Hyundai Elantra GT N-Line test drive.

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The Hyundai Elantra GT hatchback is quite a nice looking car.
The N-Line sportier version adds larger and great looking 18-inch wheels. No chrome around the windows.
But mostly, a multi-link rear independent rear suspension. And a 201HP 1.6 Liter Turbo.

The design reminds me of the VW Golf.
But I think it actually looks a bit more like the Peugeot 308.
Which makes sense since it was mostly designed for the European market where it is sold as the Hyundai i30.

The interior is also different from out Elantra sedan.
It feels quite upscale for the price (The regular model starts at around $20 500)

Yes, it does have a tablet design that I wish could be better integrated to the rest of the dashboard.
But the screen itslef looks great. Actually more upscale than in the more expensive Kona.
As usual, the Hyundai info system is easy to figure out and use.
And the base sound system sounds quite good for a standard unit.

The N-Line being a sportier version, Hyundai has added a few red-colored trim bits on the dash.
Which, I think, are not necessary.
But the red piping on the black leather seats does look great.

These front seats are also really comfortable. Although all adjustments are manual on my test car.

The rear seat is fine.
But nothing extra roomy. Which is a bit surprising since this is designed for the European market. Where this is basically more like a mid-sized car.

The trunk is very roomy. And the rear seats fold flat.
So this has bascially the same cargo room as the Kona. Or any small (but more expensive) SUVs.

The ride of the N-Line version is very firm.
Which is just fince, since it is sold as a sporty car.
Everything feels very solid.

The engine is very, very smooth. A pleasure to drive around and rev up once in a while. It is always very quiet and smooth. But also sounds pretty muted and very refined when you push it.

This is a much nicer experience than I had with the 1.5 Liter in the Civic a few weeks ago.

My car came with the standard 6 speed manual. Which is a pleasure to use.

While the ride is quite sporty, the steering felt a bit on the light side for a sporty car.
But always very precice.

While the engine is very refined, somehow it doesn’t really feel like 201HP.
It does feel prettty fast, but not nearly as much as the VW GTI. Which doesn’t have that much more power. (At least the one I drove a few years ago)

This is more like a “relaxed/sporty/refined” experience.
It feels like in-between the regular Golf and the GTI.

Which will be just fine for most people.

As you can see on the sticker bellow, the car is rated at 23/30MPG.
Which is actually strange.
Since I got 26 in the city.
But, basically, never got under 40MPG on the freeway.
I just wonder why the official numbers are so low…
I also wanted to mention a very nice detail that I noticed on previous Hyundai drives. The sound level of the stereo is automatically lowered when you get the car in reverse.
A very small detail. But it is actually very nice. Since it does help concentrate when moving backward.
This is just a very nice, unexpected touch. Something you would expect in a luxury car.
Another unexpected touch was how hot the cool looking shifter gets in hot weather.
It doesn’t last of course. But a weird surprise when you get back into your car in hot weather…
I have not drivern the “regular” Elantra sedan, but the Euro Hatchback is really a great compact car.
It is very refined, well put together and a lot of fun to drive.
The huge cargo area is another plus.
And, it is actually pretty rare. You are not going to see another one for a while.
Another plus for me…

Conversation 4 comments

  1. Was interested in the GT but lousy mileage ratings were a turnoff. Maybe they're making up for the earlier mileage scandal by being really conservative.

  2. Was interested in the GT but lousy mileage ratings were a turnoff. Maybe they're making up for the earlier mileage scandal by being really conservative.

  3. Hyundai was going to offer a cosmetic trim and the “N” badge car with the performance engine similar to the German luxury BMW where there is a “M” package and the the “M” cars. This must be the N package car!

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