2014 Hyundai Elantra GT Review

Elantra GT

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2014 Hyundai Elantra GT Overview

We're used to getting more bang with every buck spent at Hyundai, but a new engine under the Elantra GT's smiling hood shifts that bang for 2014. You'll find another 25 ponies and 23 pound-feet of twist in this second-year compact hatch, promising to make its drivers smile behind the wheel of the best weight-to-power ratio in its segment. The new engine is the only significant change for 2014, but it should also take care of the only significant complaints of its debut year.

Good for a total of 173 hp and 154 lb-ft of torque, the estimated (and reportedly more accurate) 24 mpg city/34 highway economy out of this new 2-liter is technically an improvement over the 2013's 1.8-liter if you go by drivers' real-world accounts, though that smaller engine's estimate was advertised at 28/38. The optional 6-speed shiftable automatic drops that highway figure just a touch, but both it and the 6-speed manual transmission are still available this year.

The 2013 setup achieved 60 mph from a standstill in a class-average 9 seconds, and the 2014 shouldn't be significantly different except in terms of overall feel. Low-slung power bands like the programming of this engine (torque increases beginning at 4,000 rpm, peak torque achieved at 4,700 rpm) tend to deliver a rather gratifying launch sensation that make a half-second improvement feel like a world of difference—and might even help lead-footed drivers sip on the fuel tank, instead of chugging.

Generally speaking, folks looking for anything with a GT in the name expect a certain go power, and this Elantra GT promises to finally offer that plus 51 cubic feet for cargo, good looks, luxurious accommodations and excellent usability for tall types above and beyond the kitchen-sink standard features list so typical of Hyundai. The rare lemon on handling aside, that power and economy mix was the only significant downside consistently reported by early drivers.

Otherwise the 2013 Elantra GT was generally touted as exceptionally comfortable with very well-placed conveniences like the map light, USB port and underfloor compartment. Other things were perhaps not so well thought out, like the lack of hooks for bungee chords to hold down the hatch if you're hauling really large items. Some drivers mention a rougher ride than they would like and other concerns meriting a very thorough test drive if you're particular about things like steering, night visibility, or fully-closing panels over insurance devices installed in the OBD II port.

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Your prototypical "Tom Girl" Patricia got her start digging into Ford engines before she aged into double digits. Gifted with a mechanical mind, her favorite pass-time in the summer is picking up a fixer-up'r at the local public auction and massaging its every ailment until it's primed for a new lover. From dirt bikes to land yachts, every partner offers something truly special in her love affair with the road - just don't tell her husband.

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