2018 Hyundai Elantra GT

2018 Hyundai Elantra GT Review

With its added style and performance, the Elantra GT is more than just an Elantra hatchback.
7.6 / 10
Edmunds overall rating
author
by James Riswick
Edmunds Editor

Edmunds expert review

The Elantra GT is completely redesigned for 2018 and shares many of the same mechanical components as last year's redesigned Elantra sedan. From there, however, the sedan and hatchback differ since the GT is effectively the European-market Elantra. As such, it has distinctive exterior styling and a considerably different interior design. The interior is not only divergent from the sedan's but from interiors of the rest of Hyundai's lineup as well. It's a good look — better than the rather conservative sedan's, we think — yet it maintains the brand's user-friendly controls. We also like that an 8-inch touchscreen is standard equipment, along with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

There are two flavors of the GT available. The base version has more standard power than the Elantra sedan, but its fuel economy is worse, which might limit its appeal if fuel economy is a priority for you. The GT Sport has an ample 201 horsepower from its turbocharged engine, and it actually gets better fuel economy (with an automatic transmission) than the base version. The superior fuel economy and power, plus its improved handling capabilities, make the Sport the more desirable and competitive choice.

No matter the version, though, you'll like the Elantra GT's mix of space, performance and style. Along with models such as the Honda Civic, Mazda 3, Subaru Impreza and Volkswagen Golf, the new 2018 Elantra GT is worth a look if you're shopping for a hatchback.



What's new for 2018

The Hyundai Elantra GT hatchback is completely redesigned for 2018.

We recommend

Though it costs considerably more than the base trim level, the Sport is the one to get. Its sharper and more composed handling (courtesy of a more sophisticated rear suspension design) and stronger engine make it more fun to drive. It also comes standard with features that you'll probably want but are optional on the base version. Still not sold? With the automatic transmission, the Sport gets better fuel economy than the base GT.




Trim levels & features

The 2018 Hyundai Elantra GT hatchback is available in base and Sport trim levels. The base GT comes with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine (161 horsepower, 150 pound-feet of torque) that drives the front wheels through either a six-speed manual transmission or a six-speed automatic. The GT Sport upgrades to a turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder (201 hp, 195 lb-ft) and either the manual transmission or a seven-speed, dual-clutch automatic.

Standard features on the base Elantra GT include 17-inch alloy wheels, a rearview camera, LED running lights, a height-adjustable driver seat, 60/40-split folding rear seats, Bluetooth, an 8-inch touchscreen interface, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, a USB port and satellite radio.

Getting the base trim's optional Style package is likely worth the cost. It adds blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, keyless ignition and entry, dual-zone automatic climate control, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, a power-adjustable driver seat and heated front seats.

The GT Sport has the contents of the Style package as standard plus the more powerful engine, bigger brakes, 18-inch wheels, a more sophisticated sport-tuned suspension, LED headlights, an electronic parking brake, upgraded gauges and leather upholstery.

The base GT can also be had with the Tech package, which includes the Sport's bigger brakes, electronic parking brake and LED headlights plus a panoramic sunroof, ventilated front seats, Blue Link communications, a navigation system, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a wireless smartphone charging pad and a seven-speaker Infinity audio system.

If the GT Sport doesn't have them already, the above features are included in the GT Sport's Tech package. It also includes adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning and automatic braking, lane departure warning and intervention, automatic high beams and a driver inattention warning system.



Trim tested

Each vehicle typically comes in multiple versions that are fundamentally similar. The ratings in this review are based on our full test of the 2018 Hyundai Elantra GT (2.0L inline-4 | 6-speed automatic | FWD).

Edmunds Scorecard

Overall7.6 / 10

Driving

7.5 / 10

Acceleration6.5 / 10
Braking7.5 / 10
Steering8.0 / 10
Handling8.0 / 10
Drivability7.5 / 10

Comfort

8.0 / 10

Seat comfort7.0 / 10
Ride comfort7.5 / 10
Noise & vibration8.5 / 10
Climate control8.5 / 10

Interior

7.5 / 10

Ease of use8.0 / 10
Getting in/getting out7.5 / 10
Driving position8.0 / 10
Roominess7.0 / 10
Visibility7.5 / 10
Quality8.0 / 10

Utility

7.5 / 10

Small-item storage8.0 / 10
Cargo space8.0 / 10

Technology

7.5 / 10

Audio & navigation7.5 / 10
Smartphone integration8.5 / 10
Driver aids6.5 / 10
Voice control7.5 / 10

Driving7.5

Its steering, brakes and suspension make it easy and fun to drive. The base 2.0-liter engine's power is livable, and the transmission does nothing offensive, but we would undoubtedly prefer the turbo 1.6-liter in the GT Sport.

Acceleration6.5

The power available isn't great, but it's livable. The strained moan from the engine during heavy acceleration will probably be more of a hurdle for most than the lack of power. When prodded, this engine has enough to make merging work in most cases, accelerating to 60 mph in 8.6 seconds.

Braking7.5

The brakes are easy to modulate, with no excess play or squishiness. They may not be performance-oriented brakes, but they feel nice and are predictable to use. In our panic-braking test, it needed 124 feet to stop from 60 mph, which is average for the class.

Steering8.0

The steering, one of the best aspects of this car, is well-tuned and direct with enough heft to feel secure at highway speeds. There isn't a ton of feedback, but it builds confidence and is well-matched to the suspension competence.

Handling8.0

When it comes to handling, the Elantra GT acquits itself well. The low-rolling-resistance tires don't offer a lot of grip, but the GT feels nimble and is willing to be tossed around. Bumps are largely dispatched without issue, although certain midcorner bumps can unsettle it somewhat.

Drivability7.5

The transmission has no bad habits in routine driving, but it's programmed solely for casual cruising. Sport mode doesn't deliver any increased urgency in its shift logic. Everyday drivability is otherwise agreeable. It kicks down a gear when needed and does so without too much delay.

Comfort8.0

A quiet cabin and great temperature regulation are the highlights of this car's general comfort. The ride is agreeable considering how well this car handles, too. More than one driver, however, found the seat cushions too stiff for comfort despite the good range of adjustability.

Seat comfort7.0

The seats have a wide adjustment range, but the cushions are very firm and not great for long trips. The leather also feels synthetic, but the optional power ventilation prevents the driver from getting swampy. Lateral support is modest, but the lumbar support is adjustable and well-placed.

Ride comfort7.5

The ride is on the firm side but isn't harsh. It strikes a good balance between motion control and compliance. Most occupants will find the ride acceptable, and those who value slightly sportier dynamics will have no issue trading some ride comfort for the handling benefits.

Noise & vibration8.5

There's some mild wind and road noise at highway speeds, but overall the cabin is quieter than the average compact car. At lower city speeds, road noise is particularly well-isolated, and there are no discernible interior rattles or creaks.

Climate control8.5

The dual climate control system is pretty straightforward to operate and maintains proper cabin temperatures well. It gets bonus points for having three levels of heated and ventilated seats in this segment. The cabin air ionizer was also effective at filtering out ambient smoke from a local wildfire.

Interior7.5

Hyundai does a great job in making its cabin controls easy to learn and operate. They may not be fancy, but they are highly functional. The GT is a little short on rear passenger space, but on the whole, the cabin is well-executed.

Ease of use8.0

In typical Hyundai fashion, the controls are very straightforward and easy to operate and understand. There are a number of hard-button shortcuts for touchscreen menus, and the gauge cluster info display is also easy to thumb through and configure. There's no need to break out the owner's manual here.

Getting in/getting out7.5

The front doors have generous-size openings with good head clearance and an easy step-in height. The rear door openings have plenty of head clearance, too, but are rather narrow, which leaves less space to swing your legs.

Driving position8.0

A wide range of seat adjustment means a variety of drivers should be able to find a comfortable position. The column tilts and telescopes to a decent degree. We especially like the generous tilt angle of the driver's bottom cushion. Shame that the cushions themselves aren't more comfortable.

Roominess7.0

The front seats have a good amount of space in nearly all directions. The back seat is tighter than average on legroom and surprisingly short on headroom, even though the manufacturer-provided dimensions indicate otherwise. If you're 6 feet tall, you're probably not going to be comfortable in the back.

Visibility7.5

Rear visibility is inherently quite good in hatchbacks. The GT's rear window is a good size. And although you can see the outboard rear headrests, they don't impede on the rearward view. The side mirrors create a bigger blind spot than they would if they were mounted to the door skin.

Quality8.0

The interior cabin reflects quality design. The dash has a uniform look even if it's a mix of soft-touch and matte-finished plastic. The central infotainment screen has an upscale look, and the door handles sport a smooth metal-like finish. The only cheap-feeling parts are the sideview mirrors switches.

Utility7.5

Hatchbacks are well-suited for cargo, and the Elantra GT is a model example of this. Cargo space is generous and in-cabin storage is well-thought-out with good options for all your personal effects. If you're looking to fit a car seat, there are some suboptimal aspects to be aware of.

Small-item storage8.0

There's a good variety of cabin storage. The front cupholders have an anti-tip design, and the door pockets are a decent size and will fit a water bottle and other items. A console bin accommodates larger phones and has all the charging methods and music plugs handy. The center armrest is on the small side but usable.

Cargo space8.0

Its deep trunk helps maximize cargo space but creates a steep lip, so loading heavier items will be tricky. Additionally, the rear seatbacks don't lie flat. Its 24.9 cubic feet of space is a good amount for the segment. The rear hatch also opens high, which affords ample head clearance.

Child safety seat accommodation6.5

LATCH anchors are buried in the creases, and the firm cushions make for difficult access. The top tethers are exposed and easy to access. Rear-facing car seats will be a squeeze behind taller drivers.

Technology7.5

Hyundai was one of the first to offer Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and it continues to offer smart, well-integrated solutions to connect and use your smartphone. Its driver aids tend not to be as user-friendly, and our Elantra GT test car was lacking a few that are typically included.

Audio & navigation7.5

We expected a little more from the optional Infinity premium audio system. It puts out clear, undistorted sound, but the bass was on the weak side. The navigation is Hyundai's standard system, which is easy to use and has live traffic info. We have no complaints, but there's nothing remarkable.

Smartphone integration8.5

Bluetooth pairs quickly and easily, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard and work wonderfully. Qi wireless charging is also available up front, conveniently located alongside the USB and auxiliary ports. You can plug in your phone and just fuggedaboutit.

Driver aids6.5

There's no way to turn off the audible alert for the blind-spot monitoring system — a jarring sound is emitted every time you use the turn signal with a vehicle in the adjacent lane. This is more startling than helpful. There's also no adaptive cruise, which some competitors offer.

Voice control7.5

With Apple CarPlay or Android Auto active, the voice command button will automatically trigger Siri or Google without the 2-second hold. If paired through Bluetooth, the long hold is still required. The native system performs only basic commands but works well, even if it is slow to process.

Edmunds expert review process

This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.