The Hyundai Elantra GT wraps a practical and attractive five-door hatchback body around Hyundai's now-customary high refinement and usability, all at a competitive sticker price.
What's New for 2016
Hyundai gets an early start on the 2016 model year with a brace of updates to the Elantra GT. The most visible change is a new nose which features a fashionable slatted grille. The bigger news is inside; BlueLink, Hyundai's OnStar-style driver information and assistance system, is included with the Style package, and the optional Tech package features one of the most advanced infotainment systems available in a compact car.
Choosing Your Hyundai Elantra GT
The Elantra GT hatchback may share a name with the Elantra sedan, but the two are different cars underneath their similarly curvy sheet metal. Power is provided by a 2-liter four-cylinder which spins out 173 horsepower and scores reasonable 24 mpg city and 33 mpg highway EPA estimates. A 6-speed manual transmission is standard; an available 6-speed automatic is slightly expensive ($1,000) and dulls the motor's punchy nature. Handling is secure and predictable -- the Elantra GT isn't a racing car, but it will do what it is told without drama. Four-wheel disc brakes are standard, and seven airbags provide excellent occupant protection in case of impact.
Standard equipment for the Elantra GT includes such upscale touches as heated seats, adjustable steering modes, Bluetooth and a starter SiriusXM radio subscription. Two option groups, Style and Tech, are available to further dress up the base model. The Style package shows that style can be more than skin deep; in addition to nice-looking 17-inch wheels, foglights, and side mirrors with integrated turn signals, the package includes an upgraded suspension, a retrimmed interior with leather seats (power-adjusted on the driver's side), pushbutton start and BlueLink, all for a reasonable $1,975.
If you've selected both the automatic and the Style package, you can also opt for the Tech package. A seven-inch touchscreen displays maps for the navigation system and the view from the backup camera. The infotainment package expands to include HD radio and a built-in Apple Siri extension. The improved connectivity is complemented by a panoramic sunroof, vented seats, dual-zone climate control, and a few exterior trim upgrades. Consider your comfort and connectivity needs carefully, though; the Tech package's list of impressive upgrades adds an equally impressive $3,950 to the bottom line.
With its combination of suspension upgrades and interior refinements, the Style package is well worth the investment. However, we find it hard to justify the eye-widening tab for the Tech package unless you absolutely insist on maximum available electronics.