The 2021 Hyundai Elantra N Line Is A Serious Threat To The Civic Si

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Photo: Hyundai

At a time where both sedans and manual-transmission models are fading from the market, it’s nice to see automakers continue to make compact and fun four-door offerings. Hyundai just released pricing for the Elantra N Line and it seems that it has the Honda Civic Si sedan squarely in its sights.

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Hyundai brought some substantial updates to the Elantra lineup for the 2021 model year, including a drastic styling change that adds some flair to the commuter-car segment. The all-new 2021 Elantra N Line uses a formula similar to its competitors — four-door compact sedan, performance upgrades, manual gearbox — but offers an awesome value at a starting price of $25,095 with the six-speed manual and $26,195 with the dual-clutch automatic.

In comparison, the Si is $26,155 is available only with a manual gearbox. The Elantra N Line uses a turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder that makes 201 horsepower and 195 lb-ft of torque. Honda’s motor is a turbocharged 1.5-liter that makes 205 horsepower and 192 lb-ft of torque

While the performance specs are incredibly similar, the Elantra N Line lays it on heavy with standard equipment. The sporty trim builds on the already well-equipped SE and SEL, which come packed with advanced safety equipment and technology, and then adds a host of upgrades to set the N Line apart. From Hyundai’s press materials:

Larger front brakes, Multi-link rear suspension Leather/cloth combination sport seats, Sport mode select option, Power driver seat 18-inch alloy wheels w/ 235/40 R18 Goodyear Eagle F1 summer tires, Heated front seats, Chrome twin exhaust N Line analog gauge cluster, Sunroof Leather-wrapped sport steering wheel & shift knob, Full LED taillights, Alloy pedals, N Line front grille and bumper, Black headliner, N Line rear fascia w/ diffuser, 60/40 split-folding rear seatback with armrest & cup holders N Line DLO (glossy black)

Also in this category is the updated VW Jetta GLI that puts down similar power but has a starting price of $27,460 with a manual transmission. However, the VW doesn’t include the same level of standard equipment as the Hyundai.

While it would be nice to have a hatchback option as well, the Elantra N Line sedan retains the formula of a fun car at an affordable price — if the styling is your thing.

DISCUSSION

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WasGTIthenGTOthenNOVAthenGTInowA4

I absolutely love the path Hyundai is taking right now with their performance line of cars. They’re great value for the amount of driver joy and involvement they provide. And they are making huge strides in quality and name recognition. There’s no doubt that these vehicles existing is good for car culture.

That said, the car is U.G.L.Y.

That front end is going to age like rotting fish in the truck of a Pontiac Grand Prix sitting in the Orlando sun. The side, I like, but it falls apart again at the rear.

Listen, I get it, it’s bold. Bold sells. But very rarely does bold age well.