Will the hatchback version of the Elantra prove a worth competitor in the hatchback market?

Hyundai introduced the Elantra for the 1991 model year, but at that time, even this now well-regarded model was considered a throw-away econobox at best. Hyundai has evolved as a brand a lot over the last 31 years, as has its long-running Elantra nameplate, which entered its sixth generation for the 2016 model year. As was the case with the previous-gen model, the new Elantra has been expected to spawn a GT model, and sure enough, Hyundai showed up to the 2017 Chicago Auto show with not one, but two variants in tow. Offered with either a 1.6-liter, turbocharged mill in Sport trim or a 2.0-liter NA mill in the entry-level trim, the GT can be had with either 201 horsepower or 162 horsepower, respectively. The new GT is now more rigid than before (by 22 percent,) sits lower, is wider, and shed a total of 62 pounds. Because of its hatchback nature, the GT can hold 25 cubic feet of cargo with the rear seats in the upright position and more than double that the rear seats laid down.

What’s more important here is that the new Elantra GT will have its work cut out for it on the market. After all, the Elantra GT doesn’t exactly spring to mind when someone mentions hot hatches, despite the fact that it competes against some strong models like the Mazda3 and Ford Focus hatchback, among others. So, will the new Elantra GT have what it takes to drive folks into Hyundai dealers for the brand’s latest hatch? Well, things look promising but Keep reading to see what we think about it and to learn more about how it compares to the competition.

Update 08/03/2017: Hyundai has announced pricing for the 2018 Elantra GT. Prices start out at a relatively low $19,350 and increase to just over $24,000 for the range-topping model. Check out the details in the Prices section below.

Exterior

2018 Hyundai Elantra GT High Resolution Exterior
- image 704950

When I first walked up to the new GT in Chicago, the first thought that came to my mind was “wow.” It became immediately clear that Hyundai is continuing to evolve with each new year and model that comes our way, and the new GT is a prime example of that. Gone is the large, bulky “look at me” grille, and in its place comes a more relaxed nose with a grille that hints more toward the Genesis brand than the Hyundai brand itself. The new headlight units are smaller and more triangular shaped while the lower fascia forms a dominating lip that is flanked by deeply amber running lights and a glossy insert that adds just a little bit of extra aggressiveness. Down below a very small air dam allows just a little extra airflow through the fascia. Further up, the hood and the stacked up edges are carried over from the last-gen model, but they now curve inward toward the nose, parallel to the top edge of the headlights. All told, the front end doesn’t look as awkward as it once was and it’s quite refreshing to see such an upscale look.

2018 Hyundai Elantra GT High Resolution Exterior
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2018 Hyundai Elantra GT High Resolution Exterior
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Gone is the large, bulky “look at me” grille, and in its place comes a more relaxed nose with a grille that hints more toward the Genesis brand than the Hyundai brand itself.

If you compare the side profile of the last-gen model to the new model, you’ll notice some pretty intense changes. First off, the mirrors now feature much thinner, LED side markers while the rear quarter glass is now rounded and a bit larger. The waistline has been straightened out instead of swooping down below the mirror and curving upward again, while the body line that runs between the front and rear lights is much sharper and more pronounced. The lower body line above the side skirts is no spread more evenly and also runs parallel to the waistline – very refreshing. Finally, the side skirts now have a little extra character behind ahead of the rear wheel, while the wheels themselves now feature slightly curved spokes. On a side note, the GT sport gets slightly different wheels with wider spokes and a black finish around the center hub.

2018 Hyundai Elantra GT High Resolution Exterior
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2018 Hyundai Elantra GT High Resolution Exterior
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2018 Hyundai Elantra GT High Resolution Exterior
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2018 Hyundai Elantra GT High Resolution Exterior
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Around back, things are even more refreshing as Hyundai brought in revised taillights with the reverse lights situation at the bottom of the lens. The rear reflectors have been moved from the lower corners of the fascia and now sit much higher, flanking the lower corners of the rear hatch. Speaking of the rear hatch, it is now wider on the top than on the bottom. The overhang is now a bit longer, features a more prominent high-mount light, and the winglets on the side are a nice touch as well. Interestingly enough, the handle for the rear hatch is now integrated into the hatch instead of being located on the bottom edge of the hatch, and the rear fascia now features a black insert that emphasizes the car’s sporty nature. The standard GT gets the usual, almost-hidden exhaust pipe, while the GT Sport gets dual exhaust outlets that are integrated into rear fascia’s insert.

While it may seem like the GT and GT Sport don’t differ much at a glance, there’s plenty to separate them from one another in other areas. But, let’s take a look at how the GT compares to the competition in the looks department before we move on.

Competing Appearances

2015 Ford Focus Hatchback – Driven
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2015 Ford Focus Hatchback – Driven
- image 659665
To the sides, the Focus is toned down in comparison, but there is some character found in the side skirts.

When I said that the Elantra GT has some pretty stiff competition, I wasn’t playing around. There are a good handful of hot hatches that are all fighting for supremacy in a segment that is honored and respected by a specific set of enthusiasts. Of course, Hyundai isn’t a name that readily comes to mind when you think of the hot hatch market, but with the new-gen GT, things might change. First up on the docket of competitors is a favorite in this segment: The Ford Focus Hatchback (shown above.) Refreshed for the 2015 model year, a new-gen model isn’t on the books until at least 2018, so the current design will remain relevant for at least a little time to come. While it does feature five doors (including the hatch), its design varies a bit from the Elantra GT in the sense that the front end isn’t nearly as upscale looking and, in some trim levels, has a guppy-like face. The grille is thin but wide and comes to a shape point on each side.

Meanwhile, the lower fascia features a larger air dam and fog lights in the corners that sit flush with the nose. If you’re not one for the recessed look found on the Elantra, the Focus might be more to your liking in this department. Those sharp and prominent lines that feed onto the hood from the A-pillars are quite similar to those found on the Elantra, but the Ford offers up more character in the center. To the sides, the Focus is toned down in comparison, but there is some character found in the side skirts. In the rear, the rear glass is position a little more on the horizontal side than that of the Elantra, while the lower portion of the hatch provides some design features that help emphasize the Focus’ place in the hot hatch market. There’s no diffuser or massive insert to speak of, and the exhaust outlet is hidden away behind the rear fascia.

2016 - 2018 Mazda3 High Resolution Exterior
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2016 - 2018 Mazda3 High Resolution Exterior
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The thing that makes the Mazda3 standout, however, is it’s unique and curvy side profile that is unparalleled in this segment.

Another big favorite in this category is the Mazda3 5-door, and if you’re into aggressive looks that include a dominating greenhouse, this is the model you want to set your sights on. Up front, you’ll find a look similar to that of the Elantra GT in a way that brings recessed lighting and a more upscale grille into the fold. A thick chrome insert surrounds the lower edge and sides of the grille, and bridge the gap between it and the headlights. Te headlights are thin and sleek but still extend well onto the fender while the hood is dominantly smooth with a couple of light character lines on the sides. The thing that makes the Mazda3 standout, however, is it’s unique and curvy side profile that is unparalleled in this segment. One body line feeds from the front headlights and dips down below the mirror as it fades into the rear door. Down below, a sharper body line starts are the lower front corner of the door and begins to swoop upward just a bit as it approaches the rear wheel arches. The rear-sitting greenhouse also means that the Mazda3 has almost no rear quarters, but in turn has a longer front end – it’s very sporty. Skirting around to the rear and you’ll find that the mazda3 has a second face, with the slightly tinted taillights coming to a sharp point above the license plate recess and the design of the hatch itself providing a smile of sorts. The rear glass on the 3 is actually pretty thin, but that doesn’t affect rearward visibility from inside. The lower fascia features a few sharp lines in the corners that provide the perfect place for the rear reflectors while the insert in the lower center of the fascia – like that of the Elantra GT Sport – serves as a home for the dual exhaust outlets.

It’s a pretty tough decision when it comes down to these three models. The Mazda is definitely the sportier of the three, while the Focus hatchback is more refined and makes a good sleeper if you do the right engine modifications. Meanwhile the Elantra GT kind of falls in the middle of these two in terms of appearances and maybe, just maybe, that’s enough to make the new GT a big hit.

Exterior Dimensions

Mazda3 Ford Focus Hyundai Elantra GT
Wheelbase (inches) 106.3 104.3 104.3
Length (inches) 175.6 171.6 170.9
Width (inches) 70.7 71.8 70.7
Height (inches) 57.3 57.7 57.7
Track, Front/Rear (inches) 61.2/61.4 61.2/60.4 61.1/61.5

Interior

2018 Hyundai Elantra GT High Resolution Interior
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The exterior of the Elantra GT is quite nice, but it’s the interior that makes it feel more like a home away from home. When you open the door, you’re greeted by a nice helping of leather upholstery that comes standard on both models. The center of the seats are perforated and offer heating and ventilation if you so desire. The steering wheel is wrapped in a thick leather and serves home for a plethora of thumb buttons that helps to free up the center console and stack. Ahead of the steering wheel sits a semi-digital instrument cluster with two large gauges for the tach and speedometer to go with a smaller gauge for fuel and engine temperature. All other important information is displayed on the TFT display between the two gauges. In the center of the dash, Hyundai took a little inspiration from the Germans and added in a floating display. But, while it is a hint at German design, there’s still a big difference. An eight-inch screen comes standard while each side is laced with buttons and a knob in the lower corner. In all honesty, it almost looks like a docked handheld gaming or XM tuner. Standard features of the system include an Infinity audio system with Clari-Fi and phone connectivity via Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.

2018 Hyundai Elantra GT High Resolution Interior
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2018 Hyundai Elantra GT High Resolution Interior
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2018 Hyundai Elantra GT High Resolution Interior
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2018 Hyundai Elantra GT High Resolution Interior
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The exterior of the Elantra GT is quite nice, but it’s the interior that makes it feel more like a home away from home.

When it comes to the GT Sport, it’s outfitted almost the same, but there is a healthy dose of red accents to help set it apart from its lesser brethren. As you can see, there’s a red outline around the HVAC vents and a red mark at 6 O’clock on the steering wheel. The shifter boot gets red piping on the rear side while the seats also feature red piping. Aluminum pedals make up the driver’s footwell. Moving to the rear, the rear seats are spacious and comfortable – even for a larger person – when they are in the upright position. Headroom isn’t an issue as long as you’re not taller than six foot. When the seats are laid down, cargo room increases dramatically. Despite the model being an official hatchback, opening the hatch yields more of a trunk-like area than you would expect. The floor of the cargo area sits lower in the body for additional space while the sides are free of any storage pockets. A rear deck hangs from the rear hatch to help block sight of what might be stashed in the boot while parked, but this can be removed easily if needed. A single subwoofer resides on the left side of the boot and distributes decent sound without disturbing the trim or that hanging rear deck.

Competing Interiors

2015 Ford Focus Hatchback – Driven
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2015 Ford Focus Hatchback – Driven
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Sitting inside the Ford Focus makes it painfully obvious that Ford tried a little too hard to blend form and functionality, but at the same time, it works.

When it comes to interior styling, Hyundai just might have the upper hand on the competition at this point. Sitting inside the Ford Focus (shown above,) makes it painfully obvious that Ford tried a little too hard to blend form and functionality, but at the same time, it works. Clearly American in design, you’ll find a rather uneventful dash that features a mild overhang above the instrument cluster and the recessed infotainment display. On entry level models, this display is rather small, but a larger, eight-inch display. As is the usual case, the instrument cluster is semi-digital in nature. It features a wide TFT display top center, and a large, analog gauge on each side. The center console is thin in the center but wider in the front and rear. Dual zone climate controls reside below the center stack while the center stack itself is reserved for a large number of infotainment control buttons. It’s not exactly a bad look, but it’s not quite as modern as the Elantra GT. Lower trim levels get cloth seats, while higher trim levels can be found with leather and more supportive bolsters. As is the usual case, the rear seat folds down to provide more cargo room when needed. From what I could tell sitting in the Elantra GT and the Focus, rear passengers seem to have about the same amount of room in each. With the Sync3 infotainment systems, the SEL and ST models have phone connectivity via Android Auto and Apple CarPlay while all models get two Smart Charging USB ports and the availability of Sirius XM.

2016 - 2018 Mazda3 High Resolution Interior
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2016 - 2018 Mazda3 High Resolution Interior
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The Mazda3 takes an approach that’s similar to that of the Elantra when it comes to some of its internal design cures.

The Mazda3 takes an approach that’s similar to that of the Elantra when it comes to some of its internal design cures. For instance, the infotainment display is also a floating unit while the steering wheel offers up similar controls and the same general appearance. Where it differs, however, is in the two-tone nature of the interior and a much smaller instrument cluster the includes just one analog gauge for the tachometer that resides in the center of the cluster. Speed and all other information are provided by the two digital displays that flank that center gauge. Inserts that match the seat upholstery and door trim inserts surrounds the HVAC vents, while the climate control system is partially digital, just like that of the Elantra. Moving into the rear you’ll find that there might not be quite as much room in comparison to the Elantra, thanks to the rear-sitting greenhouse, but it’s still spacious for the car’s size nonetheless. The rear seats feature a 60/40 split for expandable cargo room. Lower trim levels come standard with cloth upholstery while upper trim levels can be had with leather. All told, it’s not a bad model to consider, both cargo room and passenger volume fall a little short in comparison to the Elantra GT but that’s easily made up for with the sporty looks and that long nose that just works.

Interior Dimensions

Mazda3 Ford Focus Hyundai Elantra GT
Headroom, front/rear (inches) 38.6/37.6 38.3/37.9 39.1/38.5
Leg Room, front/rear (inches) 42.2/35.8 41.9/33.2 42.2/34.8
Shoulder Room, front/rear (inches) 57.2/54.4 55.6/53.7 56.2/55.4
Hip Room, front/rear (inches) 55.5/53.5 53.9/52.7 TBA
Cargo volume seats up/down (cu ft) 12.4/NA 23.8/44.8 24.9/55.1
Passenger Volume (cu ft) 96.3 90.7 95.5
Total Volume (cu ft) 108.7 NA 121.4

Drivetrain

2018 Hyundai Elantra GT High Resolution Drivetrain
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That 2.0-liter in used in the entry-level GT but it has been tuned to deliver an estimated 162 horsepower – that’s an improvement of 15 ponies over the same engine used in the sedan.

The Elantra GT was originally rumored to get the 2.0-liter from the SE sedan with just 147 horsepower on tap, but as I hoped, Hyundai knew better and changed things up a bit. That 2.0-liter in used in the entry-level GT but it has been tuned to deliver an estimated 162 horsepower – that’s an improvement of 15 ponies over the same engine used in the sedan. Hyundai hasn’t released any other figures for the engine, but we know it mates to either six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic. Deciding to take a step up and got with the GT Sport, gets you something a little more potent. To be more specific, I’m talking about the 1.6-liter, turbo engine that’s found in the Elantra Sport sedan and delivers 201 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque. Transmission options for this model include a six-speed manual and a seven-speed, dual-clutch unit that Hyundai claims is “athletic.”

2018 Hyundai Elantra GT High Resolution Drivetrain
- image 704972
The new GT is 53-percent high-strength steel, all of which is bonded together by 367 feed or structural adhesive.

As far as structure goes, the new GT is 53-percent high-strength steel, all of which is bonded together by 367 feed or structural adhesive. This is almost double of that found in the last-gen model and makes the new GT 22-percent more rigid while shedding a total of 61 pounds. The GT’s drag coefficient sits at a remarkably low 0.30, which is rather impressive. Little is known about the car’s chassis and suspension at this point, but the entry-level model gets a torsion-beam setup in the rear while the GT sport gets a fully independent multilink system. The Sport also includes 18-inch wheels (17-inch wheels come standard on the entry-level model) to go with large brakes all the way around. According to Hyundai, the car feels “taut yet comfortable,” but we’ll take that with a grain of salt until we get the chance to put it through the paces ourselves.

On the safety and driver assistance front, the Elantra GT comes pretty well loaded and includes features like smart cruise control with start/stop capability, automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, lane keep assist, attention assist, high-beam assist, blind spot detection, and rear cross-traffic alert. Not too bad for a car from a brand that’s just starting to inch its way into a more upscale position in the market, huh?

Hyundai Elantra GT Hyundai Elantra GT Sport
Type DOHC D-CVVT (Dual Continuously Variable Valve Timing) DOHCD-CVVT (Dual Continuously Variable Valve Timing)
Materials Aluminum block and head Aluminum block and head
Displacement 2.0-liter / 1,999 cc 1.6-liter Turbo / 1,591 cc
Horsepower (estimated) 162 HP @ 6,200 RPM 201 HP @ 6,000 RPM
Torque (estimated) 150 LB-FT @ 4,700 RPM 195 LB-FT @ 1500-4500 RPM
Transmission 6-speed manual 6-speed manual
Curb weight (Lbs) 2,901-2,989 3,014-3,102

Competing Performance

2015 Ford Focus Hatchback – Driven
- image 659677

The Focus comes in many flavors, with several variations of the standard hatch, and ST version with some extra power, and let’s not forget the Focus RS. OF course, the Focus RS doesn’t really fit into this comparison is it is just way to powerful to go up against the Elantra GT, but the standard hatch is a decent fit, and the ST offers just a little extra power. When it comes to models like the SE and SEL, you’ll find a 2.0-liter Ti-VCT, flex-fuel, four-banger that delivers 160 horsepower and 6,500 rpm and 146 pound-feet of torque at 4,500 rpm. That’s just two horsepower shy of the entry-level Elantra GT. The engine mates to a six-speed manual transmission on the SE model and a six-speed automatic on higher, non-ST and non-RS models. Running on regular, 87-octane fuel, the engine is able to deliver an estimated fuel economy of 26 mpg in the city and 38 mpg on the highway – partially thanks to its sub-3,000 pound weight. Moving up to the ST, which some might see as a competitor for the GT Sport, will get you a little extra oomph to the tune of 252 horsepower and 270 pound-feet of torque. That’s a pretty hefty jump over the 201 horsepower offered by the GT Sport, and it comes with a “unique” six-speed manual transmission. Up front, you’ll find MacPherson independent suspension while a Control Blade independent setup supports the rear, and includes a stabilizer bar to limit body roll.

Stopping by the Mazda dealer and popping the hood on a Mazda3 will expose you to one of two engines. The first you’ll probably come across is the 2.0-liter, SkyActive, four-cylinder with 155 horsepower and 150 pound-feet of torque. Redline comes in at 6,800 rpm while maximum torque is delivered at 4,000 rpm. It can be equipped with a six-speed manual with overdrive or a six-speed automatic with manual shift mode. Fuel economy for the manual sits at 27 mpg in the city, 37 mpg on the highway, and 31 mpg combined. The Automatic returns the same results with the exception of in-city economy which jumps up a point to 28 mpg. Checking out the Touring 2.5 or Grand Touring trim will have you gazing upon a 2.5-liter SkyActive four-banger that comes with 184 horsepower and 185 pound-feet of torque. This engine redlines at 6,500 rpm while maximum torque kicks in at a much lower 3,250 rpm. It’s still night quite as powerful as the Elantra GT, but garners 25 mpg in the city, 33 mpg on the highway, and 28 mpg combined with the six-speed manual or 26,35, and 30, respectively. As far as suspension and chassis goes, you’ll find the usual MacPherson struts up front and a multilink setup in the rear, but the Mazda 3 has stabilizer bars in the front and rear, making it an absolute dream for spirited driving .

Mazda3 Sport Mazda3 GT Ford Focus SE Ford Focus ST
Engine Type-SKYACTIV-G 2.0-liter DOHC Type-SKYACTIV-G 2.5-liter DOHC 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder
Horsepower 155 HP @ 6,000 RPM 184 LB-FT @ 5,700 RPM 160 HP @ 6,500 RPM 252 HP @ 5,500 RPM
Torque 150 LB-FT @ 4000 RPM 185 LB-FT @ 3,250 RPM 146 LB-FT @ 4,500 RPM 270 LB-FT @ 2,500 RPM
Transmission SKYACTIV-MT 6-speed manual SKYACTIV-MT 6-speed manual six-speed manual 6-Speed Manual
Fuel economy city/highway/combined 27/37/31 25/34/29 26/38/31 22/30/25
Curb weight (Lbs) 2,899 3,013 2,948 3,223

Pricing

2018 Hyundai Elantra GT High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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With the outgoing model starting out at $18,800, it was originally estimated that the new GT would command somewhere around $19,500. Well, we weren’t far off with that estimate, as the base model with a 2.0-liter and a six-speed manual transmission comes with an MSRP of $19,350. If you want the six-speed automatic with this engine configuration, you’ll have to pony up an extra $1,000. Going for the Sport model will up your ante to at least $23,250, which gets you the 1.6-liter, turbo mill to go with that six-speed manual transmission. Pay up an extra $1,000, and you can get it with a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. When you consider that the Ford Focus starts out at $19,765 and the Mazda 3 at $20,775, Hyundai clearly has its head in the game and has managed to undercut the competition. Maybe you should consider rolling a Hyundai, huh?

Model Engine Transmission MSRP
Elantra GT 2.0L 4-cylinder 6-speed Manual Transmission $19,350
Elantra GT 2.0L 4-cylinder 6-speed Automatic Transmission w/ SHIFTRONIC® $20,350
Elantra GT Sport 1.6L Turbo GDI 4-cylinder 6-speed Manual Transmission $23,250
Elantra GT Sport 1.6L Turbo GDI 4-cylinder 7-speed EcoShift® Dual Clutch Transmission w/ SHIFTRONIC® $24,350

Competing prices

When it comes to the Ford Focus, you’ll find five different hatchback models in the lineup, all of which are priced between $19,765 for the Focus SE Hatch and $36,120 for the range-topping Focus RS. The Focus ST falls in at $24,775 while the Titanium hat is just $700 cheaper at $24,075. Finally, the SEL hatch comes in at $21,275. Needless to say, there’s a Focus hatch for just about any budget. Moving over to the Mazda3 will net you four different options to choose from. The 2.0-liter bearing Sport and Touring models start out at $20,145 and $22,245, respectively, while the Touring 2.5 calls for a bit more at $23,445. The Range-topping, Grand Touring model, fetches $24,945 before options, taxes, and destination charges.

Ford Focus SE $19,765
Ford Focus SEL $21,275
Ford Focus Titanium $24,075
Ford Focus ST $24,775
Mazda3 Sport $20,145
Mazda3 Touring $22,245
Mazda3 Touring 2.5 $23,445
Mazda3 Grand Touring $24,945

Other Options

Volkswagen Golf

2018 Volkswagen Golf High Resolution Exterior
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2018 Volkswagen Golf High Resolution Exterior
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I would deserve to be charged with treason if I didn’t at least mention the Volkswagen Golf when it comes to comparing various compact hatchbacks. It’s a long-running champ of this segment and is highly popular as well. Just updated for the 2018 model year, the Volkswagen is fairly fresh – well, fresh for a VW anyway. Where other models in this segment share a lot of aggressive features, the Golf is more of a toned down model, which is something that does make it popular among tuners as well. While the outside is fairly bland, the interior is well equipped with just the right amount of technology. It comes available in a number of different forms, include the standard hatch, the Golf GTI, the Golf R, and there’s even an electric version known as the E-Golf. Engine options for the 2018 model year have yet to be fully revealed, but the 1.8-liter and 2.0-liters should carry over. The 1.8-liter should offer around 170 horsepower and 200 pound-feet of torque while the 2.0-liter should bring 150 horsepower and 236 pound-feet to the table. Fuel economy should range anywhere between 26 and 31 mpg in the city and 37 to 42 mpg on the highway. Pricing for the 2018 model year, but expect pricing to start out around $19,895.

Read more about the Volkswagen Golf here.

Honda Civic Hatchback

2017 Honda Civic Hatchback High Resolution Exterior
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2017 Honda Civic Hatchback High Resolution Exterior
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Honda finally introduced an updated Civic Hatchback for the 2017 model year, and at first, it damn near broke the internet as stoked enthusiasts everywhere went crazy. As far as overall shape, the Civic Hatchback kind of falls in the middle between cars like the Elantra GT and the Mazda3 as it has a somewhat longer hood with a greenhouse that sits a little farther back, but not far enough for a completely vertical rear hatch. Oddly enough, the shape of the hatch is actually a nod to much older Civic hatchback models. The car is fairly aggressive and comes well-equipped inside. Comfortable and spacious for a compact, the technology is on point, and even the cabin is the definition of an evolved Honda. Here in the U.S., there’s only one engine option, and that’s a 1.5-liter. In the LX, EX, and EX-L Navi trims, it’s tuned to deliver 174 horsepower and 162 pound-feet of torque while the Sport and Sport Touring trims get an increase to 180 horsepower and 180 pound-feet of torque. LX and Sport trims can be had with a six-speed manual or CVT automatic, while the EX and higher trims, including the Sport Touring, can only be had with the CVT. In the future, there will also be a Civic Si and Civic Type R that will bring about even more power, more aggressive looks, and a track-bred pedigree, so keep an eye out for those as well. Pricing for the Civic Hatchback starts out at $19,700 for the LX and climbs to as much as $28,300 for the range-topping $28,300.

Find out more about the Honda Civic Hatchback here.

Conclusion

2018 Hyundai Elantra GT High Resolution Exterior
- image 704961

In such a well-established segment Hyundai’s Elantra GT is quite literally an underdog in every sense of the word, but this next-gen model could have what it takes for it to start inching its way up the ladder. I doubt it will conquer models like the VW Golf of Civic Hatchback anytime soon, but in time, the Elantra GT could prove itself to be a fine competitor. It’s got the upscale looks, awesome comfort, decent technology, and best of all; it’s spacious for a model its size. Of course, it’s success will depend more on it actually performs, so I’ll hold full judgment until we get our hands on one, but I have to say you can color me impressed so far. What do you think about the Elantra GT? Is it worth consideration over models like the Focus, Civic, and Mazda3, or does the econobox nature of last decade’s Hyundai still sit in the forefront of your mind?

  • Leave it
    • * May struggle in an overpopulated segment
    • * Could have a little more power in Sport trim

References

2017 Hyundai Elantra Sport: Highs & Lows Exterior High Resolution
- image 723044

Read our driven review on the 2017 Hyundai Elantra Sport.

2017 Hyundai Elantra Eco – Driven
- image 689258

Read our driven review on the 2017 Hyundai Elantra Eco.

2017 Hyundai Elantra Limited – Driven High Resolution Exterior
- image 682373

Read our driven review on the 2017 Hyundai Elantra Limited.

Press Release

Hyundai Motor America debuts the all-new 2018 Elantra GT at the 2017 Chicago Auto Show. Lower, wider, and longer, the all-new Elantra GT adds a more aggressive stance and interior volume to its clean European style and driving dynamics. When the new hatchback arrives this summer, shoppers can choose between two models, the efficient, smooth running GT, or the more powerful and fun-to-drive GT Sport. Elantra GT is based on the new-generation i30 model designed for the European market.

2018 Hyundai Elantra GT High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
- image 704951

“The new Elantra GT brings more to the North American shores for the 2018 model year,” said Scott Margason, director, product planning, Hyundai Motor America. “More space and features inside. More aggression and European flair outside. And more options under the hood. I’m particularly excited to showcase the GT Sport, a true hot hatch.”

HIGHLIGHTS FOR 2018 ELANTRA GT

Lower, wider, more aggressive stance
European styling
Nearly 25 cubic feet of behind rear seat storage
Standard vertical LED daytime running lights
Standard eight-inch display audio with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration
Available dual-zone climate control
Available high and low beam LED headlights
Available wireless smartphone charging
Amazon Alexa Blue Link remote starting
Blue Link heated features

2018 Hyundai Elantra GT High Resolution Exterior
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STRONG STRUCTURE AND STRIKING FIGURE
With clean proportions, flowing character lines, and an attention grabbing new cascading grille design, the new GT imbues class and sophistication. It’s posture; lower, wider, and longer; shows the GT means business. The GT lands where European style meets American can-do attitude and ability. And it’s not merely skin deep, over half the structure (53-percent) comprises of advanced high-strength steel, nearly double the outgoing generation. And it’s bonded together with just over 367 feet of structural adhesive. This combines to make the Elantra GT, stiffer, stronger, and lighter. It’s 22-percent more rigid than the last GT to be specific. And the body-in-white weighs 61 pounds less. That combines with a slippery 0.30 coefficient of drag making the GT feel solid, efficient and smooth.

2018 Hyundai Elantra GT High Resolution Interior
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CAPACIOUS CABIN
While the outside dimensions effectively match that of most compact hatchbacks, clever ergonomics and packaging make room inside for five and so much more. In fact, with 96.5 cubic feet of passenger volume and nearly 25 cubic feet of cargo volume, we expect the EPA to classify the Elantra GT as a large car, rarified territory for this class. And with the rear seats folded, the GT offers massive amounts of space for cargo.

GREAT POWERTRAIN OPTIONS
For 2018, choose between two inline-four-cylinder engines in the Elantra GT. The efficient yet robust, direct injection 2.0-liter makes an estimated 162 peak horsepower. It mates to either a six-speed manual or automatic transmission. Opt for the GT Sport and get the 1.6-liter turbo engine found in the Elantra Sport and enjoy an estimated 201 peak horsepower along with a broad band torque peak of 195 pound feet. The six-speed manual is available here too, or an athletic, seven-speed dual-clutch gear box.

2018 Hyundai Elantra GT High Resolution Drivetrain
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RIDE AND HANDLING
Taking advantage of the stiff and strong new structure, Hyundai tested and developed the Elantra GT on the Nürburgring Nordschleife in Germany. Running hundreds of laps, the engineers tested for ride, handling, and durability. This resulted in a suspension tune that feels taut yet comfortable, minimizing unwanted body roll yet maximizing wheel impact absorption. Opt for the GT Sport and the rear torsion beam suspension is switched for a fully-independent multilink setup, standard 18” alloy wheels and larger front and rear brake rotors for even more fun when the going gets twisty. All-in-all, whether it’s a spirited drive through a canyon road, or carrying your mountain bike to the trailhead up the canyon, the Elantra GT is ready.

ILLUSTRIOUS INSIDES
Aside from great available appointments inside the Elantra GT, like leather seats, alloy pedals, and dual-zone climate control, Hyundai added several new items to keep you comfortable and safe. The Elantra GT is available with conveniences like Infinity Premium Audio with Clari-Fi™, Apple CarPlay™, Android Auto™, and wireless smartphone charging. That’s on top of great standard features such as 8-inch display audio and 17-inch alloy wheels. For safety, the GT is available with several systems usually found in expensive luxury vehicles, such as Smart Cruise Control with stop/start capability, Automatic Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Detection, Lane Keep Assist, Attention Assist, High-Beam Assist, and Blind Spot Detection with Rear Cross-traffic Alert.

Vastly improved structure, Nürburgring refined driving-dynamics, and top-notch features in the new Elantra GT redefine what it means to be a “compact” hatchback.

2018 Hyundai Elantra GT High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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ENHANCED HYUNDAI BLUE LINK REMOTE START AND THE BLUE LINK® SKILL FOR AMAZON ALEXA
Hyundai Blue Link customers have performed more than 25 million remote starts since its debut in 2011. Although remote start is a great feature for hot weather, most take place in cold climates during January, February and March. In fact, Blue Link Remote Start with Climate Control is three times more popular in the winter. With this in mind, Hyundai engineers have enhanced the Remote Start with Climate Control feature to include control of the rear defroster and heated side mirrors into the Blue Link mobile app. These new enhancements debut with the launch of the 2018 Elantra GT and will be available on other models in the future.

For the ultimate level of convenience when it comes to remote starting a car on a bitterly cold winter morning, Hyundai has its new Blue Link skill for Amazon Alexa. The skill works by a customer simply asking an Alexa-enabled device, like an Amazon Echo or Dot, to start their car. The interaction actually sounds like this “Alexa, tell Blue Link to start my car at 80 degrees.” To send commands to Hyundai vehicles via Alexa, users must enable the Blue Link skill in their Alexa app available on: iOS, Android and Fire devices; and then link their existing Blue Link account within the Alexa app. Voice commands will only be sent to Hyundai vehicles after Alexa prompts owners for their Blue Link Personal Identification Number (PIN).

2018 Hyundai Elantra GT High Resolution Exterior
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NEXT GENERATION INFOTAINMENT: AUDIO/VIDEO/NAVIGATION (AVN) 5.0 WITH HD TRAFFIC
The 2018 Elantra GT also debuts Hyundai next generation AVN 5.0 infotainment system. This system features an upgraded processor for greater responsiveness, as well as an eight-inch screen vs. the seven-inch screen in last generation Elantra GT. Using presets with AVN 5.0 is a snap because AM, FM and SiriusXM channels are now combined on one screen. A bird’s eye view has also been added to Navigation maps and drivers can now get traffic flow and incident data without ever paying for a subscription via HD Radio.

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