We are big fans of the Hyundai Veloster N and it is no secret that we were eager to see what the N-brand had up its sleeve when it first made its U.S. debut back in 2018. But what if you are a performance minded buyer that wants some of the charm and appeal that the N Brand has to offer, but might not have the pocketbook needed to sign on the dotted line for a fire breathing Veloster N? Hyundai has unveiled an interesting alternative with the all new Elantra GT N-Line.
While this new model is still not the GTI style sibling that some folks wanted instead of the Veloster N, Hyundai designers still managed to add some spice to the already confident lines that define the standard Elantra GT. Like its overseas cousin the i30 N, the Elantra GT N-Line infuses more athletic prowess into its design with a lower front spoiler for increased aerodynamics, as well as an N-Line exclusive version of the familiar cascading Hyundai front grille with a silver contrasting line. Blacked out side mirrors with integrated turn signals, a healthy dose of N-Line badges, and N-Line spec 18-inch wheels add more sportiness to the car. These hoops can be shod in Michelin Pilot Sport 4 225/40 R18 summer tires, but buyers should know that the stickier tires are only available on models equipped with the standard manual transmission. Meanwhile, a tweaked rear bumper adds a visual exclamation point to the look and cements the connection between this model and its spicier siblings.
The interior shares much of its basic DNA with the standard Elantra GT, but Hyundai designers have clearly been taking pages from some of the recent designs wielded by rivals such as the Volkswagen Golf and even the Fiesta ST-Line with some of the new interior appointments that they have added just for this model. A N style sport steering wheel greets the driver’s hands, and it is adorned with perforated leather surfaces as well as slick metallic spokes. N-Line exclusive sport seats are also a part of the deal, but look for these thrones to not have quite as much bolstering as a pure N model seat despite the embroidered N logo that they are emblazoned with. The shifter gains new leather and metal accents, while the center console and instrument panel also get their share of appointments. Lastly, if you are a big fan of the color red, you will see it in multiple places in this car, especially with the red contrast stitching on the seats, shifter, and steering wheel. Look for this vivid hue to also be the visual calling card differentiating this model from lesser GTs in the model lineup.
The N-Line also brings Hyundai’s new AVN 5.0 infotainment system to eager tech enthusiasts. A tasteful update to Hyundai’s already competent system, the new unit features a sharper processor that is designed to improve responsiveness and reduce lag times for accessing certain menus. The system also features an 8.0 inch touchscreen that boasts vivid clarity, and is a step up over some of its rivals. AVN 5.0 also brings a lot of features to buyers that prefer to use an HD radio versus pricier satellite radio when out on their daily commute. HERE HD Traffic allows drivers to receive subscription free traffic alerts, while the navigation system gains a birds eye view camera, and real time traffic flow data all without having to pay for a subscription fee.
The purpose of the N-Line is to be a package that is aimed at delivering a healthy balance of sporty style and subtle upgrades to the performance hardware. While the 1.6 liter turbocharged four cylinder engine from the outgoing Sport model carries over unchanged with 201 horsepower and 195 lb-ft of torque, Hyundai engineers made several upgrades to the chassis and suspension of the Elantra GT N-Line to allow it to deliver a bit more spunkiness and confidence to drivers on twisty roads. this includes a revised suspension system that is paired with a tweaked steering rack for improved handling, as well as improved powertrain mounts for less engine vibrations. Meanwhile larger front and rear brake rotors help reduce stopping distances, and allows the N-Line to succeed in its role as a tweener model for the GT range.
Pricing for the 2019 Elantra GT N-Line also represents the bargain focused customer that Hyundai is hoping to attract with this special model. While the base Elantra GT starts at $20,450, the manual equipped turbocharged N-Line starts at $23,300 with the automatic version boasting a slightly higher base MSRP of $24,400. These prices don’t include the $885 shipping fee, but regardless, they are still a relatively good bargain for many performance car buyers. With Hyundai also keen on expanding the N-Line treatment to other models in the future, it will be interesting to see which models will ultimately receive it. While we highly doubt the recently unveiled flagship Palisade SUV will receive this package, a prime candidate could be the Kona with an N-Line treatment helping to add more juice, and a touch of swagger into the Kona’s youthful flanks.
Carl Malek has been an automotive journalist for over 10 years. First starting out as a freelance photographer before making the transition to writing during college, his work has appeared on numerous automotive forums as well as websites such as Autoshopper.com.
Carl is also a big fan of British vehicles with the bulk of his devotion going to the Morgan Motor Company as well as offerings from Lotus, MG, and Caterham. When he is not writing about automobiles, Carl enjoys spending time with his family and friends in the Metro Detroit area, as well as spending time with his adorable pets.