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2015 Hyundai Elantra GT REVIEW

Edmunds.com logo Edmunds.com 4/3/2017

Con: Subpar fuel economy by segment standards.

Interior: The Elantra GT's cabin is bright and airy, in stark contrast to some other cars in the segment, and its doors close with a distinctly European thump. Like the standard Elantra, the GT's interior is well constructed with solid materials and high-quality controls. Unlike the Elantra sedan, however, the GT's dash largely forgoes the futuristic design touches, favoring straightforward controls and readouts instead. The available navigation system is simple to use and the radio far easier to control via the touchscreen.

Most drivers should find a comfortable driving position without issue, though the optional power driver seat obviously offers more adjustments. The GT's rear seats are spacious for two adults, and there's more headroom than in the Elantra sedan thanks to the high hatchback roof line. Taller drivers will find that the optional panoramic sunroof eats into valuable headroom, but everyone else will appreciate the natural light it brings into the cabin.

Behind the rear seats, the cargo area can accommodate up to 23 cubic feet of stuff, which is generous compared to other hatchbacks. Those seatbacks flip forward to provide 51 cubic feet of maximum capacity, an excellent showing for a car of this type.

Body: The 2015 Hyundai Elantra GT is a four-door hatchback available in one trim level.

Standard features include 16-inch alloy wheels, foglights, heated mirrors, air-conditioning, full power accessories, a height-adjustable driver seat, 60/40-split-folding rear seatbacks, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, cruise control, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity and a six-speaker CD player with satellite radio, a USB/iPod input and an auxiliary audio jack.

There are two options packages. The Style package adds 17-inch wheels, a sport-tuned suspension, side mirrors with integrated turn signals, LED taillights, keyless entry and ignition, Hyundai's Blue Link telematics, leather upholstery, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, aluminum pedals, a 10-way power driver seat, an auto-up driver window and a hidden cargo-area storage compartment.

The Tech package requires the Style package and adds a panoramic sunroof, automatic headlights, dual-zone automatic climate control, a 7-inch touchscreen display, a navigation system and a rearview camera.

Driving: With its relatively powerful engine and available sport-tuned suspension, the 2015 Hyundai Elantra GT should offer reasonably sharp handling and capable acceleration. Although we have yet to drive the 2015 Elantra GT, we will update this review once we have. For drivers with less sporting ambitions, the Elantra GT's base suspension should satisfy with its agreeable ride and respectable handling. Long-distance commuters will find the Elantra GT particularly appealing, as it rides like a larger, plusher car.

What’s New: For 2015, the Hyundai Elantra GT sees no changes.

Motivating the front-wheel-drive 2015 Elantra GT is a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 173 hp and 154 lb-ft of torque. A six-speed manual transmission is standard, and a six-speed automatic is available as an option.

The EPA estimates fuel economy at 28 mpg combined (24 city/34 highway) for the six-speed manual transmission and 27 mpg combined (24 city/33 highway) for the automatic. For a compact hatchback, these are below-average figures.

Safety: Standard safety features for the 2015 Hyundai Elantra GT include antilock disc brakes, stability and traction control, front-seat side airbags, full-length side curtain airbags and a driver knee airbag.

A rearview camera is optional via the Tech package. Also optional is the Blue Link telematics system (included with the Style package), which provides services such as remote access, emergency assistance, theft recovery and geo-fencing (allowing parents to set limits for teenage drivers).

In Edmunds brake testing of a similar 2013 Elantra GT, the car came to a stop from 60 mph in 123 feet, which is average for this class.

In government crash testing, the Elantra GT earned a top five-star rating for overall crash protection, with four stars for total frontal impact safety and five stars for total side-impact safety.

Pro: Spacious and well-built interior; well equipped base model; long warranty coverage.

Edmunds Say: With its combination of sporty driving dynamics, quality construction, generous standard features and impressive space efficiency, the 2015 Hyundai Elantra GT checks most of the boxes for compact hatchback shoppers.

Introduction: People tend to assume that the 2015 Hyundai Elantra GT is just a hatchback version of the Elantra sedan, but the truth is a bit more complicated. In fact, the Elantra GT is the stateside version of the i30 hatchback, which was created by Hyundai's team in Germany for Europe and other global markets. Not surprisingly, the Elantra GT has a sportier personality than its sedan counterpart, with impressive build quality that reflects its European roots. Moreover, with a maximum cargo capacity of 51 cubic feet, the Elantra GT tops most compact hatchbacks when it comes to hauling your stuff.

The GT gained a stronger engine last year, but here the reviews are mixed. On the one hand, the new 2.0-liter four-cylinder provides 25 more horsepower than the previous 1.8-liter four, plus 23 more pound-feet of torque. On the other hand, highway fuel economy has dropped from a competitive 37 mpg to 33-34 mpg. For some shoppers, that may seem like a small price to pay for enhanced acceleration. But if fuel economy is a top priority, there are better choices than this Hyundai.

Nonetheless, the Elantra GT remains quite appealing overall. Standard features are plentiful, and Hyundai keeps the options structure simple, offering just two packages (Style and Tech) that add a number of desirable luxuries. Oddly, while the base car comes with a standard suspension setup, the Style package includes a sport-tuned suspension, and the Tech package requires the Style package -- so if you want one or both of the options packages, you're stuck with the sport suspension, too. That's no hardship for those who enjoy spirited driving, but it's worth trying both calibrations to see if you're cool with the sport version's ride quality.

There's no shortage of strong choices in the compact hatchback class. The 2015 Mazda 3 is arguably the sportiest of the bunch, and it's one of the most fuel-efficient, too. The impressively refined 2015 Ford Focus remains a standard-bearer with its premium cabin materials and sophisticated ride quality. The new 2015 Volkswagen Golf boasts an upscale cabin along with strong performance and available diesel power, while the 2015 Kia Forte hatchback is a stylish, well-appointed runabout that offers a perky turbocharged engine. But overall we like the Elantra GT and think it's one you definitely want to consider.

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