The 2020 Hyundai Elantra GT N Line gives the South Korean brand another entry into the hot hatch segment.

The conventional wisdom has buried small cars in favor larger crossovers, sport-utilities and trucks; however, a few automakers have remained steadfast in their commitment to passenger cars, including Hyundai.

Albeit, the company’s largely been lauded for its moves to expand its utility vehicle line-up, it also continues to produce a slew of new and impressive sedans and hatchbacks that have gained favor with the non-ute crowd.

The 2020 Hyundai Elantra GT N Line not only is a small car and a hatchback, the version I drove also was equipped with a manual transmission. In other words, it seemed to have left it with three strikes against it even before it moved an inch away from the curb in today’s world where SUVs and truck dominate so completely.

(Hyundai punches things up with launch of 2021 Elantra N Line.)

The N Line version of the Elantra GT offers tighter steering and a more responsive ride.

Overview: But models such as the 2020 Elantra GT N Line which suggest there is still life and spirit left in the segment.

But while it is a perfectly capable vehicle for commuting and quite useful for running errands and carrying a full load of groceries, plus a few other items, it is also a great deal of fun to drive.

Even while in the midst of the most mundane of everyday tasks, it is fun to drive, which is more than you say for the SUVs and is a lot easier to park than any pickup truck.

… The 2020 Elantra GT N Line also comes 18-inch wheels that help emphasize the car’s sporty and performance-oriented character …

Exterior: The Elantra GT N Line was specifically designed as a “hot hatch” and the silhouette is a sleeker version of the hatchback shape. The N Line also has its very own version of Hyundai’s distinctive grille and N Line front bumper fascia.

The new Elantra GT N Line gets stiffer engine and transmission mounts.

The other elements that set the N Line version apart from the other Elantras include black colored side moldings, N Line rear fascia with diffuser, Lip-spoiler, chrome twin exhaust, sunroof, projector LED headlights and special N Line badging.

Interior: On the inside, where plenty of vehicle purchase decisions are made, the 2020 Elantra is surprisingly comfortable for a compact car. Hyundai has a history of stretching the interior space. The interior layout of the cabin with its easy-to-reach controls, easy-to-read analog gauges, key buttons on the steering wheel and good visibility from the driver’s seat are augmented by the N Line design elements that give the cabin its own unique character.

The list includes a black headliner; an appealing leather-wrapped perforated steering wheel; sport seats with leather bolsters and N Line logos; a gearshift housing with metal accents and alloy pedals that set the N Line version apart from the standard Elantra.

The cockpit of the Elantra GT is designed to make life easier for the driver.

Powertrain: Vehicles with manual transmission are vanishing and one of the reasons that many of them literally seemed to be left over from a bygone era complete with stubborn clutches and hard-to-move shift levers that could frustrate even the most experienced drivers.

Every element of the Hyundai 6-speed manual on the Elantra GT N Line is completely up to date, however, shifting was smooth and nicely complemented the 1.6-liter turbocharged engine that produces 201 horsepower and 195 foot-pounds of torque. The basic layout was front-wheel drive.

(First Drive: 2021 Hyundai Veloster N.)

Safety and Technology: Hyundai has always done a nice job in bringing technology into even its smallest cars and the 2020 Elantra GT N Line comes an AM/FM/HD/SiriusXM Audio System, 8-inch high-resolution touchscreen display, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, iPod/USB and MP3 auxiliary jacks, Bluetooth audio streaming hands-free phone system with voice recognition, steering wheel-mounted audio controls and speed-sensitive automatic volume control.

Blind spot detection also is available, and the car is equipped with multiple airbags, anti-lock brakes, electronic stability control and protection from side-impact collisions

Driving Impressions: I already noted I thought the 2020 Elantra GT N Line was a lot of fun to drive. The driving dynamics were excellent with crisp steering, solid braking and a nicely tuned suspension that even though the Elantra is a small car, it seemed quite capable of taming the bumps in the road.

… The engine delivered more than enough power when it was required to out on the freeway …

The manual transmission also offered a chance to control the shifts from the driver’s seat. The car’s power-to-weight ratio only served to enhance its overall performance on the road.

(Hyundai peels back the cover to reveal new Elantra.)

Wrap Up: The 2020 Elantra GT N Line was an impressive package and with a sticker price of $24,590 it’s surprisingly affordable. You won’t want to take it off-road and it can seem a bit cramped on a long trip, but I suspect owners could find they actually own two cars in one – one that’s imminently practical and easy to park in crowded urban or suburban quarters and another that is great fun to drive when you take it out for an old-fashioned spin on an open road.

 

 

 

 

 

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