2022 Hyundai Elantra, All you want to know & watch about a Great Car
2022 Hyundai Elantra N DCT First Test: How Quick? Type R Quick
In the 2022 Elantra N DCT, Hyundai delivers a grin-inducing enthusiast car.
- Honda Civic Type R levels of performance
- Excellent handling
- All the go-fast bells and whistles
- Steering can be too heavy
- Manually adjusted driver’s seat
- Boy-racer catfish styling
One of the more intriguing nuggets of data to emerge from our test of the 2022 Hyundai Elantra N front-wheel-drive sport sedan is how quick it is in a straight line. We figured it was coming; in our first drive of the sport compact car, it never seemed to put a foot wrong getting power to the ground from its potent 2.0-liter turbo-four. Hand it to Hyundai’s engineers, as they’re getting pretty good at this.
You feel the results in the form of the well-tuned available dual-clutch eight-speed automatic transmission (DCT), the electronically controlled limited-slip differential, the Michelin Pilot Sport 4S summer tires, and the electronically adjustable suspension.
Like a lot of performance cars, this one is equipped with launch control. The system lets the driver set the rpm at which the car takes off. The 2022 Hyundai Elantra N DCT also comes with a standard button-activated overboost feature (also found in the Veloster N) that adds a bit more power for spurts of about 20 seconds at a time. Our best acceleration run in the sedan occurred with launch control set to 3,000 rpm and then engaging the so-called N Grin Shift (NGS) red overboost button on the steering wheel right after the initial rollout.
How Quick Is The 2022 Hyundai Elantra N?
Pressing the button might plaster a big goofy smile across your face, and it for sure helps the Elantra N click off 60 mph from a standstill in 5.1 seconds and the quarter mile in 13.7 seconds at 103.9 mph. For not-quite-sufficient context, we looked at the Volkswagen Jetta small FWD sedan in its athletic GLI trim. The VW is equipped with a significantly less powerful 228-horsepower 2.0-liter turbo-four as well as a limited-slip differential and variable suspension, but it needed an additional second to reach 60 mph.
It didn’t break the finish line on our quarter-mile test dragstrip until 14.6 seconds at 98.8 mph. The latest sporty Honda Civic Si sedan—powered by a smaller, less powerful turbo engine—is even slower.
How does the 2022 Hyundai Elantra N stack up against the class standard-bearer, the Honda Civic Type R? It’s not an apples-to-apples comparison, as the Hyundai is a sedan and the Honda a hatchback. Plus, we’re waiting for the upcoming launch of the all-new Civic Type R. But looking at the previous-generation car’s test numbers (we tested five total), these would-be front-drive, 2.0-liter turbo-four competitors are impressively close.
The quickest of the lighter and more powerful (by 30 hp) Hondas we sampled—a 2018 variant—was only 0.1 second quicker to 60 mph than the Elantra N. It was a dead heat in the quarter mile, though the Type R was traveling a few miles per hour faster across the finish.
How Does The Elantra N Handle?
Switching the 2022 Hyundai Elantra N into Sport mode optimizes launch control and the NGS button, and it also noticeably stiffens the car’s adjustable shocks. Unlike the rest of the lineup, the N model is the only Elantra to get road-holding hardware like its variable suspension, multilink rear setup, stiffer bushings, differential, and rear chassis brace. It also boasts the widest tires of any 2022 Elantra.
Not unexpectedly, the Elantra N digs in well around curves. On our skidpad loop, the Elantra N was just shy of averaging 1.0 g of lateral load (0.97 g) before it reached its limits. Around our figure-eight course, which tests lateral loads and transitional behavior between braking, cornering, and acceleration, it posted a best lap of 24.9 seconds at 0.75 g average.
Compare those numbers to the 2019 VW Jetta GLI’s less grippy 0.91 g of lateral acceleration and slower figure-eight time of 25.6 seconds at 0.72 g. The gap between the Elantra N and our most recent Civic Type R (a 2021 Limited Edition) is slightly greater, with the Honda hatch executing a skidpad average of 1.04 g and a best figure-eight time of 24.1 seconds at 0.81 g.
From the test track, road test editor Chris Walton put a finer point on our enthusiasm for the Elantra N: “Turn in is very crisp. Maintaining an inch-perfect line on the skidpad was easy-peasy. Amazing balance and rock-solid chassis here with very mild understeer. I could tell the differential was working because it never spun a tire accelerating off the skidpad—it just put the power down and went. Even on the stiffest suspension setting, there is a little bit of body roll, but not much. Overall, this is just a terrifically fun little sedan.”
It’s also extremely streetable. In previous efforts to hot-up cars, we’ve seen automakers overzealously miss the mark trying to find the perfect middle ground in handling. The 2022 Hyundai Elantra N’s ride was remarkably refined and surprisingly comfortable on some of the worst pavement we encountered, even with upsized 19-inch wheels and low-profile tires. No bottoming, no weird body motions—just buttery smooth handling.
Stopping And Turning The Elantra N
The 2022 Hyundai Elantra N gets 14.2-inch vented front and 12.4-inch vented rear brake rotors that are 2.2 inches and 2.1 inches larger, respectively, than the vented front and solid rear units of the 2022 Elantra N Line, a less gnarly performance variant than the N. Braking was notably consistent, with no noticeable fade after repeated hard stops at the test track. Initial bite is only decent, but the pedal is predictably progressive.
Our test car returned an average stopping distance from 60 mph of 108 feet. It’s effectively the same as the Jetta GLI’s average of 109 feet, whereas the Civic Type R averaged a heroic 99 feet in our testing.
As for the steering, it’s precise but felt heavy at times and seemed to get heavier in Sport mode, but only at the slowest of speeds. This might be because the Elantra N is equipped with rack-mounted motor-driven power steering and not column-mounted power steering as found on the rest of the lineup.
Living With The Elantra N
For all its charms, the 2022 Hyundai Elantra N returns some pretty unimpressive fuel economy ratings. The base model with the standard six-speed manual transmission is more efficient than the Elantra N DCT, 22/31 mpg city/highway versus 20/30 mpg. The final model-year Civic Type R was rated at 22/28 mpg, and the 2022 Jetta GLI automatic boasts the best ratings of the trio, 26/36 mpg.
The interior feels spacious, and all the doors swing out to nearly 90 degrees, including the fronts—which required us to lean far out of the car just to grab their handles. Legroom measures 42.3 inches in front and 38.0 inches in back, which is an inch more for front passengers and 0.5 inch more for rear ones than the Jetta GLI. The Elantra N also provides 39.9 inches of front headroom, almost 1.5 inches more than the VW.
The front seats are not powered, but we dig the thin, bolstered racing-seat aesthetic and especially how each features N branding just below the headrest that lights up when you unlock the doors. They are a bit on the stiff side, however, and because they operate manually, finding the sweet spot for your driving position takes a bit longer than it does in many other cars.
Suggested retail price for the 2022 Hyundai Elantra N with standard manual transmission is $33,195; with the DCT the price increases to $34,695. That makes it the most expensive Elantra. It’s also less affordable than the 2022 VW Jetta GLI automatic, which stickers for $33,090. But it comes in much cheaper than the roughly $38,000 (pre-markup) of a 2021 Honda Civic Type R when it was new. The next Civic Type R will almost certainly come with an even bigger price tag, making the Elantra N seem like a good deal considering all it brings to the table.
Regardless, gone are the days of torque steer and unsatisfying front-wheel-drive tuning, and the 2022 Hyundai Elantra N is the latest vehicle to illustrate this reality. Its excellent engineering delivers something the best enthusiast cars share: It makes you want to drive it, to dream of it, and to be distracted by thoughts of it when you’re not driving. Hyundai has a real performance beast on its hands, and we can’t wait to drive the manual version as well as measure the Elantra N against other sport sedans.
Looks good! More details?
|2022 Hyundai Elantra N Specifications|
|PRICE AS TESTED||$34,695|
|VEHICLE LAYOUT||Front-engine, FWD, 5-pass, 4-door sedan|
|ENGINE||2.0L Turbo direct-injected DOHC 16-valve I-4|
|POWER (SAE NET)||276 hp @ 5,500 rpm|
|TORQUE (SAE NET)||289 lb-ft @ 2,100 rpm|
|TRANSMISSION||8-speed twin-clutch auto|
|CURB WEIGHT (F/R DIST)||3,296 lb (64/36%)|
|LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT||184.1 x 71.9 x 55.7 in|
|0-60 MPH||5.1 sec|
|QUARTER MILE||13.7 sec @ 103.9 mph|
|BRAKING, 60-0 MPH||108 ft|
|LATERAL ACCELERATION||0.97 g (avg)|
|MT FIGURE EIGHT||24.9 sec @ 0.75 g (avg)|
|EPA CITY/HWY/COMB FUEL ECON||20/30/23 mpg|
|EPA RANGE, COMB||285 miles|