2021 Hyundai Elantra N Line first drive review: A sprightly sport compact

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Hyundai has large plans to grow its N performance portfolio within the US. The corporate will quickly provide a spicy little Elantra N sedan, however within the meantime, this softcore N Line model needs to be greater than sufficient to whet your urge for food.

The N Line successfully replaces the previous Elantra Sport, packing turbo energy, upgraded suspension {hardware} and plenty of lively security tech, all for round $25,000. The brand-new 2021 Elantra is already an ideal basis on which to construct, and these N Line enhancements solely make Hyundai’s compact sedan extra interesting.

With out query essentially the most hanging factor about this automobile is its design. The brand new Elantra stands out, all geometric and peculiar. The N Line builds on that character with a barely extra menacing entrance finish, black aspect moldings and 18-inch wheels. There’s undoubtedly rather a lot happening, however I feel the new Elantra wears these sporty tweaks nicely. It is just a little extra in-your-face than a Honda Civic Si, however I do not essentially suppose that is a nasty factor.

The Elantra is decidedly much less polarizing inside, the place N Line fashions get cozy sport seats with leather-based bolsters, a thicker-rimmed steering wheel, a wi-fi charging pad, alloy pedals and a few purple accent stitching. Identical to the usual Elantra, the N Line’s cabin is quiet and properly appointed; every part you contact is roofed in above-average supplies, with the not-so-great stuff reserved for less-noticeable locations just like the transmission tunnel and steering column.

Weirdly, you may’t get the N Line with the Elantra’s digital gauge cluster, nor are you able to go for the 10.2-inch infotainment show, which means embedded navigation is a no-go, as nicely. That is to not say the 8-inch multimedia system is unhealthy or something, it simply appears to be like form of low-cost surrounded by massive shortcut buttons and a bunch of black plastic. However, the 8-inch display screen affords one thing the bigger system would not: wi-fi Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Mixed with the aforementioned charging pad, that is an A-OK setup.

Unhealthy information: The N Line solely comes with the Elantra’s smaller, 8-inch display screen. Excellent news: Wi-fi Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Drew Phillips

In fact, the primary purpose you purchase an N Line is for its sprightly efficiency. This hotter Elantra makes use of Hyundai’s 1.6-liter turbo I4 engine, producing 201 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 195 pound-feet of torque from 1,500 to 4,500 rpm. That is greater than sufficient grunt for this 2,943-pound sedan, particularly contemplating all that torque is delivered approach down low.

The Elantra N Line comes customary with a six-speed handbook transmission, however you will get a seven-speed dual-clutch computerized for an additional $1,100. I am usually all about that stick-shift life, particularly in plucky little turbo vehicles like this Elantra N Line. Downside is, the handbook gearbox… form of sucks. It jogs my memory quite a lot of the Genesis G70: The transmission appears to actively take away energy once you have interaction every gear, which means you are feeling the clutch seize however then the acceleration would not match the movement as you dig deeper into the throttle. Mix that with lengthy throws between gears and a usually vague-feeling clutch pedal, and this is without doubt one of the few instances the place I feel I would somewhat have the DCT. (Yeah, I do know…)

As soon as you might be off and working, the 1.6-liter engine is a peach. There’s loads of midrange energy in every gear, so that you fortunately do not should do a lot in the best way of shifting on winding roads. A raspy little exhaust word accompanies the entire expertise, largely fading into the background at larger speeds.

I am all about handbook transmissions, simply not this handbook transmission. 

Drew Phillips

In comparison with a base Elantra, the N Line has stiffer springs and engine mounts, and bigger entrance and rear stabilizer bars. When you get the handbook transmission, the N Line rolls on Goodyear Eagle F1 235/40-series summer time tires, however unusually, DCT vehicles use Hankook Ventus all-season rubber. Summer season tires aren’t an possibility for automatic-equipped fashions, both, so that you’re by yourself for gripper footwear. (I am certain your vendor may change ’em out for a number of further bucks.)

The handbook Elantra N Line would not have any drive modes or adaptive settings; you simply get in and go. I form of like that refreshing simplicity in a reasonable sports activities automobile like this, and there is not all that a lot to gripe about with the N Line’s customary tune. The steering is gentle however correct and the chassis strikes an ideal steadiness between consolation and agility. The Elantra N Line is rather a lot just like the Civic Si: It is a enjoyable little sport sedan you actually may drive daily. Sadly, the Elantra N Line lacks a number of the lively security options¬†Honda affords, particularly adaptive cruise management. At the very least you get different niceties corresponding to a driver consideration monitor, lane-keeping help, blind-spot monitoring and forward-collision warning.

So many angles.

Drew Phillips

At $25,095 together with $995 for vacation spot, the 2021 Elantra N Line is a reasonably compelling little bundle. It is priced proper on prime of the Civic Si, and whereas the Honda affords just a little extra tech and a greater handbook gearbox, I really like the Elantra’s turbo energy. The truth that it affords an computerized transmission opens it as much as a broader swath of potential consumers, too.

Stoked as I’m for the full-zoot Elantra N, I do know that high-strung little firecracker will not be everybody’s cup of tea. However this N Line model would not really feel like a watered-down sport sedan by comparability. Particularly with its super-attractive worth level, it could be simply the factor for people who need just a little extra pep of their step.

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Steven Ewing