2022 Hyundai Elantra N First Look Review: Make Your Own Rules

First Look / Comments

And then push them to the limits.

There's been plenty of hype about the all-new 2022 Hyundai Elantra N, a powerful and performance-focused compact sedan that's also a suitable daily driver and family vehicle. Does it live up to the great expectations so many are hoping for? We'll find out soon enough.

In the meantime, the 2022 Elantra N has officially debuted and its specs are quite impressive. Remember that the head of Hyundai Motor Group's R&D division previously ran BMW's famed M division for years. Albert Biermann knows a thing or two about developing great driver's cars, already evidenced by the Veloster N hot hatchback. The Elantra N has a more conventional body style aimed directly at those who aren't interested in the hatch's somewhat odd third door configuration.

But, both vehicles share engine and transmission options. And also like the Veloster N, the Elantra N has received plenty of aerodynamic and suspension enhancements.

2022 Hyundai Elantra N Side View Hyundai
2022 Hyundai Elantra N Rear View Hyundai

Slick-Looking Exterior

Riding on a set of 19-inch wheels wrapped in Michelin Pilot 4S rubber, the Elantra N differs from the base Elantra and Elantra N Line with a unique front fascia and a lip spoiler running the length of the bumper for a more aggressive stance. Side skirts further enhance aero efficiency.

At the back, there's a specially-designed wing spoiler and rear diffuser. Their combined presence helps control airflow and, we gotta admit, look pretty good. Also notice the Formula 1-inspired inverted triangle reflector and dual single muffler tip.

A complete palette color list wasn't provided at this time, but the Elantra N did debut in two cool colors, Hyundai's signature Performance Blue and Shadow Grey. Sharp-looking red trim is found on the lip spoiler, side skirts, and rear bumper.

2022 Hyundai Elantra N Front Bumper Hyundai
2022 Hyundai Elantra N Rear Bumper Hyundai
2022 Hyundai Elantra N Wheel Hyundai
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N-Specific Interior

The general interior layout remains mostly unchanged compared to lower trims, but the Elantra N does have some performance-specific features. The steering wheel with shift paddles, seats, door scuff panels, and metal pedals are all unique.

Those intending to drive the car the way it's intended will be happy to know there are reinforced seat bolsters to help firmly keep you in place during lateral acceleration and cornering. An N bucket seat whose seating position is slightly lower compared to the standard seat is optional. This seat is also thinner and allows for best-in-class rear-seat space.

A special infotainment system with an N brand graphic interface is also new. Vital information is shown here, including oil and coolant temperatures and torque and turbo pressure. The system also contains a lap timer while the N Track Map software records location and movement on the track in real-time.

2022 Hyundai Elantra N Dashboard Hyundai
2022 Hyundai Elantra N Driver Seat Hyundai
2022 Hyundai Elantra N Seat Hyundai
2022 Hyundai Elantra N Seat Details Hyundai

Power, Performance, And Driving Systems

As previously noted, the Elantra N shares the Veloster N's 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder, good for 276 horsepower and 289 lb-ft of torque. Two gearboxes are offered, also like the hot hatch: a six-speed manual and an eight-speed wet dual-clutch. The DSG-only N Grin Shift system increases pressure for short power bursts totaling 286 hp. This is done by pushing a button on the paddle shifter. Both send power to the front wheels. Concerned about understeer? Hyundai added an electronic limited-slip differential to reduce that nuisance. Zero to 62 mph takes 5.3 seconds and top speed reaches 155 mph.

Variable Exhaust Valve and Launch Control are two standard high-performance systems. There are 14.1-inch brake discs at all four corners, each equipped with high-friction pads for maximum stopping power. Engineers also added four-point strut rings and rear stiff bars for increased body rigidity.

For the first time in a Hyundai, there's a WRC rally car tech-derived integrated drive axle that merges the driveshaft and wheel hub and bearing to shave weight and improve the car's ability to withstand g-forces.

2022 Hyundai Elantra N Front View Driving Hyundai
2022 Hyundai Elantra N Rear Angle View Hyundai

Pricing And Competition

Official pricing has not been announced, nor has an on-sale date. We suspect you'll be able to buy a 2022 Hyundai Elantra N by the end of the year and will be priced similarly to the Veloster N that currently starts at $32,250.

The Elantra N's primary rival, the Volkswagen Jetta GLI, begins at $26,345 and tops off at $31,545. Other rivals will include the also-new Honda Civic Si Sedan and the aging but still fun-to-drive Subaru WRX. We don't see the Elantra N and Veloster N becoming internal rivals because they appeal to different types of buyers. As a four-door sedan the Elantra N is the more conventional choice. Enthusiasts with families to haul around will certainly appreciate this.

2022 Hyundai Elantra N Driving Back View Hyundai
2022 Hyundai Elantra N Frontal Aspect Hyundai
2022 Hyundai Elantra N Front Angle View Hyundai

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2022 Hyundai Elantra N Armrest
2022 Hyundai Elantra N Steering Wheel
2022 Hyundai Elantra N Gearbox Controls
2022 Hyundai Elantra N Dashboard
2022 Hyundai Elantra N Rear Bumper
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