THE PROS & CONS
- What’s Best: Elantra’s hatchback is a nice car for a young family looking for style and practicality.
- What’s Worst: Hyundai should offer the numerous safety features on the lower trims of the car.
- What’s Interesting: The leather seats with the red stitching are a nice visual treat.
Recently I had a chance to drive a Genesis G80, which showed the luxurious division of Hyundai.
This week’s test car shows the more work-man-like side of Hyundai.
The Hyundai Elantra GT exemplifies just what a family car should be: easy to drive, affordable and with enough room to haul the kids to hockey or baseball.
My tester for the week was the top of the line Elantra GT Sport Ultimate hatchback.
The GT hatch comes in five trims with automatic or manual transmission available in three of them. With the GT GL, GL SE, GLS, ST Sport and GT Sport Ultimate, there is an Elantra GT hatchback to fit any budget.
The GL starts at $20,449 with the top trimmed Ultimate coming in at $30,499.
There is something about the look of a hatchback that makes you smile when you look at it. The Elantra GT is no exception. The elongated front hood reminded me of a Mazda3 and the rear hatch reminded me of a VW Golf, two very good models to emulate.
As of the owner of a 2017 Elantra, I was in very familiar territory when I climbed into the GT.
The controls are within easy reach and there isn’t a sense that you will be overwhelmed by what the car has to offer.
To start with the steering wheel controls for the radio are on the left side of the wheel.
I find that so much easier than when the controls are on the right side, especially during my drive to work with my morning tea.
The eight-inch high-resolution touch screen is a breeze to use and doesn’t require a day with the manual to figure out how to use all the controls.
Hyundai allows Android Auto and Apple Car Play to connect to the infotainment system and the Sport Ultimate also includes a navigation system.
Among the other standard features on the GT Sport Ultimate are: push button start; electronic parking bake; ventilated front seats; leather wrapped and heated steering wheel and dual temperature control.
On the safety side all trims of the GT offer a rearview camera, blind spot detection and seven airbags but only the Ultimate trim goes further with adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, lane assist and lane departure warning. Hyundai should consider offering those safety features on all trims of the car though the lane assist feature is more troublesome than it is worth.
I’m not sure where the line between safety and annoying is with cars that offer a warning when you veer slightly towards a lane marker but I find more often that not I turn that feature off.
I have become a huge fan of the adaptive cruise control that more and more car manufactures are offering. Turn it on and the car basically drives itself on the highway though you should never take your eye of the road for one second. The adaptive cruise is as close as I want to get to an autonomous car.
Under the hood of the GT Ultimate is a 1.6-litre inline turbocharged four-cylinder engine (201 hp, 195 lb/ft) matched with a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. The car offers paddle shifters on the steering wheel but they are more of a nuisance.
For a small car this GT can move off the line and is quick to get up to top speed on the highway. Four-wheel disc brakes bring the car to a quick stop.
As I mentioned earlier, the GT offers numerous trim lines which means different engines. The GL to GLS has the two-litre DOHC engine with a six speed transmission either in automatic or manual (I would lean towards the manual).
The GT Sport has the 1.6-litre turbo with the six-speed manual or you can opt for the seven-speed tranny.
Along with the ease of the controls inside the car, the Elantra GT offers a very attractive interior. The leather seats with the red stitching is a nice look and that red accent is carried right though to the dash, around the vents and climate controls.
While the back seat won’t win you any pats on the back from your tall friends, it is adequate for most adults.
And like most hatchbacks, the rear has room for whatever your family throws in it, from luggage for an overnight trip to an early morning practice at the rink.
Also helping your family is the amount of fuel you will use. Hyundai says the Elantra GT will average 8.3L/100 km of combined.
During the week I put 767 kilometres on the car averaging 8.0L/100 km.
My week in the Elantra GT showed me why I am a fan of Hyundai’s family car and why I see so many on the road.
2018 Hyundai Elantra GT Sport Ultimate
BODY STYLE: Five-door hatchback
DRIVE METHOD: Front-wheel-drive with seven-speed dual clutch transmission.
ENGINE: 1.6-litre turbocharged four-cylinder (201 hp, 195 lb/ft of torque)
FUEL ECONOMY: 9.2/7.1L/100km (city/hwy)
CARGO CAPACITY: 705 litres behind the rear seats, 1560 litres with the rear seats folded.
PRICE: GT GL, $20,449: GT Sport Ultimate, $30,499
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