2022 Volkswagen Golf GTI/Golf R vs 2022 Hyundai Elantra N Comparability

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Hyundai’s Elantra N lands smack dab in the midst of the ability hole between the GTI and Golf R, so which is its true competitor? And which is the most effective?

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Peter Bleakney: For these with a starvation for rambunctious, three-pedal, four-door compact vehicles, (and a price range of $40-50K), the cabinet is much from naked. If truth, our cups runneth over. Right here, on your lip-smacking pleasure, we current a zesty sandwich. Take two iconic German schnitzels, insert a baby-blue slice of kimchi, and watch the fur fly — it’s like a sport compact Double Down. These three 2.0L turbo tinderboxes are new for 2022, with the Volkswagen GTI and Golf R driving on Volkswagen’s recent Mk8 Golf platform, and the Hyundai Elantra N hatched from the demure Elantra sedan and ending up writing a decisive e-book on front-drive dynamics.

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This sandwich is constructed on worth and energy. The entrance drive 2022 VW Golf GTI, with 241 horses and 273 lb-ft of torque, begins at $31,495 for the bottom automotive with six-speed stick. The fully-equipped 2022 Hyundai Elantra N with six-speed brags 276 horsepower (286 when overboost is activated) and 289 lb-ft of torque, and has an all-in worth of $37,399. The six-speed 2022 VW Golf R is admittedly a unique kettle of fish — all-wheel drive, 315 horsepower and 280 lb-ft (295 with the DSG dual-clutch auto), Nappa leather-based, ventilated seats, stealthy ground-effects aero, and a $45,995 sticker. Nonetheless, right here in Canada the GTI/Golf R take price is a 50/50 break up. And contemplating the as-tested worth of our Pomelo Yellow Metallic GTI is $40,245, the über Golf R is just not a lot of a monetary stretch.

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Examine the specs of those guide vehicles: VW Golf R vs VW Golf GTI vs Hyundai Elantra N

So Jonathan, having stretched the legs of this feisty trio, what are your first impressions?

Jonathan Yarkony: My first impression is that it is a sport-compact burger I might eat all day every single day for the remainder of my driving life. I hate to present away the dramatic ending but it surely’s gonna be one thing like: Any of those three will make an fanatic driver on a price range fairly rattling completely satisfied. Choose your poison and drive off into the sundown and benefit from the group of like-minded followers every of those vehicles brings. I used to be fortunate sufficient in my time with these vehicles to get pleasant waves from precise house owners of GTIs, Golf Rs, and one particularly thrilled Elantra N proprietor who possible hasn’t seen many others of this stripe pop up in Brampton simply but, however many extra are absolutely on the way in which. It’s refreshing to really feel the love and appreciation between fanatic drivers when the world is so filled with chaos and carnage.

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And earlier than we even dive into the delicate variations in efficiency between these vehicles, my thoughts turns to practicality: as a household of 4 with hockey, soccer, swimming, baseball and the resumption of social occasions, there’s so much on the Yarkony calendar, and this dad is a lifelong devotee of hatchbacks and wagons and their superior practicality and use of house. Credit score the place credit score is due, the Hyundai Elantra has a surprisingly spacious trunk (402 L) that’s wider and deeper than the Golf twins’, however Golf R and GTI’s tall sq. cargo bays supply over 550 L with the rear seats in place and virtually 1,000 L with the rear seats dropped, and people seats break up 60/40, giving most practicality inside its compact dimensions. The Elantra’s again seat can’t be dropped for additional cargo house due to the huge X brace that offers the modest Elantra body a dose of a lot wanted rigidity.

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PB: Effectively, I’m with you on the practicality entrance. Nothing beats a hatchback, and for me I’d have to decide on one of many V-dubs for that motive alone. However what if hauling stuff is just not as necessary as hauling ass? In spite of everything, it is a efficiency automotive comparability, so let’s get to the nitty-gritty.

Each the Volkswagen GTI and Golf R are immensely satisfying driving instruments. But as sharp as they’re, the Hyundai Elantra N is an absolute scalpel. In creating this front-drive sport sedan, Hyundai should have benchmarked the Honda Civic Sort R, such is its baked-in stability, grip, immediacy and, nicely, joyfully chuckable disposition. This right here is the poster youngster for controllable lift-off oversteer. Having attended the automotive’s media launch final yr at Sonoma Raceway, the Elantra N resolutely ate up the massive observe, whereas additionally displaying fabulous poise on the autocross course. It’s a respectable observe star that’s completely satisfied to run at 10/10ths all day till the usual Michelin PS4 tires name it a day. That stated, the N’s experience high quality is completely acceptable, even when buttoned down in sport mode.

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Leaping from the Elantra N into the GTI, the Volkswagen initially feels heavier, maybe a tad extra ponderous.The steering isn’t as sharp, the shifter a bit ropier, however as soon as your butt recalibrates, this Eighth-gen GTI sings a reasonably candy music. It hungrily dives into corners, and the intelligent entrance diff hauls the nostril out, primarily eradicating any trace of understeer. But, just like the Hyundai, the GTI is just not averse to some grin-inducing raise off oversteer. Transferring to the all-wheel-drive Golf R, nicely that’s a unique kettle of fish. Whereas the Mk7 R was maybe too competent and buttoned up for its personal good, this Mk8 has obtained its freak on. Spring and anti-roll bar charges improve by 10 per cent, there’s extra damaging camber dialled in on the entrance wheels and steering will get recalibrated for higher suggestions. The large information is the flowery rear clutch pack that may apportion torque back and forth, giving the R a respectable rear-drive shove (and a Drift mode). It’s a hooligan, and the six-speed guide (solely obtainable in North America, should you can consider that) offers a satisfying mechanical connect with this über-Golf.

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So Jonathan, let’s discuss energy. By the numbers, the Hyundai’s 276-286 horses and 289 lb-ft of torque needs to be smoking the GTI’s 241 hp and 273 lb-ft of torque. Possibly German horses are extra strong than these from the Korean, trigger the GTI feels faster to me.

JY: I wouldn’t say the GTI felt faster to me, however I additionally wasn’t doing arduous launches on the drag strip. The numbers bear this out as VW lists the 2022 GTI’s acceleration occasions to 100 km/h at 6.2 seconds, whereas Hyundai claims 5.3 seconds for the DSG mannequin, with the guide possible trailing by only a couple tenths. The place the Elantra N actually shone, although, was its mid-range punch, the place it completely pulls like mad in that candy 20-60 km/h vary that’s so helpful on metropolis streets with out entering into an excessive amount of bother. And with the gorgeous child blue paint job on the Elantra N, it was an consideration magnet, so I used to be downright paranoid about attracting the flawed type of consideration. In that mid-range, the GTI simply didn’t have fairly the identical authority and soar because the Elantra N. The Golf R, after all, proved to be in one other league as soon as once more, with absolute grip off the road to push you in your seat and carry on pulling proper as much as freeway speeds, and 0-100 km/h occasions nicely beneath 5 seconds.

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Nevertheless, regardless of the Golf R’s energy superiority, it was the Elantra N that I most well-liked within the corners. Such as you say, its steering was scalpel sharp, and its grip and really feel on turn-in was simply electrifying that it made each nook pure pleasure and recalled the Civic Sort R for me. The GTI and R have been a bit heavier and extra cumbersome in corners in comparison with the N, however they’re nonetheless rewarding and vigorous in comparison with my standard fare of roly-poly SUVs.

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The Elantra N additionally had considered one of my favorite options on this entire comparability: an audible shift alert when you find yourself about to hit redline for these of us that don’t decide up the flashing mild of the visible indicators. In contrast to the auto-rev matching that takes the guide pleasure out of perfecting one’s personal heel-toe downshifting, the shift alert simply offers you a cue to enhance your driving talent and shift timing.

With regards to different extra mundane features of those vehicles, the Elantra N additionally delivered above its pay grade. The VW GTI achieves its flat cornering on the expense of a tough experience, and on a few potholed, lumpy roads, the GTI virtually knocked my fillings out crashing over a few massive impacts. The Elantra N’s electronically managed dampers really ship on their promise of an “ambidextrous efficiency automotive” that gives very good grip and stage cornering whereas absorbing tough roads when simply shuttling the youngsters to soccer video games. The Golf R matches that twin persona, which I might anticipate from its larger worth level, and much more than the ability and all-wheel drive, is the factor that might push me as much as a Golf R if I might afford it.

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PB: With an all-in worth of $37,399, the Hyundai Elantra N is the worth king right here: two 10.25-inch shows, premium Bose audio, full suite of security methods, telephone charging pad and complete efficiency information show. Plus human pleasant ergonomics, thanks. (Volkswagen actually dropped the ball on this one.) The GTI may begin at $31,495, however equip a Efficiency mannequin to an honest spec and also you’re looking at $40K. The über Golf R with stick is $45,995, and as famous earlier, that’s an all-in worth with luxury-level appointments.

2022 Volkswagen Golf GTI vs 2022 Hyundai Elantra N
2022 Volkswagen Golf GTI vs 2022 Hyundai Elantra N Picture by Jonathan Yarkony

Hmmmm. So which one to get? If you happen to’re in search of uncompromised hoonage, the Elantra N wins. This red-hot front-drive sedan is Albert Biermann’s farewell love letter to auto fanatics. Herr Biermann (former chassis guru at BMW M) just lately retired from his place at Hyundai, the place he nurtured his N division right into a maker of reasonably priced world-class efficiency automobiles. However Jonathan, I believe the Elantra N can be a uncommon sight on our roads resulting from its slender focus. Conversely, the GTI and Golf R are such well-rounded, useful, snug and enjoyable day by day drivers, they’ll proceed to populate the Canadian automotive panorama. As for me, if I used to be staring down a $40k GTI, I’d make the $6K stretch to the Golf R and never blink a watch. And do half-donuts in Drift Mode, simply because.

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JY: Personally, attempting to be as practical as potential, I might pocket that $6K after which one other $5K and put my cash on a mid-level GTI Autobahn that takes the wheels down an inch to 18 to hopefully take the sting out of that experience high quality, however nonetheless delivers a stellar driving expertise, among the coolest seats within the business, and the added hatchback practicality that I like for my household. Neither the AWD, the delicate dynamic benefits, the experience consolation, nor the additional burst of velocity would do sufficient to make me spend an additional $10K on the Golf R.

No less than, that’s how I felt after we parted methods after driving the GTI again to again with the Elantra N, however after an additional weekend within the Hyundai sedan, after which much more time to let the experiences percolate, it was the driving expertise of the Elantra N that caught with me most and the automotive I most need again in my driveway. Though its sedan packaging is a compromise for me, it’s a compromise I’d be keen to make for the superior worth, very good dealing with, and on a regular basis livability of the Hyundai Elantra N. The Volkswagen Golf GTI and Golf R will proceed to promote to its loyal followers, particularly within the absence of a fundamental Golf or virtually every other sizzling hatch competitors, however the 2022 Hyundai Elantra N is the winner on this comparability.

PB: Effectively Jonathan, I’ve to agree with you on this. The Elantra N is a masterful little bit of engineering — as joyful as it’s competent, and if we’re speaking efficiency, the W should go to the N.


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