2018 Hyundai Elantra GT | Edmunds

2018 Hyundai Elantra GT First Impression

Two Shades of Hatchback

Five-door hatchbacks have been popular in Europe for decades, and now Hyundai is bringing some of that European style over to the States with the 2018 Hyundai Elantra GT and Elantra GT Sport. With their blend of functionality, practicality and fun-to-drive character, these new compact five-doors are a noteworthy addition to Hyundai's lineup.

A fully revised chassis is used that is both lighter and stiffer than before, which should translate into peppier acceleration, handling and better economy.

The Elantra GT is powered by a 2.0-liter inline four-cylinder engine producing 162 horsepower and 150 pound-feet of torque through either a standard six-speed manual or optional six-speed automatic transmission. The GT Sport is powered by a turbocharged 1.6-liter inline-four that produces 201 hp and 195 lb-ft of torque. The six-speed manual is also standard for the GT Sport, but unlike the GT, the GT Sport features a seven-speed, dual-clutch automatic gearbox as its optional transmission.

2018 Hyundai Elantra GT Sport

On the suspension front, the Elantra GT utilizes a budget-minded rear axle design, while the GT Sport utilizes a sportier multilink setup. The GT Sport also benefits from larger brake rotors up front and larger 18-inch wheels. We're looking forward to testing the differences between these two setups as Hyundai reports they were both calibrated on the world's toughest test tracks.

Further differentiating the two variants, the GT Sport will have red accenting on the dash and steering wheel, as well as red stitching on the seats.

Differences aside, both variants have the same spacious interior and fold-down rear seats, as well as the latest version of Hyundai's Blue Link assistance service. The 8-inch infotainment screen accesses a new version of operating software that's faster than before, but drivers will really appreciate the subscription-less, HD-radio-based traffic data. Amazon Alexa users can add Blue Link as a skill and command your car to start up and activate the heater, rear defroster and side mirror defrosters, all with the power of your voice.

We had a chance to briefly sit in both cars and came away impressed with the amount of room for both the driver and front passenger, not to mention the cargo area. Hyundai reports that the EPA will classify the Elantra GT as a large car because it's so big inside, an unheard of rating for a car in this segment.

2018 Hyundai Elantra GT Sport

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