Sunday, 24 September 2023
Sunday, 10 September 2023 15:00

2023 Hyundai Elantra N: 5 Things To Know

Every family has its fun relative who everyone is excited to see, and never disappoints with tales of their adventures.

In the Hyundai vehicle family, that relative would be the 2023 Elantra N, a sporty version of its compact sedan that delivers thrills behind the wheel like no other Hyundai on the market.

Read on to learn 5 key facts about this fun little ride.

Published in CAR REVIEWS


Among the best trends of recent years has been the return of some automotive categories that had been long neglected.

One such category is smaller trucks, including the unibody design on vehicles like the Hyundai Santa Cruz, which is reminiscent of vehicles of the past like the Subaru Baja.

Back for its second year in 2023, the Santa Cruz combines the abilities of SUVs and pickups in a way that few other vehicles can.

It has only one true competitor — the Ford Maverick — and a great opportunity to capture some market share in the truck market due to its sharp looks, strong drive quality and quality tech features.

Read on for a full breakdown of what the 2023 Hyundai Santa Cruz has to offer.

Published in SUV / TRUCK REVIEWS

The importance of hybrid vehicles as we make the transition to wide public adoption of EVs can’t be denied. While some people would prefer to skip over any technology that involves gas in any way, the reality is we’re not ready for an all-EV world yet.

So to have strong eco-friendly options like hybrid vehicles with great fuel mileage that can help bridge the gap until we are ready is essential, and thankfully some automakers still realize that.

One such automaker is Hyundai, which offers a hybrid version of its compact SUV — the Tucson (as well as several other vehicles in its lineup).

I recently spent some time testing the 2023 Hyundai Tucson hybrid, which sits just below the Santa Fe in terms of size in Hyundai’s lineup, and battles hybrid offerings from competitors including Toyota, Honda, Ford and corporate cousin Kia.

Read on for a full report on how it measures up vs. other hybrid SUVs.

Published in SUV / TRUCK REVIEWS

The interest in Hyundai’s SUVs has seen a resurgence in recent years due to some high-profile new models including the popular Palisade, but the brand’s SUV history started way back in 2001 with the introduction of the Santa Fe SUV.

Still around decades later, the Santa Fe is now considered the midsize SUV offering from Hyundai — slotting in between the smaller Tucson and the larger Palisade — and remains a stout competitor in a massive sea of crossovers that dwarves what was available two decades ago.

I recently spent some time beyond the wheel of a 2023 Santa Fe Calligraphy model, the final year of the current look before an anticipated 2024 redesign,  and I’m back with a full report on how this family 5-seater measures up in this busy SUV landscape.

Published in SUV / TRUCK REVIEWS


When the Hyundai Palisade burst onto the scene a few years ago, the brand new flagship SUV became an instant smash.

With upscale and comfortable seating for up to 8 passengers, the Palisade is one of the vehicles leading the resurgence of Hyundai in the tough SUV battleground. Ironically, one of its top competitors is a corporate cousin, the Kia Telluride, along with the Honda Pilot, Ford Explorer and Toyota Highlander.

But everything must change to stay relevant, so a refresh to the Palisade’s design inside and out has arrived for 2023. There’s also a new stylish and rugged trim level (XRT) added for 2023, improved tech setup, and safety upgrades.

I recently tested a 2023 Hyundai Palisade, and I’m back with a full report on how it measures up against today’s best SUVs.

Published in SUV / TRUCK REVIEWS

While the market for compact cars continues to shrink, there remains a dedicated fan base who keeps resisting the move toward SUVs as the default vehicle option.

Part of the reason they can remain so loyal to their vehicle of choice is because of the strong new options that continue to be pushed out each year by the manufacturers still working in this segment.

Take for example the Hyundai Elantra, a compact ride that’s been in the U.S. market for more than 30 years, and is now on its seventh generation.

I recently spent some time testing the 2023 Hyundai Elantra, which stands out in the segment due its bold design, including distinct creasing and angles, that make it stand out among compact sedans, along with some of the best technology in the segment.

Competing with popular vehicles such as the Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla, Mazda3, Volkswagen Jetta and Nissan Sentra is no picnic, but the Elantra does a strong job of holding up as an overall package — even if it may not lead the segment in all categories.

Read on for a full breakdown on this standout sedan that gives you a lot for a reasonable price.

Published in CAR REVIEWS


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.

Published in CAR REVIEWS

Big pickups have long dominated U.S. auto sales — from the Ford F-150 to the Ram 1500 and Chevy Silverado.

And while those types of vehicles will likely never stop being dominant, in recent years trucks have been trending smaller. First we got a large contingent of midsize trucks introduced over the past decade by multiple automakers, and now we’re getting something unimaginable a decade ago: The introduction of compact trucks that are quite popular.

Now, to be clear, Hyundai doesn’t call the Santa Cruz a compact truck. They call it a “Sport Adventure Vehicle” — painting it as a mix between an SUV and a pickup.

But let’s be honest, it fits most people’s definition of a truck simply by having an open bed in the back, so that’s how most of us will refer to it.

This smaller size is popular for many reasons. For one thing, it’s more maneuverable and easier to park than a larger truck. And it’s still useful despite the smaller size — I had people tell me they would have plenty of room to throw their bikes in the back of the truck and drive their family out to where they want to ride. (Trucks don’t only need to be about hauling rocks, dirt and gravel)

This vehicle recalls past attempts at this style of vehicle — such as the Subaru Baja and the Ford Explorer Sport Trac — but improves on those vehicles quite a bit.

I recently spent some time driving a 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz and I’m back with a full report.

Published in SUV / TRUCK REVIEWS

Hyundai’s been on a roll lately with some strong additions to its SUV lineup, and now they have turned their eyes to their existing SUVs that were due for a refresh to match their modernized design standards.

Among the latest vehicles to get a brand new look is the compact Hyundai Tucson SUV, and as an added bonus a sharp new trim level has been added called the N Line.

Competing in a segment packed with strong vehicles, from Ford’s Bronco Sport to Asian rivals Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV-4, Hyundai has to come out strong to compete in this popular class of SUVs.

I recently spent some time behind the wheel of a 2022 Tucson N Line model, and I’m back with a full report.

Published in SUV / TRUCK REVIEWS


While smaller car options are slowly disappearing in this country, the midsize sedan is one segment that continues to maintain a level of popularity. And those who have remained in the battle are stepping up with new weapons in the battle for relevance in this segment.

For example, let’s talk about the 2021 Hyundai Sonata, one of the top competitors in the segment who is looking to grow its presence while battling heavy hitters like the Mazda6, Honda Accord and Toyota Camry.

After a redesign in 2020, the 2021 Sonata brings one major upgrade — the brand new N Line trim level offering more power, unique styling and better handling — along with other more subtle updates across the lineup.

I recently spent some time in a 2021 Hyundai Sonata Limited model, and I’m back with a full report on how well it competes.


The exterior design on 2021 Sonata features a bold, muscular design that is distinct — including a wide and oversized grille, sharp headlight design, attractive wheels, and an attractive ellipse-shaped window design. It’s not a stretch to call this vehicle one of the best looking sedans available. The Sonata features 18-inch alloy wheels, LED lighting, and heated side mirrors with turn signal indicators.

In terms of practicality, you get a ton of trunk space. Travelers will be happy to hear that they can fit several large luggages comfortably in the massive boot area.

Moving inside the Sonata, you’ll find a surprisingly upscale design for the price range. My Limited model featured extremely comfortable leather seating, and tons of head and leg room all around. Nothing feels cheap. It almost feels like luxury-lite, and better than the interior setups you get from most sedan rivals.

The vehicle also features a panoramic sunroof, plus heated and ventilated front seats.



Several powertrain options are offered on the 2021 Hyundai Sonata.

My test vehicle featured the 1.6-liter turbo 4-cylinder engine, which offers 180 horsepower and 195 lb.-ft. of torque.

There is also a non-turbo 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine, with 191 horses and 181 lb.-ft.

Last but not least is the addition of a more powerful engine option on the N-Line trim level. The N Line features a 2.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine boasting an impressive 290 horsepower and 311 lb.-ft., strong numbers for the segment. Opting for the N Line means you’ll get all the comforts of the standard Sonata, with a bold edge in terms of power, handling and design — including dual exhaust pipes, and sport front seats with red stitching.

There is also a hybrid version of the Sonata for those focused on fuel economy. All versions of the Sonata are Front-wheel drive (with no AWD options) — AWD is something you can get on most rivals, so this is an area where it’s lacking.

The Sonata features an automatic transmission with paddle shifters, and its Drive Mode Select lets you choose between Custom, Sport, Normal and Smart modes.

While the numbers on the Sonata power plants are not overly impressive outside of the N Line, the Sonata Limited that I tested was still quite impressive in terms of overall drive quality, especially in Sport mode.

Zero to 60 times are not fantastic in the 1.6 turbo engine, approaching 8 seconds, but the N-Line numbers are closer to 5 seconds.

In my experience driving the vehicle, the Sonata’s handling, braking and responsiveness to driver input was more than adequate, making it a worthy competitor to its main rivals. Include the N Line option in the discussion, and the Sonata has much of its competition beat.

There is a unique shifting system that saves space in the center (with push buttons for  P-R-N-D instead of a shifter). And the Sonata offers a quiet and smooth ride with limited noise intrusion.

Also, it’s worth noting that the Sonata’s electronic parking brake won’t release and allow the vehicle to move until you fasten your seat belt.


From the moment you step into the 2021 Sonata, you’ll be impressed with the technology setup. The vehicle features a well-designed and easy-to-use center screen and infotainment system.

The 10.25-inch touchscreen can show three different informational segments at once — such as Navigation, radio and weather. The Navigation system was very accurate in my experience, getting me where I needed to be expeditiously.

My test vehicle also featured a booming sound system — specifically a Bose Premium Audio 12-speaker setup including a 9-inch subwoofer. From deep bass to the highest notes, everything was crystal clear and sounded great at all volume levels.

Also available is wireless phone charging, conveniently located up front.

Voice commands in the Sonata (for radio, phone and navigation) worked well for me, working on my first attempts nearly every time, and the simple commands are easy to master. 

Other tech features in the Sonata included a 12.3-inch color LCD cluster with custom settings on the dashboard, offering lots of great info about the car.  It features AM, FM and HD radio;  USB and auxiliary input jacks; Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration; and a 90-day trial of satellite radio. 

BlueLink Connected Services are also complimentary for 3 years — with features including Automatic Collision Notification and SOS Emergency Assistance, teen driving monitors such as Curfew Alert and Speed Alert, Remote Door Lock/Unlock, and maintenance reminders. 

The Sonata comes with excellent safety ratings, nearly perfect in fact, especially important for families looking for a safe vehicle. It features Smart Cruise control, with stop/start capability, and has a ton of standard tech features.

Among the safety features on the 2021 Sonata are:
— Blind Spot Collision-Avoidance Assist
— Rear Cross-Traffic Collision-Avoidance Assist
— Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist, with Pedestrian Detection
— Parking Collision Avoidance Assist, Rear
— Surround View Monitor with Front and Rear Parking Sensors
— Safe Exit Warning

Smart Park is an advanced feature that is standard on the Limited trim, and allows the Sonata to pull itself into a parking spot, and pull out of the parking spot, in some circumstances. It’s not a feature you’ll need every time you go out, but it’s one of those touches that makes the Sonata stand out, and a sign of what the future holds.


The official fuel mileage numbers on the 2021 Hyundai Sonata come in at 27 city/37 highway/30 combined. I averaged around 27 mpg … right on target, as most of my driving was in the city.

While fuel efficient, these numbers were slightly less impressive than some of the competition, but the differences were minor and not enough to be a deciding factor against the Sonata. 

The hybrid variation of the Sonata gets 45 city/51 highway/47 average … which are very impressive numbers. If you are in the market for a hybrid, the Sonata hybrid should definitely be on your list of vehicles to test.


The 2021 Sonata is available in multiple trims: SE, SEL, SEL Plus, Limited and the new N Line performance option. There is also the Sonata hybrid option.

My test vehicle, a Sonata Limited model, was one of the more high-end offerings and was priced at $35,000, but the Sonata base price starts around $24K if you want to skip some of the bells and whistles and save. The N Line starts around $33K.

Most of the key competitors in this midsize sedan segment start around this same price, so it’s really a matter of looking at what features are included with the Sonata vs. the competition at various trim levels. Head-to-head, the Sonata comes out quite well in these comparisons, making it a strong value in the segment.

To sweeten the deal and give you peace of mind regarding repair costs, Hyundai continues to have some the best warranties in the business, including:

— 5-year, 60K new vehicle warranty
— 10-year, 100K powertrain warranty
— 3-year, 36K complimentary maintenance
— 5-year, unlimited mile roadside assistance


With a state-of-the-art technology setup, strong safety features, and a spacious and upscale interior, the 2021 Hyundai Sonata finds itself firmly in the discussion of best midsize sedans available today.

The addition of the N Line offering can only help the Sonata grow its following, by attracting buyers who are looking for a more powerful and sporty sedan.


=== can be found
on Twitter @AutoTechReview, or stay updated at the AutoTechReviews Facebook page.

Matt Myftiu can be found on Twitter @MattMyftiu.

Published in CAR REVIEWS
Page 1 of 3

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.