2022 Hyundai Elantra N Oozes Performance, But How Does It Stack Up Against Rivals?

While technical difficulties prevented us from formally covering the recent unveiling of the 2022 Hyundai Elantra N, we used our time on the sidelines to dive into the Elantra N’s competition and find out how this spunky Korean pocket rocket measures up against the segment’s best when it’s compared by the numbers.


A Brief Recap

Before we get down to the nitty-gritty of it all, we might as well bring you up to speed on what the Elantra N brings to the table. Serving as the range-topper in the Elantra model family, the N goes all out in its attempts to be a track star. The exterior styling is sharp and aggressive, with the big wheels and the bold blue paint allowing the Elantra N to have a bold presence. The performance here comes from the same 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that also powers the Kona and Veloster N models. The engine here makes 275 hp and can be paired to either a six-speed manual or the optional eight-speed dual-clutch automatic. In short, all of this translates to a 0 to 60 time of 5.3 seconds.

The interior of the Elantra N has also been modified, with performance seats, metal trimmed pedals, and even a lap timer to help keep track of spirited track runs. Hyundai has not released any pricing information as of yet but look for the Elantra N to be priced firmly in the crosshairs of others in its segment.


2022 Elantra N vs 2021 Volkswagen GLI

While Volkswagen recently used the 2021 Chicago Auto Show to unveil the U.S. spec Golf GTI and Golf R, the Elantra N will not be competing directly with those models. Instead, the Elantra N will have the Jetta GLI in its sights. Unlike the fore-mentioned hatchbacks, the current generation GLI has not benefitted from the fulls suite of updates, and as a result, it lacks some of the newer bits of tech and performance that define the GTI.

The Jetta GLI’s 228 horsepower 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine makes less power than the Elantra’s, and the optional DSG loses a gear to the Hyundai. While the Jetta GLI in its current form may seem outclassed at first glance, it’s important to note that the GLI is slated for a more extensive lineup of updates in the near future. These updates could include incorporating some upgrades from the GTI to try and sharpen its performance behavior and some new interior technology to help the car reach out to millennials better. 


2022 Elantra N vs 2022 Honda Civic and 2021 Honda Civic Type R

Unlike the Elantra’s matchup with the Jetta GLI, things get a bit more interesting when comparing it with the Honda Civic lineup. Honda just rolled out the 2022 Civic. While the Si version is currently not being offered, the outgoing car is still represented by the range-topping Civic Type R. The Type R produces just over 300 horsepower. Still, while that means the Elantra N is outgunned at the moment, the Honda does come with some notable limitations. 

For starters, the Type R is only available as a hatchback, and the car can only be equipped with a six-speed manual gearbox. That could change with the 2022 version of the Civic. While Honda has stated that the Si and the Type R will continue to be the best options possible for Civic enthusiasts, the company is also aware that it has to expand its sales potential, and that could mean eventually offering an automatic transmission to help both models expand their reach with consumers. That, in turn, will encroach on the Elantra N’s domain, and it will be exciting to see what a potential battle between the two would look like. 


When Can I Purchase A 2021 Elantra N?

Hyundai is not quite ready to talk about availability or final pricing for the Elantra N, but it’s known that the South Korean market will be the first to get their taste of the Elantra N, with other markets (including the U.S.) potentially getting in on the action towards the end of the year.