Stoking the fire that burns within hatchback fanatics is not always an easy task. While CUV sales continue to climb and wagon interest remains low, the compact hatchback segment retains its place as a smaller alternative to both. Practicality, a pint-sized footprint, surprising amounts of performance, and affordable pricing all help the modern hatchback earn its keep, which is where the Hyundai Elantra GT Sport comes into play.
While the outgoing model has its fair share of both hits and misses, the all-new 2018 Hyundai Elantra GT that was recently revealed at the 2017 Chicago Auto Show connects with a resounding smack. Aesthetically, mechanically, and technologically remastered, it appears that Hyundai has amended nearly every single issue we found last year in our review of the 2016 model. And it adds even more to the already capable platform.
All models of the GT get a lower, wider, and longer appearance, but the Hyundai Elantra GT Sport is what captures the spotlight with a new approach to both styling and driving dynamics. Slated for arrival later this summer, the most powerful and agile Elantra GT ever made is a United States-spec version of the latest Hyundai i30, a European success story that’s loaded with hot hatch underpinnings.
While the 2018 Hyundai Elantra GT Sport may not have hit hot hatch status right out of the gate (mainly due to not having the performance numbers, or being able to handle tweaks typically reserved for this elite sub-segment), we feel this is just a warm-up round. If buyer interest continues to inspire cars like the Ford Focus RS and Honda Civic Type-R, there’s potential for the Elantra GT Sport to someday receive a modified version of the 2.0-liter turbo motor in the Santa Fe Sport. In the meantime, here are 10 reasons why the regular Sport version will keep most buyers plenty happy.