2018 Hyundai Elantra GT Review: Game On, Golf

– La Jolla, California

Don’t ask questions and just embrace the fact Americans are spoiled for choice again when it comes to compact hatchbacks. Perennial entries from Ford, Mazda, and Subaru have recently been joined by models from big names like Chevrolet, Honda, and Toyota, which long ago left hatchbacks for dead and kept foisting dumpy sedans on us.

The 2018 Hyundai Elantra GT is the Korean automaker’s second try at taking its European-aiming compact hatch, called the i30 in most other countries, and seeing if it can do some incremental business in the United States. Because wherever this Hyundai hatch goes, it finds itself on the same course with a very accomplished player: the Volkswagen Golf.

Hyundai has apparently seen the appreciation at least the North American market has for the tighter reflexes and German-aping styling of the hatches that have landed on our shores. And the good news is the American-dictated Elantra sedan and European-led Elantra GT are more closely related than ever under the skin.

 

 

Pros

Smile like you mean it. Hyundai is very aware of how its American-market models look (case in point: the 2018 Sonata), which is perhaps refreshing that the Elantra GT is mostly unchanged from the i30 in terms of appearance. There’s a far more interesting and attractive face on the GT than on the handsome-but-unremarkable Elantra sedan, like it’s wearing a big grin rather than a restrained smirk. Yet it’s not over-styled and consequently makes the Honda Civic Ha...