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2020 Volkswagen Golf GTI vs. 2020 Hyundai Elantra GT: Which Is Better?


Hot hatches with plenty to offer: 2020 Volkswagen Golf GTI or the 2020 Hyundai Elantra GT, which is better?

Quick Facts

  • The 2020 Volkswagen GTI is in its seventh generation and will get a full update for 2021.
  • The 2020 Hyundai Elantra GT gets Hyundai’s sporty good looks with some upgrades.

2020 Volkswagen GTI

2020 Volkswagen Golf GTIBase Price: $29,515 /  Read our Review of the 2020 Volkswagen GTI

What we like: Fantastic driving dynamics; understated design; high-class cabin

What we would change: Reduced warranty; questionable reliability; pricey when fully loaded

Overview: The 2020 Volkswagen GTI is the seventh generation of the popular German hot hatch, and it has a lot to offer. It comes in two different trim levels for 2020.

What’s new for 2020: The 2020 Volkswagen GTI gets the next generation of VW’s Car-Net telematics system along with Wi-Fi hotspot capability (so long as you pay for a subscription). Automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, blind-spot monitoring, and rear cross-traffic alert are now standard. Two trim levels are offered for 2020: S and SE. The Autobahn trim has been reduced to a package offered on the SE.

While every 2018 and 2019 VW came with an impressive 6-year/72,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty that was fully transferrable, VW has reduced this to 4-years/50,000 miles for 2020.

Features and Tech: The GTI comes in two different trim levels for 2020. Each trim comes standard with Wi-Fi capability, provided you subscribe to a data plan.

The S trim comes with 18-in alloy wheels, a limited-slip differential, LED fog lights, LED daytime running lights and LED taillights, a rear spoiler, heated side mirrors, heated front washer nozzles, rain-sensing wipers, cruise control, air conditioning, plaid cloth upholstery (a GTI specialty), aluminum-look pedals, heated front seats with manual adjustment and power recline, a leather-wrapped tilt-and-telescopic steering wheel, ambient cabin lighting, 60/40-split folding rear seats with a central pass-through, a trip computer, a 6.5-in touchscreen, Bluetooth phone, and audio connectivity, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility, a 6-speaker audio system, a USB port, a rearview camera, satellite radio and a new version of VW’s Car-Net telematics system, which offers automatic crash notification, roadside assistance, remote vehicle access, stolen vehicle location, and geofencing, which lets parents establish limits for teen drivers.

For 2020, the S also gains forward-collision mitigation with automatic emergency braking and blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert as standard. High-performance summer tires are a no-cost option.

The SE trim adds a powered tilt-and-slide sunroof, adaptive LED headlights, leather seating surfaces, and an 8-in touchscreen infotainment system.

There’s no Autobahn trim level in 2020 — it’s now a package available on the SE trim. The $4,300 package brings navigation, a 12-way power-adjustable driver’s seat with power lumbar adjustment, automatic dual-zone climate control, a self-dimming rearview mirror, DCC adaptive damping (which includes adjustable shock absorbers and a larger rear anti-roll bar), a Fender audio system, a navigation system, front and rear parking sensors, lane-keeping assist, automated parallel and perpendicular parking, automatic high beams and adaptive cruise control.

What does the future hold? The 2020 Volkswagen GTI gets a full update for 2021.  See the 2020 Volkswagen GTI models for sale near you

2020 Hyundai Elantra GT

2020 Hyundai Elantra GTBase Price: $20,650 /  Read our Hyundai Elantra GT Review

What we like: Well built; quality interior; powerful engine; great infotainment; stellar warranty.

What we would change: An all-wheel-drive option would be great.

Overview: A hot hatch that offers a refined driving experience and plenty of tech and safety features, the 2020 Hyundai Elantra GT is one of the few hot hatches on the road that are worth their scratch.

What’s new for 2020: The 2020 Hyundai Elantra GT gets an improved fuel economy for this year, as well as standard safety features.

Features and Tech: The 2020 Hyundai Elantra GT is the hatchback version of the 2020 Hyundai Elantra, and it offers sportier handling and more horsepower than the base Elantra. With 161 horsepower and 150 lb-ft of torque, the Elantra GT is great on the road. It comes complete with an 8-inch color touchscreen, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, and more interior space than the base Hyundai Elantra, thanks to its hatchback body style. While the 2020 Hyundai Elantra GT carries over for this model year, it still comes packed to the gills with the features that you expect in a Hyundai, including things like 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, Bluetooth, 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.

What does the future hold? The Hyundai Elantra GT will be discontinued in 2021. See the 2020 Hyundai Elantra models for sale near you

GTI  vs. Elantra GT: Strengths comparison

Volkswagen GTI Benefits: German driving dynamics and engineering.

Hyundai Elantra GT Benefits: A great warranty and standard advanced safety features.

2020 Volkswagen GTI vs. 2020 Hyundai Elantra GT: Which is better?

This is a tough call since the Hyundai Elantra GT is being discontinued for 2021. In our estimation, the Hyundai Elantra GT takes the top spot in this face-off for its price, features, and its warranty. Find a 2020 Volkswagen GTI for sale or Find a 2020 Hyundai Elantra GT for sale.

2020 Volkswagen Golf GTI 2020 Hyundai Elantra GT
Popular Powertrains
Engine turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder  2.0-liter, 4-cylinder
Horsepower 228 @4700 161hp @ 6,200 rpm
Torque 258 @ 1500 150 lb-ft @ 1,500 rpm
Transmission 5-speed manual 6-speed manual
Fuel Economy 27 combined (24 city, 32 highway) 27 mpg (25 city, 32 highway)
Also Available dual-clutch 7-speed automatic transmission 7-speed DCT
Specs
Warranty 4 years/ 50,000 miles 5 years/60,000 miles
Powertrain Warranty 4 years/50,000 miles 10 years/100,000 miles
NHTSA Overall Safety Rating 5 stars 4 stars
Max Seating Capacity 5 passengers 5 passengers
Wheelbase 103.6 inches 104.3  inches
Overall Length 168.0 inches 170.9  inches
Width 70.8 inches 70.7 inches
Height 57.8 inches 57.7 inches
Turning Diameter 35.8 feet 37.8 feet
Headroom, Front 38.4 inches 39.1 inches
Headroom, Rear 38.1 inches 38.5 inches
Legroom, Front 41.2 inches 42.2 inches
Legroom, Rear 35.6 inches 34.8 inches
Shoulder Room, Front 55.9 inches 56.2 inches
Shoulder Room, Rear 53.9 inches 55.4 inches
EPA Passenger Volume 93.5 cubic feet 96.5 cubic feet
EPA Cargo Volume 52.7 cubic feet 55.1 cubic feet

Abigail Bassett
Abigail Bassett is a freelance journalist based in L.A. and she's covered automotive topics for a variety of well-known outlets including Fortune, Forbes, CNN and Motor Trend. She's also a television and video host and regularly covers breaking news, social justice, technology, health and wellness, and science in addition to her car coverage. When she's not working on her next project she's... Read More about Abigail Bassett

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