By on August 13, 2020

Hyundai

Hyundai dropped details on the upcoming Elantra N Line sedan Thursday, revealing that the six-speed manual that disappeared from the previous Elantra Sport for 2020 will reappear in the new-generation model.

Not appearing in ’21 are extra horses, however.

We’ve discussed the outward appearance of the sporty N Line variant already, so let’s dive into specs. The warmest of all new-generation Elantras carries a familiar powerplant: a turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder making 201 horsepower and 195 lb-ft of torque, just as before.

Hyundai

Buyers not enamored with archaic shifting practices can opt for a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic. It’s worth noting that the model’s closest competitor, the Honda Civic Si, carried a standard six-speed manual (that model disappears for ’21, but will return). Perhaps this will work in Hyundai’s favor.

By choosing N Line, Elantra buyers gain larger front brakes, 18-inch allow wheels, and a suspension (multi-link in the rear, as before) tuned for stiffness. Inside, the automaker fields N Line seats (with leather bolsters) and a perforated, leather-wrapped N Line steering wheel, allow pedals, and metal accents on the gearshift. While the company talked up its list of N Performance Parts, those add-ons are, thus far, reserved only for Korean customers.

Standard tech includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, Hyundai’s Smart Key, and a range of safety features, among them forward collision-avoidance assist, blind spot monitoring, and rear cross-traffic collision avoidance assist.

The N Line model arrives later this year, with pricing to be revealed closer to its on-sale date.

[Images: Hyundai]

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32 Comments on “2021 Hyundai Elantra N Line: Budget Fun With a Stick...”


  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    I wonder what the actual performance gap will be between that and the GLI?

    I still wish for a little more HP and eagerly await the Sonata N-line.

    • 0 avatar
      jh26036

      How much do you value a mechanical LSD? The Mexican made German horses have always been strong for its numbers too.

      The Hyundai will definitely get you all the good driving assistance though, an inexplicable oversight with the USDM GLI. The Canadian GLI has ACC and lane keep like most brand new sedans.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      Assuming this performs like my mother’s Forte GT, there will be a nontrivial performance gap to the GLI. However, there is also a nontrivial value gap.

      Hard-loaded her car stickered at about $26K and she got it for a little under $23K. A base automatic GLI would be about the same pricing, but it gives you a real low-spec interior while the Autobahn trim would have been a nearly $6K jump and *still* wasn’t trimmed out as nice as the Kia. The Forte also has about 50 more miles of fuel range.

      I’d personally go with the VW, but YMMV.

      • 0 avatar
        tallguy130

        I owned the previous-gen model and I believe the engine is the same 1.6 in both. I would agree there was a refinement gap between it and the GLI (I drove both) but didn’t think the gap was that wide. I agree the value gap was huge. I paid about 6k under the base GLI and with that math, it was an easy decision.

        I miss that car a lot and am very interested in this new one.

    • 0 avatar
      jkross22

      Unless there’s a meaningful weight difference, the GLI will likely have it all over the Elantra N.

      The GLI engine has 228hp/258 lb-ft, quite a bit more than the N. I’m not a stoplight racer so couldn’t tell you if it’s quick off the line. I’m a 30-60 and 40-75 speed racer and in those speed ranges, the GLI is a bucket of fun, at least with the manual.

      Damn car nearly sold me in a 15 minute drive.

      The Elantra interior looks a lot better than the GLI, but without the power, it’s not that compelling.

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      There’s a full N in the works.

      As an aside, MT raved about the Sonata N-Line in their drive of a pre-production model.

      Night and day between the 7 spd dry DCT and the new wet 8 sod (the Elantra-N will have the 8 spd).

      • 0 avatar
        jkross22

        MT raves about everything. Gotta keep the mfgs happy.

        • 0 avatar
          bd2

          While there is some truth to auto pubs not wanting to totally piss off the mfgs, wouldn’t be so cynical.

          MT gave a middling response to the RAV4 and Highlander, the 2 most important models in Toyota’s portfolio (and Toyota is usually either #1 or #2 in advertising spending).

          The Explorer and Atlas fared worse (MT was particularly harsh in its reviews of the Explorer).

          For a more apples to apples comparison, MT was “meh” on the Camry TRD (the term they used was that it is “fine”).

          They complained about the overly stiff ride and the overly tall transmission gearing, along with the usual numb Toyota steering feel.

          They basically stated – just get an Accord Sport.

        • 0 avatar
          bd2

          If that were the case, MT would have raved about the Highlander and RAV4, the most important vehicles in Toyota’s lineup, but they didn’t.

          The Explorer and Atlas, vitally important to Ford and VW, respectively, fared even worse.

          For a more apples to apples comparison, MT was “meh” on the Camry TRD (the term they used was that it is “fine”).

          They complained about the overly stiff ride and the overly tall transmission gearing, along with the usual numb Toyota steering feel.

          They basically stated – just get an Accord Sport.

  • avatar
    Imagefont

    Best looking Hyundai I’ve ever seen.

  • avatar
    Mike

    I like the design, I hope it will be available without a sunroof/moonroof. As these compact sedans get shorter in ride height over the last couple generations, for taller people like me headroom is an issue, and a sunroof is a non-starter in any purchase unless it is an SUV because of the reduced headroom.

    It would have been nice to get a little bump in HP though. A few publications had 215hp rumored for this, as the 201hp version of this engine has been available for a while in similar sized vehicles by Kia/Hyundai.

  • avatar
    JimC2

    Good golly… an “Elantra” with 200 horsepower, a sporty manual transmission, and 18″ wheels. My hat is off to them. That’s very gutsy bringing a car like this to market.

    (Although I wish they’d offer a delete option for 17 or 16″ wheels for American roads.)

    • 0 avatar
      Drew8MR

      Hard to believe they wouldn’t swap wheels for you if you didn’t want a discount. A co-worker bought an Si and they were happy to swap him for a set of steelies. He didn’t even want the wheelcovers.

      • 0 avatar
        JimC2

        For sure, or even if your dealer is stubborn about it (after all, what are they going to do with four wheels they don’t need either??), there’s nothing stopping you from doing it yourself and offloading the unwanted “18s” in the local FaceCraig’sClassifieds, for a small loss. Just figure it as part of the up front acquisition cost of the new car.

        • 0 avatar
          Drew8MR

          I mean, if those 19s bend easily, the parts department would love to have them I’m sure.

          • 0 avatar
            JimC2

            That seems sensible, but in the end it depends on the personalities of people on the sales staff and the management.

            You could end up with someone who is very “solution oriented” and figures hey, let’s make this work. It’ll move a car out the door and make a happy customer who will talk us up and bring in referrals.

            You could end up dealing with someone who’s head would explode at the idea because it’s not covered in “training,” or the brochure for the car doesn’t have the wheels you want, or whatever made-up reason. Let’s be honest, we’ve all met someone with that personality type… Am I right? :)

            It could go either way.

  • avatar
    Oberkanone

    Automatic for the people!

  • avatar
    Superdessucke

    Not looking a gift horse in the mouth here and I’m always glad to see any performance CAR on the market. But at 185″ long, this car is starting to become a pretty big boy. I thought my ’15 Accord at 191″ was kind of a land yacht, whereas my 167″ Veloster feels much more right sized for urban traffic. But whatever, still a good looking car overall and it’s great they offer it with a manual.

  • avatar
    Flipper35

    I could live with that car.

  • avatar
    sgeffe

    Is the Corolla Hatch marked for execution, or did I miss something?

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