Hyundai: Why Have an Elantra GT When You Can Have a CUV?

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
hyundai why have an elantra gt when you can have a cuv

This one’s a bit of a bummer, though it’s not surprising. The 2021 model year will bring a Hyundai model lineup bursting at the seams with crossovers, but there’s apparently no room for a lowly compact hatchback.

The sun in that photo is setting, not rising.

Offered since the early 2000s, the five-door version of the Elantra sedan (actually a wholly different car underneath) has met its end in the North American market.

Once offered as the Elantra Touring, the model regained its Elantra GT moniker for the 2013 model year, then gained a new body for 2018. Overseas, the model is known as the i30. Offering usable interior volume and an arguably attractive outward appearance, the last-generation GT was nothing more than a competent commuter in base guise, but things perked up when outfitted with the 1.6-liter turbo four found in the Elantra Sport.

That top-rung model gained an N Line designation for 2020 (which the new-generation Elantra sedan adopts for 2021). Now, the sedan version will have to satisfy buyers’ desire for a fun compact.

It seems only Honda’s enthusiastic about hatchbacks these days.

In outlining its upcoming crop of vehicles, Hyundai said the Elantra GT was “discontinued from the lineup due to expanded SUV lineup that includes Venue and Kona.”

At least the Venue carries an entry price below that of the Elantra GT. For 2020, the Venue starts at $17,350 before destination, compared to the Elantra GT’s $20,650 sticker. Still, compared to the Venue, the GT was a muscle car. The Venue’s super-efficient 1.6-liter four-cylinder generates a meager 121 hp and 113 lb-ft of torque (and is good for 32 mpg combined in base form) versus the GT’s healthy 161 hp and 150 lb-ft.

Oh well, at least the Venue offers an extra 0.8 inches of ground clearance. It’s an SUV, you know.

[Images: Hyundai, Steph Willems/TTAC]

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  • Arthur Dailey Arthur Dailey on Aug 14, 2020

    Went to my Hyundai dealership years ago when I learned they had an Elantra Touring demo for sale. Ended up with a Sonata MT instead. The Elantra Touring (i30) was touted as a competitor of the Golf in Europe. But over here it lacked the modern 'safety features' (at least in the demo), and ordering one that had the required features actually priced it above the transaction price for my Sonata. A business acquaintance has the previous generation GT and quite likes it. But then he is European. I really like the Kia Niro. Nice size/dimensions and packaging. However the price point is a little too high for my liking.

  • Santino Vaccariello. Santino Vaccariello. on Aug 15, 2020

    As someone who bought a '18 Elantra Gt Sport. This saddens me deeply. I was waiting in hopes of a Elantra GT N. This car is the perfect size. The Veloster is too small for Traveling/Camping. And the CUV have terrible feel and interior to the Elantra GT. Wtf Hyundai!

  • Ehaase 1980-1982 Cougar XR-7 shared its wheelbase and body with the Thunderbird. I think the Cougar name was used for the 1977 and 1981 sedans, regular coupe and wagons (1977 and 1982 only) in an effort to replicate Oldsmobile's success using the Cutlass name on all its intermediates, although I wonder why Ford bothered, as the Granada/Cougar were replaced by the Fox LTD/Marquis in 1983.
  • Ken Accomando The Mark VIII was actually designed before the aero Bird, but FMC was nervous about the huge change in design, so it followed the Thunderbird a year. Remember, at this time, the 1983 Thunderbird was the first new aero Ford, with the Tempo soon following. It seems so obvious now but Ford was concerned if their buyers would accept the new aero look! To get the Lincoln buyers warmed up, they also debuted for the 1982 auto show season the Lincoln Concept 90…which really previewed the new Mark VII. Also, the new 1983 Thunderbird and Cougar debuted a little late, in Nov 1982, so perhaps that’s why they were left out of the full line brochures.
  • Tassos This is yesterday;s news, or even the day before. I reported it here yesterday, and commented on it. Do wake up.
  • 2ACL As far as manufacturers with US operations go? Current Focus or Fiesta. Honda e.As for those with no US operations, I've been intrigued by the Peugeot 508 Sport Engineered and Vauxhall Corsa Electric.
  • Tassos SNAAB shot itself in the foot when it BASTARDIZED its unique brand by BADGE ENGINEERING its vehicles with GOD DAMNED GM, OPEL, CHEVY, LANCIA and who knows what other automotive RIFF RAFF. I know of no Saab Enthusiast (they do exist) who felt sorry when the stupid maker went BANKRUPT.