The all-new 2018 Hyundai Elantra GT joins the new Elantra sedan lineup introduced last year. The GT is now lower and wider with Hyundai’s new cascading grille design to enhance the GT’s sporty image and give it a dose of European flair.
There are two powertrains starting with a 2.0-liter, 4-cylinder engine with 162 horsepower and 150 lb-ft of torque. It’s paired to a 6-speed manual transmission or an optional 6-speed automatic. The GT Sport offers a more powerful 1.6-liter, turbocharged 4-cylinder with 201 horsepower and 195 lb-ft of torque. It has the same 6-speed manual or an optional 7-speed dual-clutch automatic.
Our test car was the GT Sport with the automatic transmission and peppy turbocharged engine. It’s a fast little thing that responds quickly under hard acceleration with snappy shifts that are smooth and well-timed. Use the steering wheel paddle shifters and it’s not a manual, but it does let you enjoy extra control and hold gears longer for better acceleration.
Hyundai tested the Elantra GT on the Nürburgring in Germany and it shows in the Elantra’s handling and suspension. It has a modest base price of $24,350, but handling feels like something far more expensive with great steering feel and a suspension system that’s stiff without becoming uncomfortable for passengers.
It’s a fun little hatchback, but it does have a practical side. Seating is comfortable and supportive and rear seat passenger have room for their knees unless there are exceptionally tall folks sitting up front. There’s 24.9 cubic feet of cargo capacity in the trunk or you can fold the 60/40 split rear seats down and that number grows to 55.1 cubic feet.
Standard features include a tilt and telescoping steering wheel, 8-inch high resolution infotainment touchscreen, Android Auto, and Apple CarPlay. Options like heated and ventilated front seats, dual automatic temperature control, leather seating surfaces, and a power driver’s seat with lumbar support create a welcoming interior.
Available advanced safety features include automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, lane keep assist, high beam assist, and driver attention alert. Standard safety on the Elantra GT includes LED headlights and tail lights, hill assist control, and traction control.
The Hyundai Elantra GT is a fun choice for those who don’t want to move up to a crossover, but still want flexibility for people or cargo. Attractive styling, a sporty drive, and affordable pricing make it a great little hatchback.