The 2014 Hyundai Elantra GT has a secret. Come closer and I’ll whisper it in your ear.
It’s really a station wagon.
Apparently the marketing folks at Hyundai decided that it’s easier to sell a car when you slap a GT sticker on the back than it is when you label it a station wagon.
Don’t get me wrong, the Elantra GT is a very nice car. It does nearly everything you’ll want, plus some. Just don’t think you’re buying some kind of souped up Elantra. It’s really just an Elantra with a Hatchback. Interestingly, the GT is actually shorter than the sedan version by about 10 inches. But it’s a much more versatile package. If you really want the sedan look, the regular Elantra is your girl. If you want options, go for the GT.
I’m probably a little based towards a hatchback. My first new car was a 1977 Toyota Corolla SR5 Liftback. It was the perfect car for a newly married couple with heading up Highway 1 on a honeymoon. While it was only a two door, the option of flipping down the seats gave us plenty of room to haul wedding gifts and all the stuff you need to start a household.
The Elantra GT has an advantage that old Toyota didn’t: two more doors. That makes the car even more functional. Of course, the Elantra GT isn’t alone in this category. The Mazda3, the Ford Fiesta and even the Fiat 500L are solid competitors. Personally, I like the looks of the Hyundai. Nice solid grill with lines that sweep up as they go towards the back of the car. Again, it’s not a sports car. It is, however, a handsome compact station wagon.
The 2 liter, four-cylinder engine is good for 173 horsepower. Fortunately, my test car had the manual transmission. That will at least help you imagine what a GT car is like. I’ve read reviews from folks who had the automatic and they weren’t overly impressed. Yes, it gets you there, but it’s nothing that will wow you (which is exactly what a car called a GT should do). The mileage is so-so. 24 MPG in the city and 34 MPG on the highway for a combined number of 28. The Mazda 3 hatchback will give you a combined number of 33, but you’ll get only 155 horsepower. During my test week with the Elantra GT my mileage averaged 27.6 MPG. To be fair, I had it up over 29 when I was driving conservatively. When I decided to push it on acceleration, I got a couple MPG less.
Inside, I liked the Elantra GT. Nothing cheap about it. I liked the way the center portion of the dash had a slimmer vertical look. My test car had a pleasant two-toned cream and black interior with aluminum accents.The seats were very comfortable with plenty of adjustments. The instrument cluster has two pleasant gauges with blue accents. Between them is a display with all the usual information available these days, but not an actual video display. The one weak point for me was the navigation system. I could never get it to work so I finally gave up. I find that interesting because just the week before I’d had a Hyundai Santa Fe and thought it had one of the better navigation setups. I’m not sure what is different about the one in the Elantra GT but it was very unimpressive.
The back seat has a little more leg room than its sedan cousin. But the best part is the cargo area. You have easy access to 23 cubic feet of space (bigger than the sedan’s trunk) and once you flip down the seats you bump that up to 51 cubic feet. It’s a perfect car for someone who wants a little more room without bumping up to an SUV.
Driving is a pleasant experience. My test car had the Style Package that included sport tuned suspension. You can also change the steering in put from Normal to Sport to Comfort. It’s still not a sports car, but you won’t feel like you completely missed the performance boat.
Base price for the Elantra GT is $18,750. My test car totaled $25,485. The Style Package added $2,550, but it included leather seats. It’s worth the money. I’m not sure I’d spring for Tech Package which was an additional $3,250. You get that nifty navigation system and a panoramic sunroof, among other things.
While the Elantra GT is hardly a performance car, it’s definitely not a disappointment. Let’s just call it a sporty hatchback. But we’ll keep that secret from the marketing guys.