Review: 2018 Hyundai Elantra GT Sport Ultimate – Part 2

IMG_0736Yesterday I wondered if the 2018 Hyundai Elantra GT in the Sport Ultimate trim package could live up to the hot hatch looks that it brings to the table. Well, from what the South Korean company put under the hood of this car, the answer at least from a numbers standpoint is yes. The engine that you see is a 1.6L turbocharged engine that puts out 201 horsepower and 195 pound feet with torque. It’s mated in my case to a a 7 speed dual clutch transmission. But you can also get a 6 speed manual if you prefer a clutch pedal. This combination of engine and dual clutch transmission is insanely good. It has plenty of power and torque that’s available throughout the entire rev range. And you blow by any turbo lag that may exist very quickly. What makes it even more fun is that you can dial up the fun using the Drive Mode button that’s to the left of the shifter. By putting into “Sport” mode, the steering tightens up, the transmission shifts are more aggressive, and the engine note becomes a bit more angry. At that point you now have a hot hatch that is capable of dropping people off the line, passing transport trucks with no effort, and getting you into roadside license suspension territory very quickly if you’re not careful. Oh yeah, it will leave a huge grin on your face as well that will be hard to remove. I should note that the Drive Select mode has a “Normal” mode which is fine for every day driving, and an “Eco” mode that should never be used with this car as no hot hatch should ever be put into that mode. After all, hot hatches are about having (legal) fun on the road.

What helps the the Hyundai Elantra GT to get hot hatch credentials is the fact that it has a mult-link suspension that gives this hatch a firm but comfortable ride. It corners flat, body roll doesn’t exist, and it feels stable at all times at any speed. It is incredibly agile and I get all the road feel that I need to figure out what the car is doing underneath me. Most importantly, it doesn’t beat you up while you are commuting as some hot hatches tend to do. Clearly the fact that Hyundai took this car to the Nürburgring race circuit in Germany to dial it in has payed off.

A word about the dual clutch transmission. When I review cars with dual clutch transmissions, I’m prepared to have them perform well at speed, but to be a bit “jerky” in low speed conditions like stop and go traffic. This transmission has no “jerky” aspects to it. As zip, zero, nada. Another thing to note is that it does have paddle shifters on the steering wheel that work all the time. I point this out because you often have to put a car with paddle shifters into a manual mode of some sort before they work. The fact that you don’t have to do that here is worth a tip of the hat to Hyundai.

Now a lot of what I have written thus far makes it sound like this car is a track weapon with a hair trigger for an accelerator. Not so actually. The accelerator (and brakes for that matter) are very easy to modulate. You can drive it as sedate or as aggressive as you want to with ease. That’s a hard balance to get to and kudos to Hyundai for finding that balance. The interior is quiet for the most part. Unless you are putting your foot down (in which case, you’ll hear more engine noise) or you’re doing highway speeds on some road surfaces (in which case you’ll hear some tire noise). Neither is objectionable.

In terms of fuel economy, I am getting 7.5L per 100 KM’s which is pretty good. But unlike most cars that I review, I expect that to go up as the week goes on as I admit that I have been making liberal use of “Sport” mode as it really makes the Hyundai Elantra GT Sport Ultimate really fun to drive. But from previous experience in my 2016 Hyundai Tucson Limited, it will burn some more gas in the process.

Tomorrow, I will focus on the interior of the Hyundai Elantra GT Sport Ultimate which is a nice place to be. Stay tuned to find out why I say that.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: