elantra performed well. It’s comforting to know the vehicle is equipped with standard safety assistance features like automated emergency braking with pedestrian detection, lane-departure warning with lane-keeping assist, and adaptive cruise control with lane-centering feature.
AT A GLANCE – 2022 HYUNDAI ELANTRA N
- Performance: turbocharged 2.0-liter, four-cylinder, 276 horsepower
- Mileage estimate: 20-31 mpg
- Price estimate: starting at $31,900
- Warranty: 5 years/60,000 miles; drivetrain: 10 years/100,000 miles; roadside assistance: 5 years/unlimited; corrosion: 7 years/unlimited
The Elantra N interior adds sporty seating and the cabin is well-thought out, with plenty of space and good outward visibility in the front row. Rear seat passenger space is generous and the trunk measures 14.2 cubic feet, slightly above average for the class.
Although not overly techie, the Elantra N has a 10.3-inch digital gauge and a 10.3-inch infotainment display that’s not difficult to master. Standard features include Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, a Wi-Fi hotspot, and in-dash navigation.
The addition of the performance-laden 2022 Hyundai Elantra N injects the compact sedan with more appeal than ever before.