2014 Hyundai Elantra vs Elantra GT
2014 Hyundai Elantra vs Elantra GT
2014 Hyundai Elantra vs Elantra GT. Click image to enlarge

Review by Jacob Black, photos by Jonathan Yarkony

The option of a hatch or sedan version in the compact car segment is not new, but Hyundai has taken it a step further with their separation of the Elantra (sedan) and Elantra GT (hatchback). Even so, you might think a full-on comparison test between them would be akin to splitting hairs. And you’re right.

That’s why instead of a comparison, we’re helping you choose between the 2014 Elantra GT GLS and the 2014 Elantra Limited with Technology via another of our snappy Pop Quizzes.

In the blue corner, the 2.0L, six-speed manual Elantra GT hatchback, and in the red corner, the 2.0L, six-speed automatic Elantra sedan.

The differences seem small on first glance, but they are significant.

Both are front-drive, both come from Hyundai and both have a nearly identical feature list – nearly. But the Elantra GT is based on the Euro/Asian-market i30, while the Elantra is its own chassis design.  These two are not exactly twins then, but close siblings. So which is right for you?

When it comes to engines…
A: Size does matter
B: Thirst is a curse

If you answered A: New for 2014, the Elantra GT gets the 2.0L engine producing 173 hp at 6,500 rpm and 154 lb-ft at 4,700. That one large(ish) powerplant is available in every trim from base to fully loaded. You can also get the 2.0L with a manual in an Elantra GT – the Elantra sedan mandates an automatic as soon as you step into the larger engine trims.  So you’d want the GT for budget big-engine fun.

If you answered B: You probably prefer the slightly more economical 1.8L engine available at lower trims in the Elantra sedan. That unit produces just 148 hp at 6,500 rpm and 131 lb-ft at 4,700. Crucially though it is better rated by the EPA who say it’s good for 8.4/6.2/7.4 L/100 km city/highway/combined in automatic trim. The 2.0L with an auto is rated at 9.8/6.7/8.4 L/100km. If you drive mostly in the city, the 1.4 L/100 km difference between the two is sizeable and will have you leaning towards the smaller engine – again only available in the Elantra sedan.

2014 Hyundai Elantra GT GLS2014 Hyundai Elantra GT GLS2014 Hyundai Elantra Limited2014 Hyundai Elantra Limited
2014 Hyundai Elantra GT GLS & 2014 Hyundai Elantra Limited. Click image to enlarge

I like…

A: Big butts and I cannot lie
B: Carting old gym bags

If you answered A: You are probably a fan of Sir Mix-a-Lot. Like him, you’ll appreciate that the Elantra GT “has back”. Lots of back. In fact it has 1,444 L of potential cargo volume to the Elantra sedan’s 420 L – though curiously, the GT only has 11 extra litres of passenger volume over the 2,707 L offered by the sedan. Still, if you like back – you’ll like the GT.

If you answered B: There are times when you don’t want your passenger area and your boot/trunk/cargo area to merge. Ever been on “jersey duty” for your rugby club? Forget to unpack your hockey gear before date night? Picked up some high-powered garden mix for your rhubarb patch? On any of those occasions a bit of separation between the cargo and the crew is more than welcome. Get a sedan if you want to maintain a healthy distance from your gear.

Headlights are for…

A: Being seen
B: Seeing stuff

If you answered A: Both these cars are styled using Hyundai’s “fluidic sculpture” philosophy, with curvaceous lines and swooping flanks. The Elantra sedan gets newer, more interesting headlights, though, with bright LED accents around the edges. They look stunning, but also make the car more visible in the daylight – which is safer.

If you answered B: The lights produce the same power – so you can choose at will. Really this question was just so Jacob could talk about the cool lights on the sedan. They are pretty epic.

2014 Hyundai Elantra GT GLS2014 Hyundai Elantra Limited
2014 Hyundai Elantra GT GLS & 2014 Hyundai Elantra Limited. Click image to enlarge

Ride is more important than handling…

A: Agree
B: Disagree

If you answered A: The Elantra sedan is a softer and more forgiving ride than the GT (slightly), and there is no penalty in actual steering feel. You’ll want that one.

If you answered B: The Elantra GT gets upgraded shocks and a stiffer ride, but it also handles marginally better – you get a more lively chassis that is more engaging and fun to drive. Call it a warm hatch. Like to chuck your rig around in corners? We do. GT for us.

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