2023 Hyundai Elantra N

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2023 Hyundai Elantra N Review: The Definitive Compact Sport Sedan

In last year's review of the Hyundai Elantra N, we gushed about its performance credentials and the fact that it comes with a six-speed manual at a time when row-your-own transmissions are on the extinction list. It's hard for a compact sedan to stand out, but the regular Elantra manages it with its dramatic bodywork creases and this N performance model ups the ante even more - plus, it has the hardware to back up its looks. With 276 horsepower on tap, performance is riveting, and it shows its heels to the Volkswagen Jetta GLI and Honda Civic Si - the only other sporty compact sedans available with manual transmissions. Perhaps fairer competition comes from hot hatches such as the FWD Honda Civic Type R or the brand-new AWD Toyota GR Corolla - but the Elantra N is cheaper than both. Demonstrating how versatile its K3 platform is, the Elantra N is enormous fun to drive yet remains just comfortable enough for everyday use. Nothing changes on this year's Elantra N as Hyundai readies a refreshed 2024 model that resembles the facelifted Sonata. So, is that going to be a better bet, or does the 2023 car still cut the mustard?

Read in this review:

  • Exterior Design 9 /10
  • Performance 9 /10
  • Fuel Economy 9 /10
  • Interior & Cargo 9 /10
  • Infotainment & Features 10 /10
  • Reliability 9 /10
  • Safety 9 /10
  • Value For Money 9 /10
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2023 Hyundai Elantra N Changes: What’s The Difference vs The 2022 Elantra N?

Since a new Hyundai Elantra N sedan with a fresh face and other improvements arrive next year, Hyundai has elected to leave the 2023 Elantra N unchanged in anticipation. Just like last year, there is a single trim in the 2023 Elantra N range, and it's available with either a six-speed manual or eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. The starting price of the 2023 Hyundai Elantra N is just under $33k in the USA.

Pros and Cons

  • Aggressive, edgy styling
  • Spacious and practical
  • Powerful engine
  • Two great transmission options
  • Excellent grip and handling
  • Not the plushest cabin
  • No sunroof for manual car
  • Divisive looks
  • No AWD available

What's the Price of the 2023 Hyundai Elantra N?

With a $32,900 base price, the Hyundai Elantra N's MSRP is substantially lower than those of its logical performance rivals. That price is for the six-speed manual model, and opting for the eight-speed dual-clutch automatic will cost you an additional $1,500, while the destination fee adds another $1,115 on top of that.

Best Deals on 2023 Hyundai Elantra N

2023 Hyundai Elantra N Trims

See trim levels and configurations:

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
2.0L Turbo Inline-4 Gas
6-Speed Manual
8-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
See All 2023 Hyundai Elantra N Trims and Specs

2023 Hyundai Elantra N Handling and Driving Impressions

You'll soon find yourself leaning on the ample grip reserves as the playful nature of the car eggs you on. But much like a BMW M car, there are myriad settings to go through; you can set up your N in many ways, with various settings for the suspension, steering, stability control, exhaust, and even engine volume. The exhaust is downright loud in TCR mode, popping and crackling on lift-off. Steering precision and feedback remain good in any setting, with assistance subtly blended in. On its performance tires, grip is vice-like, and the adjustable electronic LS diff quells understeer as soon as it starts, although you can feel it tugging away at the steering wheel in its aggressive settings. The chassis is resolutely buttoned down, and the ride is taut and controlled, lapsing into harshness on rough roads and on the stiffest settings. It's liveable every day on good roads. It's a fair trade-off for the strong performance and excellent handling. The manual puts you in the middle of the action, but the shifter lacks the rifle-bolt action of the Type R, and the clutch is too light. The auto is faster and far less work in traffic.

Verdict: Is The 2023 Hyundai Elantra N A Good Car?

Hyundai has really set the cat among the pigeons with the Elantra N - a car so good that it easily has the measure of the Civic Si and Jetta GLI, inviting comparisons with far more expensive performance machinery such as the Civic Type R. It's easily the best performance car at the price and certainly the best fast sedan; to beat it, you'll have to opt for a not hatchback such as the Type R or GR Corolla. Once you've figured out the dizzying array of powertrain settings, it is a joy to blast the backroads with and it will double as a practical family sedan the rest of the time, with only the somewhat staccato ride reminding you of its performance potential. Besides a restyle to bring it more into line with the Sonata, and a few detail changes that may include a larger infotainment screen, we wouldn't wait for next year's car if the old one's looks don't bother you, and if you can get a good deal.

What 2023 Hyundai Elantra N Model Should I Buy?

With only one trim, it's going to come down to whether you choose the manual or automatic - and you probably already know in which camp you fall. As a principled gearhead, you'll enjoy the interactivity of the great six-speed 'box, but the eight-speed dual-clutch will leave the manual behind in a straight line and take the physical work out of the school or shopping run. You can't go wrong with either.

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