Hyundai is making a name for itself with its N performance brand. The Elantra N packs a lot of punch for the price, nipping at the back bumper of cars like the Honda Civic Type R, which is more powerful but also more expensive. The Elantra N is a surprising offering with enough oomph to worry Type R owners.

The Hyundai packs a turbo 2.0-liter four-cylinder that makes 276 horsepower and 289 pound-feet of torque, powering the front wheels through a six-speed manual like the Civic. However, the Civic has an advantage even though it also uses a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder. The engine produces a bit more power, cranking out 315 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque.

In Edmunds Cars latest U-turn drag race, the Elantra got off the line ahead of the Honda in the first race. The Civic caught up by the end of the quarter-mile line and then continued pulling away. It was the same result the second time—the Elantra just didn’t have the goods to keep up once both cars got going. The Type R’s extra power had a clear advantage over the N, and the results proved that.

By every measure, the Civic was a smidge better than the Elantra. The Honda reached 60 miles per hour in 5.7 seconds versus 5.9 and completed the quarter-mile 0.3 seconds quicker than the Hyundai—14.0 seconds at 105.0 mph compared to 14.3 at 101.5 mph.

The Civic also outgripped the Elantra in the turn, pulling 1.34 g in the corner. The Hyundai pulled 1.31. Those small advantages allowed the Type R to complete Edmund’s U-drag race in 37.8 seconds at 118.8 mph. The Elantra N did it in 38.6 seconds at 114.8 mph.

Is the Honda’s extra power and performance worth the price premium?

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Last Update: June 16, 2024