Honda Civic Si vs. Hyundai Elantra N vs. VW Jetta GLI

From the April 2022 concern of Automobile and Driver.

A long time in the past, meals regarded very totally different. Folks would scarf down one thing referred to as creamed chipped beef, then, with out lacking a beat, combine canned tuna with Jell-O to create a tuna mildew. Thought of artistic of their time, these dishes can be made at this time solely to check gag reflexes. Time has modified our roads, too, and vehicles have at all times been subjected to the identical kind of daring experimentation and trend (which explains the rise and fall of the AMC Pacer and the Chrysler PT Cruiser).

Extolling the virtues of hotted-up economic system vehicles fitted with guide transmissions to nonenthusiasts can really feel like making an attempt to encourage somebody to style the chipped beef. Irrespective of how arduous we attempt, many people won’t ever even contemplate driving these vehicles.

Marc UrbanoAutomobile and Driver

Compact sports activities sedans are a lot enjoyable, we plead. Simply attempt the six-speed guide—you may adore it. You can nook tougher than you ever have earlier than. “Uh, no thanks,” they will demur as they politely step again. Certain, it is their loss, however each time we fail, one other boring, CVT-equipped crossover leaves a dealership.

The three sports activities sedans we have gathered for this sampler platter are for daring palates. The Honda Civic Si, the Hyundai Elantra N, and the Volkswagen Jetta GLI all are spicy variations of in any other case completely smart transportation. Replete with taste and enjoyable that could be an excessive amount of for some patrons, every follows a barely totally different recipe. However they share the identical key elements: a turbocharged four-cylinder engine, front-wheel drive, 4 doorways, three pedals, and 6 speeds.

Marc UrbanoAutomobile and Driver

Merely figuring out they exist is a litmus take a look at for automotive enthusiasm. To jot down a verify for one is to grasp that for about $30,000 you may personal a automotive that handles and performs at a degree far past the workaday norm. To seek out our favourite, we turned to the roads that traverse the San Gabriel Mountains in California, the place we ate up corners, labored shifters, and usually savored the issues these vehicles do nicely whereas recognizing that driving them this difficult would make most individuals sick. Ultimately, we discovered the one we would order.

2022 volkswagen jetta gli

Marc UrbanoAutomobile and Driver

third Place:
2022 Volkswagen Jetta GLI

Highs: Prepared and blissful engine, safe dealing with, civilized journey.
Lows:
All-season tires, long-throw shifter, seats lack lateral assist.
Verdict:
Somebody traded sportiness for refinement and options.

A section forefather, a 2020 and 2021 10Best winner, and the victor on this section’s final comparability take a look at, the Jetta GLI continues to be what it has been since 1983: a GTI with a trunk. The refreshed GLI enters 2022 with new bumpers and a redesigned grille, however different adjustments are much less savory. The GLI now comes solely in loaded Autobahn trim that sees its base value rise from $27,340 to $31,990, and summer season efficiency tires are off the menu. We most likely do not should let you know in regards to the significance of tires or {that a} name to Tire Rack will right the state of affairs, however we’ll anyway. The flawed tires can break the temper quicker than serving ham-and-bananas hollandaise on a dinner date.

Though the Volkswagen falls in need of the Honda and the Hyundai by way of inside quantity numbers, its cabin feels extra spacious. The GLI’s Pure Grey nonmetallic paint seems to be Lamborghini-­worthy however is simply $295 (Lambo would most likely cost $5000).

Marc UrbanoAutomobile and Driver

Tires have an effect on each a part of the expertise and ding the GLI’s goal efficiency numbers. In contrast with a 2020 GLI sporting summer season sneakers, skidpad grip falls from 0.91 g to 0.86, and it takes 12 extra toes to cease from 70 mph and 30 extra toes to cease from 100 mph. Regardless of the comparatively low-grip rubber, the GLI retains its safe sense of management and can nonetheless placed on a canyon-­highway clinic if pressed. It is a squeal-filled lesson, however discovering and utilizing all of the grip is accessible and simple.

Subsequent to the opposite two, the GLI behaves like a bigger automotive. Maybe it is the enormous (and heavy) sunroof that is now normal or the marginally softer suspension tuning. The profit is a quieter and higher journey and a snug rear seat that is roomier than its measurements would point out. The posh automotive of the group, the GLI comes with heated and ventilated energy entrance seats, leather-based upholstery, dual-zone local weather management, adaptive cruise management, and a punchy Beats audio system. Inside high quality remains to be a sticking level, however in contrast to the brand new GTI, the GLI has a quantity knob, and it retains the outdated GTI’s very good steering wheel.

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Volkswagen’s terrific turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four is the 228-hp model from final yr’s GTI. It is keen and free revving. Increase arrives rapidly, and supplied you do not have the engine’s sound settings in immature modes, the 4’s machinations stay at arm’s size. Step into the Jetta after driving the Civic, and the VW’s shift throws can really feel lengthy and disconnected; one driver likened them to one thing you’d anticipate in a Setra bus. Nonetheless, we did not miss any shifts, and the gearbox will swallow quick shifts with out hiccups.

Along with the summer season rubber, the opposite little bit of GTI lacking within the GLI are the hatchback’s seats. GLI chairs come from the Jetta SEL Premium, they usually lack the lateral bolstering discovered within the Honda and the Hyundai. Few issues let you know extra about how significantly a automotive takes efficiency than its tires and seats.

2022 honda civic si

Marc UrbanoAutomobile and Driver

2nd Place:
2022 Honda Civic Si

Highs: Grips and handles like a sports activities automotive, by no means having to brake for corners, the enjoyment of shifting it.
Lows:
Engine wants extra kick, brakes go delicate if labored arduous.
Verdict:
Honda nails the worth and dealing with elements, however a candy gearbox cannot make up for a bland engine.

Seeing a brand new Civic Si on the highway reveals so much in regards to the driver. First, they will drive a guide—each new Si has a do-it-yourself gearbox. Begin speaking about automatics in entrance of a Honda salesperson they usually’ll usher you over to a Civic Sport, with much less energy and with out the Si’s agency suspension. Your loss. Summer season tires—you need the Summer season tires—add $200 to the Civic Si’s $28,315 base value. Our take a look at automotive arrived wearing $395 Blazing Orange Pearl paint, which glows like a carrot-filled aspic.

The Si’s shifter snicks into gear with the lubricated precision of Civics previous, however we discovered it set a bit too far ahead. Row it and the impression is that the impartial aircraft is the place you’d anticipate gears 1, 3, and 5 to stay.

Marc UrbanoAutomobile and Driver

Redesigned final yr, the brand new Civic is a strong little citizen that will not jiggle like gelatin. On this automotive, nevertheless, horsepower is down by 5 for the reason that final Si. The 200-hp turbocharged 1.5-liter is the least highly effective on this group, and 60 mph comes up in a slowest-in-test 6.7 seconds. Stirring the six-speed guide, although, is a delight regardless of the shifter being a pair inches farther ahead than you’d anticipate. The engine is easy and can growl at excessive rpm, but it surely hangs on to revs and lacks the punchy character and liveliness of the fours within the Hyundai and the VW. It feels primarily like what it’s: a daily Civic’s engine with 20 additional horsepower.

Honda makes up for the engine-room deficiency with a safe, vigorous, and playful chassis that could be a pleasure all the way in which as much as the 0.97-g restrict. The agency journey is a wholly acceptable trade-off for the thrilling dealing with. Deft and lightweight, the Si sneaks in underneath 3000 kilos. Whereas the Civic is a tenth of an inch wider than the Jetta, tight roll management and easy, pure directional adjustments make it appear a foot narrower. The steering may very well be extra informative, but when your aim is to keep up a pace and by no means brake for corners, the Si is a good pal. Brake arduous and infrequently, as we do in our testing, and the warmth will set off a brake warning mild and a soggy pedal.

Marc UrbanoAutomobile and Driver

Take a while to chill the brakes and you will discover a fuss-free instrument panel with clear digital gauges that mimic analog dials. The big touchscreen protruding from the dashboard responds rapidly. Honda thoughtfully features a quantity knob, so life is nice. The entrance seats have glorious lateral assist, though one among our testers complained of glute soreness after solely an hour or so. Rear-seat area felt a bit tighter than within the different two, but it surely’s a lot snug in again for 2 adults.

If worth and dealing with maintain major attraction, the Civic Si is a good alternative. In the event you’re searching for a bit extra firepower, the opposite two sedans are well worth the spend.

2022 hyundai elantra n

Marc UrbanoAutomobile and Driver

1st Place:
2022 Hyundai Elantra N

Highs: Class-leading acceleration and dealing with, most enjoyable to drive, hold-me-tight seats.
Lows:
Limitless settings, occasional journey harshness.
Verdict:
The letter N elevates the Elantra to the sports-­sedan A-list.

The title Elantra N may sound like pimento loaf to some patrons, however to us it describes a tasty mix that pairs sedan practicality with the outrageous and joyous flavors of Hyundai’s barely loopy and deeply fantastic Veloster N. New for 2022, the Elantra N is the newest automotive from the Korean carmaker’s sporty N subbrand. It comes with a six-speed guide or a seven-speed dual-clutch automated. Costs open at $32,945 for the guide model, to which we added Efficiency Blue paint for $400. The auto is a $1500 choice, however contemplate the slick six-speed essential.

The shifter lacks the mechanical chunk of the Honda’s, however we by no means missed a gear or beat the synchros.

Marc UrbanoAutomobile and Driver

Driving the Hyundai banishes any ideas that “Elantra sports activities sedan” is an oxymoron. From the second you begin the engine, it feels alive, keen, and assured. A 276-hp turbocharged 4 brilliantly places the ability down by way of the entrance tires, taking the Hyundai to 60 in 5.1 seconds and thru the quarter-mile in 13.5 seconds at 105 mph. A agency (typically a bit too agency) suspension and an electronically managed limited-slip differential take advantage of the usual Hyundai-spec Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires. A have a look at the scoring reveals that Hyundai practically ran the desk on each goal and subjective efficiency scores, proving it isn’t only a numbers automotive. Bend it into just a few corners and by the third one you are snug utilizing all 0.99 g of grip. Each element works collectively to get you to go quicker.

Like these in BMW’s M division, N engineers current the driving force with a dizzying array of adjustability. Begin with the engine quantity—there are 5 settings for the Lively Sound Design system and three exhaust modes. Even in probably the most excessive TCR mode (named after Hyundai’s TCR race automotive), the rumbles and zings sound genuine, even when it is a pc blowing the kazoo. The snap-crackle-pops coming from the tailpipe are actual, however we would depart the exhaust in its tamest mode. The louder ones have all of the subtlety of a child with a snare drum.

Past the three suspension changes, there are additionally three for steering, engine response, rev matching, and stability management, plus two differential settings. And do not forget in regards to the adjustable rpm in launch-control mode.

The most effective seats within the take a look at function illuminated N logos paying homage to BMW’s lit-up M logos.

Marc UrbanoAutomobile and Driver

Not less than you may’t screw issues up too badly. Adjustments in engine response and rev matching are refined. Shifting up by way of the steering settings backs off the help with out affecting the fast rack’s regular suggestions, so cycle by way of and discover a favourite. Altering the diff’s setting has a higher affect on the steering, for the reason that diff’s aggressiveness will tug on the wheel extra because the automotive bites tougher into corners. And it eats corners by the mouthful. Assume the entrance tires are about to begin sliding? Get on the ability and the differential works to tighten your line.

All of the enjoyable comes with a spacious cabin, hold-me-tight seats, and a value solely barely increased than the others. This can be a breakthrough automotive that may make folks take the N model significantly. It has the flavors we love and left us with a chipped-beef-eating grin.

2022 honda civic si, 2022 hyundai elantra n, and 2022 volkswagen jetta gli results

Specs

Specs

2022 Honda Civic Si

Automobile Sort: front-engine, front-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door sedan

PRICE

Base/As Examined: $28,315/$28,910

Choices: Blazing Orange Pearl paint, $395; summer season tires, $200

ENGINE

turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 16-valve inline-4, aluminum block and head, direct gasoline injection

Displacement: 91 in3, 1498 cm3

Energy: 200 hp @ 6000 rpm

Torque: 192 lb-ft @ 1800 rpm

TRANSMISSION

6-speed guide

CHASSIS

Suspension, F/R: struts/multilink

Brakes, F/R: 12.3-in vented disc/11.1-in disc

Tires: Goodyear Eagle F1 Uneven 2

235/40R-18 95Y

DIMENSIONS

Wheelbase: 107.7 in

Size: 184.0 in

Width: 70.9 in

Top: 55.5 in

Passenger Quantity: 96 ft3

Trunk Quantity: 14 ft3

Curb Weight: 2940 lb

C/D TEST RESULTS

60 mph: 6.7 sec

1/4-Mile: 15.0 sec @ 95 mph

100 mph: 16.4 sec

120 mph: 26.2 sec
Outcomes above omit 1-ft rollout of 0.3 sec.

Rolling Begin, 5–60 mph: 7.6 sec

Prime Gear, 30–50 mph: 9.2 sec

Prime Gear, 50–70 mph: 8.2 sec

Prime Velocity (C/D est): 135 mph

Braking, 70–0 mph: 156 ft

Braking, 100–0 mph: 312 ft

Roadholding, 300-ft Skidpad: 0.97 g

C/D FUEL ECONOMY

Noticed: 26 mpg

EPA FUEL ECONOMY

Mixed/Metropolis/Freeway: 31/27/37 mpg

– 

2022 Hyundai Elantra N

Automobile Sort: front-engine, front-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door sedan

PRICE

Base/As Examined: $32,945/$33,345

Choices: Efficiency Blue paint, $400

ENGINE

turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 16-valve inline-4, aluminum block and head, direct gasoline injection

Displacement: 122 in3, 1998 cm3

Energy: 276 hp @ 6000 rpm

Torque: 289 lb-ft @ 2100 rpm

TRANSMISSION

6-speed guide

CHASSIS

Suspension, F/R: struts/multilink

Brakes, F/R: 14.2-in vented disc/12.4-in vented disc

Tires: Michelin Pilot Sport 4S

245/35ZR-19 (93Y) HN

DIMENSIONS

Wheelbase: 107.1 in

Size: 184.1 in

Width: 71.9 in

Top: 55.7 in

Passenger Quantity: 101 ft3

Trunk Quantity: 14 ft3

Curb Weight: 3190 lb

C/D TEST RESULTS

60 mph: 5.1 sec

100 mph: 12.5 sec

1/4-Mile: 13.8 sec @ 105 mph

120 mph: 18.5 sec
Outcomes above omit 1-ft rollout of 0.3 sec.

Rolling Begin, 5–60 mph: 6.1 sec

Prime Gear, 30–50 mph: 10.2 sec

Prime Gear, 50–70 mph: 7.2 sec

Prime Velocity (C/D est): 155 mph

Braking, 70–0 mph: 154 ft

Braking, 100–0 mph: 305 ft

Roadholding, 300-ft Skidpad: 0.99 g

C/D FUEL ECONOMY

Noticed: 24 mpg

EPA FUEL ECONOMY

Mixed/Metropolis/Freeway: 25/22/31 mpg

2022 Volkswagen Jetta GLI Autobahn

Automobile Sort: front-engine, front-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door sedan

PRICE

Base/As Examined: $31,990/$32,980

Choices: Pure Grey paint, $395

ENGINE

turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 16-valve inline-4, iron block and aluminum head, direct gasoline injection

Displacement: 121 in3, 1984 cm3

Energy: 228 hp @ 5000 rpm

Torque: 258 lb-ft @ 1500 rpm

TRANSMISSION

6-speed guide

CHASSIS

Suspension, F/R: struts/multilink

Brakes, F/R: 13.4-in vented disc/11.8-in vented disc

Tires: Hankook Kinergy GT

225/45R-18 91H M+S

DIMENSIONS

Wheelbase: 105.6 in

Size: 186.9 in

Width: 70.8 in

Top: 57.9 in

Passenger Quantity: 94 ft3

Trunk Quantity: 14 ft3

Curb Weight: 3266 lb

C/D TEST RESULTS

60 mph: 6.1 sec

100 mph: 14.6 sec

1/4-Mile: 14.6 sec @ 100 mph

120 mph: 21.1 sec
Outcomes above omit 1-ft rollout of 0.3 sec.

Rolling Begin, 5–60 mph: 7.3 sec

Prime Gear, 30–50 mph: 12.3 sec

Prime Gear, 50–70 mph: 8.4 sec

Prime Velocity (gov ltd): 126 mph

Braking, 70–0 mph: 174 ft

Braking, 100–0 mph: 355 ft

Roadholding, 300-ft Skidpad: 0.86 g

C/D FUEL ECONOMY

Noticed: 27 mpg

EPA FUEL ECONOMY

Mixed/Metropolis/Freeway: 30/26/37 mpg

C/D TESTING EXPLAINED

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