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2018 Hyundai Elantra GT: Chicago Auto Show

What Is It?

The 2018 Hyundai Elantra GT is supposed to be a compact hatchback. But this new generation, which makes its debut at the 2017 Chicago Auto Show, has so much cargo capacity that it’s veering dangerously close to being called a wagon. Not that there’s anything inherently wrong with being a wagon.

Fold down the back seats and total cargo capacity is a class-leading 55.1 cu ft. Luckily, though, the new Elantra GT is about much more than helping your friend move apartments. The new body shell is lighter and stiffer than that of its predecessor, and the suspension was developed on one of Germany’s toughest race tracks, the Nurburgring’s North Loop.

The regular GT has a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine delivering 162 horsepower. The GT Sport version, meanwhile, exploits 201 hp from a turbocharged 1.6-liter 4-cylinder engine. Standard equipment includes 17-inch alloy wheels (the Sport has 18-in alloys), dual-zone climate control, an 8-inch display and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto integration. Full LED lighting and wireless smartphone charging are among the options.

How Much?

To be announced. The current range starts at around $20,000.

When Can You Get It?

The 2018 Hyundai Elantra GT and GT Sport go on sale summer 2017.

Add It to Your Shopping List Because…

Even though Hyundai cars have represented good value and their build quality has improved tremendously in recent years, the company has never really had much to offer driving enthusiasts until now. With Euro-flavored styling and handling, the Elantra GT looks better able to compete with attractive cars like the Ford Focus and Mazda3. Oh, and it can help your friend move apartments.

Other Cars to Consider

2017 Ford Focus — With 43.9 cu ft. of cargo capacity, the Focus is one of the smallest cars in the segment. Its current generation is also due for replacement. All that said, it’s still a great car, with useful levels of equipment and a superb chassis.

2017 Honda Civic — This generation is freshly minted and puts the Civic name toward the top of the compact class once more. In case you were wondering, total cargo space in the hatchback version is 46.2 cu ft.

2017 Mazda3 — Great to drive, sit in and look at. Also quite practical, with 47.1 cu ft. of cargo volume.

2017 Volkswagen Golf — Comes closest to the Elantra GT in the cargo capacity stakes, with 52.7 cu ft. A sophisticated and popular hatchback as well.

Used Volvo V60 — Go all the way and get a compact premium wagon that’s stylish, practical, comfortable and fun.

Colin Ryan
Colin Ryan specializes in writing about new cars. But he has also covered trucks, vans, 3-wheelers, even the occasional motorbike. That’s the kind of thing that happens while contributing to the Los Angeles Times, Autotrader, Kelley Blue Book, Popular Mechanics, Variety, Mazda and Lexus customer magazines, as well as many enthusiast sites and publications. He was also a staff writer at BBC Top... Read More about Colin Ryan

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