The redesigned 2018 Hyundai Elantra GT makes landfall in the US not long after the car its based on, the European market i30, debuted across the pond. Like previous Elantra GTs, this European heritage serves to distinguish it from not only the competition, but from its own four-door sibling, with handsome styling, a lovely interior, and a capable driving character.

Best Value

Hyundai only offers the Elantra GT in two trims – the base model and the turbocharged, 201-horespower Sport. While these two vehicles look similar, their driving characters are so dramatically different that choosing a “best deal” a largely subjective affair. For most consumers, though, the standard Elantar GT and its 161-hp engine are just plenty. Whichever path you go down, we recommend the two-pedal layout – a six-speed automatic on the base model and a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic on the GT Sport – which adds $1,000 to the price.

Despite the extra expense, an automatic is a prerequisite for the available packages. There are two the base model and one on the Sport, but all three are so loaded with worthwhile gear, they're difficult to ignore. With that in mind, here's our choice for the best value in the Elantra GT range.

  • Model: 2018 Hyundai Elantra GT
  • Engine: 2.0L four-cylinder
  • Output: 161 hp / 150 lb-ft
  • Transmission: Six-speed automatic
  • MPG: 24 city / 32 highway
  • Exterior color: Summit Gray
  • Interior color:Black
  • Options: Six-speed automatic transmission ($1,000), Style Package ($1,800, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, proximity entry with push-button start, 4.2-inch instrument cluster display, dual-zone climate control, leather-wrapped steering wheel, power driver's seat, and heated front seats), Tech Package ($4,300 and requires Style Package, LED headlights and taillights, leather upholstery with ventilated front seats, panoramic sunroof, navigation, BlueLink telematics, seven-speaker Infinity audio system, wireless charging pad, auto-dimming rear-view mirror)
  • Base Price: $20,235 (including $885 destination charge)
  • As Tested: $27,335

Performance Pros

2018 INFINITI QX30
  • Base engine is perfectly fine for everyday use
  • Six-speed automatic times shifts well and executes them smoothly
  • Ride is composed and relatively quiet for the class
  • Turbocharged Sport is a riot of torque-steer and tire squealing acceleration

Performance Cons

  • Base 2.0-liter gets buzzy when exercised
  • Six-speed manual requires sacrificing all optional extras
  • Hard to drive Elantra GT Sport efficiently – it's too much fun
  • Steering lacks feedback and precision

Interior Pros

  • Cabin feels nicer, more premium than Elantra Sedan
  • Spacious second row
  • Huge amount of cargo space, even with the second-row up

Interior Cons

2018 INFINITI QX30
  • Leather requires the top-of-the-line package
  • That Tech Package is not cheap
  • Base seats lack the comfort and support of the Elantra GT Sport's thrones

Our Favorite Thing

The Elantra GT is available with a very impressive suite of active safety systems that make this humble compact feel quite a bit more premium.

Our Least Favorite Thing

The best features require an automatic transmission – this might be understandable on the base model, but they're frustrating on the more premium GT Sport, a car whose performance-focused character is most enjoyable with the six-speed stick. Hey Hyundai, we'd like both the equipment and the manual transmission.

Right For

2018 INFINITI QX30

Active families that aren't interested in the crossovers that plague elementary school parking lots will love the Elantra GT's enjoyable driving dynamics and ample space.

Wrong For

Hyundai stopped deserving its reputation for “cheap” cars nearly a decade ago, and yet it still persists. Customers shouldn't let that stop them from buying an Elantra GT, but for some, the lack of a Honda, Ford, or Volkswagen badge is a disqualifying factor.

The Bottom Line

The Elantra GT ticks a lot of boxes, offering space, style, performance, and tech in equal measure. It's a stellar alternative to the Volkswagen Golf Sportwagen and compromised crossovers for owners willing to step outside their comfort zone.