This is a topic that comes up often on the Elantra N Forum, so I put this post together for anyone thinking of buying an 'N' but are not sure which way to go- 8 Speed DCT or Six Speed Manual?
Sunday, January 22, 2023
Saturday, January 7, 2023
I finally did it- I bought another Elantra N! I posted this news on Reddit and I got several comments asking why?
Here's the cars and you will see the why behind it below the picture.
Why buy two Hyundai Elantras? Well for the past 2 years I have been trying out a number of new cars. I took the money I got selling an Alfa Romeo Quadrifoglio and used it to buy two cars. Those were a Honda Accord Sport and an 11th Gen Honda Civic Si. Those were fine cars but the Accord was a big family sedan and the Civic was perfect for 90% of my driving needs but was lacking in power. After several months of ownership of both Hondas my attention focused on the rave reviews on YouTube of the Hyundai Elantra N.
The Civic was the first to go, trading it for the Ceramic White Elantra N shown above. The Civic being a little too quiet (no exhaust sound) and a little uderpowered (50 more HP would be welcome), the Elantra N seemed to check all the boxes for me. Boy, did it ever. That feeling came back where, on a Saturday morning I couldn't wait to get up and take it for a ride. The added power combined with the exhaust note had me hooked on the car. I also fell in love with the DCT (automatic transmission) that has a brain of its own, shifting exactly when it should and doing it faster than any human, and it even blips the throttle to rev match on the downshifts.
Then my story gets more complicated. Having sacrificed my 6 speed manual Civic for the automatic 'N' car, I thought maybe it was time to get another Civic Si so I would still have a manual car to drive. You guessed it- I traded the Accord for a second Civic Si! I had done so well with resale value on my first Civic and the used car market was still holding up I figured it was a good time to trade the Accord. It was August '22 and the used car market began to decline in July so timing was good to make a trade. My second Civic Si was a beautiful Aegean Blue and a real good looking ride.
But then I watched a YouTube video of a manual Performance Blue Elantra N by Joe Raiti of Raiti's Rides. Of course it was one with a manual and the smile on Joe's face when he got 'On Throttle' with it had me thinking. If I could get a good price for my Civic Si, it would not cost that much more to get into an Elantra N with the manual. So my search began to find a Cyber Gray 'N' with the manual. It took about 6 weeks but I located 3 in Florida and called all three dealers.
Making a deal on the phone was not as easy as I thought as the dealers all wanted me to come in to talk. I had success with Rick Case Hyundai in Plantation, FL in making a great deal on the phone. I worked out my deal with Ryan Marcus who I highly recommend. He quickly put the numbers together after I told him what I was willing to do and if there was something I didn't want, like certain add ons he was able to get that taken care of. In the end, I got a great deal and they gained a satisfied customer. One thing that stood out with Ryan- he was either right there to answer my call or he would text or call back quickly if he was with another customer. I would have traded my Civic in but with the market still strong for Civic Si's I sold it for more on Auto Trader, enough more so it more than covered my sales tax credit if I had traded it in.
So on January 3rd I flew to Ft. Lauderdale where Ryan had an Uber waiting to bring me to the dealership. Ryan had everthing ready with the beautiful new 'N' sitting out front. I was introduced to Andrii in finance who handled all the paperwork (Cash deal) and in less than an hour I was on my way back to St. Petersburg with what I truly think is a keeper. There will be fewer and fewer manual cars available in the future, let alone ICE manual cars. The Elantra N I predict will become one of the last, best performance cars available to buy.
So if you think I'm crazy, maybe I am but I'm certainly happy with owning two of these fabulous cars!
I'll soon be doing a full review comparing the two cars because I know a lot of you are torn which one to buy, the DCT or the Manual. I think you will find that post very interesting. In the meantime I'm staying around home for a couple of weeks after having driven 1800 miles between New York and Florida since New Years day. Happy New Year everyone.
Brought to you by: Paul Ziegler, Publisher carcamerastory.com Follow on Instagram @wownowpics
Sunday, December 4, 2022
This just in- Tested by Grassroots Motorsports at the FIRM race track in Florida! A very interesting video that you must see. Is this a great alternative to the mighty Type R? Is the Type R worth $10,000 more?
Watch the video and you be the judge.
Is the type R worth the additional price? Is Hyundai a better car than you thought?
Brought to you by Carcamerastory.com. Follow on Instagram @wownowpics.
Sunday, November 27, 2022
We have two Hyundai Elantra N cars showing here. There is a dilema though. Which one to buy?
So do you go with the automatic or do you opt for the old fasshioned, row your own gears? That's a problem because each is so good in its own way. I have been following YouTube for months trying to figure this out and my conclusion; if you have the means, get one of each.
The sun is setting on the age of ICE powered cars and here are two of the finest examples of that, short of a Porsche 911 or a BMW M3 of old. I predict that in 20 years we will look back upon these 'N' cars and say, dam I should have bought one, or two and stored them for car buffs of the future to admire. Sort of like we today wish we had bought a couple of Muscle cars from the 60's and hung on to them.
Why are these cars special? It comes down to how they make you feel. Just starting up an Elantra 'N' tells you immediately this is no ordinary sports sedan. The sound of the car just idling reminds me of my 1987 Buick T-Type ( As in Grand National Turbo) That V-6 Buick Turbo and this 4 Pot Rascal had the same voice coach. Just idling the 'N' sounds muscular. Blip the throttle and she revs like the dickens and may even give you a few pops on cold start. The car vibrates with a feeling like it wants to take off, just like my old Buick.
God does the Elantra 'N' sound good. And that's before you put it in gear. Once you do, everything is as it should be. The steering is precice and communicates what the front tires are doing, the electronic limited slip diff saves you too many times to count when cornering and the suspension is perfectly tuned by the best engineers in the business, lead by Albert Biremann- That Albert Biremann - who made BMW M cars ledgendary.
I could prattle on all day but to demonstrate I have a video for you. Feel free to fast foward through it or if you want to see all the things I'm trying to say, put it on full roll. Now this is the six speed version.
After seeing that you have a sense of what this car is all about and why you want one. The other choice, the 8 speed DCT is just as intoxicating
Here's another video of an Elantra 'N' with the DCT chasing a Mclaren and a Ferrari at Road Atlanta. The fact the car can keep up with them is a testament to how good this car is. Listen closely and you can hear the lightning fast shifts of the automatic. And the best thing is, not many people know anything about this car! I hope it stays under the radar so the price stays where it is- mid $30K. Incredible value for the performance. Check this out:
So in conclusion my advice is go buy one of each and you will never regret it- if you like driving a performance car. And in the grand scheme of things it won't break the bank, with pick ups and EV's costing the same as buying two 'N's.
And if you want more convincing about howfar Hyundai has come with their N brand of cars, here's a bonus video for fun!
Brought to you by Paul Ziegler, Publisher Carcamerastory.com and author of "Echoes From The Glen".
On sale now on this website. Follow on Instagram @wownowpics
Wednesday, October 19, 2022
After owning both cars for over three months, I'm able to come to a conclusion on this question. And the answer is not entirely clear because on any given day I can say it depends on my mood. That sounds silly, but to a degree it does matter what mood I'm in- and maybe what mood you might be in when you get behind the wheel as to what you are looking to get out of your car that day.
Are you looking for excitement, an easy drive to the store or something in between? My explanation below will hopefully shed light on the personality of each of these cars and are they direct competitors.
The bottom line is both the cars are miles ahead of where cars of this class were 5 years ago. The technology, the safety systems, handling, economy and quality are far better. Of course prices have gone up, but you are getting quite a lot for your money. For example, The Elantra N with the DCT at $35,000. feels every bit as good as my 2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia Ti Sport that cost $46,000. 5 years ago. To think a Hyundai could compete performance wise with a far classier and more premium car as the Giulia is insane- but true. Also the new Civic Si delivers 40+ MPG consistently, while providing all the power most people will need on the street and handling that compares with many sports cars. ( Take that note from a Porsche Cayman owner that says he got beat in an autocross by a Civic more than once)
So here's my overall driving impressions. Civic Si - Feels light and nimble with a small turning circle. The car is not fast coming off the line with its 200 HP but it revs freely and gets stronger as the revs climb. It rides firm but not harsh and it is a masterpiece when taking turns. The limited slip differential pulls you out of corners and there's almost no oversteer until pushing the limits. It corners flat, feeling very planted and the seats are as good as you will find in cars far more expensive.
It is very easy to drive slow and smooth with a shifter as smooth as butter. (Every bit as good as my Porsche Boxster) You can take your wife or kids for a ride and they don't know you have a Go Kart sitting under you. Driving fast is a blast and the car makes you feel like a pro. It makes you look and feel good and there's even a little bit of engine sound pumped into the cabin to make it exciting.
For a sticker price of $28,595. (destination charge included) it is a great value in today's market. Dealer markups are the norm right now with $2,000 - $4,000. being the current situation. Still well worth it when you consider you can easily get 40MPG and have a fun, attractive and practical car to drive!
Elantra N - I'm implying these cars compete in the same space and to a degree they do but at $35,415. (including destination charge) the "N" is a half step up. Dealers are also marking these up but the markups tend to be more in the $1,000. - $3,000 range with a few owners reporting they bought at MSRP with only a few required dealer installed options.
The difference in the driving is pronounced. The "N" feels and sounds much more muscular, because it is. With 276 HP it wins but the car is also about 300 pounds heavier with the automatic transmission, which I have. It feels like a bigger car, yet the exterior dimentions are nearly identical as is the wheelbase. When driving the car you notice the chassis is stiffer and the ride surprisingly supple when in Eco mode. And here's a big difference, the car has an adaptive suspension. When in Sport mode or N mode everything stiffens up and you go from family car to race car with the push of a button! The one thing I do notice, for all its race car like qualities, the turning radius is bigger than the Honda's so you feel like you are driving a bigger car despite them being the same size.
From a thrill standpoint the Hyundai 'N' wins hands down. The active exhaust valves open in Sport and N modes and you get pops and cracks like gunfire. You really have to be careful where you deploy this little 'firecraker' because we know of one owner being ticketed for the car being too loud. My advice- head for a country road and pop and bang to your hearts content- guaranteed to make you smile!
From a handling standpoint, the 'N' also wins as Hyundai has the superior suspension that is more track focused. In fact some car reviews put it on the same level for handling as the Si's big brother, the Type R. The seats are very much like the Honda's, well bolstered and very comfortable. I do like the interior seat materials better in the Hyundai, yet the plastics look and feel cheaper than in the Honda so it's a draw when rating the interiors. Visibility out of both cars is excellent and by removing the rear seat headrests in the Hyundai, the view out the back is better in the "N".
So to sum up, I give the edge to the Hyundai in spite of the additional cost. It is a $50,000. performance sedan for $35,000. while the Honda is so good at around $30,000. it still is a half step below the "N" car. Which would you buy? It all depends on your budget and the last factor- looks. The Honda is eye candy for anyone while the Elantra N is something that grows on you. I love the rear 3/4 view and I'm beginning to like the front view as I get used to seeing it. Everyone has an opinion on it- you either like it or you don't.
Only time will tell which one wins out. Will the "N" car culture grow and become a classic like the Civic Si? What do you think?
Tuesday, October 4, 2022
Finally, I'm back at my desk after 3 weeks in New York and living through hurricane Ian. Fortunately Tampa Bay dodged the bullet, er, storm and we can live to drive our cars another day. We are so fortunate after seeing the videos from parts south of here. Fort Myers Beach is no more and from Naples up to Sarasota the devastation is unbelievable. Pray for all those that have to clean up and pick up the pieces.
Today we held a very well attended Tampa Bay Cafe' Racers lunch with a spectacular array of cars covering 1969 - 2022. Check the pictures to see how many brands are represented. As Florida goes, today was ideal with low humidity, temps in the '70's and great food on the porch at Mugs Sports Bar & Grill. ( I highly recommend it if you are in the Clearwater area.) Here's the parking lot line up:
Friday, September 2, 2022
August was a tough month. Hot days, long waits in the airports, home remodeling and a powerboat race topped off the last week with 4 days with 2 energy filled grandsons. It never stopped and in between, I found another Civic Si searching dealer inventories at 4:30 am one day; my next car purchase. Yes, another Civic Si only this time in Aegean Blue from Ralph Honda in Rochester, NY. I'll take delivery sometime in the next 3 months if Honda's supply chain gets refilled. I was planning on getting the new Civic Type R until my dealer that had me 1st in line said they were charging $10K over MSRP. That killed the deal. Maybe next year. In the meantime my Type R lite (Civic Si) will do just fine as it is an amazing car for the money. I still prefer driving my new Elantra N though!
With all that activity, I got to drive my new Hyundai Elantra N from Crown Hyundai in St. Petersburg, FL about 400 miles. I did find time to stripe the new N and install new tires and wheels and will report my findings below.
First, here's a few pictures from the APBA Powerboat race in Owensboro, KY where I helped in the pits during the weekend. It was a beautiful weekend with sunny skies and temps in the 90's. Friend Jim Aid won all four of his heat races taking the championship trophy for 2.5 liter modified. Not bad for the first time out this year and with a newly rebuilt motor that had not seen water before we arrived on Friday, August 19th. In fact the first time in the water was the first heat on Saturday. Here's a few shots of the action: