Appearances will be deceiving. The Elantra GT may not look too offended on the skin, however get it on the correct street, and also you’re in for some good occasions.
The 2021 Hyundai Elantra sedan is perhaps dwelling in 2050 with its wild, triangular styling, however the Elantra GT hatchback stays clothed in yesteryear’s design for the foreseeable future. Despite the older countenance, the GT continues to be receiving huge updates, together with final 12 months’s new N-Line trim that replaces the outgoing Sport mannequin. It’s no full-fat Veloster N, however there’s an entire lot to love about this under-the-radar five-door, and I believe it will enchantment to a reasonably vast swath of sport-adjacent consumers.
LikeGreat clutch pedalAmple area for individuals and cargoUnder-the-radar seems to be
Don’t LikeJust-okay accelerationInterior seems to be just a little cheapHarsh experience high quality
A brand new outdated lookDespite being an “old” design in comparison with its sedan sibling, the 2020 Elantra GT nonetheless seems to be good, only a bit much less bizarre. The grille is properly proportioned, there is a fairly sturdy shoulder line using to the again and the rear finish accommodates simply sufficient creases to maintain issues attention-grabbing. The N-Line variant throws some barely extra aggressive baubles into the combination, like a brand new lip spoiler, black mirrors, 18-inch alloy wheels and angrier bumpers, however none of it’s so shouty that you simply really feel just a little ostentatious on the street (taking a look at you, Honda Civic).The Elantra GT’s inside additionally stays near its nonsporty roots. While lots of the contact factors are fairly respectable, I really feel the within lacks the visible punch and fit-and-finish of opponents just like the Honda Civic Si and VW Golf GTI, which supply just a few extra inside reminders of the automotive’s sportier nature. That stated, the hatchback’s purple accents are welcome and the leather-based seats are each clean and supportive. The again does not really feel prefer it’s missed out on any of the enjoyable, both, sporting the identical supplies and providing up a stable quantity of area for taller passengers.
Speaking of area, there’s a spot for almost all the pieces within the Elantra GT. The door pockets are segmented and able to holding bigger objects like Nalgene-style water bottles, which is sweet as a result of the cup holders look like aimed extra in the direction of smaller containers. Just forward of the shifter is a cavern that homes a wi-fi system charger, or room for extra tchotchkes. But wait — there’s additionally a slot subsequent to the cup holders, along with a middle armrest deep sufficient to empty your pockets into. The GT N-Line continues to be a household automotive beneath all this go-fast stuff, in spite of everything. The cargo capability is fairly respectable, too, providing up a shade below 25 cubic ft of storage with the seats up. That’s a smidge behind the Honda Civic Hatchback, however it’s leagues forward of the five-door Toyota Corolla.
2020 Hyundai Elantra GT N-Line is an under-the-radar hustler
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Three-pedal harmonyOne of the GT N-Line’s closest opponents (it begins with an H and ends with -onda Civic Si) left me feeling underwhelmed by how its customary three pedals labored together with the remainder of the powertrain. There’s no such drawback current at Hyundai, although; the GT N-Line’s clutch pedal is weighty and communicates its chunk level with precise feeling, making shifts simpler and extra predictable than the Honda. The Elantra additionally has nearly no rev dangle, so spirited driving can embrace spirited shifts with much less driveline violence or pointless clutch slipping. The shifter itself may need some average-length throws (I want the Veloster Turbo’s B&M brief shifter had been right here), however the stick is exact and properly weighted.
It (principally) will get higher from there, too. The Elantra GT N-Line makes use of the identical engine because the outdated GT Sport mannequin: a 1.6-liter, turbocharged I4 pushing 201 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque to the entrance wheels. You may suppose that the turbo-four would produce some meaty torque down low, however the engine truly feels nearer to a naturally aspirated car, glomming onto the ahead movement in a extra linear vogue because the revs rise, petering off about 500 rpm earlier than redline. That makes it rather less thrilling to drive in visitors or in city areas normally, and sixth-gear acceleration additionally feels stunted on the freeway — just a little little bit of low-end grunt goes a great distance, Hyundai.
Speaking of city driving, the non-adjustable suspension is certainly on the stiff facet — a lot so, in reality, that uneven sections of native roads truly make me wish to take a breather. Combine this with the skinny (225/40) bands of Michelin Pilot Sport 4 summer time tires wrapped round every rim, and luxury is tough to come back by at any level, even on roads you beforehand thought had been clean.The Elantra GT’s six-speed shifter is good, I simply want it was related to a motor with extra low-end torque.
Nevertheless, as soon as the Hyundai finds a suitably sinewy again street, the hatchback is a blast. I by no means get uninterested in whipping this factor round, even when it is just a little on the uneven facet. Default and Sport modes are each obtainable, however I discover the default mode to hold the perfect mixture of steering weight and throttle sensitivity, even when I’m feeling significantly corner-carve-y. The physique roll is minimized, and what’s left serves as a great reminder that each one vehicles do, in reality, have limits, even once they’re over-tired to hell and again.While the GT N-Line might reside on the forefront of its phase for its enjoyable issue, it is undoubtedly not atop the rostrum when gas financial system comes into play. The EPA estimates this hatchback will obtain 23 miles per gallon metropolis and 30 mpg freeway, numbers I discovered to be sufficiently achievable if typically unimpressive. For context’s sake, the 2020 Honda Civic Si Sedan will nail 26 mpg metropolis and 36 mpg freeway (after which some, in my expertise), whereas the marginally older VW GTI is available in at 24 and 32, respectively. The Si is the one automotive of the three to mandate a six-speed handbook, too; each Hyundai and VW supply dual-clutch automatics for just a little additional thrift.Good tech, as anticipatedIt’s attending to the purpose the place I’m operating out of recent phrases to convey my praises for Hyundai’s infotainment tech. It’s been nice for years, and even with minimal modifications as different OEMs roll out flashy new getups, it continues to be nice within the Elantra GT N-Line. Its 8-inch touchscreen is completely sized for the inside, and the devoted house display lets me get all the data I want at a fast look, and one contact (or button press) is all it takes to maneuver to a display particular to navigation or music. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are each included, operating by means of the entrance USB port tucked into the middle console.However, the GT N-Line feels behind the occasions relating to ports. There’s a single USB-A port up entrance, with further 12-volt energy sources close to the USB port and within the middle armrest. Two ahead USB ports needs to be absolutely the minimal in 2020, and that is not even accounting for the truth that rear-seat occupants get dick-all in the best way of juicing up.Safety programs are additionally type of a bummer in order for you a handbook Elantra GT N-Line, as a result of all you get is a backup digital camera with mediocre decision. If you need any security programs in any respect, you must shell out a further $1,100 for the dual-clutch transmission, then one other $3,850 for the Tech Package, which provides adaptive cruise management, automated emergency braking, a greater sound system, wi-fi system charging and an influence driver’s seat, along with a panoramic sunroof. Competitors supply all these security programs in manual-equipped vehicles, a few of that are even customary, so why cannot Hyundai? Yes, AEB will stall the automotive if it engages, however who cares? I’d fairly restart the automotive than shell out for a collision deductible.Hyundai’s infotainment system has soldiered on through the years with solely minor updates, which is ok, as a result of it has been fairly darn good this complete time.
How I’d spec itThe 2020 Hyundai Elantra GT N-Line carries a beginning worth of $23,500, with my tester ringing in at $24,590 after $955 for vacation spot and $135 for carpeted ground mats. No choices can be found for the handbook mannequin past these foolish supplier equipment, both. Considering I’d take the handbook over the DCT any day of the week, that is how I’d spec it, I assume — though I’d in all probability decide white paint so the black exterior trim pops extra.Down to brass tacksIf a midpriced sporty automotive is what you are after, there are some wonderful choices on supply. The Subaru WRX brings all-wheel drive into the equation, however the driveline is just a little harsher and whereas the inside is about on par with Hyundai’s, it is solely obtainable as a sedan. The Honda Civic Si has each coupe and sedan kind elements, and it suits like a glove on again roads, however its overly-light-and-numb clutch pedal is absolutely the pits. The VW Golf GTI is the perennial phase darling, however its beginning worth is almost $6,000 above the Hyundai, and I do not know if the superior match and end is price that — even when the plaid seats is perhaps.Consider the 2020 Hyundai Elantra GT N-Line to be a barely extra grownup model of the WRX, GTI or Si. It’s just a little tamer each in its seems to be and within the powertrain division, however it nonetheless has no drawback letting free and rewarding the driving force with each flick of the wheel.