The name Hyundai isn’t generally associated with fun or excitement, but that may start to change soon with the Elantra GT.
I’ll admit it now. I’m supposed to follow this stuff closely, but somehow Hyundai news has been slipping past my eyes in news feeds like adverts for home insurance. Since moving to America I don’t really recall seeing many that aren’t little beaters. I don’t recall anyone I know mentioning Hyundai in a positive light either. My wife bought a new Santa Fe way back when, and doesn’t mind telling people how bad it was. Particularly the windows suddenly just falling into the door
Worst of all, I think I may have driven one for a few months when I landed in America. I just can’t remember it clearly enough to be certain it wasn’t an old Toyota.
However, the Elantra GT is very reasonably priced, and will come with a manual transmission. The straightforward version with a 161hp 2.0-liter NA engine is worth a second look at just $20,235.
$24,135 gets the Elantra GT Sport. That comes with a turbocharged 201hp 1.6-liter engine and multi-link rear suspension. As an option, you could even have a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. The Sport version also comes with larger brakes all round, and 18-inch wheels wearing sporty all-season tires. They say high performance, but let’s be real here. There’s no such thing as high performance tires for all seasons. There’s too much compromise for that tag.
It seems European style hatches are becoming quite fashionable here in the land of oh my god this is actually happening. In fact, Hyundai is very keen to highlight the European-ness of its European styling on its European car. After all, it’s a U.S. spec i30.
The Elantra GT Sport is going to be straight up against the Fiesta ST and the Civic Sport. After spending a week with the Civic Sport, I’m not optimistic Hyundai can actually compete. That doesn’t mean I’m not hopeful though. In a world of CUV and SUVs, a growing hatchback car market can only be a good thing; and nothing stimulates a market like competition.