MSRP
$21,115
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2013 Hyundai Elantra Expert Review:Autoblog

Truth be told, we've always had a soft spot for the Hyundai Elantra Touring. Rather than being just another compact hatchback, the Touring was a bona fide small wagon – the sort of thing commonly reserved for the European market. It was a less-expensive alternative to the Volkswagen Jetta Sportwagen with an impressive warranty, though its milquetoast demeanor and somewhat odd styling never really made it a hit with the masses.

Nowadays, also-ran status is absolutely unacceptable for Hyundai, especially with anything in the Elantra family. After all, the compact sedan was named the 2012 North American Car of the Year and has been selling like hotcakes ever since it launched. So when we got word that a successor to the Elantra Touring would be on deck, out interest was indeed piqued.

Well, here it is – the 2013 Elantra GT. And while it's wholly different than the Elantra Touring that came before it, Hyundai hopes that its new GT will appeal to the buying public in a much larger way, even besting stiff competition from the likes of class-favorites like the Ford Focus and Mazda3.

This new five-door certainly has a lot riding on its (hatch)back. But does it deliver? We hit the roads outside of San Diego to find out.
2013 Hyundai Elantra GT side view2013 Hyundai Elantra GT front view2013 Hyundai Elantra GT rear view

It's only about 100 lbs heavier than the sedan, but the GT still manages to be the lightest car in its class.

In all fairness, we sort of knew ahead of time what the Elantra GT would offer. The outgoing Touring was based on the European-market i30, and the sleek new model debuted at the Frankfurt Motor Show this past September. Surprise, surprise – it's nearly exactly the same as the North American-spec Elantra GT that took the stage at the Chicago Auto Show earlier this year. And from the first time we laid eyes on it, we found it to be an attractive, well-rounded little thing – perhaps even better-looking than the already svelte Elantra sedan.

The GT is only slightly different than the i30, though it features some slightly reworked headlamps and different wheel and tire options. But because of its slightly different platform, the Elantra GT has a few dimensional differences compared to its sedan brethren – and we aren't just talking about the addition of that handy hatch. It's a full nine inches shorter in length versus the sedan (169.3 total) and rides on a two-inch shorter wheelbase (104.3). It's also ever-so-slightly wider and taller in height. All of these changes add up to a curb weight that's about 100 pounds heavier than the sedan, but the GT still manages to be the lightest compact car in its class. The base car is a full 151 pounds less than the spritely Mazda3.

2013 Hyundai Elantra GT headlight2013 Hyundai Elantra GT grille2013 Hyundai Elantra GT wheel detail2013 Hyundai Elantra GT taillight

When it comes to the compact class, Hyundai is indeed leading the pack with its interiors.

If you're a fan of Hyundai's Fluidic Sculpture design language, you'll really like the Elantra GT. There are a lot of pretty things going on here, elements like the pronounced front wheel arches and swooping character line that moves up the side and drops off following the curve of the taillamps, all of which give the GT a fresh, modern appearance with hind quarters that are decidedly European in appearance. Squint and you might think you're driving behind some sort of Seat five-door. Standard rolling stock are some rather generic 16-inch alloy wheels, but an attractive set of chrome-accented 17s – as seen on our test car – can be had as part of the Style Package, wrapped in P215/45-series tires.

Moving inside, the GT's interior has a noticeably different look to that of the Elantra sedan, and while the dashboard, instrument panel and center stack are clean and well-organized, they don't look quite as modern compared to what's found in the sedan (or new-for-2013 Elantra Coupe). Still, the materials used throughout the cabin are high quality and overall fit-and-finish is good, and the main connection points between driver and car – the steering wheel, shift knob, etc. – are wrapped in leather and feel good to the touch. When it comes to the compact class, Hyundai is indeed leading the pack with its interiors.

2013 Hyundai Elantra GT interior2013 Hyundai Elantra GT front seats2013 Hyundai Elantra GT rear seats2013 Hyundai Elantra GT rear cargo area

The real win here is the full 51 cubic feet of cargo space available with the seats folded.

Furthermore, the Elantra GT offers a full 96 cubic feet of interior space – more than anything else in the segment. It doesn't feel as cramped or claustrophobic as, say, a five-door Focus, and the nicely bolstered seats are comfortable and supportive. Rear seat room is adequate, and taller passengers did not have to squeeze into the back bench. But the real win here is the 51 cubic feet of cargo space available with the seats folded. That's not nearly as capacious as the 65.3 cubic feet offered in the outgoing Elantra Touring, but we'd gladly sacrifice the extra space for the sleeker overall packaging. Even so, 51 cubic feet is nothing to sneeze at – that's roomier than both the Focus and Mazda3.

We had high hopes when we first met the Elantra GT in the parking lot of the Pauma Valley Country Club about 55 miles northwest of San Diego. After all, in the product presentation earlier that morning, we were told about the sport-tuned suspension setup and improved steering feel. Ten minutes later, we found ourselves blasting up the gorgeous roads of Palomar Mountain, the sort of roads where you're exiting one turn and setting up for another at the same time. You really dream about being in something like a Mazda MX-5 Miata here. And on an uphill ascent like this, a car's engine, transmission and steering really get a workout.

2013 Hyundai Elantra GT driving2013 Hyundai Elantra GT driving2013 Hyundai Elantra GT driving

The GT uses the same 1.8-liter inline four-cylinder engine as the Elantra sedan, good for 148 horsepower at 6,500 RPM and 131 pound-feet of torque at 4,700 RPM. Those are perfectly adequate numbers for the 2,919-pound six-speed manual-equipped hatch. In fact, the Elantra GT has the best power-to-weight ratio of any five-door in the compact class.

If manuals are your thing, you'll be happy to know that you can still spec the stick in even the highest of Elantra GT trims.

But here's the thing: None of that really helps when the engine can't get its power to the wheels. Going uphill like this, the 1.8 feels absolutely gutless below 4,000 RPM, and the ratios for second and third gears aren't well-matched. You'll be pushing 6,000 RPM in second, shift into third, and you're back below 4,000, completely out of the powerband.

Luckily, the six-speed manual transmission is well-sorted and a friendly companion for lots of shifting action, with a good amount of feedback built into the clutch and a throttle that hasn't been tuned to deliver all of its power at initial tip-in. We've driven some truly terrible manual setups from Korea, Inc. before (Kia Forte, anyone?), so this more engaging setup is a welcome change of pace. If manuals are your thing, you'll be happy to know that you can still spec the stick in even the highest of Elantra GT trims.

2013 Hyundai Elantra GT engine

Power issues aside, a drive like this allowed us to really test the full capabilities of the steering and suspension – two big wins for the Elantra GT. For the first time ever, Hyundai has employed a driver-selectable steering system, with Comfort, Normal and Sport modes on offer. Of course, we've tested wishy-washy versions of systems like this in vehicles like the 2013 Lexus ES, but here in the Hyundai, there are noticeable differences between the action of the different modes – "Sport" doesn't just mean that a false sense of weight/feel was added to the steering effort.

For the first time, Hyundai has employed a driver-selectable steering system with Comfort, Normal and Sport modes.

This is the sort of steering feel we wish were standard across the Elantra board: good on-center feel with plenty of feedback, though a slightly quicker steering ratio would be welcome. Still, for a company not known for great steering feel – especially when incorporating electrically assisted setups – this is a huge step forward.

When asked, Hyundai officials told us that the selectable steering would only be offered on the Elantra GT for now, simply so the automaker can gauge customer reaction. Based on our experience, we certainly hope it spreads throughout the lineup.

2013 Hyundai Elantra GT steering mode display

The suspension felt surprisingly well-sorted here, too. Of course, there's a slight bit of body roll during tight cornering and the front-wheel-drive setup incorporates safe, yet predictable understeer when really pushing, but all-in, it's exactly what we expected. Hyundai tells us that the i30's MacPherson front and torsion-beam rear suspension was tuned specifically for American markets (read: softened), but even so, it's perfectly capable of handling a bout of spirited driving while remaining comfortable and solid on highways and city streets.

The five-door will achieve 39 miles per gallon on the highway with either transmission.

A quick mountain climb isn't the best way to judge the Elantra GT's dynamics. After heading back out onto the road, we were faced with less-engaging roads, the sort of stuff that the majority of drivers will experience day in and day out. Here, the Elantra's powertrain woes weren't nearly as noticeable. Sure, it still feels sluggish while revving low in a gear, but there's ample get-up-and-go off the line and the engine soundtrack doesn't sound wheezy and strained. And as much as we enjoy the Sport steering mode, it's really nice to be able to click it into Comfort and lighten up the steering rack for parking lot maneuvers.

We must remember, too, that the GT's engine and transmission are tuned to offer good fuel economy above all. With either the six-speed manual or automatic transmissions, the five-door will achieve 39 miles per gallon on the highway. Very good stuff there, though in the city cycle, you'll only be hitting 27 or 28 mpg, depending on your transmission choice.

2013 Hyundai Elantra GT rear 3/4 view

There have been rumors of Hyundai offering a version of its 1.6-liter turbocharged inline four in the Elantra GT, and we'll be crossing our fingers and toes that this comes to fruition. Even with a bit of detuning, some more low-end thrust and better gearing would easily make this hatchback one of the best-driving cars in its class.

Hyundai is only expecting the GT to account for maybe 20 percent of Elantra sales.

The 2013 Elantra GT is making its way to Hyundai showrooms as you read this, priced from $18,395, not including $775 for destination. The six-speed automatic will set you back an additional $1,000, and there are only two options available – a style pack that includes 17-inch alloy wheels, a panoramic sunroof, leather seating surfaces and a handful of other goodies ($2,750), and a navigation pack that adds, well, sat-nav, along with a backup camera, automatic headlamps and automatic climate control ($2,350). Check every box and you'll be spending $25,270 out-the-door.

Hyundai only expects the GT to account for maybe 20 percent of Elantra sales, but from where we sit, it stands to gain more traction. The American market is warming up to hatchbacks now more than ever, and since this eye-catching new five-door already has the Elantra's strong credentials riding along with it, it's a far better offering than the Touring it replaces. The Elantra sedan indeed put the entire compact class on notice, and with the addition of this more functional GT, Hyundai is further cementing its place as a class leader.

Coupe and five-door hatch join sedan lineup.

Introduction

One of the best compact cars on the market, the 2013 Hyundai Elantra continues to be a winning combination of compelling styling, able performance and interior comfort. For 2013, there are more variants to love. 

The 2013 Elantra Coupe two-door and 2013 Elantra GT five-door hatchback join the Elantra sedan four-door. With unique styling cues and driving characteristics, the Elantra Coupe and Elantra GT are positioned as sporty alternatives to the traditional sedan. 

The Elantra Coupe is fun yet practical, and fits between the Elantra sedan and the more enthusiast-oriented Genesis Coupe. The Elantra GT replaces the old Elantra Touring model. The GT offers versatility and plenty of cargo space with European-inspired features and styling. 

In addition to differences in dimensions and styling, the new Elantra Coupe and GT use unique suspension components for a stiffer ride. A V-beam rear suspension, instead of the torsion beam found on the sedan, gives the coupe and GT a firmer, more planted feel, and helps to reduce body roll around corners. Suspensions are tuned differently between models with standard 16-inch and optional 17-inch wheels, with the larger wheels receiving an even sportier treatment. The GT also offers three selectable steering modes, which offer heavier or lighter steering feel depending on preference. 

Meanwhile, trims and pricing have been restructured slightly for the 2013 Hyundai Elantra sedan. Although the base 2013 Elantra GLS model starts at more than $1,000 over the 2012 model, it gets more standard features including air conditioning, a telescoping steering wheel, cruise control, and 16-inch (instead of 15-inch) wheels. On GLS models equipped with the automatic transmission, heated front seats are included with the optional Preferred Package. 

We found all Elantra variants enjoyable to drive. The sedan's smooth ride and responsive handling make for a plush, but not numb, driving experience. The Coupe and GT models feel more connected to the road, without sacrificing road-trip comfort. 

Inside, the Elantra sedan is roomy all around, especially by compact standards, with interior measurements comparable to those of a small midsize car. The coupe and GT, however, suffer from a lack of rear headroom due to the steeper rake of their rooflines. All Elantras offer top-of-the-class cargo space. 

All models are powered by a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine rated at 148 horsepower and 131 pound-feet of torque with a choice of 6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic transmission. Like most compacts, Elantra is front-wheel drive. Using lighter materials such as aluminum and plastic on engine parts helps to keep the Elantra family relatively lightweight, around 2,700 pound for the Coupe and a bit more for the GT. The sedan weighs in at around 2,900 pounds, which is good for a compact sedan. These lower curb weights help Elantra achieve solid performance and excellent fuel economy. 

EPA ratings for all Elantra variants are some of the most competitive in the industry. Sedans are rated at 28/38 mpg City/Highway with both manual and automatic transmissions. That's better than the Ford Focus (26/36 mpg), Chevrolet Cruze (26/36 mpg), or Honda Civic (28/36 mpg). The Elantra Coupe is EPA-rated at 29/40 mpg with the manual and 28/39 mpg City/Highway with the automatic. The Elantra GT gets 27/39 mpg with the manual and 28/39 mpg with the automatic. 

The Elantra four-door competes in the crowded compact sedan segment against the Toyota Corolla, Ford Focus, Chevrolet Cruze, Honda Civic, and Mazda3 sedans. The Elantra Coupe takes on the Honda Civic coupe and the Kia Forte Koup, along with larger, more expensive two-doors such as the Honda Accord. The five-door Elantra GT goes up against popular hatchbacks such as the Mazda3, Ford Focus and Toyota Matrix, as well as the Subaru Impreza hatch and Volkswagen Golf. 

Lineup

The 2013 Hyundai Elantra comes in three body styles: Elantra sedan four-door, Elantra Coupe two-door, and Elantra GT five-door hatchback. All are powered by the same 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine with a choice of 6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic transmission. All seat five. 

Elantra GLS sedan ($16,695) comes standard with the 6-speed manual transmission, cloth upholstery, six-way manual driver's seat, manually operated air conditioning, cruise control, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, six-speaker audio system with CD player, satellite radio capability and iPod/USB port; 60/40-split folding rear seat, power windows, locks and heated mirrors, tilt steering wheel, keyless entry, anti-theft system, trip computer, and 16-inch steel wheels. The automatic transmission ($1,000) is optional. A Preferred Package ($750) is available on GLS models equipped with the 6-speed automatic transmission that includes heated front seats, cloth inserts on the door trim, steering wheel-mounted audio controls, sliding center armrest, Bluetooth hands-free phone system with voice recognition, additional interior lighting, fog lights and alloy wheels. 

Elantra Limited sedan ($20,945) comes only with the automatic transmission and includes leather upholstery, heated front and rear seats, leather-wrapped wheel and shift knob, air conditioning, minor cabin upgrades, power sunroof, fog lights, mirror-imbedded turn signals, black chrome grille, and 17-inch alloy wheels. The Limited Technology Package ($2,350) adds pushbutton start, dual automatic climate control, navigation with 7-inch screen, rearview camera, 360-watt premium audio system and automatic headlights. 

Elantra Coupe GS ($17,445) includes heated front seats, air conditioning, power accessories, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, cruise control, steering-wheel mounted controls, sliding center arm rest, 60/40 split folding rear seats, a 6-speaker audio system with CD player, satellite radio capability, auxiliary jack and an iPod/USB port; fog lights and 16-inch alloy wheels. The automatic transmission is optional ($1,000). 

Elantra Coupe SE ($19,745) adds leather upholstery, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, a one-touch-up driver's window, aluminum pedals, sport-tuned suspension, power sunroof, a hood insulator, side mirrors with integrated turn signals, a rear spoiler and 17-inch alloy wheels. The automatic transmission is optional ($1,000). The Elantra Coupe SE can also be equipped with the Technology Package ($23,095) which includes the automatic transmission and everything found on the SE trim plus dual automatic climate control, navigation with 7-inch screen, upgraded 360-watt audio system, rearview camera and automatic headlights. 

Elantra GT five-door ($18,395) comes standard with manual gearbox, air conditioning, tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, heated front seats, cooled glove compartment, power accessories, cruise control, steering-wheel-mounted controls, 60/40 split folding rear seats, Bluetooth handsfree phone connectivity, a 6-speaker audio system with CD player, satellite radio capability, auxiliary jack and iPod/USB port; Hyundai's Blue Link telematics system, front fog lights, rear window wiper, rear spoiler, hood insulator and 16-inch alloy wheels. Elantra GT models equipped with the Style Package ($21,145) get leather upholstery, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, a power driver's seat with power lumbar, aluminum pedals, a driver's side auto-up window, panoramic sunroof, sport-tuned suspension, side mirrors with integrated turn signals and 17-inch alloy wheels. The Elantra GT with the Tech Package ($23,495) includes navigation, dual automatic climate control, pushbutton start, a rearview camera and automatic headlights. The automatic transmission is optional ($1,000). 

Safety features on all models include front, front-side and side-curtain airbags, and electronic stability control with Vehicle Stability Control, antilock brakes, brake assist, and traction control. GT models get a standard driver's knee airbag. The optional rearview camera improves safety by helping the driver spot children and pedestrians when backing up. 

Walkaround

The Hyundai Elantra sedan looks striking with crisp, edgy styling. It has presence among four-door compact sedans. Most of the rest of the class looks dated by comparison. Viewed from the front, the hexagonal grille presents a more sinister grin than that of the Mazda 3. The headlight housings wrap into the fenders, the trailing edge back as far as the centerline of the front wheels. This is in-your-face styling as far as commuter compacts go. 

In side view, the four-door echoes the styling of the Hyundai Sonata midsize sedan, with a raked windshield, roofline flowing into the trunk, coupe-like rear side window shape, and a forward-leaning shape. The crease that runs a rising arc from the front wheel, through the door handles and over the rear-wheel openings into the taillights mirrors the shape of the old British-built Triumph TR7 sports cars. 

From the rear, the Elantra sedan is very similar to the larger Sonata, so much so that in the distance or without anything for scale you have to be well-versed on your Hyundais to tell the difference. The tail lights are long, wavy wraparound fixtures echoing the curves that lead in to the rear bumper and promote airflow to help keep the lights clean; on a dirty road surface the license plate should be the first part shrouded in muck. 

The Elantra Coupe has a sleeker, wedgier shape, without infringing too much on Genesis Coupe territory. In front, the wide-mouth hexagonal grille is framed by more swept-back headlamps, while the side view reveals more angular A- and C-pillars. Because the coupe is still decently sized, its doors are awfully long, which is most noticeable when getting in and out in tight parking quarters. In back, the integrated spoiler, wraparound taillights and dual chrome exhaust tips accentuate the sportier character. 

The hatchback Elantra GT design began in California, then was finished off in the studios of Europe, its biggest market. The five-door hatch has a slightly friendlier look, with a large black insert across the signature Hyundai hexagonal grille turned upward into a faint smile. The overall length of the GT is nine inches shorter than the sedan, and also several inches shorter than the Limited model it replaces. But it doesn't by any means look diminutive. Although still a compact hatch, the lines and proportions of the Elantra GT resemble those of larger, more luxurious crossovers. It, too, uses fluid shapes such as wraparound head- and taillights that make it clear the GT is part of the Elantra family. 

Interior

Hyundai Elantra's interior doesn't resemble that of cost-cutter compacts, instead marrying style with interesting materials. For example, the headliner employs a mix of material that includes volcanic rock to an interesting effect more attractive than fuzzy cardboard or plastic. We think the nice interior is part of the value proposition offered by the Elantra. It has neither hint of cheapness nor pretense of luxury. 

The sedan has a lot of passenger volume, and particularly roomy up front. Both of our 6-foot, 3-inch test dummies fit fine, even with a sunroof, and neither had the seat all the way back. Front seats proved comfortable for hours with a decent range of adjustability. Rear seats are also comfortable, with a center floor that's nearly flat and a well-padded center seat that sits slightly higher. 

On the coupe and GT models, drivers and front passengers of just about any size will be comfortable, but a steeply raked roofline significantly reduces headroom in the rear. As such, backseat passengers taller than 5 feet, 7 inches will most likely find the tops of their heads rubbing against the volcanic-infused headliner. 

The sedan and GT versions offer good outward visibility, despite wide D-pillars, which are a function of new safety regulations. However, rear visibility on the coupe is significantly reduced due to its radically sloped rear window. The instrument cluster and center stack design on all Elantras are clean and simple. Both versions of the center display (the one that comes with with the standard audio system, as well as the 7-inch touchscreen with navigation) are easy to read, even in bright sunlight. Both user interfaces are mostly intuitive, save a few functions that seem to take more steps than necessary, such as changing the EQ on the audio system. On base models with the manually operated air conditioning, we found the lowest fan setting a bit too windy. We prefer the wider range of adjustability offered by the dual-zone automatic climate control. 

All variants of the Elantra boast interior storage that is ample and conveniently located. Door pockets are practical but not cavernous, cupholders will carry everything except Big Gulps, and electronics plugs aren't right next to the cup holders waiting to fill with spilled coffee or cola. Those who prefer to keep their iPods and phones concealed will like the coupe's covered storage area aft of the shifter, while the GT's open console space offers quick access. 

Although plastic is used on many surfaces on all Elantras, it is mostly attractive and well-executed. We were pleasantly surprised to find the center AC vents were color-matched to the surrounding trim, which not always the case on even more expensive cars. Leather upholstery on models so equipped was a bit disappointing and was more akin to vinyl than butter. In some areas, stitching appeared to buckle ever-so-slightly in certain places on seat cushions. Still, you'd be hard-pressed to find real cowhide on other cars for the price. 

Trunk space in the sedan and coupe measures nearly 15 cubic feet, more than the Civic or Kia Forte, but shy of the Chevrolet Cruze and Mazda3. The trunk opening on both cars is not huge but sufficient, with 60/40 folding rear seats that increase capacity, although they do not fold completely flat. 

The Elantra GT's hatch shape gives allows for a roomy 23 cubic-feet of trunk space, with a max 51 cubes with the seats folded down. That's more than the five-door versions of the Ford Focus and Mazda3, but falls just short one cubic foot short of the Subaru Impreza. 

Driving Impression

Its solidity and driving dynamics make the Hyundai Elantra feel fully competitive with anything in its class. 

All models use a 1.8-liter, four-cylinder engine that makes 148 horsepower at 6500 rpm and 131 pound-feet of torque at 4700 rpm. (That's for the regular ULEV, or Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle. It's 145 hp at 6300 rpm in PZEV states). 

Like most cars these days that make fuel economy a top priority, the vehicles in the Elantra lineup don't have a lot of oomph right off the line. This engine must be revved to get the most out of it, and it's fairly happy and unobtrusive doing so. Peak power is at 6500 rpm, though there seemed no point in going beyond 6300 to extract maximum performance. 

The 6-speed manual is easy to shift, yet isn't too slushy. The 6-speed automatic is just as good, holding gears as needed in most driving applications. However, we found that on demanding uphill roads, the transmission often settled on a higher gear than we'd like, prompting us to slide the shifter over to manual mode to find sufficient thrust. For the GT and Coupe models equipped with the larger wheels and sport-tuned suspension, we'd like to see the addition of steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters. 

Electric-assist steering points the car where you want to go with minimal effort, reasonable feedback and U-turns in less than 35 feet. On GT models, a selectable steering feature allows drivers to choose between Normal, Comfort and Sport. In Comfort mode, the steering feels lighter at higher speeds but doesn't feel much different otherwise. In Sport mode, steering becomes more weighty, and almost too heavy when logging miles on twisty roads. Like Goldilocks, we weren't fully satisfied with any of the settings, and wished for a feel that was somewhere in between Normal and Sport. In addition, we found it odd that the Sport mode modified steering feel only; we longed for a true sport mode that combined steering adjustments with enhanced throttle response and shift patterns. 

Disc brakes all the way around come standard on all models and are more than capable of slowing down anything the 1.8-liter engine gets going. Brakes feel a bit grabby at slow speeds, but require a firm, planted foot from highway velocities. Electronic stability control and antilock brakes are standard across the board, as is steering assist. The latter won't steer for you in case of a slide, but will help you steer in the correct direction. 

The Elantra's structure is very stiff so the car feels solid, tight and squeak free. Suspension on the sedan is tuned more for ride comfort than outright speed, but it still does a commendable job on twisty roads and glides down the highway. The four door exhibits some body lean in hard cornering, but it remains controlled and makes the driver aware the car is working near its limits. 

The Elantra Coupe and GT use a rear V-beam suspension, as opposed to the torsion beam setup found on the sedan. This makes for a stiffer chassis and reduces body roll (lean) around corners compared to the four-door version. Two-and five-door models equipped with the larger, 17-inch wheels are tuned for an even sportier feel. Although it's a little firm, it won't make your teeth chatter, either. Still, those who like a cushy ride might wish to stick with the traditional four-door. On the other end of the spectrum, enthusiasts looking for a two-door sports car might be more titillated by the Genesis Coupe, while those who want a utilitarian compact that's both practical and peppy might like the new Veloster Turbo. 

EPA fuel economy ratings on the Elantra sedan are 28/38 mpg with both transmissions. During our test drive, the onboard computer showed a best of 40.3 mpg and a worst of 30.9 mpg in various traffic and terrain. Coupe models are EPA-rated at 28/38 mpg with the manual and 27/37 mpg with the automatic. The Elantra GT is rated 27/37 mpg with the manual and 26/37 mpg with the automatic. 

Summary

The Hyundai Elantra is among the best in the compact class with stylish exterior design, plenty of standard interior features and excellent fuel economy. The addition of a sporty coupe and a roomy GT model make the Elantra lineup even more desirable. 

New Car Test Drive correspondents G.R. Whale, Mitch McCullough and Laura Burstein contributed to this report. 

Model Lineup

Hyundai Elantra sedan GLS ($16,695); Limited sedan ($20,945); Elantra Coupe GS ($17,445); Coupe SE ($19,745); Elantra GT ($18,395). 

Assembled In

Montgomery, Alabama; Ulsan, Korea. 

Options As Tested

carpeted floor mats ($95); iPod cable ($35). 

Model Tested

Hyundai Elantra GLS. 

*The data and content on this web site is subject to change without notice. Neither AOL nor any of its data or content providers shall be liable for errors in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

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