Practical fun | 2016 Hyundai Elantra GT 5-Door

Thu, 07/23/2015 - 23:38


Hyundai’s flagship compact brought zero disappointment during our week-long test drive with it. The Elantra has been a top performer for the Korean brand for years, and its five-door GT packs practicality and punchiness into a compact, affordable package.

The total package

Hovering slightly below $26,000, our 2016 Elantra GT 5-door came fully stocked with all of the optional features available for the automatic transmission GT. We were partial to the Tech Package features (for an additional $3,950 over the base GT A/T MSRP of $19,800), which include:

  • Panoramic sunroof
  • Leather seating surfaces
  • LED taillights
  • Ventilated front seats (heated seats come standard on all trim levels)
  • Navigation system with HD Radio® and 7-inch screen
  • Rearview backup camera
  • Automatic headlamps
  • Dual automatic temperature control (a feature we really appreciate at this price point)
  • Second generation Blue Link® Telematics System

The Elantra GT hatch provides plenty of comfort, functionality and fuel economy. The updated design gives it an edgier look, almost mimicking some of the lines from the Veloster, yet not so aggressively styled that it won’t appeal to the consumer at-large.

The biggest smiles the Elantra GT five-door gave us were from its front-to-back sunroof and its conservation of gas. We used this car to run errands and tote around town for the entire week, driving more than 200 miles, and we only made it half-way through the gas tank. EPA estimates for fuel economy on the Elantra GT are 24 city / 33 highway / 27 combined; we averaged about 24.5 mpg in mostly city driving. If the Elantra GT were a girl, she’d be the “girl next door” type who likes to look nice but isn’t fussy over her every detail.

You’d be surprised by how much room the Elantra GT five-door has as well. We comfortably fit several passengers of varying heights both in the front and rear seats. The Elantra makes for a terrific grocery-getter, too. The liftgate opens tall and wide to slide in groceries or other goodies from your shopping adventures. With the rear seats folded flat, the Elantra GT has 51 cubic feet of stow space–a figure that encroaches on cargo figures for several crossover vehicles.

2016 Elantra GT 5-door buyers can opt for a set of sporty 17-inch alloy wheels.

The ride is as smooth and quiet as we would expect for an entry-level car; we had no complaints in this department. Handling is also on par, or exceeding, for this compact five-door. The GT gets a better-tuned suspension to provide a sportier experience, which we would likely prefer over the Elantra sedan. The 2016 Elantra GT receives a 2.0L standard gasoline direct injection engine mated to either a six-speed manual or automatic transmission. Power is well distributed upon takeoff and strong enough to get up-to-speed on highways and pass confidently in traffic.

Bottom line, the Elantra GT is easy. It’s easy to drive, easy to become comfortable with, easy on the wallet and easy to enjoy whether you’re the driver or the passenger. We think this practical hatch from Hyundai is a bargain buy with its affordable price tag and 10 year / 100,000-mile powertrain warranty.

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