Home Tech 2022 Hyundai Elantra N First Look: Small Sport Sedan, N-gage

2022 Hyundai Elantra N First Look: Small Sport Sedan, N-gage

Hyundai adds to its growing N Line of performance vehicles with the 2022 Elantra N. The compact sedan joins the likes of the Veloster N and Kona N in the Korean brand’s lineup.

With 276 hp from its 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, the Elantra N has its sites set squarely on Volkswagen’s Jetta GLI. Like the Hyundai, the VW features a 2.0-liter turbo-four (albeit with just 228 hp), special suspension tuning, and gets a number of neat little sporty touches inside and out including front seats with additional bolstering, model-specific styling, and saucy wheels.

The Sportiest Compact Sedan?
It’s tough to stand out in the compact sports sedan segment, so Hyundai worked overtime to make sure the Elantra N does. Along with a standard six-speed manual transmission, Hyundai equips the Elantra N with a limited-slip differential, launch control, and an active exhaust setup.

Opt for the available eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, and the most potent Elantra adds an additional bit of potency by way of a steering-wheel-mounted button that, when pushed, offers a temporary overboost function (dubbed “N Grin Shift”) to corral an extra 10 horses from the turbo-four’s stable.

Regardless of gearbox, we expect all Elantra N’s to scoot to 60 mph in less than 6.0 seconds. For reference, a 2019 Jetta GLI with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission required 6.1 seconds to hit the mile-a-minute mark.

Like its Elantra Hybrid and N Line stablemates, the Elantra N trades the standard sedan’s twist-beam rear suspension for a more sophisticated and tunable multilink setup. Bigger 14.2-inch vented front and 12.4-inch vented rear rotors (2.2 inches and 2.1 inches larger than those of the vented front and solid rear units of the 201-hp Elantra N Line) and beefier tires (245-section Michelin Pilot Sport 4S) wrapped around 19-inch wheels help the Elantra N come to a halt and hold the line through turns.

Hyundai notes how it went granular with its suspension bushing selection to isolate vertical impact response (say, over bumps) from lateral stiffness (deflection under hard cornering) so as to maximize ride quality and handling precision with minimal compromises to either.

The new Elantra N jumps to the front of the bold-styling line. Its face is all ate up with intakes, there’s a jaunty spoiler mounted to the trunk lid, and red-painted accents run along the bottoms of the bumpers and rocker panels similar to those of the Veloster N.

This dressing is ladled over the basic Elantra’s already in-your-face body creases and eye-catching lighting. Inside, the latest Elantra’s interior is amped up by well-bolstered front sport seats that site 0.4 inch lower than those of other Elantras, N badges throughout, and N-specific menus on the central touchscreen and driver-information display.

Pricing for the 2022 Hyundai Elantra N remains under wraps. Nevertheless, expect it to start close to that of its Veloster N sibling, which currently stickers for $33,505.

This article, which was originally published on July 14, 2021, has been updated to reflect U.S.-specific features of the Elantra N.

Another Sedan Slain: Toyota Avalon Buried After 2022

Toyota is ending production of the Avalon large sedan after the 2022 model year, drawing the curtain on its plus-sized Camry after nearly a 30-year run. The news was first reported by Automotive News, which learned that Toyota had just informed suppliers of the move.

Here we have yet another plotline in the long, slow retraction of sedans from the American marketplace. Frankly, it’s a story we’re tired of telling, but in case you’ve been stuck under a rock for the past 20 years, Americans really, really, really like trucks and SUVs. That means they’ve been slowly abandoning corners of the car segment, from subcompacts, such as the Toyota Yaris, to full-size models, such as the Avalon.

Not every sedan segment has seen stampedes of customers giving up on it for SUVs. Compact sedans—such as Toyota’s Corolla—remain among the top-selling new vehicles. While midsize sedans have seen their ranks pared-down, sales leaders such as the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord aren’t going anywhere anytime soon.

Ending the Avalon’s story now seems like curious timing. On one hand, the Avalon was losing in the sales race to the Nissan Maxima and—by a long shot—the Dodge Charger. On the other hand, Toyota had been pumping some effort into the once wallflower-ish Avalon, injecting the previously Buick-like four-door with style and sportiness. The automaker even launched an eyebrow-raising Avalon TRD model two years ago—a car as surprising for its decent driving dynamics as for its boy-racer body addenda. Let’s just say an Avalon wearing a spoiler, hot wheels, and huge front intakes is like a grandparent rolling into Thanksgiving dinner with piercings, spiked hair, and leather chaps. Good for them, but you’d be stupefied.

Anyway, the Avalon is survived by the Camry, Corolla, and its similarly sized Lexus-badged counterpart, the ES. Sadly, we doubt it’ll be the last sedan to leave our shores.