2015 Hyundai Elantra GT Review

Elantra GT

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2015 Hyundai Elantra GT Overview

Five-passenger hatchbacks like the 2015 Hyundai Elantra GT have long been ignored in the U.S. market, but are now flying off dealer lots. Practical and good looking to many, the “5-door” model of many vehicles is proving the more popular body style. The Elantra GT is a sporty and comparatively powerful compact that brings sharp details to this now enlivened segment.

The Elantra GT stacks up against cars like the base Mazda3, Ford Focus, and Volkswagen Golf. The Elantra GT is not a pocket-rocket like the Volkswagen GTI or Ford Focus ST, despite its "GT," but it does have some suspension and other upgrades to make driving it a bit more enjoyable than the Elantra sedan.

The 2015 Elantra benefits from the fluidic sculpture design language used on other Hyundais. This means the hood is sculpted, the front fender flares are prominent and the sides deeply contoured. The style seems a little lost as one’s eye gets to the rear view, but the benefits of a hatchback design are worth it to many buyers. The steeply raked windshield and bold front grille give the Elantra GT a sleek look. Sixteen-inch alloy wheels are standard, but the optional 17-inch “Euroflange” alloys are some of the best looking rims on any vehicle at any price. They combine satin silver spokes with polished inside surfaces to add class and beauty beyond what's expected at this price point.

The 2015 Elantra GT has a 2.0-liter normally aspirated engine. It has the distinction of having the highest specific output of any non-turbo engine in its class. The Elantra’s engine produces 173 hp, 18 more than the Mazda3’s 2.0-liter SkyActive engine. The engine is paired to a standard 6-speed manual transmission or an optional 6-speed automatic that can be shifted using a gearshift lever. Here Hyundai offers the best two options in the marketplace: a manual, which adds some sportiness, and a 6-speed automatic rather than a continuously variable transmission (CVT), which most drivers do not prefer.

The lack of a CVT hurts the 2015 Hyundai Elantra GT's fuel economy. The automatic Hyundai is estimated by the EPA to achieve 24 mph city/33 highway/27 combined. The manual has the same ratings, but gets 1 mpg better on the highway. By comparison, a Mazda3 does almost 25% better. The new benchmark in this class is 40 mpg highway.

Inside, the Elantra GT looks much like a smaller Hyundai Sonata, and that is a good thing. The design is clean and sharp, not boring. Optional leather and power driver’s seating, a large 7-inch infotainment screen, and other upscale touches give the Hyundai a refined look.

The $18,800 2015 Elantra GT has two important options packages. Although the Elantra GT lives up to Hyundai's reputation for having good content for the class, the $2,550 Style Package adds a lot. This package includes the abovementioned Euroflange 17-inch alloy wheels; leather seating, shift knob, and steering wheel; a power driver’s seat; special sport tuning for the suspension; a proximity key with push-button start; integrated turn-signal mirrors; aluminum pedals; and Hyundai’s Blue Link telematics system with a 1-year subscription. There's also a Tech Package, but to access this bag of goodies, one must first also select the Style Package. The $2,900 Tech Package adds a panoramic sunroof, navigation with a 7-inch touchscreen, dual-zone climate control, automatic headlights, and a rear-view camera. The automatic transmission is a $1,000 option. Although the Elantra GT has a very low base price, adding options worthy of its GT name boosts the price of the car by fully one-third.

The Elantra GT was tested in 2014 by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and earned a Top Safety Pick rating. It scored Good on all crash tests and Acceptable on the difficult small frontal overlap test, which simulates a telephone-pole strike by the front corner of the vehicle. Since forward-crash prevention is not available for the Elantra GT, it's not eligible for the higher Top Safety Pick+ rating.


John Goreham is a life-long car nut and recovering engineer. In the early 1990s, he was part of a team that built a solar-electric race car from scratch. In addition to his work at CarGurus, John covers automotive news at Torque News and GM-trucks.com and is a contributor to CarTalk and BestRide. Aside from all things automotive, John loves fishing and hockey, preferably in the company of his two boys.

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    Hyundai Elantra GT Questions

    Tire Light

    There is no low tire pressure but car is shaky on highway

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