Sports sedans aren't dead yet. You can still find a few four-door dance partners, and the new Hyundai Elantra N is an absolute delight that won't break the bank. Hyundai told us the turbocharged N would start around $32,000, and true to word, it officially checks in at $31,900 before the $1,025 destination fee. Combined, the buy-it-now price totals $32,925.
What do you get for that cash? Quite a lot actually, though buyers will certainly be focused on the rip-snorting 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder under the hood. It's the same mill found in N versions of the Veloster and Kona, packing 276 horsepower (206 kilowatts) under normal circumstances and 286 hp (213 kW) for short bursts in overboost mode. Corraling that power is a six-speed manual transmission – another rarity in the modern world – sent solely to the front wheels.
save over $3,400 on average off MSRP* on a new Hyundai Elantra
For $33,400 ($34,425 with destination included) you can trade the stick and the third pedal for an eight-speed dual-clutch gearbox. This is the configuration that Hyundai says is the quickest, shooting the hot Elantra to 60 mph in 5.0 seconds dead. Regardless of the transmission, all Elantra N models benefit from an upgraded sport suspension, an electronic limited-slip differential, and trick exhaust that literally rips and snorts when downshifting or lifting off the throttle at high rpm.
Gallery: 2022 Hyundai Elantra N: First Drive
As far as the competition goes, frankly, there isn't much at this price point when it comes to sedans. The new Civic Si is available under $30,000 but it packs considerably less firepower under the hood. The Civic Type R is a better match for performance, but you'll pay more. You'll even pay more for Hyundai's other recent performance debut, the plucky Kona N. It's a bit slower, too.
Considering the fun we had during our Elantra N First Drive piloting both manual and DCT-equipped cars, this could indeed be one of the best bang-for-buck machines available today. Look for it to reach dealerships by the end of the year.