A light blue 2022 Volkswagen Golf GTI is shown from the side driving on an open road after winning a 2022 Volkswagen Golf GTI vs 2022 Hyundai Elantra N comparison.

Which Fun-Size Performance Car Will Make It Into Your Garage?

We have all day dreamed of hugging the corners while listening to the engine purr and the gears shift, coming closer to becoming one with the car for every lap around the track. If this sounds like you, well, you are in for a treat. For 2022, Germany and Korea have given those with a need for speed a competition they won’t want to miss being a part of. They have given us the head-to-head matchup: 2022 Volkswagen Golf GTI vs 2022 Hyundai Elantra N.

Fun-Sized With a Powerful Performance

A powerful performance can come in many forms. A heavy-duty pickup truck showcases its performance through towing, while fun-size compact and midsize cars take their performance to the track with a need for speed. However, when comparing the 2022 Volkswagen Golf GTI versus the 2022 Hyundai Elantra N to see which will make it to your garage, performance is based on not only the horsepower, torque, and how quickly they can get up to speed, but also their fuel economy and the overall driving experience for daily commuting. Because let’s be honest, as track-worthy as these two cars may be, the truth is they won’t be racing around the track all that often.

The Sleek and Aggressive Design of the 2022 Hyundai Elantra N

Upon first glance at the 2022 Hyundai Elantra N, you will see a sleek and aerodynamic four-door sports sedan with red accents to the exterior, a rear deck spoiler, and an aggressive dark grille exhibiting confidence. You’ll have the availability to choose from five exterior colors. The interior, composed of black leather-trimmed microsuede, comes with blue accents throughout the cabin, even on the lightweight, contoured, and lowered N Light Sport bucket seats, bringing you closer to the center of gravity. With the availability of just one trim, the Hyundai Elantra N comes fully loaded for your comfort and pleasure.

In the modernized cockpit, you will find two 10.25-inch digital displays. One for displaying your gauges, shift timer, and oil temperature with color themes and animations for each drive mode and the center touchscreen display for your drive mode menu, navigation, smartphone integration, and performance data information, including a lap timer for you to monitor your performance. Not to mention the sporty metal-accented pedals to make you look and feel even more like a professional race car driver.

Along with seats that will hug your every curve while you hug those on the road, you and your four passengers can stretch out in the Bolstered Top Sport seats with a maximum of 99.4 cubic feet of passenger volume while enjoying the luxury of a sunroof with the automatic transmission. To top it off, you can listen to your favorite songs or podcasts through a Bose premium audio sound system with a subwoofer. And to keep you and your passengers from losing connection to the world outside the car, there are USB ports and a wireless charger to keep everyone’s devices charged. With 14.2 cubic feet of cargo volume, you will even be able to bring along the essentials to the race.

A blue 2022 Hyundai Elantra N is shown from the front driving on a racetrack.

Hyundai Puts Safety First

Safety needs to be the priority on any road, whether the highway, the city, or the track. Hyundai makes this happen with its Hyundai SmartSense safety and driver assistance technologies. Including the Blind-Spot Collision-Avoidance Assist that alerts you and applies the brakes for you if it detects a vehicle in your blind spot while changing lanes. The Driver Attention Warning alerts you if it detects that your attention has drifted somewhere other than the road ahead. Other beneficial safety features include side reinforcements and front and rear crumple zones to help keep your injuries to a minimum if a collision does occur. If you plan to use the 2022 Hyundai Elantra N as your daily family car, you will appreciate the child safety locks, power window lock-out button, and most importantly, the Rear Occupant Alert that gives you a visual warning to check the back seat of the car and ensure no one gets left behind.

A Surprising Performance from a Sedan

You want to know things like horsepower, torque, and how quickly a car can get from 0-60 mph when you plan on taking to the track. But when it comes to your daily commuting, you also want to know that you will be getting a fuel-efficient model that will save you on fuel costs and on trips to the gas station to fill up. Surprisingly, the 2022 Hyundai Elantra N sedan delivers on both.

The Elantra N’s 2.0L four-cylinder turbo engine is available with front-wheel drive and a six-speed manual for those who prefer to be in control or an eight-speed automatic transmission for the rest of us that want to do the least amount of work while in the driver’s seat. With this motor, you can expect to get 276 hp with 289 lb-ft of torque that will get you from 0-60 mph in 5 seconds with the dual-clutch automatic transmission. As for commuting, you can expect an EPA-estimated combined 25 MPG combined with the manual transmission and 23 MPG combined with the automatic transmission. The 12.4-gallon fuel tank can get you around 300 miles between fill-ups saving you on trips to the pump and fuel costs. Not a bad performance for a four-door sedan that Grandma has driven versions of before.

The 2022 Volkswagen Golf GTI Hot Hatch

Your first impression of the 2022 Volkswagen Golf GTI defines a hot hatch. This five-door hatchback’s exterior design represents its fun and exhilarating performance, with a more aggressive approach than previously. Looking sportier than ever with fog lights resembling the lucky number five dice, available 19-inch two-tone rims, red badging, and an available LED light bar integrated into the front grille, as well as illuminated door handle recesses and a rear spoiler. Unlike the 2022 Hyundai Elantra N, the Golf GTI has three trim levels to choose from to go along with its six exterior color options, allowing you to customize your driving experience to fit your preferences and driving needs. As for the interior design, expect to be wowed with standard plaid upholstered seating or available leather seats and red accents throughout the cabin illuminated by customizable ambient interior lighting to help set the mood for your drive.

You and your four passengers can enjoy the 91.9 cubic feet of passenger volume, not only in style but in comfort as well, with the available heated seating throughout along with ventilated seating for the front. Plus, with 19.9 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seats or 34.5 cubic feet with the seats folded down, as with the Elantra N, you can bring along whatever you feel you need for whatever road you want to travel. Aside from the ambient lighting, setting the mood with the available Climatronic three-zone automatic climate control with Air Care and rear controls allows for a customizable temperature for all. With the available panoramic sunroof, you can also enjoy the natural lighting of the day or the moonlit sky at night while enhancing the amount of fresh air circulating through the cabin. And with the Digital Sport Layout Gauges as well as the available 10-inch touchscreen digital infotainment center for your smartphone connectivity and navigation needs, the cockpit of your future race car is sure to leave you in a state of awe.

The black interior of a 2022 Volkswagen Golf GTI shows the steering wheel and infotainment screen.

Safety Never Looked So Good

Beyond the exhilarating design, the 2022 Volkswagen Golf GTI also puts safety first. It offers advanced safety driver assistance technologies with IQ.DRIVE preventative safety measures to coincide with its Intelligent Crash Response System, crash-optimized front end, and other safety features that minimize the chances of injury. The Active Blind Spot Monitor alerts you when a vehicle is in your blind spot and assists you in steering away from a possible collision. The Emergency Assist feature alerts you and brings your car to a stop to prevent a collision when you are unresponsive to its alert during active Travel or Lane Assist features. The Golf GTI can help make getting behind the wheel of a hot hatch less stressful and intimidating no matter the road you’ll be taking.

Does the 2022 Volkswagen Golf GTI Outperform the Elantra N?

The front-wheel drive 2022 Volkswagen Golf GTI comes with a 2.0L four-cylinder turbo engine, just like that of the Elantra N. It also comes in your choice of a six-speed manual or seven-speed dual-clutch. Producing 241 hp and 273 lb-ft of torque, it may look like it comes up short on paper. However, the GTI is just as quick in practice, reaching 0-60 mph in 5.1 seconds. And, as we mentioned earlier, performance isn’t just about getting up to speed.

The Golf GTI gets an EPA-estimated 28 MPG combined with both transmissions. With its proximity to the Elantra N on the track and its win in fuel efficiency, it seems that the Golf GTI’s overall performance wins over the Elantra N. If you add in the exquisite design of its interior and exterior when comparing the 2022 Volkswagen Golf GTI versus the 2022 Hyundai Elantra N you are going to want to step into the driver’s seat of the Volkswagen Golf GTI for sure.