Not that we didn't see this coming (in general), but the Hyundai Elantra GT hatchback will be no more after the 2020 model year. Americans plainly just do not want small cars, unless they're disguised as crossovers. The mere fact that the Ford Focus, Ford Fiesta, Volkswagen Golf, Toyota Yaris, and the Chevy Sonic have hit the chopping block is evidence enough that it's not only family sedans that are taking hits but also five-five door jobbies. The saddest part is that these two segments are generally more fun to drive than taller crossovers.
The brand will instead continue to focus on its successful crossover/SUV lineup that includes the Venue, Kona, Tucson, Santa Fe, and the hugely successful 7-passenger Palisade. The official word from Hyundai is that the Elantra GT is going away "due to an expanded SUV lineup that includes the Venue and the Kona."
The truly weird part of it all is that, other than the optional all-wheel drive system in the Kona, there really isn't much advantage (practically-speaking) to the Kona or the Venue. For the purpose of this argument, we'll look at the Kona versus the Elantra GT:
As you can see, the Elantra GT is actually better in more categories of practicality than the Kona. What's more, there's hardly any difference in the categories where the Kona beats it. Less than an inch of ground clearance difference between the two, and only 3 miles less fuel efficiency in city driving. Also of note is the fact that both cars score a Top Safety Pick from the IIHS.
We're just sad to see the handsome hatchback go away. The Kona is definitely overstyled in our eyes, and the Elantra GT has cleaner lines and will definitely stand up over time in terms of looks, as compared to the more trendy-looking Kona. Most of all, as good as the Kona is to drive, we enjoy the driving dynamics of the Elantra GT more, and that manual transmission certainly sweetens the pot.
The really good news is that the Elantra GT-Line model will actually get replaced by the Elantra N-Line sedan, and that car looks spectacular. Our guess is that it won't come with a manual transmission since Hyundai just killed off that feature for the 2020 model year. The Elantra N-Line sedan should get about 220 horses, which is 19 more than the GT N-Line hatchback, but we'd accept the power deficit if we could just keep the stick shift.