A stylin’ compact with new body styles.
The Elantra plays in a tough category that is traditionally dominated by the likes of the Honda Civic and the Toyota Corolla and has recently been joined by top-notch new models such as the Ford Focus and the Chevrolet Cruze. The Elantra sedan was entirely new for 2011, and a coupe and a hatchback join it for 2013. The snazzy two-door is new to the Elantra lineup, and the sharp GT replaces the fine-driving-but-dowdy Elantra Touring wagon. All these cars are ready to take on the best in their class, but none will particularly scintillate enthusiasts. Distinctive styling is now an Elantra hallmark, but ride quality is merely OK, and excess engine and suspension noises sometimes invade the otherwise pleasant cabin. Every Elantra earns great EPA fuel-economy ratings, although some trim levels of the new body styles come short of the magic 40-mpg highway mark. Fancy features such as a top-notch navigation system, heated leather seats, a sunroof, and a backup camera won’t break the bank. Six air bags, antilock brakes, power windows and locks, tilt-and-telescoping steering, and an iPod-friendly stereo are gimmes these days at Hyundai. A lengthy warranty helps seal the deal in the fight for thrifty buyers’ cash.
new for 2013
A two-door coupe joins the lineup, and the Touring wagon gives way to the GT hatchback. Lots of features are now standard on the base sedan, including air-conditioning, cruise control, sixteen-inch wheels, and a tilt-and-telescoping steering column. (The car’s base price rises accordingly by $1350.) The sedan’s packages pack more goodies now: the Preferred Package adds heated front seats, and the Limited Technology Package adds dual automatic climate control. Also, Atlantic blue has been added to the list of available colors.
Front, side, and side curtain air bags are standard on all Elantras, as are ABS, traction and stability control, and tire-pressure monitors.
Tons of features
New coupe and hatchback body styles
Noisy ride quality
Far from thrilling
Base Price Range: $17,470–$21,720
TRIM LEVELS: GLS, Limited, GS, SE, GT
BODY STYLES: Sedan, coupe, hatchback, 5-passenger
ENGINE: 1.8L I-4, 148 hp, 131 lb-ft
TRANSMISSIONS: 6-speed manual, 6-speed automatic
PASSENGER VOLUME: (sedan/coupe/hatchback) 95.6/95.4/96.0 cu ft
CARGO SPACE: (sedan and coupe) 14.8 cu ft; (hatchback, rear seats up/down) 23.0/51.0 cu ft