There was a sigh of relief with the introduction of the 2021 Elentra N line sedan by Hyundai after dropping news that the Elantra GT hatch will be discontinued.
Continuing Hyundai’s slow-drip introduction of its N performance sub-branding in the U.S. and taking up position in the thin sporty compact four-door market being temporarily vacated by the Honda Civic Si.
The 2021 sporty compact Elentra came in with an extra dose of power, a snappier design, and a sporty bent, distinguishing itself from the rest of the Elantra.
Coming with a six-speed manual transmission or a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic to choose from, The 2021 Hyundai Elantra N Line features a 1.6-liter turbocharged engine making 201 horsepower and 195 lb-ft of torque.
If you want to row your own gears, this is the Elantra to get.
Everything about the 2021 Elentra N is tailored to perfection as the interior comes with fabric sport seats with leather bolsters.
There is also a special N steering wheel, N shifter, and alloy pedals. Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and a digital key that allows drivers to open and start the car with their phones are the tech features that come with the 2021 Hyundai Elantra.
The Elantra N Line is also loaded with safety features including forward collision-avoidance assist, lane keep assist, lane following assist, high beam assist, driver attention warning, and blind-spot collision avoidance assist with rear cross-traffic assist.
A Brief Review
Hyundai’s reputation as a manufacturer of cheap, uninteresting cars with long warranties has shifted in recent years as the brand has introduced cars with reasonable prices and good handling.
Cars like the Veloster Turbo R-Spec, Veloster N, and Elantra GT N Line are affordable and thrilling to drive.
The 2021 Elantra joins this category as a new member of Hyundai’s low-cost speed portfolio.
What a timely introduction with the Civic Si getting set to take a hiatus for the 2021 model year before returning along with the redesigned Civic for 2022.
That gives the car freer reign over the sporty compact sedan market for about a year or so until the Civic returns.
The Elantra N Line debuts alongside the fully redesigned Elantra and Elantra Hybrid, and it functions as a replacement for two vehicles in the Hyundai lineup: the Elantra Sport and the aforementioned Elantra GT N Line, both of which were discontinued for 2021.
Under the Hood
With a properly performance-oriented automatic transmission, a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder puts out 276 horsepower and 289 lb-ft of torque.
This motor, along with a sport-tuned suspension with adaptive dampers, makes the N an absolute blast to drive on curvy back roads. This is the most powerful Elantra ever.
The Exterior Design
The 2021 Hyundai Elentra N design has been most striking without any doubt. It looks cool with all geometric and weird.
With N-Line cosmetic add-ons that include a rear lip on the trunk, bigger wheels and LED lighting, it’s a striking-looking machine.
The best angle is probably from the rear three-quarter upfront, the aggressive grille begs the question: why does every modern car have to look like the Big Friendly Giant’s ear-hair trimmer?.
There’s definitely a lot going on, but I think the new Elantra wears these sporty tweaks well. It’s a little more in-your-face than a Honda Civic Si.
A lot of upgrades have gotten the Hyundai Elentra N line to where it is today with nicely bolstered seats and accents like aluminum pedals.
The garnishes are nice, but it’s the effectiveness of the basic Elantra layout that impresses.
Apart from the odd position of the drive mode button – up high, to the left of the instrument panel – Hyundai has produced an uncluttered and businesslike cabin here. It’s also slightly roomier than some rivals.
Hyundai’s touch screen interface is among the best in the business.
It consistently connects to Apple CarPlay quickly, is fast and easy to navigate, and is simple enough to not be a distraction.
Going by the performance the N line puts up, At $25,095 including $995 for the destination, the 2021 Elantra N Line is a pretty compelling little package.
It’s priced right on top of the Civic Si, and while the Honda offers a little more tech and a better manual gearbox, I love the Elantra’s turbo power.
The fact that it offers an automatic transmission opens it up to a broader swath of potential buyers, too.