New Crossovers Killed The Cool Hyundai Elantra GT Hatchback

RIP
RIP
Photo: Hyundai

The Hyundai Elantra GT hatchback will not be getting the cool angular redesign its sedan sibling just got. Instead, it will be dead after the 2020 model year, because a bunch of new small crossovers started outselling it.

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If you’ve recently come across a new Hyundai Venue or new Hyundai Kona, both of which are small crossovers, and thought, “Hey, not bad!” the blood of the Elantra GT is, in some small part, on your hands. If you bought one of those things, don’t even come to the GT’s funeral (being held in the comments below).

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The automaker itself cited its new compact crossovers as the responsible party for the hatchback’s death blow. That sucks because the GT looks a damn large margin better than either crossover, which would simply be very ugly hatchbacks if you lowered them just a few inches. A guy on my block in Brooklyn has a GT on rather tasteful wheels, and I just saw him last weekend putting new tint on the windows. It’s a cool car.

From the “2021 Model Year Updates” press release:

Elantra GT – Discontinued from the lineup due to expanded SUV lineup that includes Venue and Kona.

Elantra GT N Line – Discontinued from the lineup and replaced with Elantra N Line that is being developed.

But perhaps the writing was always on the wall for the GT. A couple of years ago I began to recognize that Hyundai was indeed “cool” now because of the number of hatchbacks and sedans you could get with either available performance trims, a manual transmission, or both.

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But Hyundai’s choices of bringing back the quirky three-door Veloster for a second generation as the “flagship hatchback” of the range put a clear favorite in the stable and the first target on the Elantra GT’s back. Add to that with a couple of new crossovers Hyundai introduced that are nearly identical to the GT in every way except presence, and gradually-diminishing sales of the Elantra model line over the last few years? Who is left to buy the GT nobody is thinking or talking about?

But the flip side of that monologue is that the GT is suffocating in a lineup full of interesting and genuine cars, and my personal complaints are of course muffled by the heaps of praise I’ve dished over the Veloster N on this very website many times before. At least the new Elantra sedan is getting an N performance trim, as well as a new hybrid powertrain. See? Still interesting.

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2021 Elantra sedan
2021 Elantra sedan
Photo: Hyundai
Veloster N
Veloster N
Photo: Hyundai
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Kona crossover
Kona crossover
Photo: Hyundai
Venue crossover
Venue crossover
Photo: Hyundai
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It all makes me wish more automakers had the problem of making too many good cars to sell.

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DISCUSSION

what-a-witty-name
What-a-witty-name

1. These were impossible to find when they came out, and that never changed.
2. The loaded version with the turbo and ginormous panoramic roof was overpriced.  Just try to find one of those.