Updated: Apr 1, 2022
At a time when the Toyota Corolla and the Honda Civic are arguably the best they've ever been in their long histories, it's remarkable that there's any oxygen left in the compact sedan segment for competitors. But the Mazda 3 absolutely belongs on any serious shopper's short list, and so does the Hyundai Elantra.
Fact is, the Elantra has been a strong competitor since the 2011 model was introduced. I even put my money where my mouth is, buying a gently-used '11 Elantra Limited for my son four years ago this month. It's still going strong.
Eleven months ago, I reviewed the new-for-2021 Elantra Limited and loved it. Now comes the Elantra N-Line.
Immutable fact of automotive physics: If you put 54 more horsepower under the hood, it will not go unnoticed. The N-Line's 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder puts out 201 horsepower where the Elantra Limited's 2.0-liter four manages only 147. Zero to 60 times fall from very close to nine seconds for the Limited to the mid-six-second range for the Elantra N-Line, which comes with a six-speed manual transmission standard. Our tester was equipped with the seven-speed dual-clutch transmission with SHIFTRONIC paddle shifters. EPA fuel economy estimate 28 city/36 highway, which is a moderate dip from the Limited's 31/41.
The base price of the 2021 Hyundai Elantra N-Line is $25,200. The window sticker is at the end of this review so you can see for yourself, but among the standard equipment highlights at that price are a complete set of active safety features, 18-inch alloy wheels, a sunroof, Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, an eight-inch high-resolution color touchscreen, and dual automatic climate control.
The only extra-cost option was carpeted floor mats ($155). So with $1,005 inland freight and handling, the as-tested price of the 2021 Hyundai Elantra N-Line is $26,320.
That is a remarkably low price for a remarkably good car with some power to back up its looks. The N-Line is the Elantra to have.