Full 2014 Hyundai Elantra GT Review
What's New for 2014
The 2014 Hyundai Elantra GT receives a more powerful engine and an optional sport-tuned suspension to help it compete with the more athletic hatchbacks in this class.
Hyundai's Elantra is one of the most popular choices for a small sedan, particularly if you want some visual pizzazz to go with the more typical strengths of value and practicality. With the 2014 Elantra GT four-door hatchback, you get much of the same, just with a lot more room to haul all your stuff.
Thanks to its spacious interior, the GT can hold up to 51 cubic feet of cargo with the rear seats folded flat. That's more than what most rival hatchbacks offer. Even with the Elantra GT's rear seats upright, there's still a respectable amount of room for your groceries or luggage, and the large hatchback opening makes it all quite easy to access. The GT's hatchback body also provides more headroom for rear-seat passengers than the Elantra sedan.
For the 2014 Elantra GT, Hyundai has added a more powerful standard engine: a 173-horsepower four-cylinder -- a significant upgrade over last year's 1.8-liter engine with 148 hp. There's also a newly optional sport-tuned suspension. Together, the combination should give the Elantra GT a little extra liveliness and put it on more equal footing with its athletic rivals in this class. Selecting an Elantra GT is pretty easy as well, as there's just one trim level and two available option packages. As with all Hyundais, you get plenty for your money and lengthy warranty coverage.
Naturally, there are other choices for a top-level small hatchback. The fully redesigned Mazda 3 is better than ever and arguably the sportiest car in this class, while the impressively refined Ford Focus remains a standard bearer as well. The redesigned Kia Forte hatchback is another stylish, well-appointed choice. Compared to these cars, the Elantra GT's biggest drawback is its fuel economy, as that powerful new engine has placed the GT near the bottom of the pack for mpg. Other than that, though, the GT checks all the must-have boxes for compact four-door hatchbacks.
Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options
The 2014 Hyundai Elantra GT is a four-door hatchback available in one trim level.
Standard features include 16-inch alloy wheels, foglights, heated mirrors, air-conditioning, full power accessories, a height-adjustable driver seat, 60/40-split-folding rear seats, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, cruise control, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity and a six-speaker CD player with satellite radio and a USB/iPod jack.
Optionally, shoppers can add the Style package that includes 17-inch wheels, a sport-tuned suspension, keyless ignition/entry, Hyundai's Blue Link telematics, leather upholstery and a 10-way power driver seat. On top of that, you can add the Tech package, which includes a panoramic sunroof, automatic headlights, dual-zone automatic climate control, a 7-inch touchscreen display, a navigation system and a rearview camera.
Powertrains and Performance
Powering the front-wheel-drive 2014 Elantra GT is a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 173 horsepower and 154 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed manual transmission is standard, and a six-speed automatic is available as an option.
The EPA estimates fuel economy at 28 mpg combined (24 city/34 highway) for the six-speed manual transmission and 27 mpg combined (24 city/33 highway) for the automatic. For a compact hatchback, these are below-average figures.
Standard safety features for the 2014 Hyundai Elantra GT include antilock disc brakes, stability and traction control, front-seat side airbags, full-length side curtain airbags and a driver knee airbag.
A rearview camera is optional. Also optional is the Blue Link emergency telematics system, which provides services such as remote access, emergency assistance, theft recovery and geo-fencing (allowing parents to set limits for teenage drivers).
In Edmunds brake testing of the previous model year, the Elantra GT came to a stop from 60 mph in 123 feet, which is average for this class. In government crash testing, the Elantra GT earned a top five-star rating for overall crash protection, with four stars for total frontal crash protection and five stars for total side-impact protection.
Interior Design and Special Features
Step inside the Hyundai Elantra GT and you're immediately transported into a different class of hatchback. The interior is bright and open, which is a stark contrast to many other cars in the segment. Like the standard Elantra, the GT's interior is well constructed with solid materials and high-quality controls. Unlike the Elantra sedan, however, the GT's dash isn't overwrought with futuristic design touches. The available navigation system is simple to use and the radio far easier to control via the touchscreen.
Even with the base seats, most drivers should easily find a comfortable driving position, though the optional power driver seat obviously offers more adjustments. The GT's rear seats are as spacious as those in the Elantra sedan, and there's actually more headroom. The Elantra GT's wide rear bench also offers generous hiproom and legroom. Taller drivers will find that the optional panoramic sunroof eats into valuable headroom, but everyone else will appreciate the natural light it brings into the cabin.
Behind the rear seats, the cargo area can accommodate up to 23 cubic feet of stuff, which is generous compared to other hatchbacks. Those seats are easily stowed by flipping the seat cushions forward and the seatbacks flat, providing an excellent 51 cubic feet of maximum capacity.
With the addition of a more powerful engine and a sport-tuned suspension option, the 2014 Hyundai Elantra GT should offer quicker acceleration and sharper handling than last year's hatchback, which we criticized for its rather anemic performance. Although we have yet to drive the 2014 Elantra GT, we will update this review once we have.
For drivers with less sporting ambitions, the Elantra GT's base suspension should satisfy, as it provides an agreeable ride and respectable handling. Long-distance commuters will find the Elantra GT particularly appealing, as it rides like a much larger, plusher car.