*Go straight to the FULL REVIEW.

Overview (Final Score: B)

How do you describe the 2018 Hyundai Elantra GT Sport?

You can’t describe it as a red-blooded hot hatch, as it lacks the attention-grabbing exterior tweaks and noticeable performance increases. But the Sport can’t be described as a standard hatchback either because it does provide a bit more power than the base Elantra GT and a revised suspension setup.

There has to be a new classification for the Elantra GT Sport: a warm hatchback offering a bit more power and handling ability over the standard model, while costing slightly less than a hot hatch.

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What We Love About the 2018 Hyundai Elantra GT:

  • Spacious cargo hold
  • Sport model is fun to drive
  • Loads of standard equipment

 

What We Don’t Love About the 2018 Hyundai Elantra GT:

  • Back seat isn’t as spacious as competitors
  • Programming of the dual-clutch automatic is problematic
  • Road noise is very noticeable

 

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Pricing and Value (10/10)

The 2018 Elantra GT lineup begins at $19,350 for the base model with the manual transmission. The Elantra GT Sport starts at $23,250 for the manual transmission. The automatics will add $1,000 for the GT and $1,100 for the Sport. Our test Elantra GT Sport came with an as-tested price of $29,210 with the  optional dual-clutch transmission and Tech Package. Considering that the tech package includes navigation, a large amount of active safety equipment, and an improved audio system, it is quite a steal. Add on Hyundai’s 5-year/60,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty and 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty, and you have a hatchback that stands tall in the value arena.

We recommend either model, but would make sure to order the Style package for the Elantra GT and Tech package on the Sport.

Total Score and Competitive Comparison (69/80, 86%)

The Elantra GT Sport exists in a weird vacuum. It provides more punch than what you’ll find in a standard hatchback, but doesn’t fully match up with hot-blooded sport hatchbacks. The closest competitors we can put up against the Elantra GT Sport are the Mazda3 with the 2.5 and Volkswagen Golf.

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The Mazda3 is considered by many to be best handling model in the class, as it has little body roll and excellent steering. The 3 also features some of the sharpest styling, with flowing lines and a bold front end. Where the Mazda3 falls is the 2.5L needing to be revved when merging onto a freeway or making a pass due to its torque being slightly higher in the rpm band. The Mazda3 cannot match the Elantra GT’s spacious cargo area. The hatchback only offers 20.2 cubic feet behind the rear seats and 47.1 cubic feet when folded.

The Golf underwent a refresh for 2018, with minor trim and lighting changes for the exterior, touchscreen infotainment systems becoming standard on all models, and more active safety features. The Golf is slightly more boring to look at than the Elantra GT. Volkswagen has tuned the Golf’s ride to be just as sporty as the Elantra GT Sport, but also deliver a smooth and quiet ride.

Hyundai deserves a round of applause for the Elantra GT Sport. It may not be the most stylish or spacious for rear passengers. But the model does deliver in terms of driving fun, cargo space and value for money. We hope Hyundai does some tweaking with the driving modes and dual-clutch transmission for the Sport.

Think of the Hyundai Elantra GT Sport as being the baby bear’s porridge from Goldilocks and the Three Bears: It’s just right.

Now you can learn more about the 2018 Elantra GT in the FULL REVIEW.

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