Hatches are hot and the versatile 2016 Hyundai Elantra GT is no exception to the rule, sporting a refreshed appearance and added technology along with a new, more affordable Style Package, and a new Navigation System featuring next-generation Blue Link Telematics.
This latest iteration comes to market with a redesigned grille with horizontal chrome and argent slats, newly styled 17-inch alloy wheels, available Ventilated Driver?s and Passenger?s Seat (a segment first), available next-generation navigation system with HD Radio and Apple Siri integration and available next-generation Blue Link system with new connectivity features such as Remote Start with Climate Control and Destination Search Powered by Google.
Powering the new Hyundai Elantra is a standard 2.0-liter Nu engine coupled to a choice of either a 6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic transmission with SHIFTRONIC? manual shift control. Fuel is delivered by a high-pressure Gasoline Direct Injection system, improving engine response compared to non-GDI models. This high-tech, all-aluminum engine also has Dual Continuously Variable Valve Timing (DCVVT) and a Variable Induction System for better engine breathing. Power output is rated at 173 horsepower at 6,500 rpm and 154 lb.-ft. of torque at a 4,700 rpm. The 2.0-liter Nu has been tuned to provide more torque at 1,500 rpm than the 1.8-liter Nu previously available on the Elantra GT and currently available on the Elantra Sedan. The engine also produces more torque – from 4,000 rpm to 5,500 rpm – for an impressive linear power delivery up to redline. The engine delivers an EPA-estimated fuel economy rating of 24 mpg city/33 mpg highway/27 mpg with the automatic transmission.
Hyundai has become known for its defining and distinctive ?Fluidic Sculpture? design language, and in terms of its exterior visual appeal, the ?Fluidic? essence of the Elantra GT provides it with an aerodynamic drag coefficient of .30. Virtually everything about Elantra GT is sleek, from its aggressive profile and low overall height, to the slippery side mirrors. Tire gaps are minimized and rocker panels are streamlined. The reduced wind resistance translates into a smoother and quieter ride.
The nose of the Elantra GT sports a revised grille adding a distinctive and assertive look more consistent with other new Hyundai models. Wrap-around headlamps and sculptured hood creases further complement the sporty look and the body-side graphic features a chrome beltline molding in keeping up with the pronounced character lines. Sharp projector headlamps, available fog lights and all-new 17-inch euroflange alloy wheels complete the GT?s modern persona. The rear finishes off with available LED taillights.
Moving inside, interior volume is maximized with varied seating layouts that are hallmarks of Hyundai engineering, translating into more cabin room, cargo space and versatility. The Elantra GT features seating layouts that can comfortably seat five people or accommodate four passengers, plus long items like golf clubs or snowboards. Two seats may be folded down to seat three people and hold larger packages or fold down all of the back seats for CUV-sized cargo space. The rear seats may be folded completely flat by first folding the lower seat cushion upward. Elantra GT also features the best front and rear shoulder room in its class. A number of convenient, standard stowage and storage features, including a sunglasses holder, two front and two rear cup holders, door bottle holders, cooled glove compartment, central console storage, sliding armrest, front storage tray and front seatback pockets are standard. The cargo area also has a 12-volt for plugging in portable electronic devices.
Cabin refinements abound on the Elantra GT – Located in the center console, an available all-new navigation system is displayed via a seven-inch touch-screen, incorporating the rearview camera screen. Elantra GT?s rear-view camera is like no other. This mechanized camera is hidden behind the Hyundai badge on the rear hatch and only appears when needed.
Dual-zone climate controls provide a comfortable environment for all occupants, and the addition of a panoramic sunroof allow increased natural light within the cabin. The dual-zone climate controls also incorporate an automatic defogging system, which detects humidity levels utilizing a sensor and activating the system as needed. Another premium feature in the Elantra GT is a CleanAir Ionizer that automatically cleans the air while the heater or air conditioner is operating.
For the 2016 model year, both driver and front passenger may enjoy the comfort of the segment?s first ventilated front seats, which are available in the Tech Package. Heated seats are standard on all trims of Elantra GT.
Other premium features offered, include a standard cooled glove box, standard heated front seats, standard driver?s blind spot mirror, LED taillights, 10-way power driver?s seat including power lumbar support, leather seating surfaces, automatic headlights, side mirrors with integrated turn signal indicators, standard steering-wheel-mounted audio and cruise controls and standard Bluetooth hands-free system with voice recognition.
The Hyundai Elantra GT also comes standard with a 172-watt AM/FM/SiriusXM Satellite Radio/CD/MP3 audio system featuring six-speakers and iPod?/USB/auxiliary input jacks. A Bluetooth interface is included. The system plays CDs, accesses digital music files via Bluetooth streaming audio or allows driver and passenger to access their personal listening devices through the iPod/USB/auxiliary inputs.
Elantra GT features?the latest active and passive safety technologies including: Daytime Running Lights, Electronic Stability Control, ABS with Electronic Brake-force Distribution and Brake Assist and Vehicle Stability Management. There are seven airbags – front, side and curtain including a driver’s knee airbag as standard fare.
Elantra GT is equipped with Hyundai?s Blue Link? safety, service and infotainment telematics system. For the 2016 model year, Elantra GT also makes available the next-generation Blue Link system for buyers that opt for the Tech Package. This next-generation Blue Link system adds new features and convenience to the long list of features the system is already known for, including Remote Start with Climate Control and Destination Search powered by Google?. Customers will soon also be able to access these features from the convenience of a smart watch. In addition to these features and services, all Blue Link-equipped 2016 Elantra GT models come with one year of complimentary Blue Link Connected Care, which is a suite of safety and car care features providing owners with services such as Automatic Collision Notification, SOS Emergency Assistance, Enhanced Roadside Assistance and monthly vehicle health reporting and maintenance alerts. Blue Link is offered in three service packages: Connected Care, Remote and Guidance.
My test 2016 Hyundai Elantra GT came with the 6-speed automatic transmission, wearing an exterior finish of Black Noir Pearl, with the interior done in Black. The base price was set at $19,500 while options and added features elevated the final sticker to $26,675.
SUMMARY: The Hyundai Elantra GT for 2016 represents an outstanding 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, with the GT obviously providing 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. It would be nicer if the mechanical operation could be silenced somehow.
The Hyundai Elantra GT is most attractive and handles with pleasing stability and ride compliance. The 2.0-liter four-banger 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.
In the final analysis, 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 its market segment.
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?[wptabtitle] SPECIFICATIONS: 2016 Hyundai Elantra GT [/wptabtitle]
|Price as Tested:||$26,675.|
|Engine Type and Size:||2.0-liter, DOHC, 16-valve, D-CVVT four-cylinder with Gasoline Direct Injection.|
|Horsepower (bhp):||173 @ 6,500 rpm (ULEV)|
|Torque (ft./ lbs.):||154 @ 4,700 rpm (ULEV)|
|Transmission:||Six-speed electronic automatic with overdrive lock-up torque converter, gate type, electronic shift lock system and active ECO system.|
|Drive Train:||Transversely mounted front engine / Front-wheel drive.|
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 V-Beam stabilizer bar.
|Brakes:||Power-assisted four-wheel discs (vented front) with four-wheel, four-channel, four sensor ABS with EBD.|
|Tires:||Hankook Optimo P215/45 R17 87H mounted on 5-?V?-spoke alloy wheels.|
|Length Overall:||169.3 inches|
|Curb Weight:||2,976-3,053 lbs.|
|Fuel Capacity:||13.2 gallons|
|EPA Mileage Estimates:||24-mpg city / 33 -mpg highway|
|0 – 60 mph:||Not tested.|
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 and unusual wheeled vehicles as well.