2018 Hyundai Elantra GT review with video

The basics:

Starting price: $20,449 + tax
As tested: $26,999 + tax
Fuel economy over our week of testing: 8.3 L/100 kms (28 US MPG)
Competition: Honda Civic Hatch, Mazda 3 Sport, Subaru Impreza, etc

Back for its fourth time around the block, 2018 is bringing us the latest, totally new version of the Elantra GT. Hyundai says this car is meant for real “car people” – which is why Hyundai is shouting from the rooftops that it is a European designed, Nurburgring tested hot hatch. This is also just another car added to the Hyundai line-up which is meant to show its renewed focus on sporty little numbers. Despite the race track footage in its flashy ad campaign, it’s not going to dethrone the Subaru WRX or the VW GTI as a grin-inspiring speedster. But for a cool little hatch that offers some great value and fantastic standard features, it’s worth a good long look.

PROS:
– Once again, Hyundai ups the ante on standard equipment (17 inch alloy wheels, heated front seats, steering wheel, automatic headlights, 8 inch touch screen with Android Auto and Apple Carplay, rear back-up camera, blindspot monitoring and rear cross traffic alert)
– The only engine available in the Impreza is a 2-litre 4 cylinder and it was pretty dull when we tested it. Meanwhile, the Elantra GT is offered with a pretty similar base 2-litre engine or the 1.6-litre turbocharged engine in the Sport trims. This gives you 39 more horsepower and certainly makes it more lively
– And despite it being a rather small engine, there’s very little turbo lag under lively acceleration
– The Elantra GT is a nice size for urban life. It’s marginally larger for 2018, just 40 mm or 1.5 inches
– Unlike the Civic Hatch, this has a more boxy, more wagon-like back end so it’s far more usable and could take a family dog… as long as it’s not too big

CONS:
– While the Elantra GT Sport trims have the same engine, the same horsepower, the same independent rear suspension as the Elantra Sport sedan, it just doesn’t bring the same thrill or connection as the sedan – which we tested earlier this year
– Our tester was fitted with the standard six speed manual transmission (a six speed automatic in the base trims and a seven speed dual clutch transmission in the Sport trim is also available). But unlike the Subaru WRX or Toyota 86 manual transmissions, our test vehicle didn’t have the connected, short throw feel I’d hoped for. Instead, you have these long, numb throws that just don’t feel sporty enough to match the car
– All Wheel Drive is not an option – so the Elantra won’t be as good for winter driving as the Subaru Impreza
– We also, got a bit of torque steer under quick acceleration which is amplified by a lighter steering feel than I’d hoped for out of a sporty hot hatch
– The interior, as we see in many Hyundai’s, looks good but feels rather cheap once you start touching the surfaces around the cabin
– The Elantra sedan is actually nine inches longer so you’ll find this car’s interior dimensions worse for second row passenger comfort and car seats. The Elantra GT feels pretty cramped in the back seat
– And despite Hyundai saying this car has 705 litres of trunk capacity, I just don’t see how that can be true. It feels far smaller than many other hatches that have smaller capacities than that

Family Wheels report card:

Family Wheels driver comfort score: 4/5
Family Wheels interior layout score: 4/5
Family Wheels infotainment system score: 4/5
Family Wheels interior noise score: 3/5 (66 dB at 100 kms/h)
Family Wheels performance score: 3.5/5
Family Wheels rear passenger score: 3/5
Family Wheels trunk test score: 3/5
Family Wheels fuel economy score: 4/5
Family Wheels build quality score: 3.5/5
Family Wheels value score: 4/5

Family Wheels overall score: 36/50= 72%

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