Hyundai Elantra

The 2016 Elantra offers premium style and features at an economy car price point. It is available in two models -- sedan or 5-door GT, which is about nine inches shorter than the sedan. The sedan offers SE, Value Edition, Sport and Limited trims, while the GT is a single-trim model. No matter the body style, the Elantra packs a lot of car into a relatively small package. The base SE, Value Edition, and top Limited models are powered by a 145-horsepower 1.8L engine, while Sport sedans and GTs feature a 2.0L 4-cylinder putting out a healthy 173 horsepower and 154 pound-feet of torque. This configuration is rated at 24 mpg in the city. SE, Value Edition, and Sport sedans feature a standard 6-speed manual transmission and optional 6-speed automatic, while the Limited is standard with the automatic. The GT offers buyers the choice of manual or automatic.

The SE comes equipped with 15-inch alloy wheels, air conditioning, cruise control, power locks and power windows with driver's side auto-down, as well as an AM/FM 6-speaker stereo with CD and MP3 compatibility. A 60/40 split fold-down rear seatback is also standard. The Elantra Value Edition rides on 16-inch alloy wheels and bundles pleasantries from the previous SE Popular Equipment Package into standard features, including a power sunroof, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, proximity key with push-button start, heated front seats, integrated turn signals and chrome and aluminum accents.

In addition to the bigger engine, the Elantra Sport includes 17-inch alloys, a sport-tuned suspension, projector headlights with LED accents and LED taillights, integrated turn signals in the side mirrors and many more exterior cues. Inside there is heated cloth front seating, a 4.3-inch touchscreen audio display with rearview camera, aluminum pedals, and steering-wheel-mounted audio and cruise controls.

The Limited sedan adds Hyundai's Blue Link telematics system, which combines infotainment features, smart-phone connectivity and safety services. Front and rear heated seats are also included, as are push-button start and automatic dual climate control. Adding the Ultimate Package to the Limited adds a 7-inch screen housing a navigation system, a power sunroof and an upgraded 360-watt stereo system.

Finally, the practical five-door GT features 16-inch alloys. Fog lights, daytime running lights, remote entry, cloth seating with heated front seats, tilt/telescoping steering with cruise and audio controls, Bluetooth hands-free connectivity, and a 60/40 fold-flat rear seatback are all standard. It also features a 3-position (comfort/sport/normal) Driver Selectable Steering Mode -- a segment first -- and a driver's side knee airbag, which is a Hyundai first. A Style Package adds larger alloys and the sport-tuned suspension, along with aluminum pedals, Blue Link telematics, LED taillights and more.

Editors' Review

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What do the Honda Civic Type R and Volkswagen Golf R have in common? They're the most performance-focused specimens in their respective lineups and undoubtedly what car enthusiasts would want in the garage if shopping those nameplates. Sadly, not all bank accounts can handle a near-$40,000 wallop, which is where cars like the Civic Si and Golf GTI come in.

The Si and GTI are sporty cars with more manageable price tags, sitting between civilized base models and the most potent range-topping performers. Going forward, however, you'll have to remember to include the Hyundai Elantra GT N Line among the list of go-to sporty compacts. The Elantra GT gets a performance nudge for 2019 and it's very, very good.

N style

Hyundai has recently been making major strides in raising its performance game. The Veloster N was the first vehicle sold in the US with the full-fledged N performance treatment. The Korean automaker is planning to roll out more N products, a halo car and N Line offerings acting as gateway entries to the performance sub-brand. The 2019 Elantra GT is the first to debut with the N Line makeover, offering mild styling and performance tweaks over the outgoing Elantra GT Sport.

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The Good The Hyundai Elantra GT N Line strikes an aggressive pose, packs a punchy drivetrain and respectable handling chops.

The Bad The tighter suspension and low-profile tires result in a slightly choppy ride.

The Bottom Line Hyundai's Elantra GT N Line is a legit alternative to the Honda Civic Si and Volkswagen Golf GTI.

Editors' Rating
  • Performance 7.5
  • Features 8
  • Design 8
  • Media 7.5

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