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The initials GT is an overused acronym for Grand Tourer. Despite the Elantra GT Sport having more qualities of such grand tourer with a turbocharged engine and multi-link independent rear suspension, the GT used on the standard entry level Elantra hatchback is just a purely letters identity the difference between the sedan and the hatch.

WHATS NEW FOR 2018:

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Everything. Everything is new for 2018. The Elantra sedan has been with us for a few years now, but instead of just giving us a hatch with similar sedan styling, Hyundai gave us an entirely different car – inside and out with a whole new body style, new chassis, and fitting interior.

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WHAT WE LIKED:

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Performance is off to a good start for the GT – it uses a different engine from the sedan for starters, a 2.0-liter four-cylinder producing 161-horsepower, mated to a six-speed automatic. All is bright too when we put our foot down with an acceptable acceleration rate of 0-60 mph in less than 8 seconds. Despite not having all of the components from the GT Sport, the standard GT provides some good times behind the wheel having. Steering feedback is relatively decent for its class and the chassis shows significant handling improvements over the sedan with minimum body roll and well-tuned control.

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Styling is also in our good graces – we like the way the Elantra GT looks, having a more upgraded stance with projection beam headlights, LED daytime running lights and 17-inch alloy wheels as a standard feature. The interior is handsomely well executed with a nicely use of two tone color combination on the seats and dash. Hyundai has also come a long way in their quality control department having, a more premium and tactical feel for the buttons with even stainless steel controls on the steering wheel. The large touch screen infotainment system supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity.

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WHAT WE DON’T LIKE:

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Upon entrance, it’s quick to see Hyundai did some significant cost savings on the materials throughout. The interior uses a heavy dose of cheaper, hard plastics that may look presentable but feel tacky and unnecessary – especially when we’ve seen more soft touch materials out of their entry level Elantra sedan. We even expected similar fuel economy results to the sedan, but the Elantra GT returned just under 27 miles to the gallon on the highway with a combined average of 25 mpg.

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CONCLUSIONS:

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The Elantra GT provides all the fundamentals and practically of what we expect of hatchback these days, providing a comfortable interior for all occupants and folding flat back seats and happens to be enjoyable to drive as well. However at nearly $22-grand, perhaps it’s worth the extra $1500 and upgrade to the Elantra GT Sport with a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine, 201-horsepower, and impressive chassis to toss around in.

Vehicle Specifications:
2018 Hyundai Elantra GT: $20,360
As Tested (including Options & Destination): $21,360
Performance Specs:
2.0-liter Four-Cylinder -161-Horsepower, 6-Speed Automatic Transmission – 0-60MPH: ±8.0 seconds
EPA MPG: 24/32/27 (City/Highway/Combined) – SSB Average: 28 MPG’s – Fuel Range: ±450 Miles