The Car Connection Hyundai Elantra GT Overview
The Hyundai Elantra GT is a five-door hatchback added to the South Korean automaker's lineup for the 2013 model year. Preceded in various model years by Elantra wagons and GT hatchbacks, the newest version is related more closely to European Hyundais than to the current Elantra sedan and coupe, though it shares some of their running gear, including drivetrains and front suspensions.
The Elantra GT is styled with some current Hyundai cues, especially at the front end, where a hexagonal grille ties it to the latest vehicles in the brand's lineup. From the front doors back, it's a lookalike for a host of hatchbacks from other automakers--the Mazda3 and Ford Focus come to mind. Inside, the Elantra GT's cockpit has a distinctive center stack that drops the hourglass shape of the sedan and coupe, in favor of a more straightforward look. It's also finished with a slightly higher grade of materials, included a soft-touch padded dash cap.
The five-door GT inherits the same 1.8-liter four-cylinder as the other Elantras, worth 148 horsepower and 131 pound-feet of torque. It's teamed with a six-speed manual transmission or a six-speed automatic with a sport-shift mode.
For handling, the Elantra GT shares the MacPherson front-strut design of the other Elantras, but like the Coupe, its rear suspension is an upgrade--a V-shaped beam with a stabilizer bar running down its upside-down valley, coupled with Sachs rear shocks. The electric power steering is distinct from the single-mode unit found in other Elantras, in that it has three modes--Sport, Normal, and Comfort--though it doesn't have variable effort.
The hatchback body style abbreviates the Elantra shape, while granting more cargo space. The GT is 9.0 inches shorter overall than the sedan, and its wheelbase is 2.0 inches shorter; it's 0.2 inches wider and sits 1.4 inches taller. Behind the back bench, the Elantra GT has 23 cubic feet of storage space, better than some compact luxury crossovers. The rear seats fold down for better storage: when they're nearly flat, the Elantra GT holds 51 cubic feet of cargo. Elsewhere inside, the GT has a shallow storage tray under the cargo floor; a deep center console bin for smartphones, next to the USB port; a cooled glove box; and a center armrest with a sliding cover.
All GT hatchbacks have seven airbags, including a driver knee airbags, as well as anti-lock brakes, traction and stability control. No crash-test ratings are available yet, but a rearview camera is an option--it hides beneath the flip-up Hyundai logo on the tailgate.
Other standard features include a rear spoiler and wiper; satellite radio; heated front seats; tilt/telescoping steering; remote keyless entry; 16-inch wheels; Bluetooth; cruise control; and steering-wheel audio controls. A Style package adds 17-inch wheels; a sport suspension and lower-profile tires; a panoramic sunroof; leather seating and trim; aluminum pedals; and a 10-way power driver seat. A Technology package adds navigation; the hidden rearview camera; pushbutton start; automatic headlights; and automatic climate control.
The Elantra GT is one of a group of vehicles found to have overstated fuel-economy numbers. Hyundai initially submitted figures of 27/39 mpg with the manual, or 31 mpg combined, and 28/39 mpg with the automatic, or 32 mpg combined.. On a confirmation check of several vehicles, the EPA found the Elantra GT's actual tested fuel economy to be 27/37 mpg or 30 mpg combined with the manual, and 26 mpg city with the automatic. Owners can register with Hyundai to receive reimbursement for the gas consumed above and beyond expected levels; more details are found at HyundaiMPGInfo.com.