Compact hatchbacks are quickly disappearing from the automotive landscape, and hatchbacks with a sporty side are even fewer. Thankfully, the 2019 Hyundai Elantra GT is still here, with a refined look and driving experience every bit the equal of rivals like the Toyota Corolla Hatchback and the Volkswagen Golf, although not yet up to the standards set by the new Mazda3. As with all Hyundai products, the Elantra GT is about giving consumers loads of features and value at an impressively low price. In the case of the Elantra GT, buyers will find a sporty and stylish 5-door hatchback with more interior room than most rivals and even some compact crossovers like the Chevrolet Trax and the Mazda CX-3. The Elantra GT offers a choice of two engines, manual or automatic transmission and loads of equipment including an available Infinity sound system, a panoramic glass sunroof and standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
What’s New for 2019?
The Elantra GT Sport is dropped, replaced by a new performance-oriented Elantra GT N Line. The N Line receives sportier styling, sport seats, a sport instrument cluster and a sport steering wheel. The suspension and engine calibrations are also sharpened for better overall performance. On the base car, a panoramic sunroof and leather seats are added to the GT Style package. See the 2019 Hyundai Elantra GT models for sale near you
What We Like
Solid build; high-quality interior; powerful turbocharged engine; excellent infotainment setup; great warranty
What We Don’t
Driver-assist features only offered on most expensive trim; no manual transmission on base GT
The 2019 Elantra GT is powered by a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine producing 161 horsepower, while the Elantra GT N Line is powered by a 1.6-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine good for 201 hp. The base GT comes standard with a 6-speed automatic, while the N Line offers a choice between a 6-speed manual transmission or a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic and steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters.
Fuel economy figures for the GT are a respectable 25 miles per gallon city and 32 mpg on the highway with the 6-speed automatic. The GT N Line with the manual transmission attains 23 mpg city/30 mpg hwy, while the 7-speed automatic posts 25 mpg city/32 mpg hwy.
Standard Features & Options
Hyundai’s hatchback Elantra GT comes in two trims: GT and GT N Line.
The Elantra GT ($21,370) comes with a 2.0-liter engine, a 6-speed automatic transmission, a torsion beam rear axle, 17-in alloy wheels, a driver’s blind spot mirror, hill-start assist and a rearview camera. Also standard are dual heated power outside mirrors, automatic headlights, air conditioning, power windows, power door locks, remote keyless entry, a tilt-and-telescopic steering column and cruise control, plus an 8-in audio display featuring SiriusXM, Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and HD Radio. Optional on the GT is the Style package that adds a panoramic sunroof, blind spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert, lane-change assist, proximity key with push-button start, a 4.2-in information display, dual-zone automatic climate control, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, a power driver’s seat with lumbar support, heated front seats and a driver’s auto up/down window.
The Elantra GT N Line ($24,220) adds a turbocharged 1.6-liter engine, a multi-link independent rear suspension, 18-in alloy wheels, blind spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, lane-change assist, proximity key and push-button start, LED headlights and taillights, dual-zone automatic climate control, leather seating surfaces, heated front seats and an electronic parking brake. The 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission costs an additional $1,100.
The Sport Tech package requires the 7-speed automatic and brings a panoramic sunroof, an 8-in navigation radio, Blue Link, ventilated front seats, a power driver’s seat with lumbar support, Infinity premium audio, a Qi wireless charging pad, adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, forward-collision warning, lane-keeping assist, high-beam assist, attention assist and Homelink.
The Elantra GT comes with a number of advanced standard safety systems including electronic traction and stability control, hill-start assist, display for individual tire pressure and six airbags including front, front side-impact and front and rear side-curtain airbags.
In crash testing, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) gives the Elantra GT four out of five stars, with a safety concern noted for rear-seat passengers experiencing elevated thoracic and rib deflections during side-impact testing. However, the independent Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) saw no such issue, giving the Elantra GT its highest score of Good in every crash test and a Superior in the crash mitigation and avoidance test when equipped with the optional collision-mitigation systems. The IIHS also named the Elantra GT a Top Safety Pick.
Behind the Wheel
Russ Heaps spent a day behind the wheel of the 2019 Hyundai Elantra GT. Here are some of his impressions:
Hyundai set its sights on the Volkswagen Golf when planning the Elantra GT. Although it may not have quite hit the bulls-eye, it came close. It feels stable and well planted in the turns, and the turbo in the GT N Line is responsive, with almost no hint of turbo lag when goosing the throttle. Although the entry-level GT is a bit sedate, it performs efficiently and without drama.
Inside, the cabin is roomy and quite comfy. Rear-seat legroom would be a bit tight for taller folks, but that’s about the only nit to pick. The cars we drove in and around Charleston, South Carolina were well-constructed inside and out. The most striking interior change is the new infotainment system. Anchoring the new system is a larger 8-in touchscreen, occupying its own standalone space in the center of the dashboard.
Standard on every Elantra GT are Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Other standard goodies inside the GT include full power accessories, a tilt-and-telescopic steering wheel with redundant audio controls, an audio system with satellite radio capability, Bluetooth connectivity, a rearview camera, seven airbags and remote keyless entry. Hill-start assist is also standard.
Ponying up the extra money for the GT N Line adds features like lane-keeping assist, LED headlights and taillights, automatic dual climate control, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, leather seating and heated front seats. Optional on both the entry-level GT and the GT N Line is a panoramic sunroof.
You probably can’t tell by looking at the Elantra GT, but it’s sufficiently roomy inside to be categorized as a large car by the EPA. Not only does this mean plenty of elbow room for up to five people, but its nearly 25 cu ft. of cargo-carrying capacity behind the rear seats can accommodate almost twice as much stuff as the cargo hold of a Mercedes-Benz E-Class sedan.
Against segment competitors, the Elantra GT can hold more gear than the Chevrolet Cruze, the Mazda3 and the Volkswagen Golf. But it gets even more impressive. With its back seats folded, this Hyundai hatchback outcarries some small crossovers, such as the Chevy Trax, the Toyota C-HR, the Jeep Renegade and the Mazda CX-3.
In the Elantra GT and the GT N Line, Hyundai found the sweet spot between function and fun. This is particularly true of the GT N Line. Good looks, ample cargo capacity, a comfortable ride and excellent road manners make the 2019 Elantra GT a serious competitor in the sporty hatchback segment.
Other Cars to Consider
2019 Volkswagen Golf — The Golf offers a more upscale interior, a standard turbocharged engine and more communicative feedback. There’s also a high-performance GTI trim and an all-electric model from which to choose. But, the Elantra GT offers more options, more cargo space and a better warranty.
2019 Mazda3 — The Mazda3 is a superior driver’s car, with more trim options, better fuel economy and a standard low-speed collision-mitigation system. The Mazda3 is all new this year, with more refinement and offering the option of all-wheel drive.
2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback — The Corolla Hatchback is not as powerful as the Elantra GT, nor does it offer Android Auto, but it does offer good handling, a roomy interior and standard driver assists on every trim.
Used VW GTI — A 2014-2017 VW GTI gives you the same people and cargo-hauling versatility, but with a much sportier ride, better handling, a more powerful turbocharged engine and a very upscale interior.
Seriously, if you can live without the advanced driver-assist features offered only on the N Line, we think the base Elantra GT with the Style package get you a very nicely equipped car with a few additional driver-safety assists for well under $24,000. Find a Hyundai Elantra GT for sale