Hyundai has very quietly been producing outstanding sporty trims on its affordable cars for nearly a decade. One of our all-time favorites, the Elantra GT Sport, blazed a trail for what has now become the Elantra N Line of cars. The N Line, like the GT Sport trims prior, include a turbocharged engine and a better than CVT transmission.
Our own Armen Hareyan recently had a chance to drive the current 2020 Elantra GT N Line and found it to be the perfect mix of sporty and real-world useful. As Armen put it, "By driving this manual transmission 2020 Hyundai Elantra GT you simply don't have time to check your email or message while standing under a traffic light. Your hands are busy with the manual transmission. This is why I really liked this car."
The Elantra GT is a five-door hatchback rather than a conventional sedan-styled car. While we LOVE the GT hatchback shape, we recognize that many customers will opt for the sedan. That is why the N Line for 2021 is such good news. It will expand the sporty trim to the full line of Elantra cars.
Hyundai says that the N Line will feature sporty design elements and refined powertrain/chassis upgrade. Although it is always fun to read about cars like the Honda Civic Type R being driven on a racetrack, the truth, based on our testing is they go too far. In a front-wheel-drive car, more power than around 200 hp and more torque than standard are basically wasted. The power can't be put to the pavement. Worse, the super-low profile ultra-high performance tires are too firm for comfort on normal public roads. The N Line has done a good job in the past of improving the driving experience of the Elantra GT and Veloster without making them a bummer when you just want to drive to work in rush hour traffic.
Will the manual transmission continue on? We will soon find out. If not, the paddle-shifted dual-clutch auto will satisfy most driver's need for involvement. Watch Torque News for a full review of the Elantra N Line later this year. This is one car we can't wait to test.