Stylish design. The Hyundai Elantra arrived as an all-new sedan in 2021, featuring a bold, aggressive design. For 2022, Hyundai hasn’t touched the Elantra’s design, which is a good thing. The Elantra continues to look daring in a segment that has safe designs.

The cabin isn't nearly as stylish, as it looks like it’s been over-designed in the name of looks. The air vent that runs the entire width of the dashboard is a nice touch, as is the way the infotainment system is integrated into the instrument cluster. While these are nice design elements, the four-pronged steering wheel is odd, the passenger seat is walled off by a strange grab handle that connects to the center console, and the large amount of plastics brings the cabin down a notch.

Features aplenty. It’s hard to find fault with the Elantra’s list of standard and optional features. Every trim is packed with features and offers an impressive list of optional equipment that all offer strong value. Even the base Elantra offers an impressive case of features that include an eight-inch touchscreen, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, Bluetooth, remote keyless entry, four audio speakers, and an HD Radio.

Our pick of the lineup is the SEL that adds six audio speakers, dual-zone climate control, push-button start, and satellite radio. The SEL also opens the door to be equipped with a 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster, adaptive cruise control, heated front seats, a wireless charging pad, Hyundai’s Digital Key, and a Bose audio system.

Despite coming well-equipped with features, the Elantra starts at just $20,875 with destination. That’s a competitive price for the compact class. Hyundai continues to lead the industry with a 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty that only Kia can match. When it comes to giving drivers a lot for their money, the Elantra is one of best the compact sedans.

Efficient to thrilling. With the base engine, the Elantra isn’t an exciting compact vehicle, but it is efficient. Opt for the new-for-2022 Elantra N, and the compact sedan delivers thrilling performance.

The standard 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine is rated at 147 horsepower and can get up to 37 mpg combined. With this engine, the Elantra doesn’t have sharp acceleration but is impressively efficient for the class. While the Elantra has plenty of power around town, it feels sluggish when trying to pass on the highway.

The available Elantra Hybrid has an incredible 54 mpg combined figure. The Elantra Hybrid comes with a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine and an electric motor for a combined output of 139 hp. While the Elantra Hybrid has less power than the regular Elantra, it feels peppier off the line thanks to the electric motor.

For more power, there’s the Elantra N Line. It comes with a turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder that’s rated at 201 horsepower. Updated suspension, larger brakes, summer tires, and 18-inch alloy wheels help the N Line feel far sharper around corners than the regular Elantra. The N Line is available with a six-speed manual transmission or a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic.

New for 2022 is the Elantra N. It’s the most performance-oriented trim in the lineup, with a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, a six-speed manual transmission, an available eight-speed dual-clutch, an electronic differential, a performance exhaust system, upgraded brakes, and adaptive suspension. With 276 hp on tap, the Elantra N is an absolute riot on the track.

Spacious, but uncomfortable. When it comes to interior space, the Elantra nearly matches the midsize Sonata. In the back, passengers get a generous 38 inches of rear legroom. The issue with sitting in the back, though, is the tight rear headroom that makes it uncomfortable for adults. Additionally, the Elantra offers up to 14.2 cubic feet of cargo space in the trunk, which is competitive for the class.

While the Elantra has a comfortable amount of interior space, its seats are uncomfortable for long drives, as the seats need more padding. Support around corners is also lacking. On lower trims that come with cloth upholstery, the fabric feels cheap.

Final thoughts. The 2022 Hyundai Elantra manages to improve on the all-new model that came out in 2021 thanks to a new high-performance N model. The sedan’s aggressive styling, impressive tech features, and excellent fuel economy are all reasons to fall in love with the Elantra. And, of course, there’s no denying that the Elantra is an excellent value option.

There’s a lot to like with the Elantra, but it does leave some room for others to offer more. The all-new Honda Civic is the most obvious rival. It comes with a 158-hp four-cylinder engine, a more comfortable interior, and similar tech features. A new Civic Type R will go on sale shortly, which we expect to offer even more performance than the Elantra N.

For a truly upscale experience, there’s the Mazda3. Mazda’s option features a lavish cabin that feels and looks nearly as high-end as some luxury vehicles. The Mazda3 is available with a 250-hp turbocharged engine, all-wheel drive, and a hatchback body style.

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