By Veeno Dewan
New for 2019 is the Hyundai Elantra GT N Line a more performance orientated hot hatch, not as quick as the benchmark Volkswagen GTI or Honda Civic Si, but not far off. First off the Elantra GT N Line has the looks down with a lower front spoiler for better aerodynamics, a unique grille, black side mirrors, rear roof spoiler, N Line badges and 18-inch alloy wheels. It all looks very nice, sporty, yet understated.
Engine wise, under the GT N Line’s hood instead of the Elantra GT’s 61-horsepower, normally aspirated 2.0L four-cylinder, is a GT N Line 1.6L turbocharged engine producing a very respectable 201 horsepower and 195 lb.-ft. of torque. Power is transmitted to the front wheels via a six-speed manual transmission, or optional seven-speed dual-clutch automatic with paddle-shifters. Other performance additives include: bigger brakes, stiffer engine and transmission mounts, quicker steering and a specially tuned multi-link independent rear suspension to keep the car planted in hard cornering.
The thoughtful, well appointed Elantra cabin has been jazzed up a little for the N-Line variant. There is an N Line leather-wrapped perforated steering wheel, sport front seats, circular ball, special instrument cluster and door trims, racy red seatbelts, stitching and accents. New is Hyundai’s AVN 5.0 infotainment system, and eight-inch touchscreen. The front cabin remains roomy and with the rear slightly squashed in the rear-seat legroom department if you are over six feet. Still the hatchback’s cargo capacity, is decent with a generous 705 litres with the rear seats up and a huge 1,560 litres when they’re folded.
On the road, the Elantra N-Line offers lots of thrills. The chassis and handling are superbly engineered and offer excellent on-road dynamics, making the N-Line agile and fun to drive. This is a wonderful car to drive, you sit firmly wrapped in the deeply supportive sport seats and everything falls to the hand and feet with the excellent ergonomics. In closing, the N-Line comes across as a very affordable sporty car that offers a mix of satisfying driving and ownership. Downsides are few, it seats four in comfort, five at a push. Although it’s a small front wheel drive car, grip, and traction control is exceptional. Excellent engineering means the chassis has no discernible flex. Highly recommend if affordable performance is what you need.
2019 Hyundai Elantra GT N-Line priced from $27,199 – $30,699. More info at www.hyundai.ca