By NITISH S. RELE – motoringtampabay@gmail.com

There’s the Elantra for folks who want a small sedan to go from point A to point B. And then there’s our recent test-drive Elantra N Line trim, which brings vim and vigor to the ride. Just switch to sport mode (normal and smart are other options) and you will have a blast whether on the highway or dodging peak-hour traffic.

A 1.6-liter turbo inline-4 cylinder engine puts out 201 horsepower @ 6000 rpm and 195 pounds-feet of torque @ 4500 rpm. Power reaches the front wheels via a crisp-shifting 7-speed auto gearbox. By no means is this a speedster but the car takes off real quick and comes to a stop at a moment’s notice. Both suspension and steering have been sport tuned along with reworked powertrain mounts, especially for the N Line model.

The compact sedan portrays a low and wide stance with a glossy black grille flanked by projector headlights. The rear acquires a N Line rear fascia, dual chrome exhaust, and LED tail and brake lamps. That this is not your base Elantra is evident from the red imprinted N Line on the steering wheel, shifter tip and front seatbacks. Further enhancing the stylish appearance are alloy pedals and a black headliner along with eye-pleasing leatherette/cloth seats. The purposeful cabin sports a horizontal dash layout of a standard 8-inch display audio/nav/phone screen, 60/40 rear seat, 4.2-inch instrument cluster, leather-wrapped power tilt/telescopic steering column, power and heated driver and manual front-passenger seats, sun roof, six speakers and Android Auto/Apple CarPlay.

Endless safety features are standard. There are dual front and side airbags, side curtain airbag, four-wheel antilock brakes with electronic brake distribution and brake assist, front/rear crumple zones, electronic stability and traction control, forward-, blind spot- and rear cross traffic collision- avoidance assists, lane keep and forward assists, rearview camera, remote keyless entry and tire pressure monitoring system.

Base-priced at just $25,700, the addition of the N Line trim makes the Elantra an agile, delightful and a cool car to drive. Its audacious looks, reasonable price tag and gas-sipping capabilities should encourage you to sign on the dotted line.


Tires: P235/40R18

Wheelbase: 107.1 inches

Length: 184.1 inches

Width: 71.9 inches

Height: 55.7 inches

Suspension: MacPherson strut front, multilink rear

Steering: power, rack-and-pinion

Weight: 3,020 pounds

Fuel capacity: 12.4 gallons

City: 28 mpg

Highway: 36 mpg

Web site: www.hyundaiusa.com