The 2018 Hyundai Elantra GT Is A Big Step Up

Posted: Oct 30 2017, 11:05am CDT | by , in Reviews | Cars & Vehicles

 
The 2018 Hyundai Elantra GT Is A Big Step Up
Image: Motortrend

Hyundai throws in some extra perks like a six-speed automatic and European-inspired handling traits for good measure, and lo and behold — the GT in its true form.

GT — those ubiquitous letters that stand for “Gran Tourismo.” They inspire automotive journalists to wax poetic about how they wish Porsche and Maserati would just go back to basics, do away with the leather and insulation and build a pure sports car because “it’s really more of a GT.”

It appears there is one company that actually does get the meaning of “GT,” and it doesn’t have any racing heritage.

Somewhere along the way from Stuttgart to Goodwood, the motoring public convinced ourselves that for a car to be a GT, it somehow had to be an ersatz sports car. That's not true. The Hyundai Elantra GT is no such thing, but it bears the GT name with some serious style.

It’s All in the Hatch

Unless you are living in 1921, when a grand tour was a three-month expedition abroad in Europe, touring means traveling. For that, you don't need a six-liter V12 and quilted leather seats — you need practicality. In other words, you need a fuel-efficient hatchback with four doors.

That’s precisely what the Elantra GT is. Hyundai throws in some extra perks like a six-speed automatic and European-inspired handling traits for good measure, and lo and behold — the GT in its true form! Short of hauling gravel, you can do anything with this car. Fold the seats down, though, and you could even get away with that in a pinch.

Looks and Materials

Ten years ago, the automotive industry was writing off Korean automakers. However, Kia and Hyundai have made their statement, and they aren’t going anywhere. You can see their conviction not only in the competent way the Elantra performs, but also in its styling, which is hands-down less busy and easier on the eyes than the latest from Honda.

On the inside, Hyundai continues to impress with well-bolstered seats that include lumbar support, a swanky panoramic sunroof that will make your Tesla-owning friends jealous, optional leather and good headroom for six-foot-tall passengers who may be seated in the front and rear.

Earning the “GT” Badge

Does it really go like a car with GT in the name should, though? Let’s start by remembering that GT has been slapped on the end of far less appropriate cars — like the Pontiac Aztek GT.

That said, the answer is yes! The base-model 2.0-liter four-cylinder delivers 161 horsepower and offers 28mpg. Owners also can upgrade to a turbocharged 1.6-liter with 201 hp and an optional seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. Along with the zestier power plant, you get upgraded rear suspension and brakes, so the Elantra GT isn’t the misnomer you might think.

On the road, the Elantra GT strikes a balance between its econobox roots and more dedicated hot hatchbacks. While it might not beat out the Volkswagen GTI on sheer performance, it's difficult to argue with a price under $25k.

So if you’re ready for a grand tour where you don’t have to worry about how ostentatious you look or whether your gas bill will exceed four figures by the end of the trip, the Elantra GT is your weapon of choice.

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The Author

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/56" rel="author">Scott Huntington</a>
Scott Huntington is a writer and journalist from Harrisburg PA who covered movies, tech, cars, and more. Check out his blog Off The Throttle or follow him on Twitter @SMHuntington.

 

 

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