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In its most recent comparison test, we called the new Hyundai Elantra sedan “arguably the best-looking vehicle the company has ever offered for sale.” That argument is about to get tougher with the arrival of the 2018 Hyundai Elantra GT, a hatchback version plucked from the automaker’s European division that serves up clean lines and attractive detailing. Combine the sharp styling with an available 201-hp turbocharged four-cylinder (and a standard six-speed manual transmission), and this new Hyundai has the potential to be a formidable challenger to segment favorite hatchbacks such as the Honda Civic and the Volkswagen Golf.
Like the outgoing Elantra GT hatch, the new model is essentially identical to the Europe-market Hyundai i30. That means it’s not a hatchback version of the U.S.-market Elantra sedan, and instead it rides on a different architecture; the relationship is similar to that between the VW Golf and Jetta. The Elantra GT’s wheelbase is two inches shorter than the Elantra sedan’s, for instance, which puts the Hyundai right between the Golf and Civic hatches.
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