2016 Hyundai Elantra GT Limited
2.0L DOHC DGI 16V I4
173 @ 6,500 rpm
154 lb-ft @ 4,700 rpm
6-speed Auto with SHIFTRONIC
Don’t be fooled by the name, the 2016 Hyundai Elantra GT is a totally different car than the Elantra sedan. It is actually the i30, a smashing hit in Europe despite the usage of smaller displacement engines. For North America, the different name also means a bigger motor.
To get one on your driveway, you are looking at $18,449 for the base 2016 Elantra GT L Manual, while our test vehicle was the Limited, priced at $27,099. Equipment-wise it comes pretty loaded, packing seven airbags including one for the driver’s knees, antilock brakes with brake assist and brake-force distribution, stability control, cruise control, 7″ touch screen navigation system with bluetooth connectivity and rear view camera, 180-Watt AM/FM/SiriusXM™/CD/MP3 audio system with 6 speakers, iPod/USB/AUX input, 8-way power adjustable driver’s seat, dual-zone climate control, driver selectable steering mode, heated front seats, leather seats, hidden cargo area compartment, leather wrapped adjustable for tilt and reach steering wheel with audio controls, panoramic sunroof, keyless entry with start button, rear spoiler, automatic projection headlights with “follow me home” function, fog lights, LED tail lights and 17″ alloy wheels.
For 2016, the front grille gets horizontal lines and design cue updates are found on all 4-corners. The body is sculpted to follow the fluid design found on all of the firm’s vehicles and it is amongst the good looking compact hatchbacks on the market. Inside, the dashboard is ‘Y’-shaped and as simple as possible to increase ergonomics. All controls are easy to use and reach, minus the volume and tune knobs that are high up and could’ve been moved below the screen for easier access. Soft to the touch materials have been used on the upper parts of the interior panels, while the rest are hard but not very cheap looking. Fit and finish is good, and even over rough surfaces, there are no unwanted noises produced.
The Elantra GT is a comfy and welcoming car that is very easy to drive. Driver and passenger have comfortable seats, plenty of amenities to their disposal and lots of shoulder room, while passengers in the back have reasonable amounts of legroom and headroom. Two adults will feel comfortable in the back, but a third one will cause some discomfort due to the limited width. The trunk however is big and shaped well, so all of the 651L (without the tonneau cover) can be used. Folding the seats down creates an impressive hauler for most kind of trips.
The 4-cylinder engine under the hood, is a modern 2.0L capable of 173 HP and 154 lb-ft of torque. Mated to a smooth 6-speed SHIFTRONIC automatic transmission, performance is good enough for zipping around town without holding up traffic. When pushed hard it does become a bit loud and harsh, but the sprint to 100km/h takes less than 10 seconds and on the move, throttle response is good and carries plenty of passing power. Great news from the fuel economy front, as during our week-long test we averaged 8.2lt/100km with a slightly heavy foot.
It has been setup a bit firmly to handle well but having a torsion beam rear suspension makes it a bit vulnerable when hitting a bump mid turn. It gets a bit unsettled and feels like the rear end hops, but in reality, even in slippery conditions this should not cause any issues. On the other hand, grip is really good as we measured .80g in the friction circle with the stability control switched off. On smooth surfaces, handling is strong and progressive, the rear end is planted at all times and the steering is quick, unfortunately without returning any feedback. The stiff ride is comfortable most of the time, the exception being when driving on very poorly surfaced roads with big bumps and pot holes, that tend to challenge that rear setup. They could’ve softened it up to hide the bouncy feeling, just like they did in the Accent, but then it would roll more and grip less which would make it seem worse overall. Finally, once again we are impressed with the braking ability of a Hyundai, as from 100km/h it came to a dead stop in just 42m, while the brake pedal had a very positive feel to it.
It is a fun to drive, easy to live with little hatch back with plenty to like and very little to nag about. Reliability should be strong and Hyundai’s warranty is really good, so if you are looking for a daily commuter with a fun side, the 2016 Elantra GT should definitely be on your test drive list.
Easy to drive
Plenty of punch
Rear Suspension Setup
Engine can get loud