Highlights: The N-Line is the Korean’s performance division. Two hatchbacks make up the N-Line, the Veloster and Elantra GT.
Test Vehicle’s MSRP: $29,260 (Base model: $25,285)
Seating Capacity: 5
Standard Equipment: 18-inch alloy wheels; a 7-speed automatic dual clutch transmission; a multi-link independent rear suspension; a tuned sports suspension; exclusive front and rear fascias; a rear spoiler; a dual automatic temperature control system; an electronic brake; front covered cupholders; a storage lid cover; and 60/40 rear split seats with a center armrest
Optional Features On Test Vehicle: a panoramic sunroof; an 8-inch infotainment screen; a navigation system; Blue Link connected care; a power driver’s seat; ventilated front seats; an Infiniti 7-speaker audio system; a wireless charging pad; a radar activated cruise control system with a start/stop feature; a forward collision assist system with a pedestrian detection lane keep assist system; a high beam assist system; a driver attention warning system; an automatic dimming rearview mirror; and carpeted floor mats
Standard Audio On Test Vehicle: AM/FM
Android/Apple Compatible: Yes
Bluetooth Connectivity: Yes
USB Connectivity: Yes
Powertrain Warranty: 10 years or 100,000 miles
Standard Engine/Horsepower: 1.6-liter turbo, 4-cylinder/201-hp
Recommended Fuel: Regular Unleaded
Standard Fuel Mileage: 25-city/32-hwy
What’s New: The Elantra GT N-Line is the first U.S. model to proudly establish the brand with racing cred.
Why: Underneath the skin, the N-Line separates itself from the typical non eventful, value-packed Elantra GT. The Elantra GT N-Line has been upgraded with a stiffer suspension system and a gutsy turbo engine. This separates the conservatively styled hatchback from other vehicles in the Korean brand’s line up.
The N-Line is Hyundai’s foray into truly establishing itself as a performance division, competing against the likes of Honda’s souped-up Civic R-Type and Ford’s Focus RS. We must note that the Focus along with Chevy’s Cruze Hatch will be headed to car heaven, as a result of the brands shifting its focus on profit thirsty vehicles like trucks, SUVs and crossovers.
Hyundai has tested the water before, as one might remember with the Genesis Coupe 3.8 Track. While the sports car was Hyundai’s answer to the Ford Mustang and the Chevy Camaro, the suspension was too jarring. In fact, one felt like they had been in a street fight after spending some time behind the wheel. The vehicle, which only offered child seating for the rear, was only designed for short rides. This time around the brand got it right, with its new N-Line.
While Hyundai is stepping into a new lane, as of now they’re not offering the supersized spoilers and the gutsy 300-plus horsepower engine. However, don’t count them out, knowing the Koreans and their track record, we can only assume they’re planning to up the ante.
Inside Hyundai’s Elantra GT N-Line, one can expect sport-lined seats trimmed in red, sports pedals for the throttle and brake and a leather wrapped steering wheel.
Like any Hyundai, one can expect a feature-rich vehicle, with user friendly systems. And, let’s not forget there is an emphasis on safety too. Our option list added on everything from a forward collision avoidance system to automatic high beams for nighttime driving to a lane keep assist system.
But: Unlike the Veloster N-Line, the Elantra GT N-Line exterior seems quite understated for this to be a performance vehicle. The badging and the 18-inch wheels are the only minor indicators that this vehicle is ready to play.
Verdict: Time and time again Hyundai has proven that it’s hear to stay. They’ve established that they can build a reliable vehicle. They offer value packed vehicles at an affordable price. They’re making a concerted effort to design stylish vehicles. They spun off a new luxury brand with the Genesis. And now they are proven that they’re finally ready to play in the performance lane. So for those folks, looking for a roomy hatchback with a little spunk that can be driven on short trips or cross country, the Elantra GT N-Line is worthy of placing on one’s shopping list.
Nearest Competitor: Mazda3 Hatchback