2014 Hyundai Elantra GT Test Drive

?2014 Hyundai Elantra GT?

A fun, Smart Hatchback

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The Hyundai Elantra is available in either a popular four-door sedan or Coupe configuration, or as a GT model that appears in a 5-door model hatch format offering something for everybody in the Elantra stable. There?s no turbocharged engine yet for the Elantra lineup, only normally aspirated mills with Direct Injection, but we?d be willing to bet that it can?t be far off.

The Coupe, sedan and Elantra GTs all feature the same basic mechanicals, while the Coupe?s wheelbase and overall length is surprisingly longer than that of the GT, while the GT stands a little taller and is a bit wider and heavier. The Coupe is also a little slipperier through the atmosphere with a CD of 0.28 compared to the 0.30 CD of the GT.

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The Hyundai Elantra GT will be available in one level of trim, but with option packages available for customization and personalization. The Elantra Coupe comes in a single well-equipped model. The Coupe, Sedan and 5-Door GT draw their motive power from a 2.0-liter, DOHC D–CVVT four-cylinder with Gasolne Direct injection that produces 173 horsepower at 6,500 rpm (ULEV) – (166 – PZEV) while developing 154 pound feet of torque at 4,700 rpm (ULEV) – (148 – PZEV).

Elantras position their engines in an East/West orientation up front, driving the front wheels with power geared through either a 6-speed manual gearbox with an EcoShift indicator, or an electronically controlled 6-speed automatic with overdrive lockup torque converter and gate-type electronic shift lock system with SHIFTRONIC? manual shift mode.

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Each new Elantra plays a distinct role in the Hyundai lineup – the Coupe and Sedan provide an expressive and sporty alternative to the more mainstream, high-volume compact sedan. The GT, tends to represent a ?styled for the next generation? 5-door hatch – still sporty, but with added versatility and functionality for active lifestyle types, whether single, a couple or family. The GT was actually developed for the European marketplace and shares several parts with the Elantra sedan.

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In terms of physical appearance, the Coupe and Sedan are quire similar in overall appearance (except for the number of doors), while the GT displays a different overall form. All share several styling cues and elements except for distinctively different front grille and fascia treatments, , along with pronounced wheel-well arches and side character lines. The wraparound headlamp assemblies are also quite similar. Obviously the roofline differs most dramatically, with the Coupe and Sedan?s roofs arched and sloping rearward into the abbreviated deck. Each Elantra model rolls on specifically designed alloy wheels. The Coupe and also sports right side dual exhaust tips, while the GT?s exhaust is rather obscure. The rear fascias are different as well between the two. There are some similarities, as both feature the same wraparound taillamp assemblies and fundamental head-on shape. The Coupe and Sedan naturally have trunk lids with an integrated spoiler, while the GT sports a top-hinged hatch with an integrated spoiler lip. The GT provides four side doors in addition to its rear hatch (the 5th door).

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Moving to the inside, the center stacks of the Coupe, Sedan and GT models receive a slightly different treatment, while all offer ergonomic and user-friendly switchgear. The GT provides a motorized badge concealed rear camera that opens when the vehicle is placed in Reverse and closes in forward gears. There?s? also an optional panoramic sunroof. The GT?s rear seat features 60/40 split fold-down seatbacks and front seatback pockets.?The Elantra GT features a Driver Selectable Steering Mode with Comfort, Normal and Sport settings.

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I was afforded the opportunity to experience several versions of last year?s production models during the press launch: a Coupe with a manual transmission as well as both an automatic and manual GT. My 2014 test vehicle was a Hyundai Elantra GT with a manual gearbox. The exterior was finished in Black Noir Pearl, while the interior featured a Black on Black theme. The base price was set at $18,750. while the Style and Tech packages and Inland Freight and Handling charges bumped the final tally to $25,485.

SUMMARY: The Hyundai Elantra GT for 2014 represents a remarkable value, considering the impressive level of equipment and feature content for the price. The Coupe is a little lighter and is thereby somewhat more nimble, while the GT provides more functionality, while still delivering a pleasing degree of driving fun. A strange noise coming from the rear of the vehicle, was initially a mystery. , but turned out to be the motorized Hyundai badge that opens and closes to expose and cover the rear view camera.

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The Hyundai Elantra GT is most attractive and handles with pleasing stability and ride compliance. The 2.0-liter four-banger providing the motive energy, delivers more than adequate acceleration except in extreme scenarios, such as passing on a steep incline. In other words, the little engine that can, would benefit from turbocharging for more enthusiastic drivers. For everday commuting or around town use, the Gasoline Direct Injected engine is just fine.

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Bottom line, the selection or choice between Elantra models is purely one of personal preference. My pick would be the GT, for its added versatility and convenience, and I also prefer its looks over the Coupe and Sedan. Factor in Hyundai?s outstanding warranty, and each new Elantra model outshines many competitive vehicles in their segment.

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?[wptabtitle] SPECIFICATIONS: 2014 Hyundai GT 5-Door Hatch [/wptabtitle]
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Base Price: $18,750.
Price as Tested: $25,485.
Engine Type and Size: 2.0-liter, DOHC D–CVVT four-cylinder with Gasolne Direct injection.
Horsepower (bhp): 173 @ 6,500 rpm (ULEV) – (166 – PZEV)
Torque (ft./ lbs.): 154 @ 4,700 rpm (ULEV) – (148 – PZEV)
Transmission: Six-speed manual or Electronically controlled 6-speed automatic with overdrive lockup torque converter and gate-type electronic shift lock system with SHIFTRONIC™ manual shift mode.
Drive Train: Transversely mounted front engine / Front-wheel drive.
Suspension: Front -Independent MacPherson struts with coil springs, hydraulic twin-tube gas-filled shock absorbers and 22 mm stabilizer bar.
Rear – Torsion axle with gas-filled monotube shock absorbers and coil springs.

Brakes: Power-assisted four-wheel discs (vented front) with four-wheel, four-channel, four sensor ABS with EBD.
Tires: Nexen P215/45 R17 mounted on 5-split – spoke alloy wheels with chrome inserts.
Wheelbase: 104.3 inches
Length Overall: 169.3 inches
Width: 70.1 inches
Height: 57.9 inches
Curb Weight: 2,855-2,983 lbs.
Fuel Capacity: 13.2 gallons
EPA Mileage Estimates: 24 mpg city / 34 mpg highway
Drag Coefficient: 0.30
0 – 60 mph: Not tested.

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Arv Voss is a Northern California based freelance motoring Journalist and member and past officer of several noted Automotive Journalist organizations who contributes regularly to a number of national and international media outlets. He reviews not only cars, trucks and SUVs, but motorcycles as well.