A year ago, Hyundai introduced a new bolder designed Elantra that transformed an appealing-looking compact sedan to seemingly a larger car that resembled a midsize.
Somehow, Hyundai managed this transformation despite making the Elantra only about an inch longer and wider. The redesign took away the vehicle’s somewhat bold curves and replaced them with a more conservative look that resembles the popular midsize Hyundai Sonata.
For 2018, the Hyundai braintrust completely redesigned the Elantra GT hatchback. The GT shares many of the identical mechanical components as the redesigned Elantra sedan.
Since 2011, the Elantra has been included among the elite compact vehicles – Honda Civic, Ford Focus, Nissan Sentra and Toyota Corolla. While the current redesigns are good ones, the Elantra’s improvements have not elevated it to an elite level.
It still can’t match the fuel economy of the Mazda 3 or the Honda Civic, and doesn’t possess as much room as the Toyota Corolla or the Civic.
There are two versions of the GT. The base model features more power than the Elantra sedan, but its fuel economy is not as good. The GT Sport has terrific power in its turbocharged engine and the fuel economy is higher than the base model. Obviously, the GT Sport offers a superior, more entertaining ride.
The Elantra lineup features a pair of turbo engines. The GT sport is a turbo 1.6-liter, incline 4 that generates 201 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque.
The other engine comes with the Elantro Eco and is a turbo 1.4-liter, inline-4 that produces 128 horsepower and 156 pound-feet of torque. The Eco model is the most economical f the four models, getting 32-40 mpg.
The engine for the base model GT hatchback is a 2.0-liter, inline 4 with 162 horsepower and 150 pound-feet of torque. The last of the four Elantra engines is a 2.0-liter, inline 4 that generates 147 horsepower and 132 pound-feet of torque.
As a whole, the Elantra line provides good driving mannerisms, especially the GT Sport. The overall ride for all Elantras is quiet and composed at any speed. The Elantra also delivers solid stability and good braking.
2018 Hyundai Elantra
- Performance: 2.0-liter, four cylinder, 147 horsepower; turbocharged 1.4-liter four cylinder, 128 horsepower; 2.0-liter, four cylinder, 162 horsepower; turbo 1.6=liter, four cylinder, 201 horsepower
- Price: $18,100 to $27,500
- Mileage estimate: 28-37 mpg; 32-40 mpg; 24-32 mpg; 22-33 mpg
- Warranty: 4 years/50,000 miles; drivetrain 10 years/100,000 miles; corrosion 7 years/unlimited; roadside assistance 5 years/unlimited
The Elantra interior is more comfortable and the overall layout offers additional high-end equipment than in the past, including a very user-friendly touchscreen. The interior roominess is about the same for front and back seat folks, while the trunk is average for the class.
The base model has standard features that include 15-inch steel wheels; full power accessories; tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel; 60/40-split folding rear seatback; six-speaker sound system with satellite radio and a CD player.
There are many enviable qualities to the 2018 Hyundai Elantra, including comfort, value, appearance, driving capability and user-friendly technology. Although the Elantra is not the top of the compact class, it does keep inching closer.
Jeffrey Weidel can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter at @jeffweidel. His “Weidel on Wheels” auto reviews are featured periodically on this website at www.tahoeskiworld.com.