CARS.COM — As compact car sales decline in favor of small SUVs, Hyundai believes some Americans are ready for a third alternative: a compact hatchback that hauls like a small SUV but offers the driving fun and economy of a car.
The jury’s out on this, rationality not always driving car choices. But Hyundai is doubling up in this market niche with a redesign of its Elantra GT hatchback for 2018, along with a new sportier version, the GT Sport, with a turbocharged engine and upgraded chassis. The 2017 Elantra GT was a one-size-fits-all single trim. As before, the 2018 GT is an Elantra in name but is actually a U.S.-badged version of Hyundai’s global i30 hatchback with different underpinnings than the U.S. Elantra sedan.
The 2018 faces growing competition that now includes six compact hatch choices: a freshened Volkswagen Golf, Chevrolet Cruze, Honda Civic, Subaru Impreza (redesigned for 2017), Toyota Corolla iM, Ford Focus and Mazda3. All employ front-wheel drive except the Subaru, which includes the all-wheel drive typically offered as an option on the smallest SUVs.