2018 Hyundai Elantra GT Sport
Written by Anqoinette Crosby
A strong dose of apprehension gripped me as the shuttle driver stopped next to the 2018 Hyundai Elantra GT Sport that had been left for me in long-term parking. Returning from an extended series of business trips with five large pieces of luggage, this was my first glimpse of the sleek Hyundai.
While the lovely lines of the car immediately captivated me, its overall size left me wondering if my bags would fit. And, of course, the van was full of a bunch of other travel-weary folks who were also curious to see how this was going to turn out.
After making two agonizing trips, the driver retrieved my entourage of bags from the shuttle. A few minutes later, much to my surprise and relief, the Hyundai’s 24.9 cubic feet of cargo space accommodated it all. Even better, the wide rear hatch made loading my heavy luggage easy too. Plus, it all fit without collapsing the 60/40 split-folding rear seats. If we had, five more bags could’ve been transported that night. Embarrassment averted, my appreciation for the svelte little wagon began to grow.
What’s more, even in that darkened parking lot, I could see the GT Sport exuded an air of sporty sassiness. This impression was amplified by the Hyundai’s cascading grille, which gives the sleek little wagon a wide toothy grin. Further, a slick looking set of gunmetal 18-inch alloy wheels elevated the GT Sport’s athletic stature.
Settling inside, I was pleased to find the interior was as eye pleasing as the exterior. Particularly fetching were the tasteful red accents sprinkled strategically around the cabin. Still, as pleasant as it was, I felt the interior design team pulled up a bit short. The could have fully embraced the “sport” moniker with bolder splashes of red and maybe even a hint of yellow in places to good effect.
But I digress…
While I’d initially deducted a few points from the Elantra Sport’s ledger for that perceived lack of splash, I recalculated the tally when my tired lower back responded gratefully to the lumbar adjustment in the comfy leather sport seats. This feature was afforded my test car as part of the GT’s Sport Tech option package. I was also thankful for the heated front seats, as temps had dipped into the low 40s that night,
Other Sport Tech package goodies included a panoramic sunroof and an eight-inch touchscreen with support for Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. There was also a high-end Infinity sound system to keep the music pumping, along with a host of the latest safety features. These included driver attention alert, lane keep assist, pedestrian detection with automatic emergency braking and forward collision warning. As terrific as all of this was though, the feature I liked best was the wireless charging pad for my Android phone.
A turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine producing 201 horsepower and 195 lb-ft of torque powered the Elantra GT Sport. This was coupled with a seven-speed dual clutch automated manual transmission with paddle shifters in my test car. Hyundai also offers a six-speed automatic transmission with this powerplant. Fuel economy is rated at 26 miles per gallon in the city, 32 miles on the highway and 28 combined with the dual-clutch transmission.
Headed home, I went into the sharply curved entrance ramp for the Baltimore-Washington Parkway carrying a bit of speed. I was immediately rewarded with accurate turn-in and determined road holding. The Elantra GT Sport demonstrated both impressive handling and good power. Out on the highway, the Hyundai, while respectfully quiet, delivered strong pick up and easily kept me flowing with traffic. In short, everything about this initial experience with the 2018 Hyundai Elantra GT Sport told me it was going to be a great evaluation drive—and it was.
Pricing starts at $24,350.