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pinchvalve (Forum Supporter)
pinchvalve (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
3/25/22 11:20 a.m.

I have decided to log my experience as an Elantra N owner because...well because I feel like it. 

Why did I buy one?

As a Fiesta ST owner, the thing I liked most about it was the fun per dollar ratio. In 2014 I paid $19K for the Fiesta new – GTIs, Focus STs, Civics and WRXs were a lot more.  During my eight years of ownership, the car was used primarily for autocross, back-road blasts and as my DD, so a replacement would have be practical as well as sporty while not breaking the bank. 

One important thing to note is that I wanted the DCT transmission. While my wife can drive a stick quite well, she prefers not to. Whenever she needed to take my car, she hated the stiff suspension and the manual transmission. For me, longer autocross courses that required third gear were an issue for me, I may have speed shifted into first more than once. I liked the idea of a modern, well-designed DCT.

Right off the bat, that meant that the cheaper Honda Civic SI and WRX were off the table. The Si only comes with a manual and the WRX is a CVT. (I hear it's a good CVT, but it's not what I wanted.)  The Volkswagen GTI is close, but you have to step up to Autobahn to get 19-inch wheels and all of the goodies inside and suddenly you're over $40K. The Mazda 3 turbo is in the hunt, and while it offers all wheel drive, hatchback, and plenty of power and torque, it just it wasn't racy enough compared to what Bierman is doing at Hyundai.


Another consideration was a limited-slip differential. This made a big difference once added to the Fiesta and I didn't want to go without. Lucky for performance car fans, most cars in this category now have a limited-slip of some type. The EN has a pretty sophisticated and adjustable limited-slip, as well as adjustable dampers, adjustable exhaust, adjustable shifting and more. My honest opinion is that if you add up all of the technology, features, adjustability, and performance hardware, the Elantra N is a $40 or even $50K car being sold for $34K.

So what about the Civic Type R, they will both be in DS. Well. the 2022 redesign promises a more sophisticated look, but it will be priced well above the EN. My guess is that if you want all of the interior features you'll have to move to the Integra Type R, and that'll be even more expensive. If I was buying a track weapon, no doubt the CTR is a better option. But I'm using this car for road trips with the family from time to time so the DCT and more relaxed and fun to drive nature suit me better. (If I hit the lottery, a CTR TC will be my first purchase.) Arguments can be made for plenty of other cars I'm sure, but I wanted a new car with a strong warranty and I'm not interested in modifications at this point, so the EN was a clear winner for me.

pinchvalve (Forum Supporter)
pinchvalve (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
3/25/22 11:34 a.m.

How was the buying experience?

I watched cars come and go at dealers within 100 miles of me for awhile. It seemed like most were already spoken for when they arrived at the dealership and disappeared pretty quickly. I heard stories of markups as high as 10K over MSRP, I would not pay over sticker. I also wanted grey or maybe black.

Having never seen Elantra in person much less an N, I wanted to test drive it before committing to anything. Hyundai doesn't allow you to order a vehicle to spec, you can only put in a request. They make cars based on their algorithm of what they feel will be popular. If the specifications you desire comes off the line, they will prioritize that car and send it to your local dealer. Then you can test drive it and decide if it's a match, and if so, you have the car. This process can take up to a few months.

I stopped at a dealership and looked at a regular, base Elantra to get a sense of size. Convinced it wasn't too large, I started looking for an EN in earnest. A local dealership had a black one in their showroom and I asked if I could come look at it. They said it was sold but if I wanted to look at it and reserve one I could. While on my way to the dealer, they called and let me know it had been sold and wouldn't be there. Oh well.

The next morning they called me back to let me know the out-of-state buyer fell through and did not show up to pick up the car. I decided to drive over and look at it right then, not fully intending to buy the car. I decided that black was the best color to hide some of the questionable design choices on the Elantra, and a test drive was all I needed to know that this was the car for me. I didn't get as much as I wanted for the Fiesta…in my mind all of the modifications and trophies on the wall made my baby worth a $1,000,000. But it was a decent deal and I knew the old Ford hid a few sins. The Fiesta was on brand new snow tires and I didn't have the title, so I left the Elantra at the dealer overnight and went home to remove everything from the Ford and swap to the standard road tires. The next morning they had the car prepped for me and I drove away leaving my beloved Fiesta behind.

To be fair, the dealer was straightforward with pricing and trading information. The finance folks didn't pressure me to add anything to the car. They did add security glass etching to the price of all their cars, which is BS but it wasn’t much and it was the only dealer markup. They didn't offer any discounts on the end model because it's new and in demand, but they didn't mark it up over MSRP either. All in all, I was happy with the experience.

pinchvalve (Forum Supporter)
pinchvalve (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
3/25/22 11:44 a.m.

What are the initial impressions?

Hyundai recommends a 600 mile break-in period where you avoid hard stops and keep the RPMS under 6K. I work from home and I didn't think I would be able to rack up that many miles before the first autocross of the season. I had to take a business trip to Washington DC, so I took the Elantra.

My first concern was that the sport seats would be uncomfortable for someone of my size, but I'm pleased to say they were fine for a 10 hour round-trip. In eco mode, the car was quiet and smooth and returned 30 miles per gallon while averaging 75 mph through the hills of West Virginia. I'm pretty impressed with the car's efficiency, the Fiesta averaged around 21 MPG on its best day.

The Elantra has forward looking sensors for emergency breaking and to let you know if the car ahead has pulled away when you're stopped. It does not however have radar-based cruise control, which I found odd. Other Hyundai/Kia vehicles have this feature and it works very well. My best guess is they chose track focused options over road trip options to keep the cost and weight in check. I'm OK with that, the minivan has this feature and that's what we use for long trips.

One thing the Elantra has that the minivan does not is a proximity sensor for the trunk. When coming out of a hotel, hands full of bags, you just stand behind the car and it pops the trunk for you. That's pretty nice.

The Elantra has strong LED headlights, but it does not have fog lights. I can't say that I ever really needed or used fog lights for their intended function, but they are a pretty standard thing for sports cars. I'm guessing it's a weight savings / cost decision and I am OK with that.

The owners manual for the infotainment system is bigger than the owners manual for the car itself. It took some time to go through all of the menus and learn all of the features of this car, I'm not sure I found them all yet. I'm used to a pretty analog experience in my car so this is an adjustment that I'm happy to make.

Now that I'm out of the break-in period I can assess the performance of the car so stay tuned.

untchabl HalfDork
3/25/22 12:14 p.m.

Nice, congrats on the new ride. I cross-shopped the Elantra N-Line before I got my Mazda 3. 

I wonder if the lack of fog lights is a design choice, the 3 also doesn't have fog lights on any of the trim packages.

Tony Sestito
Tony Sestito UltimaDork
3/25/22 12:19 p.m.

Having the similar but lesser powered Kia Forte GT, I'll be watching this. I just hit 20k mi on mine and it's been great so far and remains fun to drive. 

Region_Rat New Reader
3/25/22 2:33 p.m.

Looking forward to this.  I picked up an n-line MT last Summer to be my daily/winter car and have enjoyed all 12,000 miles so far!  I have contemplated getting the N but then I don't know if I would ever drive my S197!

bobzilla MegaDork
3/25/22 2:53 p.m.

i posted here.


pinchvalve (Forum Supporter)
pinchvalve (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
4/18/22 4:09 p.m.

Baby got some new shoes this weekend. I made the decision not to swap tires at every event this summer...I hardly drive between events and this car doesn't have a lot of neg camber to wear edges. I also want to stay in DS for a while, so I am letting Albert Bierman engineer my suspension and just leaving it there.  So I wanted to stay as close to stock as possible, but go to an 18" diameter for better tire selection. 

These are 18 x 8 with 50mm offset, stock was 55mm so the change is minimal. (I still can't figure out if they moved in or out, whatever, math is not my thing).  I went from 245/35 to 245/40 to maintain the same OD as well.  A bit more sidewall may keep them safe in daily use as well, this is Pittsburgh after all. Weight went from about 53 pounds per wheel/tire to 46 pounds, saving 28# of unsprung weight. I went with the Enkei because it was light, my last set of Enkeis was awesome for me, they were available and others conformed that they fit. 

As for tires, I liked the BFGs in the past, but not as much as the RE71. I thought about waiting for the new RE's but I wanted something sooner than later. I considered Falken RT660s, but I had really bad luck with them in the lighter FiST and did not want to deal with delamination. I have heard they worked that out, but fool me twice. Yoks are on backorder and the new Kuhmo were really cheap but I could not find any reviews other than they wore quickly. That was only one opinion, but I wanted to wait for more info. So BFG it is, a solid tire that will be fine for me, I am not at the pointy end of any class anyway. 

kevinatfms GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
4/19/22 9:00 a.m.

Looks killer with the new wheel setup. The factory wheels are a little too much for me.

clutchsmoke UltraDork
4/19/22 11:29 a.m.
kevinatfms said:

Looks killer with the new wheel setup. The factory wheels are a little too much for me.

I'll second this. The OEM wheels remind me strongly of ice crystals/snowflakes.

tremm Reader
4/19/22 5:43 p.m.

I remember when 18's would look ridiculous on a passenger car. I guess the high beltline is what makes these look proportional? They look good imo. I'm guessing the original were 19 or 20?

Datsun310Guy MegaDork
4/19/22 9:35 p.m.

I am looking at changing jobs and might need a more fuel efficient vehicle than a Silverado truck.  

This and the Veloster N are crazy prices for new or used.  Most of them with taxes and tags are pushing into the $35,000 (used) to $40,000 (new) price range.  It just feels steep.

former520 HalfDork
4/20/22 1:59 a.m.

Good looking car in black.  I have only come across the light blue one, not as fetching.  I bet the fog lights will come on the mid cycle refresh.  There are other cars out there that do the same.

rslifkin UberDork
4/20/22 8:08 a.m.
tremm said:

I remember when 18's would look ridiculous on a passenger car. I guess the high beltline is what makes these look proportional? They look good imo. I'm guessing the original were 19 or 20?

Overall tire size plays into it as well.  In general, the overall tire package has gotten taller on many cars (for a variety of design reasons).  So it takes a larger wheel before the wheel starts to look disproportionately big or the sidewalls start to look too small. 

kevinatfms GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
4/20/22 9:17 a.m.
clutchsmoke said:
kevinatfms said:

Looks killer with the new wheel setup. The factory wheels are a little too much for me.

I'll second this. The OEM wheels remind me strongly of ice crystals/snowflakes.

Its funny that you say that....there seems to be a constant naming of factory wheels "snowflake" wheels in the Fiesta ST/Focus ST/Jeep XJ/ZJ and some other circles. Nearly every factory wheel that is a little too "busy" for some reason always looks like a snowflake.

Wish manufacturer's would make some simple motorsports inspired wheels versus the crazy swoops and bars of these "snowflake" style wheels.

trucke SuperDork
4/20/22 11:09 a.m.

Congratulations on your new Elantra N.  I've autocrossed a Veloster N and came away more impressed than I expected.  I was fortunate to get my hands on a 2019 Civic Type R a couple of years ago.  Wanted something fwd with an lsd.  It seems we understand what the lsd does for a fwd machine.  To much waiting with an open diff.

Well, because of that I picked up a 2022 Civic Si just a few days ago (Friday).  I wanted a manual and lsd for a daily.  'Reserved my allocation' for the Si back on December 3rd.  It don't think 'ordering' it the right term anymore.  Was fifth on the waitlist.  Then late December I got a call that the dealer was getting a white one in March and I could jump the line if I would take a white one.  No hesitation there!  Although that slipped to April.  I'm enjoying it more with every mile. 

It's great that you got your Elantra N without being milked for crazy ADM's.  Locally the ADM is $4k on those.

Enjoy the new ride!!  It's a very nice car!

pinchvalve (Forum Supporter)
pinchvalve (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
4/20/22 12:16 p.m.

The EN comes with 19" wheels and yes, there are a LOT going on there. I don't hate them, but I would have removed 25% of the details. 

trucke, Hyundai has the same system, you can only enter a request, not specifically order one. They use some math to calculate home many in each color and spec to build, and when one comes off the line that matches your request, it is sent your way. I was lucky because I wanted grey or black, and a black one came up locally and I jumped on it. I have seen dealer markups as high as $10, which is nuts on a $32K car. 

Enjoy the Civic, it is a great car as well, light, agile and Honda quality. I looked at them (and GTIs and WRX and and and) but in the end I wanted a DCT and I won't say no to 100 extra HP. I don't think you can go wrong with any of the curent crop of hot sedans! 

pinchvalve (Forum Supporter)
pinchvalve (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
4/20/22 2:32 p.m.

Got the car tinted because it looks cool IMO. Hit a snow storm (on RivalSs) on the way which was interesting. 

thatsnowinnebago GRM+ Memberand UberDork
4/20/22 4:28 p.m.

Those new wheels make the car look way better than the factory ones. I like the -1 fitment. 

5/9/22 10:55 p.m.

so far so good!

5/9/22 11:12 p.m.

Being this car was designed by the same person who pen'd recent Audi and Lambo cars, I figured I'd preserve the design language and go with something that accented the original concept. I've seen a couple trickle out so far but this one really has me considering what might be next for widebody kits.

pinchvalve (Forum Supporter)
pinchvalve (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
6/8/22 10:49 p.m.

Been super busy with family stuff and work stuff, but here's an update on the N. At just over 3K miles, I still love this car, but have a few more impressions. 

First off, the paint is not the best. My hood came with lots of scratches and thin spots, and it will chip if you hit a mosquito at speed. I may go for ceramic protection soon to try to keep it protected.

The gas tank is laughable at 10 gallons. I think it's actually 12, but I've never been able to get more than 10 gallons into it at a time. That gives about 280 miles of estimated range. When driving with a heavy foot, that goes pretty quick.  

Other than that, it remains a blast to drive and the performance is outstanding. I am not pushing the car to his limits yet, it's definitely in a new speed category than anything I've had in the past. 

Autocrossing locally it has done a respectable job. I crushed a lot of competitors in the wet by leaving the traction control in sport, the car was smarter than me when things got slick. 

DS has been a big class this year, and I i've been happy with my results. Better drivers are going to go faster, and I've been beaten by WRxs, STI's, Type Rs, and first-gen BRZ's. I've also beaten all those makes as well as a new WRX and a MK8 Golf R.  Depends on the day and the driver locally, but it can be a top-half or podium finisher locally for sure. If your priorities are a DCT and a backseat at a great price, this is a winner.

My only issue has been adjusting to the larger size of the Elantra over the fiesta, still collecting lots of cones, DOH! 


pinchvalve (Forum Supporter)
pinchvalve (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
6/8/22 10:54 p.m.

I will say, the looks have grown on me quickly. In black, I think the grill looks sinister and imposing now rather than odd. The creases in the side don't look as odd to me either, though they are at the ideal height for door dings. I got a nasty one from an SUV who chose to drive off rather than do the right thing. Grrrr. 

bobzilla MegaDork
6/9/22 9:35 a.m.

At Midwest Fest last weekend Hyundai brought two N's (DCT and a manual) for ridealongs 4 deep and their Elantra N TCR car. The stock cars were quick and made great noises. The TCR car? It made pants tight. The closing speeds on "normal" cars like a 370Z were absolutely insane. 

pinchvalve (Forum Supporter)
pinchvalve (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
7/10/22 9:20 p.m.

I'm overdue for an update, lots has been going on so I'll try to find some time. Until then, pictures. 

Here she is at an SCCA Track Night in America, an AWESOME event if you have not tried it. Full report coming soon. 

Here she is towing the boat to the lake...just kidding. No towing for the EN! 

Here she is on a trip to Lake Erie, oddly enough, without a boat.  I don't think 15-foot open bows are the best idea for Lake Erie anyway LOL. 

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