The Best Value in New Sport Sedans Isn't from a Brand You'd Expect

It's $8,500 cheaper than a BMW 3 Series, and it comes with a manual.

hyundai elantra n front
David Dewhurst Photography

We're big fans of the new Hyundai Elantra, which came out last year and took home the North American Car of the Year award soon thereafter. For 2022, Hyundai isn't slacking off; they're giving us an excellent high-performance N version. Its turbocharged four-cylinder engine packs 276 horsepower and 289 lb-ft of torque; it has a limited-slip differential; it can even be ordered with either a six-speed manual or an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic. Think of it as the Veloster N, but less weird-looking.

And also, cheaper. Hyundai has just announced the pricing for the Elantra N: it starts fully-equipped at $32,925 for the manual and $34,425 for the automatic. That makes it one heck of a deal compared to its main rivals.

The Elantra N is more expensive than the Volkswagen Jetta GLI, which now only comes fully loaded for $30,995 — but the Hyundai packs 48 more horsepower. And, of course, the prospective Elantra N is not limited to sedans. It's an even greater value than the Volkswagen GTI, which can cost into the $40,000 range if you aim to level up to the top trim.

On the flip side, Honda's new Civic Si is $5,400 cheaper fully-loaded, but the Elantra N is a different animal, offering 76 more hp and 97 more lb-ft of torque. And while pricing has yet to be confirmed, we can expect the Elantra N will cost about the same as the starting price for the new Acura Integra.

The Elantra N is also a great value when you look upmarket. It has 21 more hp than the base model BMW 3 Series, and costs $8,525 less. The Elantra N also offers the manual transmission that the 3 Series does not.

Hyundai says the Elantra N will arrive in winter 2021, which would technically mean sometime between Tuesday, Dec. 21 — less than three weeks away — and the end of the year. We're looking forward to trying it out.

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