Hyundai introduced the Elantra for the 1991 model year, but at that time, even this now well-regarded model was considered a throw-away econobox at best. Hyundai has evolved as a brand a lot over the last 31 years, as has its long-running Elantra nameplate, which entered its sixth generation for the 2016 model year. As was the case with the previous-gen model, the new 2018 Hyundai Elantra has been expected to spawn a GT model, and sure enough, Hyundai showed up to the 2017 Chicago Auto show with not one, but two variants in tow.
Offered with either a 1.6-liter, turbocharged mill in Sport trim or a 2.0-liter NA mill in the entry-level trim, the GT can be had with either 201 horsepower or 162 horsepower, respectively. The new GT is now more rigid than before (by 22 percent,) sits lower, is wider, and shed a total of 62 pounds. Because of its hatchback nature, the GT can hold 25 cubic feet of cargo with the rear seats in the upright position and more than double that the rear seats laid down.
What’s more important here is that the new 2018 Hyundai Elantra GT will have its work cut out for it on the market. After all, the Elantra GT doesn’t exactly spring to mind when someone mentions hot hatches, despite the fact that it competes against some strong models like the Mazda3 and Ford Focus hatchback, among others. So, will the new Elantra GT have what it takes to drive folks into Hyundai dealers for the brand’s latest hatch? Well, things look promising but Keep reading to see what we think about it and to learn more about how it compares to the competition.
When I said that the 2018 Hyundai Elantra GT has some pretty stiff competition, I wasn’t playing around. There are a good handful of hot hatches that are all fighting for supremacy in a segment that is honored and respected by a specific set of enthusiasts. Of course, Hyundai isn’t a name that readily comes to mind when you think of the hot hatch market, but with the new-gen GT, things might change.
First up on the docket of competitors is a favorite in this segment: The Ford Focus Hatchback (shown above.) Refreshed for the 2015 model year, a new-gen model isn’t on the books until at least 2018, so the current design will remain relevant for at least a little time to come. While it does feature five doors (including the hatch), its design varies a bit from the 2018 Hyundai Elantra GT in the sense that the front end isn’t nearly as upscale looking and, in some trim levels, has a guppy-like face. The grille is thin but wide and comes to a shape point on each side.