Sacramento, California -- Check out my past reviews of the Hyundai Elantra, and you'll see that it consistently has ranked in the LIKE column.
There's more to like in the 2018 model year with the introduction of the new Elantra GT hatchback.
My week with the vehicle showed off all the highlights that have prompted Hyundai's stock to rise not only in my book but throughout the automotive world. Hyundai used to translate to cheap, but that is ancient history, as extinct as Betamax.
My 2018 Elantra GT looked sharp, with smooth Euro-styling rolling on 17-inch alloy wheels. The flashy "Scarlet Red Pearl" paint job certainly was a positive.
A long list of standard features was bolstered by a Style Package and Tech Package, but even the extras added only a little to the most reasonable bottom line of $27,460 on the sticker. That's a pretty competitive number for a vehicle that has to compete with heavyweights from Chevrolet, Subaru and Honda in this segment.
The hatch functioned more along the lines of a midsize sport-utility vehicle with 25 cubic feet of storage space behind the rear seats alone. Overall, storage capacity tops 55 cubic feet, more than multiple competitors. The vehicle was capable of easily taking on a full boat of camping supplies and then some. Nice.
A relatively stiff suspension and body structure with a comparatively wide stance made for a comfortable ride on freeway straights and virtually no body roll on twisty portions of roadway in the Sierra Nevada foothills. Very little exterior noise reached the interior cabin.
The Elantra GT's 2-liter, 162-horsepower, four-cylinder engine was a willing performer, with surprising muscle on hill climbs. It likewise did the job pushing my ride into tight holes coming down freeway entrance ramps.
Fuel mileage is nice at 24 miles per gallon in the city and 32 mpg on the highway.
Throw in Hyundai's typically generous warranties, and this new-for-2018 Elantra GT is an excellent candidate for motorists in the market for affordable, practical-size transportation that can carry heavy loads and has ample room for contented adult passengers.