I firmly believe that throwing certain badges on the sides of cars will inevitably stir-up strong sensations of excitement and anticipation. Take anything Type R from Honda, Mercedes-Benz AMG, Nismo for Nissan and TRD with Toyota. Now, there’s a new letter in town that promises to tease improved performance and enhanced curb appeal. From the house of Hyundai, the N Line. Already proven to be a formidable addition to the squirrelly Veloster, first introduced in 2018. For 2021, the already excellent Hyundai Sonata finally gets an N Line badge of its own.
A performance version of the brands already very popular mid-size sedan is a welcome addition whichever way you slice it. The 2.5L inline 4 turbo engine spits out nearly 300 hp, with 311 lb-ft of torque at low rpms, thanks to the fast-spooling turbo. An N line, 8-speed wet dual clutch transmission handles the power with relative ease. Shifts are precise and smooth, with the first four gears being tightly spaced to handle the aggressive torque curve. The combination is good for excellent acceleration. With a 0-60 run coming in at around 5.0 seconds.
Exterior embellishments consist of unique 19-inch alloy wheels, a long panoramic sunroof and custom N front and rear fascia with dual twin exhaust outlets. The Portofino gray paint matched the striking interior perfectly. N unique sport front seats with leather and Dinamica surface work came in a similar slate gray. Along with other interior panels and surfaces. With stitching details in brighter contrasted colors. The effect is great. The seats offer sculpted support, with adjustable side bolstering to fit and form to every shape and size. A more conservative, controlled approach to interior design for sure. Elevated but not overdone. Especially when compared to the tuner-crazed TRD treatment in the Camry.
The Sonata N Line offers great looks and feels all around. A tightened suspension, tuned chassis and aggressive turbo will ensure a good time for everyone on board. With driving modes to tone it down when you need a break. Just watch out for the 90’s level amounts of torque-steer if you’re not careful.
Price as tested: $34,674.00