Hyundai's redesigned 2018 Elantra GT hatchback will start at $20,235 with destination charge for the base model with a six-speed manual transmission, an increase of $550 over the starter price for the 2017 Elantra GT.
Hyundai says it believes there is renewed interest in hatchbacks as an alternative to small SUVs and is doubling down for 2018. The Elantra GT — which was just a single model and trim for 2017 — adds a GT Sport model for 2018 that is more powerful and more fun. Also pricier, it starts at $24,135 (all prices include destination).
Add $1,000 to the GT for a six-speed automatic with its 161-horsepower, 2.0-liter four cylinder. The GT Sport is powered by a 201-hp version of Hyundai's turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder and opting for its seven-speed dual-clutch automatic with paddle shifters adds $1,100 to the ticket.
Hyundai has not yet specified pricing for option packages, but it's likely that you can spend a bit more than in 2017, which topped out at $25,935 with automatic and both available option packages.
As with the 2017, the redone 2018 Elantra is again a Hyundai cousin rather than a hatchback sibling of the Elantra sedan. It's again a U.S. version of the European-designed Hyundai i30, which uses a related but different platform.
Which should you buy, 2017 or 2018? Depends on your budget and the deal you're offered on a 2017, which is a good daily driver with more utility than the Elantra sedan. Its base Used Engine also put out 12 more horsepower than the 2018.
But the 2018 Elantra GT, due on sale shortly, is much improved. Beyond a completely new look and more dramatic grille (I like it better; you choose), the 2018 GT has improved handling and ride, cabin quiet, interior materials, a standard 8-inch touchscreen display and a substantial increase in maximum cargo space to 55.1 cubic feet.
If you want more driving fun, the 2017 is one-size-fits-all. The new 2018 GT Sport model adds an independent rear suspension, turbo power, as well as sportier design details. It also offers an optional package of safety tech that includes adaptive cruise control with stop-start capability, a front collision system with automatic emergency braking and pedestrian detection, lane departure warning and prevention, high-beam assist, blind spot warning and rear cross-traffic alert.
These are highlights, however. For more details on the 2018 Elantra GT and GT Sport, see 's First Drive review of both here.