As Hyundai continues to produce solid larger vehicles — the 2019 Santa Fe recently won our 2019 Mid-Size SUV Challenge, and we were impressed by the redesigned 2020 Sonata sedan — it’s not abandoning the small cars that helped it make inroads in the U.S., nor is it letting them stagnate. Among those smaller cars are the Elantra compact sedan and Elantra GT hatchback — refreshed in 2019 and redesigned in 2018, respectively.
The Elantra sedan faces off against competitors like the Toyota Corolla, Subaru Impreza, Honda Civic and Volkswagen Jetta. The Elantra GT, meanwhile, competes against vehicles like the Toyota Corolla, Subaru Impreza, Honda Civic and Volkswagen Golf.
The Elantra got some exterior design updates for 2019 that make it more modern and refined looking. Inside, a new multimedia system keeps the Elantra up to date, while Hyundai also updated the car’s safety systems. Engine options, however, remain unchanged, with three different four-cylinder choices: a turbocharged 1.4-liter in the Eco model that produces 128 horsepower; a naturally aspirated 2.0-liter producing 147 hp; and a 201-hp, turbocharged 1.6-liter in Sport models.
For 2019 Elantra models, transmission choices are either a six-speed manual — standard on SE and Sport models — or an available six-speed automatic, while Eco versions get a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic. Model-year 2020 Elantras ditch both of the six-speed transmissions: Eco and Sport models get the seven-speed dual-clutch automatic, and the rest of the lineup switches to a two-speed continuously variable automatic transmission. Transmission choices for the Elantra GT remain unchanged from 2019 to 2020; buyers will have a choice of a six-speed automatic for base models, and either a six-speed manual or seven-speed dual-clutch automatic for GT N-Line models.
While 2018 seems like a lifetime ago, that was when this generation of the Elantra GT got its significant redesign, giving it a more traditional hatchback look that the previous generation was missing. Power comes from two four-cylinders: a 2.0-liter making 161 hp for base models or the same 201-hp, turbo 1.6-liter from the Elantra Sport for the N-Line variant.
If you’re interested in one of these two cultured compacts, be sure to check out all our coverage of both, as well as useful research and shopping links, below:
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