CHICAGO — One midsize sedan and a compact car made their debut at the 2017 Chicago Auto Show. That’s the 2018 Hyundai Elantra GT and the 2018 Subaru Legacy. Both were product refreshes from the outgoing models.
Let’s begin with the 2018 Elantra GT. It’s based on the i30 model that is headed to Europe. Two versions of the Elantra will be offered: the GT and the GT Sport. The 2018 Elantra will be lower, wider, and longer than the outgoing model. In addition, it offers tech-savvy features like HD traffic and Amazon Alexa voice capabilities.
“This is a compact hatchback and for the first time we have a sport model,” said Scott Margason, director of product planning at Hyundai Motor America. “First, starting on the exterior, you see our cascading grille. This is an evolution of our signature hexagonal grille. But the best part is on the inside. The interior is beautifully finished. It has a standard, 8-inch center screen that features Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.”
The 2018 Elantra GT comes with a 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine producing 162 horsepower. Meanwhile, the Elantra GT Sport features a 1.6-liter, turbo engine producing 201 horsepower and 195 lb.-ft. of torque.
“For one thing, it’s larger in terms of cargo room,” Margason explained. “It has more cargo room in the back, 55 cubic feet than the other key competitors. In terms of some interior features, things like the standard 8-inch display with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are differentiators as well.”
Other features include an audio/video/navigation 5.0 infotainment system with free HD traffic reports. The new Elantra features Hyundai Blue Link with Amazon Alexa capability. Customers simply ask an Alexa-enabled device, like an Amazon Echo or Dot, to start their car. Seconds later, a message is sent directly to the vehicle.
Look for the 2018 Hyundai Elantra GT to arrive in U.S. dealerships this summer. Pricing has not yet been announced.
2018 Subaru Legacy debuts in Chicago
The all-new refreshed 2018 Subaru Legacy features more elegant front and rear styling, an upgraded interior with more premium materials, new safety features such as steering responsive headlights and advanced multimedia.
The Legacy 2.5i comes equipped with a 2.5-liter, BOXER engine that produces 175 hp and 174 lb.-ft. peak torque. Meanwhile, the Legacy 3.6R features a 3.6-liter, 6-cylinder BOXER engine that creates 256 hp and 247 lb.-ft. of peak torque.
“We’ve done a lot of refinement for the car underneath,” said Dominick Infante, national manager of product communications at Subaru of America. “We’ve refined the suspension, we also added extra strengthening in the a pillars to make the car safer for better crash performance. The sport version has new wheels and tires.”
New safety features include Reverse Automatic Braking (RAB) and Steering Responsive Headlight (SRH) system. RAB can detect objects in vehicle’s path and convey audible warnings to the driver. In addition, the headlights will turn the same direction that the driver turns the wheel.
“Going to the interior, we redesigned the whole head unit,” Infante explained. “It looks like one solid piece of glass now. So it’s a smoother, better integrated platform. We’ve improved the stereo and navigation. We just introduced it two years ago so we’re pretty excited about its performance so far.
Each 2018 Legacy comes standard with a STARLINK 6.5-inch Multimedia system. A larger, STARLINK 8-inch central display is also available. The top-level system includes TomTom navigation with 3 years of free map updates. Magellan NAVI, Best Parking, Yelp and eventseeker are just a few of the new apps that are featured in STARLINK.
The 2018 Subaru Legacy will go on sale this summer. They are being built at Subaru’s plant in Lafayette, Indiana. Pricing is expected to be between mid $20,000s and the $30,000 range.
For tickets and more information about the Chicago Auto Show, visit www.chicagoautoshow.com.