By on February 12, 2020

Though it plays second fiddle to more popular hot hatches from Honda and Volkswagen, Hyundai’s Elantra GT is not without a generous list of attributes. Space, inoffensive styling, and value play a large role here, even if the N Line variant (formerly Sport) can’t match the output of its boosted rivals.

For the coming model year, Hyundai aims to ensure the Elantra GT attracts more eyeballs.

A teaser image from Europe shows the front end of the refreshed i30 — the overseas moniker of the Elantra GT. Seen in N Line guise, the i30/Elantra GT dons an aggressive front fascia with LED headlamps, while its revised grille, lower opening, and side scoops all host the same black mesh. A pair of V-shaped LED running lamps lend character.

There’s something Ford-like in its visage, but that can be said for a number of vehicles these days. One could also say there’s Kona elements at work here.

While the compact hatch’s rear remains hidden for now, Hyundai claims the fascia alterations continue near the stern, with new tail lamps being part of the upgraded package. The interior sees the addition of a 10.25-inch infotainment screen.

Changes to the i30 are expected to carry over to the North American version; we’ll get a better look when the car debuts at next month’s Geneva Motor Show.

Appearing in its current form for the 2018 model year, the Elantra GT trailed its revamped sedan cousin by a year. And unlike the sedan, the Elantra GT’s refresh isn’t the hideous makeover foisted on the stock Elantra for 2019. (That model should undergo a full redesign for 2021, bringing its appearance closer to that of the wildly styled midsize Sonata sedan.)

Powertrain changes are unknown at this time. In N-Line guise, which brings a turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder (201 hp, 195 lb-ft) and seven-speed dual-clutch automatic to the table, the Elantra GT is a fun little hatchback with plenty of personality. Lower-trimmed models suffer from a slushbox that deadens performance, but the GT’s base 2.0-liter at least outperforms that of the Elantra sedan.

A more athletic appearance for the Elantra’s hatch variant could help stimulate some interest in the model. While Hyundai doesn’t split the two models on its sales ledger, the Elantra nameplate as a whole fell 12.6 percent in 2019.

[Image: Hyundai Europe]

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22 Comments on “More Aggression Bound for Hyundai Elantra GT...”

  • avatar

    Extra aggression is good for this car. This was my beef with it. It looks like another mass-market car only, I have might seen one on the road. May be this is the goal – you look at it and see another generic car?

  • avatar

    Quietly watching only Hyundai/Kia’s dual clutch transmissions since they seem determined to phase out the manual altogether.

  • avatar
    CKNSLS Sierra SLT


    Hopefully Hyundai took apart one of Ford’s DCT to try to determine “how not to engineer one”.

    • 0 avatar

      Doubtful considering H/K are settling a lawsuit over DCT performance in Veloster, Sonata/Optima, and Tucson models equipped with the 1.6T engine.

      • 0 avatar

        Isn’t the new 8 speed DCT (debuting in the Sonata N-line I believe) a wet-clutch design?

        Ford’s design and Hyundai/Kia 7 speed DCT are both dry clutch aren’t they? Dry-clutch is looking like a technological dead end.

        Personally I’d rather have an honest to god manual but if you are going to only offer me one transmission, make sure it’s worth a dang.

        My personal preference in automatic transmissions is still an old fashioned torque converter planetary automatic.

        • 0 avatar

          I’d take it further and just say DCTs have no place in mass-market cars.

        • 0 avatar

          The 8-speed DCT in the Acura ILX and 4-cylinder TLX is the best of both worlds IMO since it uses a torque converter. You get lightning-quick gear changes with none of the jerking or hesitation that can occur with more “conventional” designs. I think Honda made a mistake by not engineering it to work in the current-gen Civic Si.

  • avatar

    This car looks good on paper and in pictures, but a test drive will convince you other wise. It was a few years ago, but it felt like another economy car.

  • avatar

    I quite like the looks of the GT. Looked one over last month, a base trim GT. I will note that the interior seemed rather cheap. The instrument cluster, HVAC controls and the area around the gear selector look nice, the the rest of the dash and door panels looked really cheap. The base trim seats also have zero lower back support.

    Was toying with the idea of picking up a 2018 that a local dealer has been using as a service loaner, but started looking into the engine situation.

    The big engine recall is for the Theta engine used in larger models, but, my research found the Nu used in the Elantra and Forte is suffering the same issues with ticking/knocking/loss of power. Dealers are trying to deny claims if the owner can’t prove the oil has been changed on schedule, or if a non-OEM oil filter was used. The dealers claim that non-Hyundai filters obstruct oil flow.

    So, I’ll take a big step back and see if Hyundai gets things sorted out. Who knows, I might like the new styling better, or they may offer the new Forte5 that is available in Canada, which I like even better. The downside is CVTs are taking over Hyundai/Kia as they are the other Asian manufacturers. The new Forte5 in Canada comes with the CVT in base trim. That may be the next move for the base GT.

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    That’s very attractive. I like it.

  • avatar
    Ol Shel

    I would never consider a Veloster. It’s practical enough for delivering pizzas, I guess, but it’s not useful enough. Even the Golf is gradually trying to get into the form-over-function game. Make the thing interesting looking, keep it boxy enough to carry real stuff, and then make an entertaining version of it.

  • avatar

    Oh the warranty stories I could tell you about the 1.8”nu” engines.
    The 2.0 “nu” is pretty solid for the most part, but stay on top of
    Oil changes, especially with Hyundai Canada. They are a crew of people who don’t know a thing about the product they sell, and love to deny claims. Dealing with tech line or “high tacc” as they’re called, was painful. They know NOTHING about the technical side.

    Then there’s Hyundai Canada customer service. If you ever have to call them, take a Valium before you do. You’ll thank me.

    As far as DCT issues go, many are customer created, as they drive them like a torque converter automatic and burn them up.

    However, to side with the customers. Besides the early, legitimate issues with them, DCT’s have no business in mainstream vehicles. Your average sheep Elantra or Tucson driver feels a tiny shudder and will never understand how that could possibly be normal.

    Not a bad product, but terrible in the hands of the wrong person.

    Our Tucson has 75k of mainly in town driving on it, and the DCT works exactly as it should. But we drive it correctly..

    I’m a big Hyundai fan and have been for a long time, but they are, as all car companies do from time to
    Time, sorting through a fair number of issues.

    Only used Hyundai’s for me, that I know well, until they get their shit together

  • avatar

    That’s what the grille on the Sonata Turbo should have looked like.

    Oh, well.

  • avatar

    I would love to see a full N version of the Elantra hatch. It’s offered elsewhere in the world. I saw one (i30) on the road in Bratislava, Slovakia and it looked awesome.

    I know we won’t though because it would eat into the Veloster N’s sales. But still, that would be a great alternative for those of us who love the N but don’t want to have that weird 3 door thing going on with a Veloster

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