HYUNDAI ADDS N MODEL TO ELANTRA PORTFOLIO, BUT N LINE IS A SOLID OPTION
Hyundai has expanded its performance portfolio this year with the debut of the “N” trim to its Elantra lineup. But if a $30,000-plus price tag for the N version of the compact economy sedan is a bit beyond your taste, there is another option that ups the Elantra’s fun-to-drive quotient at a much more affordable price.
It gets a 1.6-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine that jumps horsepower to 201 and torque to 195 pound-feet over the 147/132, respectively, that the SE/SEL/and Limited trims offer and — here is more good stuff — the N Line is mated to a 7-speed, dual-clutch automatic transmission instead of the CVT in the other trims.
If you are a determined shopper, you may even find one with a 6-speed manual though the company ended production of at the end of last year.
If that’s not enough to draw you to the Elantra N Line over the N, its price tag starts at $25,450 before options and freight charges are added on, which is slightly less than the top-of-the-line Limited trim ($25,700) and not outrageously more than the starting MSRP for the SE ($19,950) and SEL ($21,200).
Consider, too, that the Elantra N Line isn’t all that much thirstier than the other non-hybrid trims. EPA figures are 25 miles-per-gallon city, 36 highway, and 31 combined with the dual clutch transmission for the N Line to 33/43/37 for the SE and 31/41/35 for the SEL and Limited.
The computer readout put fuel efficiency numbers comfortably in the 30s in my week-long stint in the N-Line with most of the time in urban environs that included expressway jaunts.
Hyundai reports numbers of 20/30/23 for the new, 260-horsepower N when an 8-speed automatic tranny is mated to the 2.0L turbo 4-cylinder engine.
The South Korean automaker didn’t skimp when it came to loading up the 2022 Elantra N Line with standard features either. It is similarly equipped to the mid-portfolio SEL model (reviewed in this space in January 2021) when it comes to comfort and convenience.
Among them are an 8-inch touchscreen to handle infotainment functions, a proximity key with push-button start, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, dual automatic climate control, dynamic guidelines for the rearview camera, Bluetooth hands-free communications, steering wheel-mounted audio and cruise controls, projector headlights and LED daytime running lights.
In addition to special N Line oriented design touches to the front grille and bumper and other exterior spots, N Line models also get a dual exhaust with chrome tips, 18-inch wheels in place of 16s, a sport-tuned suspension, and combination leather/cloth sport seats to distinguish the N Lind from the SEL trim.
As with all Elantras, safety systems like forward collision-avoidance assist with pedestrian detection, blind-spot and lane-keeping assist, and safe-exit warning standard are included in the N Line.
The only extra to my test Elantra N Line was carpeted floor mats for $155, bringing the final MSRP to $26,350 including the $995 for delivery.
What I liked about the 2022 Hyundai Elantra N Line: The cabin is roomy and packed with lots of standard features. Fuel economy is outstanding and the N Line delivers in the performance department. The dual clutch automatic transmission is a big step up over the CVT in other trims. Exterior styling is very eye-catching. Pricing is comfortably in the affordable range by today’s standards.
What I didn’t like about the 2022 Hyundai Elantra N Line: Some of the cabin materials are not of the highest quality, but overall ambiance does not come across as cheap.
Would I buy the 2022 Hyundai Elantra N line? Yes. The extra boost in performance you get from the N Line upgrades is well worth the extra cost over base SE and SEL trims, and it is not as expensive as the Elantra Hybrid or Limited. It’s not quite the beast that the new Elantra N is, but then the N starts at over $31,900 for manual models and $33,400 for double-clutch automatics.