Sunday, January 22, 2023

Elantra N Automatic DCT or 6 Speed Manual?

 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?

I've owned the DCT version since August and the six speed for three weeks. I had the opportunity to take the six speed for a spirited drive this week over a 150 mile run on some back roads that have made up for the short time of ownership, giving me a good basis for comparison. Here's what I found.

Sound:  The forums have said the manual is louder, I disagree. There is no big differece in how loud they are, but there is a difference in the way the sound comes out.  The DCT has a satisfying change in tone with each gear change when accelerating from a stop and you don't have to be hammering the throttle. It does this even in normal mode and the tone change is more pronounced in sport mode. I really like it as it sounds a lot like a Porsche with a DCT.  (I owned a 2014 Cayman with the 6 cylinder)
This exhaust system is magic as I have not heard a better sounding 4 cylinder turbo motor.
With the six speed you have full control on how you make your sound by keeping it in gear to your liking. You can wind it up or short shift it. You can change the modes from Normal to Sport to 'N' and you get different effects. It really is the best of all worlds involving engine and exhaust sounds.

Strangely, the DCT seems to be a little more deep throated and a little meaner sounding, but the manual is more versatile for altering the sounds.  Hard to say which is better- they are just different.

Handling - This is subjective because it depends on your purpose at the time. Are you on a back road with lots of curves, are you on a track, or are you crusing in traffic?  There are advantages to both depending on the situation.  The DCT is definately quicker and it can be controlled by the paddles or gearshift giving lots of options.  For sheer fun, the manual has the advantage though. Each car handles extremely well, they should as that's what they were designed to do but the you can feel a slight difference between them because of the weight difference. Not a lot- around 120 pounds but I would give the edge to the manual because it is lighter. But that's where Hyundai makes it harder to pick because the DCT has a little more horsepower estimated by all accounts to be about 15  ponies. On an overall scale, they are very, very close in the handling department.

Fun Factor - Again this is subjective. If you like shifting and don't mind being in traffic, the manual is the choice. With the Rev Match system, even a novice can look good in the 6 speed. It is a very easy shifter to operate and although not as rigid as a Honda Si shifter in some ways it is easier. Yes easier than a Honda! Many of you might disagree but I drove the new gen Honda Civic Si for a year and on my 50 mile torture test in traffic on Rt 19 in Florida I feel more rested and relaxed shifting the Hyundai. This route is one I take twice a month to visit my daughter and I can make this claim!
The Honda's shifter is wonderful but it feels like the difference you feel wearing a shirt and tie all day vs wearing a comfortable tee shirt with the Hyundai. The Hyndai shifter is a little more loosey goosey, but in a good way.  The shifts are still crisp and precise, just not as crisp.  The clutch might be the difference, or the fact you have a 2.0 liter vs a 1.5 liter engine.  The clutch is just a bit easier to operate in the Hyundai.
But back to comparing the two Hyundais.   The DCT is easy as it gets and it make the engine sounds that you love as you accelerate up through the gears. Yes, you can have a ton of fun with the DCT, and it is super quick.  Which is better?  Hard to say and a personal choice. Overall most people will probably like the DCT is my guess.

Conclusion - If you are really on the fence, the safe bet is the DCT. Plenty of fun and you will not be dissapointed. You also get a sunroof and the NGS button with 10 extra horsepower and remote start. For $1,500. it is well worth it.  If you are used to driving a manual and want the maximum driver engagement the manual would be for you.  we are lucky that Hyundai gives you a choice and moreover, we are lucky Hyundai is bringing amazing performance at an affordable price. I've owned performance cars costing way more than this and they are not really that much better, if better!

I hope this has helped anyone seriously thinking of buying an Elantra N.   Here's some pictures of my two N's - the best two cars I've ever owned for the price.

                                         Cyber Gray Elantra N With Six Speed Manual

                                            Ceramic White Elantra N With 8 Speed DCT

           Thanks for visiting the Carcamerastory blog brought to you by Paul Ziegler, Publisher

               Author of "Echoes From The Glen".  Follow on Instagram @wownowpics

Saturday, January 7, 2023

Elantra N Times Two

 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   Follow on Instagram @wownowpics