Published: Fri, February 10, 2017
Industry | By Faith Ward

Hyundai Elantra GT First Look

Hyundai Elantra GT First Look

A renamed version of the popular i30 in Europe that recently got redone, the Elantra GT isn't a trim variant of the Elantra-it is its own sexy beast. "More space and features inside". Pricing for the 2018 Hyundai Elantra GT and GT Sport will be released closer to the on-sale dates. And this hatchback is reported to be one of the first models in line for a treatment by the brand's coming N performance line, at least for the European market. The latest offering from the Korean automaker is the 2018 Hyundai Elantra GT hatchback, which was unveiled at the 2017 Chicago Auto Show. It even beats the Volkswagen Golf's impressive expanse in the back.

Of course, the main draw of a hatchback is increased cargo room and that "weekend warrior" look, and in both cases, the Elantra GT delivers over the sedan model.

In a press release, Hyundai's USA product head Scott Margason described the Elantra GT Sport as "a true hot hatch", but we won't be certain about that until we drive one.

Inside, the compact hatch can seat up to five and almost 25 cubic feet of storage behind the rear seat.

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For improved driving dynamics, the structure of the Elantra GT uses nearly double the amount of high-strength steel.

The cabin is also a big leap forward in terms of design; it looks markedly more modern. The new 8.0-inch screen, replacing the previous 7.0-inch unit, supports the model's new navigation system with maps and traffic data. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration are standard; a premium Infinity audio system and wireless smartphone charging are available.

The 2018 base engine is a 2.0-liter four-cylinder producing 162 horsepower, down 11 hp from 2017's rating; it's mated to a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission. Things get more interesting in the Elantra GT Sport, which packs the Elantra Sport sedan's turbocharged 1.6-liter four making 201 horses and 195 lb-ft of torque.

For those cars equipped with Hyundai's Blue Link telematics service, the automaker has added the ability to turn the Elantra GT's rear defroster and heated side mirrors with the service's remote-start app. Drivers can command Alexa, a personal assistant available on the Amazon Echo or Dot, to set the car's temperature ahead of time. The GT Sport also receives a fully independent multilink rear suspension of instead of the GT's torsion beam setup, 18-inch alloy wheels instead of the GT's 17-inch ones, and larger front and rear brake rotors. Either can be had with a 6-speed manual, while the base vehicle is available with a 6-speed automatic.

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