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.
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2016 Hyundai Elantra GT Overview
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.
2016 Hyundai Elantra GT Review
The sporty offshoot of Hyundai's popular compact sedan, the Elantra GT provides heightened performance and style along with hatchback utility. You also get access to some of the most advanced technology available in this price class.
Pricing and Equipment
The Elantra GT is offered in a single trim level with two comprehensive option packages:
- Starting at $18,800, the GT carries a 2-liter four-cylinder engine and your choice of a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission (a $1,000 upcharge). You get plenty of features for the price, including heated front seats, satellite radio and a cooled glovebox.
- The available Style package ($1,975) adds a sport-tuned suspension and 17-inch wheels, plus a leather interior, keyless ignition, and Hyundai's BlueLink telematics system.
- Models equipped with the Style package and automatic transmission are eligible for the Tech package ($3,950), an impressive bundle that includes navigation, a rearview camera, a panoramic sunroof, ventilated front seats and numerous infotainment upgrades. With all this aboard, the GT comes in at $25,725.
Note that there are no individual factory options for the GT, although the usual dealer-installed accessories are available.
Every GT gets a 2-liter four-cylinder with 173 horsepower, which is only available on Sport versions of the standard Elantra coupe and sedan. Output is comfortably above average for a standard engine in a compact.
Performance highlights include:
- Transmissions: The six-speed manual gives you ample latitude to draw out power, which makes the GT objectively more fun. But you won't be disappointed by the smooth-shifting automatic if that's what you're accustomed to.
- Handling/steering: The standard adjustable steering modes (Normal, Comfort, Sport) are an unexpected bonus in this class. Even in Normal mode, the GT represents well enough in tight cornering. The Style package's firmer suspension provides more grip, but we didn't find it necessary to enjoy driving the car.
- Fuel Efficiency: You can expect 27 mpg in combined driving with either transmission. You can do as well as 33 mpg on the highway, although city efficiency is just average at 24 mpg.
- The Elantra GT is not to be confused with high-flyers in the hot hatchback segment like the Ford Focus ST and VW GTI. Those cars are altogether more serious about performance and priced accordingly.
- Forgive us for being frank, Hyundai, but the GT suffix is probably an overstatement affixed to what is essentially a sport-flavored compact.
- The GT distances itself from the workaday Elantra with a more mature dashboard design and no-nonsense info displays—closer to what you would expect in a performance car.
- We applaud the GT's crossover-like 51 cubic feet of cargo space. There's even a storage compartment hidden under the load floor for unmentionables.
The Most Pleasant Surprise
The standard suspension provides a remarkably smooth ride. We might even call it plush. That makes the GT a fine long-distance cruiser for two. Who knew?
The Least Pleasant Surprise
We can accept that the Tech package costs $3,950 given its sophisticated contents. What rankles us is having to spend $2,975 on other options before getting the privilege to buy it.
The Bottom Line
If dull manners or lack of features have scared you away from compacts, you can safely enter the Elantra GT.