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Driving a 2018 Hyundai Elantra

Test price: $27,460 | 4-cylinder, 161 hp | 24/34 mpg

The 2018 Hyundai Elantra.

(Photo: Credit: © 2017 Hyundai Motor America)

The Hyundai Elantra GT is a five-door front-wheel-drive hatchback powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that develops 161 horsepower. Transmission choices are a six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic. In addition to the standard GT, there is the Elantra GT Sport which ups the performance by adding a turbocharged 1.6-liter engine that produces 201 horsepower. The Sport model has true four-wheel independent suspension, which results in better handling. It also has a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission for an even more athletic feel. Our road test was in a standard Elantra GT equipped with some notable features. For starters, there was a huge glass moonroof, LED headlights and taillights plus keyless start and entry.

The Elantra GT has an athletic look, although, in my opinion, the chassis has been tuned toward comfort rather than sports sedan handling. The handling is good, but unlike some other hatchbacks, this Elantra GT doesn’t ask to be pushed hard. Performance from the 2.0-liter engine is smooth and responsive, although the engine does get a bit noisy under hard acceleration. The steering is terrific without the artificial feel that can happen with electric power steering. Out on the open road or on busy city streets, the cabin of the Elantra is pleasant and quiet with little road or wind noise. Safety is addressed with a full complement of airbags, including a knee airbag, blind-spot monitors and cross-traffic alert.

MORE AAA: Click here to read about the origin of car names. 

The interior is comfortable with plenty of head and legroom. The seats are supportive and stay comfortable even after several hours behind the wheel. The dual-zone climate controls and heated and cooled seats were also a nice touch. The huge moonroof adds to the open and roomy feel of this compact hatchback. Cargo capacity is very good with over 55 cubic feet when the rear seats are folded; this is competitive with some small sport-utility vehicles. But the controls are just OK. There are steering-wheel-mounted buttons to control some functions and some are controlled via the touch screen. Still, some of the controls will cause a bit of distraction.

The latest Hyundai Elantra is a superior version of the previous model. If a four-door hatchback fits your needs, and you don’t want the typical models from Europe, take a look at the latest from Hyundai – you won’t be disappointed.

Do you like the look of the Hyundai Elantra? Know another car that looks better? Sound off in the comments section.

Did you know AAA can help you save thousands on a new or used vehicle? Learn more about the AAA Auto Buying program here. 

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