19 Elantra GT N-Line
With the 2019 model Elantra GT Hyundai abandoned the somewhat baroque styling of the first-gen Elantras for something more mainstream. It works; the car retains an aggressive, sporting appearance and has the power and handling to back up it up. The interior is exceptionally well laid out ergonomically, with all controls falling readily to hand; the only possible exception is the sport mode actuator, which is located on the center console to the left of the shifter. It would have been nice if the designers could have found a space on the steering wheel controls, but that's a minor quibble. In sport mode, the vehicle accelerates smartly; it also accelerates at a reasonable rate while in "normal" mode, although the transmission tends to search a bit between 1st, 2nd and 3rd gear. Best solution is to leave the trans in sport around town and use the normal setting for freeway cruising and long distance driving. When the turbo kicks in, sport or normal mode, the punch is such that you half expect a view out the windshield something similar to that seen in the various "Star Wars" movies, ie, the stars all rush together, completely with an appropriate wooshing sound, great fun. The handling is exemplary, making the twisty roads southwest of StL or in and around the Mississippi bluffs on the Illinois side of the river an absolute delight; there is little or no discernible torque steer. The seats are supportive if not overly grippy (you want Recaros, buy Recaros) and completely comfortable for long-distance drives. This is truly the Korean GTI; my only regret is I didn't shop around a bit longer and find a six-speed but then again, with my 40+ mile commute through a major urban area with major urban area traffic, I can live with the automatic. My other regret is the average mpg usually runs around 30 BUT, then again, I spend a lot of time with my right foot down, so the blame's on me, eh?