2019 Hyundai Elantra GT N Review

The 2018 Elantra GT Sport we reviewed last year was a practical, fun, and good looking car. I said in the review that I wished the Elantra could be more refined under the hood. With the new Elantra GT N line now replacing the GT Sport, my wish had come true.

The N line is inspired by the Hyundai's performance N division, and the Elantra GT N is the first N Line model to be brought to North American. Thomas Schemera, executive vice president of Hyundai Motor Group’s Product Planning & Strategy Division says, “N Line is designed for those buyers craving N’s sporty styling cues coupled with performance-tuned suspension upgrades, all at compelling price points.” Count me in as one of those buyers.

Thanks to Hyundai Canada, I had one week to test drive the 2019 Hyundai Elantra GT N on the road. Below is my unbiased review.

The exterior of the Elantra GT N looks like a GT Sport on steroid. In the front, the cascading grill is framed with a more aggressive looking bumper. The added lower front spoiler increases aerodynamic efficiency, and is decorated with a distinctive silver character line. The low profile LED daytime running lights and LED headlights are carried over from the Sport.

At the side, the N Line exclusive 18" alloy wheel has a very unique split spoke design that is simply gorgeous. The side mirrors are black out, and LED turn signal repeaters were integrated. At the rear, the lower bumper has been redesigned to include a larger air diffuser that is decorated with a similar silver character line that we saw in the front. Dual chrome exhaust tips, and the honeycomb style decorative air vents give the Elantra GT N a sportier look. The same unique segmented LED tail lights are carried over from last year.

Overall, the exterior of the Elantra GT N incorporates many of the eye-catching design elements from the i30 N. The black and red two toned design is eye-catching.

The interior of the Elantra GT N enjoys similar enhancements as its exterior. The N line steering wheel features perforated leather surface, beefy grips, and sculpted aluminum spokes. The gearshift is decorated with sporty red accents and leather inserts. The leather sport seats gets the N logo, red stitching, and carbon fiber inserts. Our Ultimate trim tester comes with a 8 way power adjustable driver seat that is both heated and vented. The manual version only gets a heated driver seat that is not power adjustable. In both versions, the passenger front seats are manually adjusted. The parking brake is electronic to provide more room to the front cabin. Personally, I prefer a manual hand brake for the manual version.

A mix of soft touched materials and hard plastics are used throughout the cabin. To Hyundai's credit, the hard plastics are textured to look almost identical to the soft touched surfaces. Red accent trims are added around the start/stop button, climate control console, and air vents.

The back seats are also very comfortable. There is plenty of leg and headroom in the rear cabin. The panoramic sunroof extends across the front and rear seats for a spectacular view from the back. It is a feature that is hard to find in the segment.

Overall, the interior of the Elantra GT N remains the same modern design that is spacious and practical. I would personally like to see more of those gorgeous matte red accent trims around the cabin.

The infotainment system of the Elantra GT N hasn't changed, and it is a good thing. The 8" tablet style touch screen is sharp and responsive. Physical buttons are placed on either side of the display for fast and easy access to the desired menu pages. Android Auto and Apple Carplay are standard, so is Hyundai's own BlueLink system. With the BlueLink mobile app, the driver can check vehicle status, remote start the engine, lock/unlock doors, and find the GPS location of the vehicle. The system also automatically call for emergency services in the event of a collision.

In the instrument cluster, between the two analog dials is a 4.2" TFT display that shows real time vehicle, trip, and infotainment information. It is controlled by the nicely laid out switchgears on the steering wheel.

Manual Elantra GT N comes with a 6 speaker audio system. Our Ultimate trim tester is equipped with a 7 speaker Infinity audio system that pumps out 315 watts of high quality sound.

Safety and Driver Assistance
Hyundai has always been pretty generous with providing the latest active safety features.
Our Ultimate Trim tester comes with all of the following features:

  • Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist (FCA) with Pedestrian Detection
  • Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) w/ stop & go capability
  • Forward Collision Warning (FCW)
  • Lane Keeping Assist
  • Lane Departure Warning System (LDWS)
  • High Beam Assist (HBA)
  • Driver Attention Warning
  • Vehicle Stability Management

The 2019 Hyundai Elantra GT earns 4 star safety rating from NHTSA and Top Safety Pick+ from IIHS.

The Elantra GT N is powered by the same 1.6L Turbocharged engine from last year. It provides 201 hp of horsepower and 195 lb.ft. of torque. The motor power is sent to the front wheels through either a 6-speed manual gearbox or a 7-speed dual clutch automatic transmission. The 7-speed automatic also comes with manual overrides and paddle shifters. The drivetrain is quick off the line, but there is a noticeable boost when the rpm gets higher. It is a car that needs to be driven harder to be appreciated.

What really sets the N line apart from the Sport is its cornering ability. Hyudai engineers enhances the N line with new suspension, retuned steering, revised engine mounts, and better tires. Additionally, Elantra GT N Line gets larger front and rear brake rotors to improve driving performance. The difference is very noticeable. Compare to the GT Sport last year, the N line feels much more composed in tight corners. The steering is precise, with lots of feedback. The car turns in nicely, and thanks to the re-designed suspension, soaks up road bumps while maintaining great controls in corners. Selecting different drive modes only changes the throttle response and steering efforts. I prefer the Sport mode for day to day drives.

The Elantra GT N is also quite fuel efficient. The automatic version is rated at 9.7L/100km city, 7.4L/100km highway, and 8.6L/100km combined. The 6-speed manual consumes about 0.5L more per 100km. Our mostly city test drive returns a 9.8L/100km fuel economy rating.

Cargo Space & Storage
The cargo space of the Elantra GT N is among the most spacious in the segment. There is 705L of trunk space behind the 60/40 split fold rear seats. With the rear seats folded, that volume is increased to 1560L.

There are also plenty of storage options in the cabin. The door pockets are deep and organized for both front and rear passengers. The storage bin under the center armrest is small but still capable of hiding smaller items. There are two cup holders in the rear folding armrest, and mesh pockets behind the front seats.

The 2019 Hyundai Elantra GT N line is a worthy upgrade to last year's Sport model. With the same enjoyable drivetrain and the much improved handling ability, the GT N line should satisfy most drivers behind the wheel. Hardcore fans (including me) are going to keep demanding the glorious i30 N to be brought over to this part of the world. But at $30K, the N line provides tremendous value for the price. It should fare well against the likes of Honda Civic Si and Volkswagen GTI.

Test Vehicle
 2019 ELANTRA GT N Line Ultimate
$30,699 CAD
Fiery Red


Popular Posts