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The 2018 Hyundai Elantra isn’t as bold as its predecessors, but it doesn’t really need to be. Hyundai isn’t fighting for attention like it once was, and the new Elantra GT reflects that attitude. Starting with the more popular sedan, it carves a cleaner hole in the air. The grille is lower and wider than older cars, which helps the Elantra announce itself on the road. The sedan has deeper lines across the doors, but it melds with the fenders and roofline in a better way than it has in previous years.
By comparison, the Elantra GT swaps out the large trapezoidal grille with a pinched version and a mesh insert. The headlights are more hawkish, with a different lamp assembly than the sedan. The hatchback doesn’t get the same LED daytime running light treatment that the sedan gets, and we wish it did. Around back, the sedan uses a trio of taillights and an upturned decklid to finish off its shape, while the hatchback blurs its lines with a rounder affair for the rear.
The Elantra sedan offers three engine choices, while the Elantra GT stands pat at two. The base version is a 2.0-liter inline-4 that makes 147 horsepower (162 hp in the Elantra GT) and 137 pound-feet of torque (150 lb-ft in the Elantra GT). A 6-speed manual transmission is standard equipment in both models, but will probably be a rare sight on lots. A 6-speed automatic is more likely and its predisposed to conserve fuel. Tipping the gear selector over lets drivers select their own cog and bring to life the engine. The sedan and hatchback also share a 1.6-liter turbo-4 in Sport trims that adds plenty of pep. The busy turbo-4 improves power by more than 25 percent, all the way up to 201 hp and 195 lb-ft, which can be shuffled through a smooth shifting 7-speed dual-clutch automatic or—our pick—a 6-speed manual.
Power comes on strong low in the rev range, and pushes all the way to 4,000 rpm. We say the Sport models should click off a run up to 60 mph in 7.5 seconds, but our testing has been largely informal so far.
The sedan rides on a similarly sized wheelbase as before, but slightly longer overall. Just like the last version, the sedan is more pleasant for driver and front-seat passenger, with more comfortable seats and more comfortable bolsters on the bottom seat cushion. Sport models get deeper buckets with grippier cloth, or optional leather.
*This vehicle is Certified Pre-Owned and is eligible for our third party warranty program.