We were really surprised at how much fun it was driving the 2023 Hyundai Elantra N on the tight and twisting Driver Development Track at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, about an hour north-east of Toronto, Ontario. We drove a Hyundai Veloster N on the same track in 2020 and were really impressed with its handling and performance too. We didn’t think this larger 4-door sedan would be this much fun. We were wrong.
The N buttons on the Elantra and Veloster steering wheels really do transform these cars from daily driver economy cars into enthusiastic performers. Powering this $40,000* Elantra N is a 2.0 litre turbocharged inline 4 cylinder engine with 276 hp and 289 lb-ft of torque.
Our car was equipped with the quick shifting 6 speed manual transmission with rev-matching which was an absolute pleasure to use. The rev matching works really well and removes heel-and-toeing from your list of things to focus on. We also drove an Elantra N with an 8-speed Wet Dual Clutch Transmission (N DCT) with paddle shifters. It was equally as impressive on the race track but our preference is the manual as it is just that much more engaging and rewarding. The 6 speed manual comes standard but the base price rises $1,600 when you opt for the N DCT.
To enhance the Elantra N’s performance handling, it is equipped with Electronic Limited Slip Differential (e-LSD) which sends torque to the outer wheel and does a great job of increasing traction and reducing understeer in the corners. It also has 29% more body rigidity than the non N Elantra. Stability and control are enhanced by the Electronically Controlled Suspension (ECS) which continuously adjusts the damping based on speed and road conditions.
To make sure it sounds the part, it is equipped with an active variable sports exhaust which emits all the right pops and bangs form the large exhausts. 19 inch wheels are shod with sticky 245/35 ZR19 Michelin Pilot Sport 4S high-performance summer tires. Steering those 19 inch rims is done using a really nice heated N leather wrapped sport steering wheel with drive mode selection and N mode buttons.
The high performance brakes work quite well and look good with their red calipers. The rear wing and diffuser add to its aggressive appearance. Our Elantra N looks particularly eye-catching in its Performance Blue exterior paint ($250 option) with red accents. It is also available in white, black, blue, grey and red. The N lightweight sport bucket seats with suede and leatherette are very comfortable, look great and do a good job of holding you in place on the track.
The 2023 Hyundai Elantra N comes with Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, wireless charging and an array of safety features including:
Race car drivers Mark Wilkins and Taylor Hagler show you just how well the Elantra N and Kona N handle on the track at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.
We have driven a lot of different cars at this track and the 2023 Hyundai Elantra N with its 6 speed manual transmission ranks among the most pleasantly surprising. We really weren’t expecting it to be so much fun to drive. It also delivers decent fuel economy with its ratings of 10.9 l/100 km City, 7.7 l/100 km Highway and 9.4 l/100 km Combined. If you are in the market for a performance sedan in this price range, you owe it to yourself to test-drive the Elantra N.
* $40,000 base price includes delivery, destination charges, freight, pre-delivery inspection, fees, levies, dealer admin fee and a tank of gas, but excludes HST, GST/PST.
Photography By TrackWorthy