Road Test: 2018 Hyundai Elantra GT Sport

Road Test: 2018 Hyundai Elantra GT Sport

Story and photos by Dan Heyman

 

Specifications:

Base Price: $20.449

Price as Tested: $30,449

Engine: 1.6L DOHC 16-valve inline-4, Turbo

Trans: Seven-speed dual-clutch automatic

Power: 201 hp@ 6,000 rpm

Torque: 195 lb-ft @ 1,500-4,500 rpm

Curb Weight: 3,155 lbs./1,431 kg

Fuel Consumption: (L/100km – City/Hwy) 9.2/7.1

 

New for 2018: Well, all of it, pretty much. The Elantra GT is all-new for 2018, and with the new model comes a new engine choice in the turbo that got its start last year in the Elantra Sport sedan. There’s also the addition of a proper dual-clutch transmission, though a six-speed manual comes as standard. The GT is also lower and wider than it was previous, and it gets a new front fascia and more room inside. It’s now got more interior room than does the Honda Civic, Mazda3, Ford Focus or Volkswagen Golf.

Segment Competitors: Chevrolet Cruze, Ford Focus, Honda Civic, Kia Forte, Mazda3, Nissan Versa Note, Subaru Impreza, Toyota Corolla iM, Volkswagen Golf

The Skinny: There’s a reason why the latest Elantra GT looks so much like the latest VW Golf, especially from the rear: with the GT, Hyundai wants to show that they’re no longer bit-players in the sporty hatch game, so they’re gunning for the top of the heap in said game: the Golf GTI. So, they’ve added generous turbo power (that is, admittedly, down a little on the GTI), dual-clutch transmission, and went to the infamous Nurburgring Nordschleife race track to tune the handling. Inside, the GT is subdued overall, which makes the neat-o addition like contrasting red seatbelts and seat stitching stand out all that much more. The front seating position is right on the money, the rear seats have a nice amount of room and the hatch is so deep you could fit a carry-on back there…vertically.

Pros: Handsome looks, roomy interior, razor-sharp handling

Cons: DCT auto not as responsive as you’d expect

The Verdict: All that Nurburgring testing has worked a treat; the steering feel and response is spot-on in the GT, and while the dampers are a little on the rubbery side, they do a good job of keeping everything in check. Having said that, those hoping for an exact replica of last year’s Sport sedan when it comes to ride and handling will be a little disappointed as the GT is actually a very different car from that one. It’s a little softer, making it a little more amenable to ‘round town day-to-day work, which will be fine for some if not others. Most will like the work the turbo engine does, even if the auto transmission does get in the way of some of the fun. I did appreciate how different “sport” mode felt from “normal”, so at least there’s that. The rest of the experience, it has to be said, is very, very good. I was surprised to find heated and ventilated front seats, a heated steering wheel and gargantuan 8” infotainment display. Sure, a lot of this comes only at higher grades, but all in you’re still around the 30 grand mark and I’m all for that. Does it equal the GTI? Well, that would have been a tall order and it doesn’t quote get there. It’s not quite as well-fastened together, doesn’t have as much power but that’s really about it. It comes close, however. Just give me the stick shift, and I’ll be on my way.

Categories: Driver Plus, Road Tests