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2018 Hyundai Elantra GT Sport Road Test Review

2018 Hyundai Elantra GT Sport Road Test

American can-do attitude and ability

Because I test drive new and different cars on a weekly basis, people ask all the time, 'So, what's your favorite car?" But there is no real answer because cars are like our kids. We love them all, just each one differently because each one is different, bringing their own unique set of qualities, talents, gifts, personality, emotions, and temperament to the relationship. It doesn't mean you love one more than the other, it simply means you love each one for their own unique style. So when people ask me which car is my favorite my standard go-to answer is, 'in which category?"

I'm more of a 'love the one you're with' kinda girl. I enjoy each vehicle I test drive based on its own merits and the unique qualities and abilities it brings to the street, whether it's a Mercedes or a Mazda.

This week, the new 2018 Hyundai Elantra GT Sport came a knockin' with a rev and a roar. And we liked what we saw. Hyundai gives the Elantra GT Sport a 'rebirth' of sorts, with an all-new design for 2018, which is much more sleek and sporty, making this hatchback kid one of my favorites 'in its class.'

Here's what Hyundai has to say about all that's new.

Lower, wider, and longer, the all-new Elantra GT adds a more aggressive stance and interior volume to its clean European style and driving dynamics. Those looking for choices can choose between two models, the efficient, smooth running GT, or the more powerful and fun-to-drive GT Sport. Elantra GT is based on the new-generation i30 model designed for the European market.

“The new Elantra GT brings more to the North American shores for the 2018 model year,” said Scott Margason, director, product planning, Hyundai Motor America. “More space and features inside. More aggression and European flair outside. And more options under the hood. I’m particularly excited to showcase the GT Sport, a true hot hatch.”


  • Lower, wider, more aggressive stance

  • European styling

  • Nearly 25 cubic feet of behind rear seat storage

  • Standard vertical LED daytime running lights

  • Standard eight-inch display audio with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration

  • Available dual-zone climate control

  • Available high and low beam LED headlights

  • Available wireless smartphone charging

  • Amazon Alexa Blue Link remote starting

  • Blue Link heated features

With clean proportions, flowing character lines, and an attention grabbing new cascading grille design, the new GT imbues class and sophistication. It’s posture; lower, wider, and longer; shows the GT means business. The GT lands where European style meets American can-do attitude and ability. And it’s not merely skin deep, over half the structure (53-percent) comprises of advanced high-strength steel, nearly double the outgoing generation. And it’s bonded together with just over 367 feet of structural adhesive. This combines to make the Elantra GT, stiffer, stronger, and lighter. It’s 22-percent more rigid than the last GT to be specific. And the body-in-white weighs 61 pounds less. That combines with a slippery 0.30 coefficient of drag making the GT feel solid, efficient and smooth.

While the outside dimensions effectively match that of most compact hatchbacks, clever ergonomics and packaging make room inside for five and so much more. In fact, with 96.5 cubic feet of passenger volume and nearly 25 cubic feet of cargo volume, we expect the EPA to classify the Elantra GT as a large car, rarified territory for this class. And with the rear seats folded, the GT offers massive amounts of space for cargo.


Capacity (cubic feet)

Elantra GT advantage

Elantra GT


















For 2018, choose between two inline-four-cylinder engines in the Elantra GT. The efficient yet robust, direct injection 2.0-liter makes an estimated 162 peak horsepower. It mates to either a six-speed manual or automatic transmission. Opt for the GT Sport and get the 1.6-liter turbo engine found in the Elantra Sport and enjoy an estimated 201 peak horsepower along with a broad band torque peak of 195 pound feet. The six-speed manual is available here too, or an athletic, seven-speed dual-clutch gear box.

Taking advantage of the stiff and strong new structure, Hyundai tested and developed the Elantra GT on the Nürburgring Nordschleife in Germany. Running hundreds of laps, the engineers tested for ride, handling, and durability. This resulted in a suspension tune that feels taut yet comfortable, minimizing unwanted body roll yet maximizing wheel impact absorption. Opt for the GT Sport and the rear torsion beam suspension is switched for a fully-independent multilink setup, standard 18” alloy wheels and larger front and rear brake rotors for even more fun when the going gets twisty. All-in-all, whether it’s a spirited drive through a canyon road, or carrying your mountain bike to the trailhead up the canyon, the Elantra GT is ready.

Aside from great available appointments inside the Elantra GT, like leather seats, alloy pedals, and dual-zone climate control, Hyundai added several new items to keep you comfortable and safe. The Elantra GT is available with conveniences like Infinity Premium Audio with Clari-Fi™, Apple CarPlay™, Android Auto™, and wireless smartphone charging. That’s on top of great standard features such as 8-inch display audio and 17-inch alloy wheels. For safety, the GT is available with several systems usually found in expensive luxury vehicles, such as Smart Cruise Control with stop/start capability, Automatic Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Detection, Lane Keep Assist, Attention Assist, High-Beam Assist, and Blind Spot Detection with Rear Cross-traffic Alert.

Vastly improved structure, Nürburgring refined driving-dynamics, and top-notch features in the new Elantra GT redefine what it means to be a "compact" hatchback.

Hyundai Blue Link customers have performed more than 25 million remote starts since its debut in 2011. Although remote start is a great feature for hot weather, most take place in cold climates during January, February and March. In fact, Blue Link Remote Start with Climate Control is three times more popular in the winter. With this in mind, Hyundai engineers have enhanced the Remote Start with Climate Control feature to include control of the rear defroster and heated side mirrors into the Blue Link mobile app. These new enhancements debut with the launch of the 2018 Elantra GT and will be available on other models in the near future.

For the ultimate level of convenience when it comes to remote starting a car on a bitterly cold winter morning, Hyundai has its new Blue Link skill for Amazon Alexa. The skill works by a customer simply asking an Alexa-enabled device, like an Amazon Echo or Dot, to start their car. The interaction actually sounds like this “Alexa, tell Blue Link to start my car at 80 degrees.” To send commands to Hyundai vehicles via Alexa, users must enable the Blue Link skill in their Alexa app available on: iOS, Android and Fire devices; and then link their existing Blue Link account within the Alexa app. Voice commands will only be sent to Hyundai vehicles after Alexa prompts owners for their Blue Link Personal Identification Number (PIN).

The 2018 Elantra GT also debuts Hyundai next generation AVN 5.0 infotainment system. This system features an upgraded processor for greater responsiveness, as well as an eight-inch screen vs. the seven-inch screen in last generation Elantra GT. Using presets with AVN 5.0 is a snap because AM, FM and SiriusXM channels are now combined on one screen. A bird’s eye view has also been added to Navigation maps and drivers can now get traffic flow and incident data without ever paying for a subscription via HD Radio.

The cost of our test vehicle which was loaded to the max was a mere $24,260. That's sticker. Use your negotiation skills to get that price down. And if you think you don't have negotiation skills, you may be wrong. We negotiate every day with our partners, bosses for a raise, loved ones and even our little kids. 'If you stop screaming, I'll buy you some ice cream. If you get straight As, we'll send you to space camp. If you get into Harvard, we'll buy you a Hyundai!' Ok, so it sounds alittle more like bribery but isn't that also a form of negotiation? So hone those skills and use them to get into this fun family car.

This puppy averaged 25MPG, 22 city, 29 highway. But as always, MPG depends on your driving habits. Go faster, use more gas. Stay the speed limit, use less.

Bottom line...I like this little hatchback allot. It's great for zipping around town or campus, lots of interior room, especially with rear seats down, for hauling just about anything to and from. It's got cutie-pie looks, sleek, slender and sporty. And the price is right for a young family staring anew with their own kids.

For more info, visit Hyundai Motor America