No matching results

Recent Articles

Popular Makes

Body Types

2018 Hyundai Elantra GT Road Test and Review

Scott Oldham
by Scott Oldham
October 6, 2017
5 min. Reading Time
2018 Hyundai Elantra GT front three quarters with cannons ・  Photo by Hyundai

2018 Hyundai Elantra GT front three quarters with cannons ・ Photo by Hyundai

Hatchbacks are hot. After years of being kryptonite to automakers in America, five-door cars have gained popularity over the last decade as a new generation of consumers has entered the market. Unlike their parents, these younger buyers value hatchbacks' additional style and versatility.

Hyundai has aggressively invested in the hatchback market. The Korean automaker now has four in its lineup — including newly redesigned 2018 Elantra GT, which is sold alongside the popular Elantra sedan. Built in Korea, the Elantra GT is packed with content, value, and technology, and although it’s a compact, it offers a surprising amount of interior and cargo space.  

As compact hatchbacks have gained popularity, the segment has gotten quite crowded. There are plenty of products to choose from. The Elantra GT competes with the Ford Focus, Honda Civic, Chevrolet Cruze, Toyota Corolla iM, Mazda3, Volkswagen Golf and Kia Forte5.

Two Trim Levels

Hyundai offers the 2018 Elantra GT in two trim levels. Prices start at $20,235, including an $885 destination fee, for the base model that's simply called the Elantra GT. A six-speed manual transmission is standard, and a six-speed automatic is available for an additional $1,000. Standard features include Bluetooth, a tilting and telescopic steering wheel, an 8-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, and 17-inch aluminum wheels. The top trim level is the more powerful, turbocharged Elantra GT Sport. Prices start at $24,135 with a six-speed manual, and a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic is available for an additional $1,100.

Our test vehicle, an Elantra GT with the six-speed automatic and plenty of optional goodies, cost $27,460. It wore the Style Package, which costs $1,800 and adds a long list of features, including heated front seats, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, dual-zone climate controls, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and push-button start. Also, the $4,300 Tech Package added LED headlights and taillights, a panoramic sunroof, a push-button parking brake, a navigation system, an audio upgrade and ventilated front seats.

 Photo by Hyundai

Photo by Hyundai

Optional Turbo Power

Elantra GT models, like our test vehicle, are powered by a smooth 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with start-of-the-art technology like double overhead cams, variable valve timing and direct fuel injection. The engine makes 161 hp, which is good for the class, but some of the Hyundai’s competition — including the Honda Civic hatchback — has more standard horsepower. Under the hood of the Elantra GT Sport is a turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder, which Hyundai also uses in its small Tucson SUV and the sporty Veloster hatchback. With 201 hp, it’s one of the stronger engines in this class, but enthusiast drivers looking for more power and performance should check out the turbocharged 252-hp Ford Focus ST and the 210-hp VW Golf GTI.

Front-wheel drive is standard. Hyundai doesn’t offer all-wheel drive on the Elantra GT, which is typical for this class. There isn’t a hybrid or electric version, either; buyers looking for electrification should shop the new Hyundai Ioniq, which is about the same size.

 Photo by Hyundai

Photo by Hyundai

Strong Fuel Economy

To keep costs down, the Hyundai’s four-cylinder engines run on less expensive regular-grade gasoline, and their fuel economy ratings are impressive. The Elantra GT with the standard six-speed manual transmission is rated at 23 mpg city and 31 mpg highway. Those numbers actually improve with the optional six-speed automatic to 24 mpg city and 32 mpg highway. I recorded 30 mpg in a week of mixed driving in our automatic-equipped test vehicle. With its more powerful turbocharged engine, the Elantra GT Sport is rated 22 mpg city and 29 mpg highway with the manual transmission and 26 mpg city and 32 mpg highway with the optional seven-speed automatic.

Although those numbers are good for the compact class, some of the Hyundai’s competitors have achieved far better. Notably, the best-selling Honda Civic with its 174-hp turbocharged engine and an automatic transmission is rated 31 mpg city and 40 mpg highway.

 Photo by Hyundai

Photo by Hyundai

Modern Interior

Inside, the new Elantra GT is anything but bland, boring and cut-rate. Build quality is high. Fit and finish is excellent, all the knobs and buttons function with precision, and the silver trim on the dash, doors and console mimics aluminum. The dashboard is modern with sweeping shapes and a futuristic-looking center stack with a prominent 8-inch touchscreen. There’s also simple white-on-black instrumentation, although the 160-mph speedometer is more than a little optimistic. Visibility is outstanding, and the power driver’s seat in our test vehicle was comfortable.

Our test car was packed with interior upgrades and features that gave it a luxurious feel, including leather upholstery with French seams and contrasting colored stitching, a massive panoramic sunroof, push-button start and parking brake, and a thick leather-wrapped steering wheel that felt like it was stolen from a sports car.

 Photo by Hyundai

Photo by Hyundai


The Elantra GT seats five, and its rear seat can handle adults just over 6 feet tall, even with the optional panoramic sunroof. The rear seat is also equipped with an adjustable headrest for each passenger and two air-conditioning vents. My 14- and 12-year-old daughters were comfortable in back, but they did ding the Elantra GT for its lack of onboard Wi-Fi, which is standard on the Chevy Cruze. Parents with younger kids will appreciate the Hyundai’s easy-to-reach LATCH connectors in the outboard seats and easily accessed upper tether anchors. But you should check first to make sure your child seat fits without any interference from the front seatbacks.

In crash testing, the Elantra sedan has received top scores from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, though neither has tested the new GT hatchback. Hyundai boasts a class-leading warranty with 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain coverage and five years of unlimited roadside assistance.

 Photo by Hyundai

Photo by Hyundai

Abundant Cargo Space

Luggage space is also abundant inside the 2018 Hyundai Elantra GT. Behind its rear seat, the hatchback’s cargo well is deep and offers 23 cubic feet. That’s large for the class, outdoing the Mazda3, but the Honda Civic offers a bit more space. If more room is needed, every Elantra GT comes with a 60/40 split-folding rear seat. Drop the rear seats — which is an easy operation — and the hatchback’s cargo volume explodes to 51 cubic feet. That’s more than you get in the Honda or the Mazda. With the front wheel removed, I was able to get a mountain bike inside without much effort.

Interior storage inside the Elantra GT is also surprisingly generous. The center console bin is deep and there’s another large cubby ahead of the shifter, which also houses the USB jack, power port and wireless phone charger. There are two sizable cupholders on the console, which can be hidden with a clever sliding cover when not in use, and the door pockets include multiple bottle holders.

 Photo by Hyundai

Photo by Hyundai

Big Curb Appeal

With a low, wide and aggressive stance, there’s an upscale air to the 2018 Elantra GT and it's attractive from every angle. Its sculpted doors and curvaceously flared fenders work beautifully with the hatchback’s radically raked windshield and short overhangs to create a properly proportioned compact that looks sporty without feeling overstyled or cartoonish. Our test vehicle was radiant in its Electric Blue Metallic paint, which played well with the Hyundai’s black roof panels, pillars and sizable rear spoiler. The standard 17-inch wheels are attractive and its wide tires fill the hatchback’s wheel wells.  

The rear view is simple and minimalistic. Hyundai’s badging scheme is not overly elaborate and the standard rear wiper is well integrated. The Elantra GT’s large, intricately designed front grille, however, is memorable. It’s uniquely textured and would not look out of place on a concept car headlining an auto show.

 Photo by Hyundai

Photo by Hyundai

Plenty of Power

With 161 hp, the Elantra GT has sufficient power, but it’s not exactly a hot hatch. It’ll accelerate from 0-60 mph in about 8.0 seconds, which is quick enough to be entertaining and make getting up to speed on the highway easy and stress-free. Sport mode, which is engaged with a button on the console, adjusts steering effort and tells the transmission to hold gears longer. Still, those looking for more should step up the turbocharged Elantra GT Sport. With its standard six-speed manual transmission, that model can hit 60 mph in about 6.5 seconds.

The Elantra GT’s sport-tuned suspension also provides enough agility to satisfy most drivers, but some may find the ride to be a bit busy over rough roads. Around town, the hatchback is comfortable and athletic with responsive steering and a quiet interior. Parking is a snap thanks to a small footprint and tight turning circle. Hyundai has also managed to give the Elantra GT a substantial feel. It cruises well on the highway.

 Photo by Hyundai

Photo by Hyundai

Final Thoughts

Overall, the 2018 Hyundai Elantra GT delivers high levels of style, comfort and family-friendly functionality. It’s a solid choice in the very competitive compact hatchback class. Although the standard Elantra GT is enough for most buyers, if you can, step up to the better equipped and turbocharged Elantra GT Sport. You’ll appreciate the additional features and performance over time, and the decrease in fuel economy will be minimal.

Then again, for the same money, you could get a well-equipped and larger Sonata sedan or a Tucson SUV. Something to think about.

 Photo by Hyundai

Photo by Hyundai


Interested in Getting a New Car?

Used Cars Near You

No Data Available

Powered by Usedcars.com
©2024 AutoWeb, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Some content provided by and under copyright by Autodata, Inc. dba Chrome Data. © 1986-2024.