New Car Review
2017 Hyundai Elantra GT: New Car Review
While the 2017 Elantra sedan is all-new this year, the 2017 Hyundai Elantra GT hatchback remains a carryover of the old body style. With the 2018 Elantra GT due out next year, those who like the new look and features of the Elantra sedan may want to wait. However, for those looking for great deal on a very good car, the 2017 Elantra GT might be too tempting to overlook.
Derived from the Euro-market Hyundai i30 hatchback, the Elantra GT has a shorter wheelbase than the Elantra sedan, and it's tuned for sportier handling. Unlike many of its rivals, the Elantra GT comes with plenty of equipment, made even more affordable this year with a special Value Edition package. Plus, just look at the thing: The Elantra GT is an exceptionally attractive economy car. The hatchback is back, and as we've come to expect, Hyundai's at the front of the pack.
What's New for 2017?
For its final run in this iteration, the 2017 Elantra GT lineup gains a new Value Edition package that adds 17-inch alloy wheels, leather seats, proximity key with push button start, fog lamps, a power driver's seat, heated front seats and automatic headlights. The Tech package adds a panoramic sunroof, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
What We Like
Rich feature set; attractive styling; generous cargo space; sporty handling
What We Don't
No advanced driver-assist features; so-so fuel economy; manual models shut out from the Value and Tech packages
$19,635 - $26,000
The 2017 Elantra GT receives a fuel-economy rating of 24 miles per gallon in the city and 32 mpg on the highway regardless of transmission choice. That's not very impressive for a compact hatchback these days.
Standard Features & Options
The 2017 Hyundai Elantra GT comes in one well-equipped trim level. Standard items include 16-in alloy wheels, driver-selectable steering effort, a height-adjustable driver's seat, full power accessories, a trip computer, air conditioning, a tilt-telescopic steering wheel, cruise control and a 6-speaker audio system with satellite radio and Bluetooth/USB connectivity.
The optional Value Edition package requires the automatic transmission and adds 17-in wheels, leather seats, heated front seats, automatic headlights, leather steering wheel and shift knob, proximity key with push button start, a power driver's seat, fog lights and a driver's auto up power window.
The Tech package requires the Value Edition package and tacks on dual-zone automatic climate control, a panoramic sunroof, heated and ventilated front seats, a navigation system with a 7-in touchscreen, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay a rearview camera, heated side mirrors and Gen 2 Blue Link telematics.
The 2017 Hyundai Elantra GT comes with standard stability control, 4-wheel anti-lock disc brakes and seven airbags (front, front-side, driver's-knee and full-length side-curtain).
The Elantra GT received five stars out of five in government crash tests, including four stars for front impacts and five stars for side impacts.
Behind the Wheel
The Elantra GT's front seats have been beefed up with aggressive side bolsters -- a nice touch in an inexpensive compact. The available power driver's seat is exceptionally adjustable and supportive. The deeply hooded gauges feature Hyundai's standard-issue clear numerals and blue accents. The Elantra GT's dashboard and control layout is less stylized than the old Elantra sedan on which its built, and the GT plays it safe with fewer complex curves and surfaces. Happily, most of the controls are no-nonsense and easily learned, while materials quality is satisfactory.
The Elantra GT's short wheelbase takes a small bite out of back-seat space, but there's still room for full-size adults there if the adults in front play nice. Trunk space is 23 cu ft., while folding down the rear seatbacks opens up a healthy 51 cu ft.
Under the hood, the 2.0-liter 4-cylinder delivers reasonably peppy performance in most situations. It feels strained at times, but it's a definite improvement over the old 1.8-liter unit that was discontinued after 2013. As for transmission, the precise 6-speed manual gives a more responsive feel, but at least the optional 6-speed automatic's downshifts are quicker than the norm these days. We do wish the 1.8-liter motor was still available, as we're sure there are folks who would rather have less power and an extra 3 mpg.
On the road, the Elantra GT handles crisply atop its sport-tuned suspension. The standard driver-adjustable steering effort is a first for this class, and it illustrates one of the main technological advantages of electric power steering: customizability. We'd still pick a Ford Focus or a Mazda3 first for enthusiastic driving, but those models don't offer the Elantra GT's value. The Elantra GT feels even more resourceful in tight spots. In part because of its relatively lightweight, the Elantra GT can get a little out of sorts on rough roads, but we're generally impressed with the smoothness of its ride.
Other Cars to Consider
2017 Ford Focus -- You usually get what you pay for when it comes to economy cars, and the Focus is one of the most expensive. Sure enough, it drives almost like an entry-level luxury car, with uncommon refinement and athleticism for this class.
Used Audi A3 -- We're not talking about the current A3 sedan but rather the previous-generation hatchback, which can easily be found in gently used condition for Elantra GT money. You're going to want a warranty, though.
The Elantra GT's looks really come together with the optional 17-in wheels from the Value Edition package, so we'd add that for sure. Since the Tech package jacks up the price even more, we'd be fine sticking with the Value Edition package and enjoying all the Elantra GT's standard features. However, if you're a tech type and can't live without Android Auto or Apple CarPlay, then the Tech package is a must.