Tested: 2023 Hyundai Elantra N Channels Your Inner Teenager (2024)

As much as we love manual transmissions, we also enjoy making fun-to-drive vehicles as accessible to as many people as possible. We've already driven—and adored—the Hyundai Elantra N with a six-speed manual, and you'll be pleased to know that replacing the stick with an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic does nothing to mess with the car's metric truckload of daily-driven-sports-sedan excellence.

Manuals are always at a disadvantage against faster cog-swappers when it comes to acceleration. At 4.8 seconds to 60 mph, the dual-clutch Elantra N bested its stick sibling by 0.3 second—Hyundai's swinging for the fences, too, because it's also one-tenth quicker to 60 than the new Honda Civic Type R. It also held its own against the Honda in the quarter-mile hustle, besting the Type R by one-tenth (13.4 seconds vs. 13.5) and tying its 106-mph trap speed. Not bad for a turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four making 286 horsepower and 289 pound-feet of torque.

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Fuel economy also benefits when the gears don't stop at six. At 37 mpg on our 75-mph highway loop, the automatic-equipped Elantra N trounced the manual Elantra's 32-mpg result. Then again, the Elantra is thrifty no matter what; the six-speed variant beat out other manual-equipped performers such as the Civic Type R (30 mpg) and the Subaru WRX (28 mpg), although the Subie is handicapped by its standard all-wheel drive. The only competitor the automatic can't top is the cheaper, less powerful Honda Civic Si, which managed 38 mpg in our hands.

HIGHS: Have-it-your-way configurability, impressive fuel economy, silly fun at any speed.

The Elantra N's dual-clutch confers a weight penalty of 114 pounds, with our automatic test car weighing 3313 pounds on our scales versus the manual's 3199. That had a very mild effect on its braking figures, with the automatic stopping from 70 mph in 161 feet and from 100 mph in 324 feet—a bit longer than the manual's 156-foot and 318-foot stops, respectively. The dual-clutch model's stopping power is similarly off from the Subaru WRX.

At 0.96 g on our skidpad, the Elantra N exhibits plenty of stick, but the sports-sedan joie de vivre extends beyond numbers on a page. Lateral body motions are kept well in check, especially in stiffer suspension settings, and the steering provides some decent feedback, even if its various weights feel wholly artificial. Don't overdrive the thing and the electronic limited-slip differential will efficiently mete out power to either front wheel; rely a little too much on the Michelin Pilot Sport 4S summer tires, though, and it's a one-way trip to Understeer City. The dual-clutch does a great job hustling between gears once underway, although it can operate with some clunks and shudders at rush-hour speeds.

Customization also helps make the Elantra N so interesting; on the dual-clutch Elantra, a driver can swap between two to three different settings each for the engine, steering, suspension, transmission, limited-slip differential, stability control, and exhaust note—a whopping 1458 possible permutations. Helpfully, you can assign your personal favorites to one of the N buttons on the steering wheel for quick access.

LOWS: Some low-speed DCT wonkiness, drab interior, front-row USB-A ports.

These modes aren't just for show, either; there are demonstrable differences in each setting. Throttle response varies from daily-driver soft to a binary input. You can ratchet the steering's weight so high that it counts as a gym membership. The suspension soaks up a good bit of movement in Normal mode, but it'll rattle your fillings out in Sport+. With the exhaust set to Sport+, even a light lift of the right pedal will generate several seconds of overrun so powerful it could be sold at Phantom Fireworks. But if you keep it all in Normal, the N feels pretty darn close to any other Elantra out there.

Heck, aside from a few N-specific touches, the Elantra's interior isn't far off from its pedestrian variant. There's a dash of blue contrast stitching and some cool illuminated badges in the seats, but otherwise, it's My Chemical Romance's "Welcome to the Black Parade" in the cabin, which like the song is a little dull once you grow out of your emo phase. The lack of USB-C ports in 2023 is a bit of a bummer, as well, but at least there's a wireless charger if you fancy not one, but two slow ways to charge a phone. A pair of 10.3-inch displays cover instrumentation and infotainment duty, and both are easy to master.

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The pendulum swings wildly between the Elantra N's cabin and its exterior. With an already-large grille and additional blacked-out elements on either side, this sprightly sedan looks more like a pissed-off remora than a family car. A little bit of red trim around the bottom of the body shouts "Sporty!" just in case the rear wing and honkin' dual tailpipes don't give it away. But credit where it's due, Hyundai's wild styling stands out from the competition; Subaru has apparently given up evolving the WRX, we're pretty sure German law dictates that every new GTI looks derivative, and the 11th-gen Civic has gone conservative after the 10th gen's seemingly mescaline-induced reverie.

VERDICT: Type R-adjacent shenanigans without a middle-management price tag.

At $35,515, the DCT Elantra N comes loaded with everything mentioned above—and then some. The Honda Civic Si is closer to $30,000, but it lacks theatrics or any sort of customizability. The GTI SE, our preferred trim, is more expensive and has less power, but it does have plaid cloth. The Subaru WRX is evenly priced, but it's thirsty and it looks the way it does. Thus, the Elantra N represents a pretty screaming deal considering the average price of a new car these days. Moreover, the Elantra N is genuinely fun to drive across a variety of scenarios—even with a gearbox that shifts for itself.

Tested: 2023 Hyundai Elantra N Channels Your Inner Teenager (4)



2023 Hyundai Elantra N
Vehicle Type: front-engine, front-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door sedan

Base/As Tested: $35,515/$35,515
Options: none

turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 16-valve inline-4, aluminum block and head, direct fuel injection
Displacement: 122 in3, 1998 cm3
Power: 286 hp @ 6000 rpm
Torque: 289 lb-ft @ 2100 rpm

8-speed dual-clutch automatic

Suspension, F/R: struts/multilink
Brakes, F/R: 14.2-in vented disc/12.4-in vented disc
Tires: Michelin Pilot Sport 4S
245/35ZR-19 (93Y) HN

Wheelbase: 107.1 in
Length: 184.1 in
Width: 71.9 in
Height: 55.7 in
Passenger Volume, F/R: 56/46 ft3
Trunk Volume: 14 ft3
Curb Weight: 3313 lb

60 mph: 4.8 sec
100 mph: 11.7 sec
1/4-Mile: 13.4 sec @ 106 mph
130 mph: 22.1 sec
Results above omit 1-ft rollout of 0.3 sec.
Rolling Start, 5–60 mph: 5.4 sec
Top Gear, 30–50 mph: 3.1 sec
Top Gear, 50–70 mph: 3.8 sec
Top Speed (C/D est): 155 mph
Braking, 70–0 mph: 161 ft
Braking, 100–0 mph: 324 ft
Roadholding, 300-ft Skidpad: 0.96 g

Observed: 21 mpg
75-mph Highway Driving: 37 mpg
75-mph Highway Range: 450 mi

Combined/City/Highway: 23/20/30 mpg


Tested: 2023 Hyundai Elantra N Channels Your Inner Teenager (5)

Andrew Krok

Senior Editor

Cars are Andrew Krok’s jam, along with boysenberry. After graduating with a degree in English from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2009, Andrew cut his teeth writing freelance magazine features, and now he has a decade of full-time review experience under his belt. A Chicagoan by birth, he has been a Detroit resident since 2015. Maybe one day he’ll do something about that half-finished engineering degree.

Tested: 2023 Hyundai Elantra N Channels Your Inner Teenager (2024)


Tested: 2023 Hyundai Elantra N Channels Your Inner Teenager? ›

2023 Elantra N Reliability

Although the Elantra N hasn't been specifically rated by JD Power, the normal 2023 Elantra attains a rating of 78 out of 100 for Quality & Reliability. According to the NHTSA, there have been no recalls for the 2023 Elantra N at the time of writing.

Is the 2023 Hyundai Elantra N reliable? ›

2023 Elantra N Reliability

Although the Elantra N hasn't been specifically rated by JD Power, the normal 2023 Elantra attains a rating of 78 out of 100 for Quality & Reliability. According to the NHTSA, there have been no recalls for the 2023 Elantra N at the time of writing.

How fast will the 2023 Elantra N go? ›

155 mph

Is Elantra N expensive to maintain? ›

The average annual repair cost for a Hyundai is $468, which means it has above average ownership costs. The other factors that contribute to Hyundai reliability include an average of 0.3 visits to a repair shop per year and a 10% probability of a repair being severe.

How many miles per gallon does a Hyundai Elantra N get? ›

The Hyundai Elantra N gets an EPA-estimated 25 mpg combined with the manual or 23 mpg combined with the automatic transmission.

Is the Hyundai N-line worth buying? ›

The looks, ride quality, handling, performance is top notch. It reaches 100kmh in under 10 seconds. Comfort is way above average when it comes to the hatchback standards. Suspension is 30% stiffer than standard i20 as per company claims.

What are the cons of the 2023 Hyundai Elantra? ›

The base 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine is lacking when it comes to speed. At Edmunds' test track, our Elantra reached 60 mph in 9.4 seconds, which is slower than average compared to rivals. It's not terrible, but passing or getting up to highway speeds can be laborious.

Is the Elantra N fast? ›

Elantra N models with the manual transmission can go from zero to 60 mph in just under 6 seconds, while those with the automatic reduce that to roughly 5 seconds. The Elantra N also has a launch control mode that briefly provides a boost to 286 horsepower.

Is the Hyundai Elantra N loud? ›

That said, having spent plenty of time in the Elantra N (as well as the now-discontinued Veloster N with the same powertrain), we know that the little Hyundais are loud—but only in the more aggressive drive modes, where the exhaust belts out plenty of racy blats, pops, and cracks.

Does Hyundai Elantra hold its value? ›

Excellent Resale Value

Hyundai Elantras hold their value well in the used car market. This means that when the time comes to sell your Elantra, you'll receive a respectable resale value, which can help offset your initial investment.

Does Elantra N require premium gas? ›

***** Premium fuel and N Drive mode activation required to achieve estimated maximum horsepower of 276 hp. Use of regular fuel will result in reduced horsepower. Your complete guided tour of ELANTRA N.

How much does it cost to fill up an Elantra N? ›

Compare Side-by-Side
2022 Hyundai Elantra N
Annual Fuel Cost*$2,700
Cost to Drive 25 Miles$4.49
Cost to Fill the Tank$56
Tank Size12.4 gallons
7 more rows

How big is the gas tank in an Elantra N? ›

12.4 gal

Is the new Hyundai Elantra reliable? ›

The 2024 Hyundai Elantra has a predicted reliability score of 81 out of 100. A J.D. Power predicted reliability score of 91-100 is considered the Best, 81-90 is Great, 70-80 is Average and 0-69 is Fair and considered below average.

Are Hyundai Elantra transmissions reliable? ›

Hyundai Elantra Transmission Problems

Another common problem seen in Hyundai Elantra's stems from their transmissions. These transmission problems include trouble shifting gears, delay when accelerating, and stalling. Even the smallest transmission hiccups should be brought to a mechanic immediately.

How long will a 2023 Hyundai Elantra last? ›

How many miles can a Hyundai Elantra last? A Hyundai Elantra can easily last 150,000 to 250,000 miles with regular maintenance and good driving practices. If you drive around 15,000 miles per year, it will survive 13 to 17 years before needing costly repairs or breaking down.


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