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If you can find a good used N at a great price, that's the way I would go.
The only real reason to go with a 2021 is if you want/need a the DCT automatic transmission, the other safety stuff really didn't interest me.
I just put convex mirrors on for my blindspot and I'm good.
I would like the new seats and navigation, but not for the $8,000+ it would have cost me.
Navigation, I just use Android auto, works great on the N.
I used some of the money I saved by going with a 2020 on putting paint protection film in the entire front end and roof. The paint on modern cars is water based and very soft, prone to easily chipping.
I recommend ppf to everyone who plan on keeping their N's long term.
Much better than a re-spray down the road.
I plan on buying a set of 17 or 18" wheels for the track, and getting a JB4.
There are lots of things to buy with the money you save going used.
Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #22
I've never purchased a new car but it's hard to ignore Hyundai's warranty and hard to give up a large portion of it buying used. Curse you Hyundai for not making your excellent warranty fully transferrable (except in the case of Certified Pre-Owned...)
 

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Discussion Starter #23
My local dealer called me Tuesday and informed me that they got a Black 2021 VN with DCT in and invited me to come take it for a spin which I gladly did yesterday.

I like the new seats and found them quite comfortable though I've never sat in a '19/'20 for comparison. I'm 6 ft / ~175 lbs and had no issues with the bolstering though I could see where someone wider than me in the legs could feel a bit squeezed by the seat bolsters.

I prefer a manual but went into the DCT with an open mind. Long story short the DCT performed great but I hate it. It sounds and feels just like a manual when it shifts so much so that I couldn't keep my left foot still. Not being in control of the shifts bothered me so much that I put the DCT in manual shift mode most of the test drive. I tried the paddles but didn't care for them - I'm sure I could get used to them but just used the pull back / push forward on the shifter. Dealer has a white 6-speed on order and I'm really looking forward to testing that one!

It was 27 degrees, sunny, and roads were mostly dry during my test drive and the Pirelli P Zeros actively wanted to kill me. I knew they would be rock hard and not have much grip due to the cold but was still a little surprised. Lost traction on turns at normal speed and anything more than normal acceleration. Didn't try any hard braking. On the bright side the less than optimal grip allowed me to test the LSD and it did not disappoint!

I set up custom N mode with everything maxed but normal suspension and spent most of my 20-30 minute drive in that mode. I did spend a couple miles in full N mode and could definitely feel the stiffer suspension but didn't find it teeth jarring (also didn't hit any true Indiana pot holes). The exhaust sounds great with the dampers open and it certainly turned heads in traffic. At interstate speeds the exhaust still sounded good but would get old pretty fast - switching to Normal mode fixes that issue. In fact, in Normal mode it really reminded me a lot of previous Civics and Accords I've owned which was not a bad thing!

I can certainly say after my test drive I'm even more excited about the VN! I'm still want to drive an MX-5 before I decide but I know I would be perfectly happy daily driving a 6-speed VN.
 

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My local dealer called me Tuesday and informed me that they got a Black 2021 VN with DCT in and invited me to come take it for a spin which I gladly did yesterday.

I like the new seats and found them quite comfortable though I've never sat in a '19/'20 for comparison. I'm 6 ft / ~175 lbs and had no issues with the bolstering though I could see where someone wider than me in the legs could feel a bit squeezed by the seat bolsters.

I prefer a manual but went into the DCT with an open mind. Long story short the DCT performed great but I hate it. It sounds and feels just like a manual when it shifts so much so that I couldn't keep my left foot still. Not being in control of the shifts bothered me so much that I put the DCT in manual shift mode most of the test drive. I tried the paddles but didn't care for them - I'm sure I could get used to them but just used the pull back / push forward on the shifter. Dealer has a white 6-speed on order and I'm really looking forward to testing that one!

It was 27 degrees, sunny, and roads were mostly dry during my test drive and the Pirelli P Zeros actively wanted to kill me. I knew they would be rock hard and not have much grip due to the cold but was still a little surprised. Lost traction on turns at normal speed and anything more than normal acceleration. Didn't try any hard braking. On the bright side the less than optimal grip allowed me to test the LSD and it did not disappoint!

I set up custom N mode with everything maxed but normal suspension and spent most of my 20-30 minute drive in that mode. I did spend a couple miles in full N mode and could definitely feel the stiffer suspension but didn't find it teeth jarring (also didn't hit any true Indiana pot holes). The exhaust sounds great with the dampers open and it certainly turned heads in traffic. At interstate speeds the exhaust still sounded good but would get old pretty fast - switching to Normal mode fixes that issue. In fact, in Normal mode it really reminded me a lot of previous Civics and Accords I've owned which was not a bad thing!

I can certainly say after my test drive I'm even more excited about the VN! I'm still want to drive an MX-5 before I decide but I know I would be perfectly happy daily driving a 6-speed VN.
Nice review.
I think you are going to like the Miata.
I have an idea, if you also like the MX-5 then just get both, the Miata for the summer and the N for the winter. Problem solved. LOL
By the way, the N exhaust actually grows on you, and you start to want it more and more, louder and louder, it's a sickness but a good one.
By the way you described my feelings on the DCT perfectly.
"Not being in control of the shifts bothered me."
In my opinion all sports cars should only come with a proper manual transmission, I mean aren't we buying them for their driving fun, driver involvement and engagement anyway?
I mean most of us here are not professional drivers and don't make a living on the racetrack so who cares if the manual is a few 10ths slower.
Good luck with finding a manual N.
 

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Evxcellent Review! I have not driven a DCT (I have a 2020 PP). I have gone to dealers to see the 2021 Models ... but just to try out the seats.
 

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I used some of the money I saved by going with a 2020 on putting paint protection film in the entire front end and roof. The paint on modern cars is water based and very soft, prone to easily chipping.
This is especially an issue for Hyundai from what I hear. I'm at 7500 miles and already have a chip on my driver side door handle that bothers me every time I open it. Highly recommend the PPF on high-touch areas of the car and wish I would have done it. Also might as well spend some of those savings on bottles of wheel cleaner since you'll have to scrub them down after every drive.
 

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My local dealer called me Tuesday and informed me that they got a Black 2021 VN with DCT in and invited me to come take it for a spin which I gladly did yesterday.

I like the new seats and found them quite comfortable though I've never sat in a '19/'20 for comparison. I'm 6 ft / ~175 lbs and had no issues with the bolstering though I could see where someone wider than me in the legs could feel a bit squeezed by the seat bolsters.

I prefer a manual but went into the DCT with an open mind. Long story short the DCT performed great but I hate it. It sounds and feels just like a manual when it shifts so much so that I couldn't keep my left foot still. Not being in control of the shifts bothered me so much that I put the DCT in manual shift mode most of the test drive. I tried the paddles but didn't care for them - I'm sure I could get used to them but just used the pull back / push forward on the shifter. Dealer has a white 6-speed on order and I'm really looking forward to testing that one!

It was 27 degrees, sunny, and roads were mostly dry during my test drive and the Pirelli P Zeros actively wanted to kill me. I knew they would be rock hard and not have much grip due to the cold but was still a little surprised. Lost traction on turns at normal speed and anything more than normal acceleration. Didn't try any hard braking. On the bright side the less than optimal grip allowed me to test the LSD and it did not disappoint!

I set up custom N mode with everything maxed but normal suspension and spent most of my 20-30 minute drive in that mode. I did spend a couple miles in full N mode and could definitely feel the stiffer suspension but didn't find it teeth jarring (also didn't hit any true Indiana pot holes). The exhaust sounds great with the dampers open and it certainly turned heads in traffic. At interstate speeds the exhaust still sounded good but would get old pretty fast - switching to Normal mode fixes that issue. In fact, in Normal mode it really reminded me a lot of previous Civics and Accords I've owned which was not a bad thing!

I can certainly say after my test drive I'm even more excited about the VN! I'm still want to drive an MX-5 before I decide but I know I would be perfectly happy daily driving a 6-speed VN.
Good write up. Just picked up a 2021 myself with the manual transmission and I'm glad I went with the six speed. Yes, the DCT is faster, and yes it's probably more liveable if you live in a high-traffic area, but I'm not looking to save a few tenths of a second here or there, and I mostly do highway/back-road driving with little traffic. The enjoyment of the manual (even driving it casually - I'm still in the break in period) is unmatched. IMO, if you're getting an enthusiast car because you're an enthusiast (and you don't care about min/maxing or traffic), the manual is a no brainer. Plus, they're far rarer in the 2021s than the DCTs, so it might be the last of a dying breed.
 

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OP,
I am assuming you won't be modding the VN? Reason why I ask - is speaking for myself - I am always a little leery to mod a car while on the standard warranty - this way if anything goes wrong - it's not a back and forth with the dealer/finding a 'mod friendly' dealer etc in order to have a dealer fix what I know wasn't the mods. Again, if you ARE going to mod it - then I would say a used one and use the savings to mod the ride.
If you are open to other vehicles and this will be a SECOND vehicle - I have a 2017 370z Nismo - and you can find slightly used ones for a good price (NEVER new haha) and between the hydraulic steering and the notchiness of the manual - it's a great driving experience overall.

Regardless - good luck with your search - I know the VN and the CTR are the 2 cars that are on the top of my list as a full time daily. I'm just waiting for the best price on a CTR or a slightly used VN - but I have to admit - if I get a VN - I want the new 21 seats so it will be a couple of years before I consider one.
 

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Discussion Starter #29
I don't plan to do any performance mods other than maybe a catch can (which really isn't a performance mod). I think I'd rather clear wrap, ceramic, and tint, none of which should create warranty issues.

The 370z was one of the cars on my short list that I considered but it is getting pretty dated and as silly as it may sound to some Apple CarPlay is a must have for me! I know I could get an aftermarket system with CarPlay but the aftermarket systems never seem to play nice with the stock infotainment. That and at the end of the day when looking at two seater RWD cars I always come back to the MX-5 RF even though a 370z Nismo would have twice the power.
 

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I don't plan to do any performance mods other than maybe a catch can (which really isn't a performance mod). I think I'd rather clear wrap, ceramic, and tint, none of which should create warranty issues.

The 370z was one of the cars on my short list that I considered but it is getting pretty dated and as silly as it may sound to some Apple CarPlay is a must have for me! I know I could get an aftermarket system with CarPlay but the aftermarket systems never seem to play nice with the stock infotainment. That and at the end of the day when looking at two seater RWD cars I always come back to the MX-5 RF even though a 370z Nismo would have twice the power.
Honestly if I weren’t looking to mod my car (other than the items you mentioned) I would definitely get the VN over the CTR or any other hatchback. I feel they offer the most power along with a really good price unlike how the CTRs are being sold with ADM and the VW’s I feel will require a tune to really open them up thus affecting warranty.

I do agree - the Z is an old platform but I feel the analog feel of things really lends it to be a great driving experience - I know I wish my Z didn’t have the navigation so I could/would put in an aftermarket radio - but I just stream things through my phone and I’m good - but I get it when people say it’s an old platform. Good luck and i hope you find what you are looking for :)
 
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