Monday, 04 December 2023

Hyundai Elantra N delivers sharp design, loads of customizable driving fun Featured

Posted On Sunday, 22 January 2023 18:01 Written by
Rate this item
(1 Vote)
The Hyundai Elantra N offers tons of driving fun at an affordable price. The Hyundai Elantra N offers tons of driving fun at an affordable price. Photo courtesy of Hyundai


Some car models have many sides to their personality, catering to a variety of tastes. For example, alongside the more tame versions of Hyundai’s compact Elantra sedan, there’s a star that’s ready for its spotlight.

I’m referring to the Hyundai Elantra N, the performance-oriented ride that’s truly the gem of this lineup in terms of driving performance and overall design.

The Elantra N was introduced as a new model for 2022, and has carried over with little change for the 2023 model year. The N is for those driving enthusiasts who want some oomph under the hood and a vehicle built to tackle the open road (or a racetrack) with complete confidence. The powerful N brand is just one method Hyundai is using to grow its audience beyond those who want your typical day-to-day car or SUV options.

The Elantra N competes directly with sporty compact cars from brands including Honda, Volkswagen, Subaru and Toyota.

I recently spent some time behind the wheel of an Elantra N, and I’m back with a full report on this highly customizable hot rod.


The Elantra N’s sporty exterior design will catch everyone's attention and have people thinking it's a far more luxurious ride than its actual price would indicate. 

My test vehicle featured a sharp Performance Blue paint scheme, with red highlights, is low to the ground, and features a distinct grille design.

I got a ton of compliments on this car when I was out around town; among the most I’ve ever gotten in fact. Hyundai really nailed the design.

Exterior highlights include 19-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights and taillights, power tilt-and-slide sunroof, special N-specific body styling and rear diffuser, heated side mirrors w/ turn signal indicators, rear wing spoiler, and dual exhaust outlets.

Moving inside, the interior of the Elantra N featured quality materials that were as good or better than you would expect in this price point, including leather trimmed seats.

There’s comfortable seating for five, though the back seat may be tight for taller passengers, but the driver and front passenger have plenty of room. In terms of cargo space, the Elantra N’s trunk is 14.2 cubic feet, a respectable amount for a compact sedan. 

Among interior features on the Elantra N are: Dual automatic temperature control, heated front seats, USB ports, 12V outlet, N-exclusive leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, and alloy sport pedals.


This is where we get down to the nitty gritty, as performance is what the Elantra N is all about.

The N features a turbo-charged, 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, which delivers 276 horsepower and 289 pound-feet of torque. All Elantra N vehicles are front-wheel drive only.

Shifting can be done via a six-speed manual transmission, or you can elect the eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission with paddle shifters, which I tested.

If you’re a manual transmission lover who is bemoaning the limited amount of such vehicles in today’s mostly automatic world, the ability to choose the manual will be welcome news.

The Elantra N is so nimble and fun to drive that you'll be looking for places to go … perhaps even find a nice, curvy out-of-the-way road and test its limits.

A sport-tuned suspension with adaptive dampers is included, improving the ability of this sport sedan to do its thing.

In a sense, Hyundai is applying a racecar mentality into a street car with the Elantra N, which is great for enthusiasts seeking speed and handling in an affordable sport sedan. It’s the type of vehicle you might actually want to take to a racetrack when possible to see how well it can perform.

Getting moving fast is not going to be a problem, with a 0-to-60 time near the 5-second mark.

And then there’s the customizability that’s built into the Elantra N, which is truly expansive. Through the infotainment system, literally everything about the drive can be adjusted — including the steering feel, transmission shift times, engine performance, suspension firmness, launch control settings, and even the sound of the exhaust.

What that allows the driver to do is adjust the vehicle’s personality for situations. Like if you’re in the pickup line at your kid’s school, or going to the grocery store, you probably don’t need to scare people with a loud exhaust and can turn that down. But you can unlock its full sporty nature when winding through the back roads or at the racetrack.

The Elantra N also features a sport exhaust system, multi-link independent rear suspension and 14.2-inch front and 12.4-inch rear ventilated brake rotors.

Another unique feature is the NGS (N Grin Shift) button. Hitting this big red button on the steering wheel will add an additional 10 horsepower for 20 seconds and boosts acceleration. Somewhat of a gimmick, but another fun element of the Elantra N.

Overall, among front-wheel drive sport sedans, the Elantra N can make a solid case for best in class when it comes to overall performance, braking and handling (heck, it could probably do well vs. a few expensive luxury options). It’s the type of vehicle you’ll feel bad about leaving in the driveway unused, as it’s made for adventure.


The technology in the Elantra N is highlighted by a bright and clear 10.25-inch touchscreen that is among the best in the segment.

Voice commands work very smoothly for controlling music selection, navigation, phone and climate. And touchscreen controls are well-designed and easy to use. The system even offers various nature sounds for your audio relaxation needs, and is also where you’ll do all your customizing of the vehicle’s drive qualities mentioned above.

Navigation was effective and got me where I needed to go without any issues.

The Elantra N features Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration, a Bose Premium audio system with eight speakers and subwoofer, satellite radio, wireless phone charging, Hyundai Digital Key, and the Hyundai Blue Link Connected Car System. 

There are also tons of strong safety features on the Elantra N, including:
— Automated emergency braking with pedestrian detection 
— Lane-departure warning with lane-keeping assist
— Available adaptive cruise control with lane-centering feature, which steers vehicle back into its proper lane
— Forward collision mitigation warns of impending collision and applies brakes
— Blind-spot collision-avoidance assist
— Rear cross-traffic collision-avoidance assist
— Driver attention warning, which issues an alert if the vehicle determine you are becoming too tired and inattentive
— Safe exit warning, which warns of oncoming vehicles before passengers exit once parked
— Rear automatic braking

All of this adds up to the Elantra N having an overall government safety rating of 5 out of 5 stars.


The Elantra N’s official fuel mileage numbers with automatic transmission are 20 city/30 highway/23 combined. With manual transmission, numbers are: 22 city/31 highway/25 combined.

My real world testing of the Elantra N confirmed the accuracy of the listed numbers. With a fuel tank just over 12 gallons, that gives the potential for more than 360 miles of distance per tank.

Some rival sport sedans are a few miles per gallon better, but that’s probably not enough to sway buyers away from the Elantra N.

And of course, the level of fuel economy you get will depend on how hard you drive the car. If you have the full amount of fun possible, which I highly recommend, of course your mileage will suffer. But it’ll be worth it.


The Hyundai Elantra N (with automatic transmission) that I tested was priced just over $35,000; and base price for the N starts about $33K (with manual transmission). Since many enthusiasts prefer manual anyway, that’s a built-in discount for the self-shifters. These prices are near the pricing of most competitors.

Almost no options are offered since the N comes pretty much loaded out the gate in terms of tech and safety options. 

Several other versions of the Elantra are offered, starting as low as $21K, but they’re much more domesticated and you’ll have nowhere near the fun that the N can offer.

As always, Hyundai has a major feather in its cap courtesy of the excellent warranties it offers. This includes: 
— 5-year/60,000-mile New Vehicle Warranty
— 10-year/100,000-mile Powertrain Warranty
— 7-year/Unlimited-mile Anti-perforation Warranty
— 3-year/36,000-mile Complimentary Maintenance
— 5-year/Unlimited-mile Roadside Assistance


The jewel of Hyundai’s Elantra lineup, the Elantra N is an extra fun sport sedan that enthusiasts will love to drive every day and tinker with. And the price is reasonable for such a performance-oriented ride which can offer multiple personalities for different needs.

Once you get behind the wheel of an Elantra N, there’s a good chance you’ll want to take it home. 

=== can be found on Twitter @AutoTechReview, or stay updated at the AutoTechReviews Facebook page. Follow AutoTechReviews on Instagram at @Autotechreviews. Matt Myftiu can be found on Twitter @MattMyftiu.

Additional Info

  • Vehicle: Hyundai Elantra N
  • Price as tested: $35,145 
  • Best feature: Customizable and truly fun driving experience   
  • Rating: 4.5 out of five stars    
  • Who will want this vehicle?: Driving enthusiasts looking for a versatile hot rod that won’t break the bank
Matt M. Myftiu

Matt Myftiu has been a journalist for two decades with a focus on technology, NASCAR and autos.

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Leave a comment

Make sure you enter all the required information, indicated by an asterisk (*). HTML code is not allowed.

Search Reviews by Make

AutoTechReviews  is your home for In-depth reviews of the latest cars, trucks, and SUVs; information on all the emerging vehicle technology; and breaking news from the world of NASCAR and other motorsports.