2013 Hyundai Elantra

GLS FWD 4-Dr Sedan I4 man trans

2013 hyundai elantra Reviews and News

Five Car Comparo Parked Front View
The majority of the compact-sedan class has been heavily revised or totally redesigned in the past two years, and Dodge has just rolled out its Alfa Romeo-based Dart, the latest entry in a hotly contested segment. Will the Dart be able to topple the best of the bunch from the top spot?
The 2013 Dart is more than just a new model -- it is Dodge's first competitive small-car offering since the Neon was killed off in 2005. Most notably, it is the first Dodge byproduct of the Chrysler-Fiat merger. Modified versions of the same platform and powertrain found in Alfa Romeo's Giulietta hatchback hide beneath the Dart's slick sheetmetal.
Last year, we rounded up the top six compact sedans and we came away impressed by the high style, advanced technology, and fun-yet-frugal engines offered in the segment. To see how the Dart compares, we've pitted it against the top four contenders from last year's test: the Ford Focus, the Honda Civic, the Hyundai Elantra, and the Mazda 3. Last time, the Toyota Corolla and the Chevrolet Cruze finished in last place and second-to-last (respectively), so we opted to leave them out of this comparison.
We wanted to look at what most consumers will be buying, so we avoided top-trim models in favor of automatic-equipped, mid-grade sedans. There were two exceptions: Ford did not have a sedan available for our testing so we used a hatchback instead (however, almost half of Focuses sold this year were hatchbacks, so we let it slide). We wanted to test the Dart's new MultiAir 1.4-liter turbo-four, but Chrysler had just begun production of its new dual-clutch automatic, so a six-speed manual had to suffice for our test. In this very competitive group, does the 2013 Dodge Dart Rallye have what it takes to beat the 2012 Ford Focus SEL, the 2012 Honda Civic EX, the 2013 Hyundai Elantra GLS, and the 2012 Mazda 3i Touring?

Dollars and Sense

For many buyers in this segment, it's all a numbers game. Our most expensive car - the Ford Focus - rang in at $25,420 with destination. However, that includes $3325 worth of options. Forego the finicky MyFord Touch and navigation systems, the flashy 17-inch polished aluminum wheels, and the premium red candy metallic paint, and the Focus would cost an easier-to-swallow $22,565 and still include goodies such as heated seats and Ford's Sync voice-activation system with Bluetooth. Sadly, even those deletions still place the Focus higher than all but the Dart.
All of our cars came equipped with Bluetooth, but only the Focus and the Dart came with navigation. Dodge's crisp 8.4-inch touch screen also includes a backup camera -- the only one offered in the segment. The high level of equipment gave the Dart the second-most-expensive price here: $23,360 with destination. One of the big reasons was the MultiAir engine, a $1300 option. Our Rallye-trim car also came standard with projector-beam headlights (only available elsewhere from Mazda). The Mazda and the Honda Civic were mid-pack price-wise, running a reasonable $21,695 and $21,455 including destination charges, respectively.
At an as-tested price of just $19,350 (including destination), the Hyundai Elantra is a whopping $6070 below the most-expensive Focus. While it may not be the most tech-laden of the bunch, our Elantra GLS with the Preferred Package included things such as heated seats, Bluetooth, and fog lights. Hyundai also offers the best warranty of the cars here, at 10 years or 100,000 miles, which helps to keep costs down over the lifetime of the car. Buyers willing to splurge on a fully loaded Elantra Limited will shell out just $24,070.
Advantage: Hyundai Elantra GLS

The Inside Story

"The level of amenities and comfort here were unimaginable in the compact-sedan segment only a few years ago," stated deputy editor Joe DeMatio. Even in the blandly styled Civic, it's clear that plenty of man-hours were spent determining the placement and action of every button, knob, and switch in the cabin. While the Civic may have some of the best ergonomics, its drab beige palette, oddly grained plastics, and too-dark displays left us wanting more.
Hyundai was one of the first to spice up the segment with the Elantra and its swoopy, violin shaped center stack and fashionable-yet-simple concentric climate controls. While the Koreans have done an admirable job of graining plastics, some of the surfaces still look and feel cheap. The Elantra does benefit from the largest trunk in the group, at 14.8 cubic feet. Next would be the Focus sedan (not the hatch we tested) at 13.2 cubic feet, followed closely by the Dart's 13.1 cubic feet with an opening that is deep and wide. The other two cars fell below the Dart's size: the Civic at 12.5, and the 3 at 11.8. However, the Mazda's low lift-over height and deep, square shape belied its smallest-in-test measurement. (I found it easiest to enter, exit, and fit my slim 5'9" frame in the Mazda's trunk, as the pictures show.)
Decked out here with the optional MyFord Touch system complete with an eight-inch touch screen, the Focus' cabin oozed European sophistication. "It feels like a very high quality car," said DeMatio. It was also the only car in our comparison to come with automatic climate control, which is part of the $2530 201A equipment group. However, "every button is too small, even the digital ones on the touch screen," complained road test editor Chris Nelson. Foregoing the MyFord Touch system won't solve the problem either - without the touch screen, the Focus' center stack is sprayed with almost two dozen cell-phone-sized buttons that are no easier to operate than the slow and counter-intuitive MyFord Touch. "The dashboard is so overwhelming in every Focus I've driven," noted graphic designer Tom Hang. "There are just so many buttons and controls."
Stepping into the Mazda 3 from any of the other four cars was a breath of fresh air. The cabin is thoughtfully laid out with straightforward controls, and the look is attractive with a sweeping dashboard and modern, blue LED accent lighting. Everything is clear, legible, and within reach. Contributor Ron Sessions loved "the large gauge that indicates what gear you're in. It looks like it is right out of a Porsche." But the all-black interior was dour and dated to some eyes, and Mazda's too-small audio and trip computer screens won no fans.
While the Dodge's interior may not have been well liked among our editors, we found ourselves talking non-stop about the cabin's size. Our Dart was decked out in diesel gray cloth with "citrus" accents - a very bold combination of a drab gray hue and an eye-searing neon yellow. The Dodge was also, however, the largest car in our test and felt a class bigger when you were sitting in any of the seats, despite head- and legroom that actually fall mid-pack. The more time we spent in the car, the clearer it became that Chrysler's engineers made sure that every touch point was soft and that the controls were all quick to learn and easy to operate. As is the case in other Chrysler products, the oversized touch screen is sharp and lightning-fast in response. There were some complaints that the citrus accents could soil easily and that the gray gave the interior a rental-car-grade feel. Dodge also offers black/red and black/gray interior combinations that look much more upscale than our citrus-trimmed tester.
Advantage: Dodge Dart Rallye

Skin Deep Beauty

Until recently, function led form with inexpensive cars; thankfully, that is no longer the case for most of the segment. Not for all, however: the Honda Civic was variously described by our editors as "bland," "conservative," and "downright boring." Sessions claimed that the Honda was "straight from Planet Strange with its odd proportions and disappointing details," while associate web editor Ben Timmins faulted Honda "for not pushing the envelope in terms of the design."
Surprisingly, bland was a word also tossed around regarding the Dart. While the front and rear fascias were stylish and aggressive - the Rallye-spec blacked-out grille looked menacing in rearview mirrors and the LED taillights were a premium touch on a sub-$25,000 car - the rest of the exterior was an anonymous jelly-bean shape. Despite having reflectors that mimic the larger Dodge Charger's alluring "racetrack" full-width LED taillights, only the top-spec Dart R/T receives a similar treatment; all other models have C-shaped LED units only - a real styling let down.
Mazda also offers LED taillights, but only on its loaded Mazda 3 Grand Touring. Our mid-level Touring model was still sharp, dressed in cheery sky blue metallic paint. The 2012 update softened the 3's Cheshire cat grin, but the front visage still has a gaping smile of a grille that may not appeal to everyone. The rest of the car is athletic looking with swollen front fenders and a sharp crease bisecting the door handles and rising from the front doors to the taillights. It's a sporty design free of overwrought detailing.
The eye catcher of the group was the Elantra. Hyundai's Fluidic Sculpture design language translates well to the 178.3-inch-long sedan, its flowing lines deemed "sexy and sensuous" by Nelson and "far from boring with all its surface excitement" according to Sessions. The front end has one of the best executions of the brand's hexagonal grille and the rear is simple but interesting thanks to the wraparound taillights. That said, all of our editors agreed that the Elantra's design may be sexy and innovative now, but could look as dated as a flip phone in five years -- that consensus kept the Hyundai from winning in the exterior design department.
Both timeless and daring at the same time is Ford's Focus. "The Focus is one sharp little character that manages to look beautiful and aggressive at the same time," opined Sessions. "I'm not sure the Darth Vader chin will stand the test of time, but it's contemporary as hell." Like the interior, the exterior is very Euro-chic with large wraparound taillights, creased bodylines, and a steeply raked windshield. We feel that the Focus' design is mature and will age well as the years go by; it looks like a package designed by a single, very experienced team.
Advantage: Ford Focus SEL

Getting From A to B

No matter how much it costs, how stylish the interior or how good it looks, the main use of a car is to drive. But we weren't looking for the ultimate driver's car here, instead we sought the best all-around consumer compact.
When our testing started, we expected the Elantra to rank highly here -- at first, the ride was comfortable and the Elantra felt like an ideal commuter car. The more time we spent with the Hyundai, though, the more its wallowy ride on the highway, its poorly controlled body motions in the twisties, and harsh impacts on broken roads worked against it. Sessions also noted that "the steering lacks feel and is rather numb." Everyone came away unimpressed with the Elantra's dynamics.
The best driver's car here is the Ford Focus, hands down. The 2.0-liter I-4 is powerful - its 160 hp is tied with the Dart as the most powerful - and the chassis is rock-solid, which inspires confidence behind the wheel. "The supple ride quality, precise steering, and responsive brake pedal feel are all very good for a car of this class," said DeMatio. Thanks to the spot-on steering, the Focus was a breeze to wheel around town and easy to place in the middle of a highway lane, no matter how narrow or badly patched. The Ford's biggest demerit came from the company's new PowerShift dual-clutch automatic. Around town, the PowerShift is clunky and hesitant between shifts, and often hunts for the right gear at low speeds. Once on the highway (and in sixth gear), it's fine but overdrive gives little passing power. Thankfully, downshifts at speed are smooth and unobtrusive.
The Dart was a close second in the race for best driver's car. Selecting the turbocharged engine paid off - the forced-induction unit was the most fun to wind up and felt the most powerful thanks to its 184 lb-ft of torque avaliable at a low 2500 rpm. But find yourself below that 2500-rpm threshold and the Dodge bogs down, its heaviest-in-test weight of 3191 lbs very apparent. The six-speed manual has long throws but great clutch feel; however, we couldn't help but wonder if the upcoming dual-clutch automatic would keep the turbo spooled better than we did. Will the Chrysler-engineered transmission be as slick as Volkswagen's much-lauded DSG or as much-maligned as Ford's PowerShift? More than anything, the Dart felt like the quirky car of the bunch, its inner Alfa Romeo coming out - we agreed that it almost was like an older Saab 9-3 or Audi A4 1.8T thanks to its slow-spooling turbo and larger size.
Also occasionally short of breath was the 155-hp Mazda. Its power rating placed it mid-pack, but any kind of passing left us wanting more oomph. Otherwise, the direct-injected 2.0-liter Skyactiv four-cylinder felt peppy around town and had enough power for getting up to speed on the highway. "Acceleration off the line is good without being abrupt," said DeMatio. "Transmission shift mapping is also nicely done, and the tap-shift is quick to respond," pointed out Sessions. The 3's steering was also second-best to the Ford's, nicely weighted and direct -- however, the suspension caused some head bounce over the pothole-strewn roads of downtown Detroit.
The Honda Civic was the Goldilocks of our group -- neither too stiffly sprung to turn off commuters, nor too soft to spurn enthusiasts. "I actually changed lanes on our way into Detroit to get on worse roads to test the Civic. Not only did it pass with flying colors, but the Honda has brilliant ride and handling paired to a responsive and creamy powertrain," raved Timmins. "Somewhere a Hyundai engineer is scratching his head trying to figure out how to make a car ride this well." The Civic also had very good steering. It communicated just the right amount of feel from the front tires and the wheel itself was the best size and shape with its small diameter and thick rim. The transmission was down a cog compared to the rest (five instead of six), but was still smooth and unobtrusive, which is "exactly what most Americans expect from an automatic," DeMatio pointed out. The Civic wasn't perfect, however: Honda's quest for cost savings sacrificed sound deadening, and the steering, while communicative, felt too boosted to be as good as the Ford's or Mazda's.
Advantage: Honda Civic EX

Your Mileage May Not Vary

Our contenders' EPA fuel economy ratings all fell within spitting distance of one another:
1. Hyundai Elantra GLS: 29/40 mpg city/highway
2. Mazda 3i Touring: 28/40 mpg
3. Honda Civic EX: 28/39 mpg
4. Dodge Dart Rallye: 27/39 mpg
5. Ford Focus SEL: 27/37 mpg
As we found during our First Drive - the Mazda 3 will achieve 40 mpg on the highway in the real world. Like the Elantra, the Mazda achieves 40 mpg without any special packages. However, the 2.0-liter Skyactiv I-4 is the only Mazda 3 engine that achieves the rating - the base 2.0-liter is good for just 33 mpg highway, while the larger 2.5 manages only 29 mpg. Hyundai offers just one engine for all Elantra sedans.
Both Honda and Ford offer high-mileage variants (the Civic HF and Focus SFE, respectively), but ask for extra coinage to gain efficiency. For the Honda, the HF costs $20,395 compared to the $19,595 Civic LX on which it's based (an $800 difference) and is rated at 41 mpg highway versus 39 mpg. For just $95, Ford will add the SFE package to a Focus SE sedan, gaining an additional three highway mpg (37 versus 40). Both Honda and Ford utilize aerodynamic tricks like different wheels, low rolling resistance tires, and active grille shutters to achieve the higher highway ratings.
Speaking of efficiency, the Dodge is not only the second-least car here, but it is also the only car in our test to recommend premium fuel. While it can be filled with regular, the automaker doesn't guarantee the full 160 hp and 184 lb-ft of power if regular is used, although Chrysler says fuel economy would be unaffected.
Advantage: Hyundai Elantra GLS

The Winner

You can't go wrong with any of the five cars here. The Hyundai Elantra won two categories, the only car to do so, and is a perfectly competent small car. Said Timmins, "If you're looking at a Toyota Corolla because you think you have to, look at the Hyundai instead." But the fact that the Elantra is a better variant of a long-in-the-tooth car does not endear us to it over the others here, despite the Elantra’s bargain price and (by a hair) best-in-test EPA numbers. The Hyundai Elantra lands in fifth place.
Ford went out on a limb, trying a clean-sheet design and was willing to push the envelope. In some ways it worked, in others it didn't. The Focus was the most fun to drive of the five, but at the cost of fuel economy, cabin space, and a high price. Technology issues also prevented the Focus from a better finish - MyFord Touch's clunky and slow interface turned off even the technophiles in our group and the poorly calibrated transmission had us drawing straws for who would be stuck in traffic with the Ford. Thus the Focus landed in fourth place. In quite the opposite direction from the Ford, Honda opted to stick to its tried-and-true formula. Thanks to its slick transmission, smooth ride, and thoughtful ergonomics, the Honda Civic finds itself dead center with a third-place finish. However, a low-rent interior, boring design, and obvious cost-cutting keeps this veteran of the compact sedan segment from placing higher. In quite the opposite direction from the Ford, Honda opted to stick to its tried-and-true formula. Thanks to its slick transmission, smooth ride, and thoughtful ergonomics, the Honda Civic finds itself dead center with a third place finish. However, a low-rent interior, boring design, and obvious cost-cutting keeps this veteran of the compact sedan segment from placing higher.
None of the six editors agreed on how the second- through fifth-place cars would rank, but the victor was unanimous. Despite being the newest entry in the field, the Dodge Dart did not win. However, its second-place finish shows that the merger of Chrysler and Fiat has a lot of promise. Dodge has crafted a car that drives well, looks good, and has space to spare, but "you can't put a few funky touches on a car and expect everyone to like it," remarked Nelson. The turbocharged engine is peaky and a price that's on the high side kept the Dart from the top spot. The Dodge put up a good fight, but came up a little short.
"It's funny," noted Sessions, "the oldest car in the test feels like comfortable sneakers." In fact, all of our editors related the Mazda 3 to perfectly-worn-in shoes. One commented, "Getting into the Mazda, even for the first time, feels like you're at home. Everything is exactly as it should be." Our logbooks filled with comments like "I can't think of many negatives about the 3" (DeMatio) and "a great all-rounder that has everything you need and nothing you don't" (Timmins). What kept us from naming the Mazda as last year's winner was an unrefined five-speed automatic and poor fuel economy. Both issues are remedied by opting for the new Skyactiv powertrain.
Nelson hit the nail on the head: "I've got nothing to add to the pile of praise for this car. The 3 is so good. No matter what, the Mazda is always an enjoyable experience." It might not have won any individual categories, but with its combination of a reasonable price, a user-friendly and attractive interior, a stylish exterior design, fun-to-drive road manners, and excellent fuel economy, the Mazda 3 can’t be beat.
2013 Hyundai Elantra GT Front Right Side View
Ah, the five-door hatchback: As popular in America as a Donizetti opera in Albuquerque, or charcuterie at your local White Castle. (Actually, a White Castle slider might be considered a form of charcuterie).
Taste in funky meats aside, more Americans do seem to have a hankering for a five-door, as evidenced by steady sales of the Honda Fit, and surprising response to appealing domestics like the Ford Focus and Chevy Sonic.
Hyundai's entry is built in Ulsan, Korea, but the Elantra GT was designed initially for the Euro zone, where it's known as the i30. Say goodbye to the pseudo-wagon layout of the previous GT (charming, but largely to auto journalists and wagon geeks), and hello to a more conventional hatch: The kind of smartly practical all-in-one that Europeans snap up like miniature Explorers.
Measured against the new Elantra Coupe, which clearly targets carefree singles, you're likely to see more budget-conscious couples and families opt for the GT.
Parked at Torrey Pines Lodge in La Jolla, Calif., the Arts and Crafts-style resort that hosted Tiger Woods' last major win, the 2008 U.S. Open, the Elantra is the class of car you'd expect to find in the caddy's lot. Yet Hyundai is itself the champion of making basic transportation feel at home in richer surroundings.
If creases and curls are your thing, the Elantra delivers, from its black-braced hexagonal grille and wraparound projector headlamps to its sine-wave character lines. Add a crouched stance, a chrome-molded beltline and looping fenders, and this perky hatch seems to marry elements of both Mazda3 and Nissan Leaf.
This Elantra is about nine inches shorter than the sedan or coupe, rides a two-inch shorter wheelbase, and is 1.4 inches taller. Despite the slim Euro proportions, a wheels-to-corners arrangement preserves interior space. Compared with the coupe, the GT gives up about 1.5 inches of front legroom, which might explain the standard driver's knee air bag; but adds more than an inch of legroom in back.
The rear hatch, however, is 50 percent larger than the coupe's already generous trunk, and folding the rear seats opens up a generous 51 cubes of Home Depot-hauling possibilities. In this class, only the Subaru Impreza squeezes out a nominal edge in cargo and passenger space.
Compared with the sedan and coupe, the GT's interior is the most unique, with a sort of floating-bridge front console in place of the sedan's hourglass design; subtly revised switches and an instrument panel capped in synthetic leather. Practical features include underfloor storage, front and rear bottle holders, a cooled glove compartment and front seatback pockets.
What the GT doesn't offer is the independent rear suspension of the European version, settling for the Coupe's new V-beam torsion-beam layout and its integrated, 22-mm stabilizer bar. But among the three American-market Elantras, only the GT gets Sachs dampers, and Hyundai cites unique, sportier suspension tuning.
For whatever reason, automakers are equipping and pricing five-door models at the top of their American food chains, and the Hyundai is no different: The GT is the only Elantra to offer Hyundai's new Blue Link telematics system and an optional, segment-first panoramic sunroof.
The GT is also pricier at $19,170 to start, a roughly $1,600 premium over the sedan and $1,000 beyond the coupe. For any model, add $1,000 for an automatic trans. Max out an Elantra GT, with an automatic shifter and both Style and Technology Packages -- the latter a $2,350 upgrade with touch-screen navigation, rear-view camera, keyless push-button start, premium audio and dual-zone climate control -- and you'll hit $25,270.
Matching other Elantras, the GT gets the smooth-revving 1.8-liter four with direct injection, 148 horses and 131 pound-feet of torque. Buyers can have six-speed manual or automatic transmissions, the latter with manual-shift ability.
That's enough grunt for a 0-60 mph squirt in the low 7 seconds, with an electronically limited peak of 118 mph.
The automatic-equipped GT we tested did shy from redline, upshifting from first to second around 5,900 rpm, and from second to third at about 6,100 rpm, in either manual or automatic mode -- both well below the 6,500 rpm redline.
Hyundai says the GT, at a manual-clad 2,745 pounds, is 175 pounds lighter than a Focus hatch, and undercuts the Mazda3 by 151 pounds. High- and ultra-high-strength steel, which comprises 57 percent of the GT's chassis and body, helps keep weight down. And EPA-rated fuel consumption for the automatic model matches Mazda's new, Skyactiv-equipped 3, at 28/39 mpg, and tops every other player, including the Focus, VW Golf, Impreza and Toyota Matrix.
The GT's other unique trick is its Driver Selectable Steering Mode (or DSSM), a steering-wheel mounted switch that adjusts the level of electric power-steering assist through comfort, normal and sport settings. Yet unlike many hands-on systems, DSSM is hands-off when it comes to recalibrating the throttle, suspension, steering ratio or transmission shift strategy.
We've often complained of drivers -- and automakers -- who confuse steering heft with feel. And the Hyundai system seems to highlight this brand's ongoing confusion in that regard: If buyers don't like the resistance of the steering wheel -- e.g., the "handling" -- they can just change it. But that change does bupkis to improve the car's actual handling, roadholding or feedback through the wheel.
As you might suspect, the GT's "comfort" setting is over-assisted, "sport" is artificially stiff, and "normal" is the one you'll set and forget until the day you sell the car.
That said, the GT was a smooth sidekick on rolling roads east of San Diego. The GT feels quiet, solid and above all stuffed. Hyundai's touch-screen navigation system equals or betters those of many luxury brands, and its pleasing audio systems also belie the cars' affordable price.
And while differences are subtle, the GT also seemed more willing than the coupe or sedan to stick its nose into faster corners.
People who associate the word "GT" with Mustangs or Volkswagen GTIs may chuckle at the Hyundai's use of those high-po initials. But for buyers who seek a hatchback for its versatility, value and features -- typically a much larger audience than the hot-hatch set -- this GT gives Hyundai and Elantra fans another reason to smile.

2013 Hyundai Elantra GT

On sale: July 2012
Base price: $19,170
1.8-liter DOHC I-4; 148 hp @ 6500 rpm, 131 lb-ft @ 4700 rpm
Drive: Front-wheel
Transmission: 6-speed automatic, 6-speed manual
L x W x H:
169.3 x 70.1 x 57.9 in
Legroom, F/R: 42.0 in/ 34.6 in
Headroom, F/R: 39.8/ 37.1 in
Cargo capacity: 23 cu ft (rear seats up) 51 cu ft (seats folded)
Curb weight: 2745-2784 lbs
EPA Rating (city/highway): 28/39 (automatic), 27/39 (manual)
2013 Hyundai Elantra Coupe Side In Motion
It's impossible to find a coupe, of any size, price or degree of musculature, that doesn't have the word "sporty" attached.
That's true even of the most affordable, earnest coupes, which we all know -- despite automakers doing their darnedest to convince us otherwise -- are just starter sedans with fewer doors and the barest sprinkling of visual or performance tricks.
The upshot is that, reliably, the goodness of the coupe in question hinges entirely on what the donor sedan brings to the party. It's why the Honda Civic, despite some dissipation in the current model, has tended to be the most trustworthy platform for a cute, bulletproof, and reasonably peppy two-door.
So it is that the first-ever Hyundai Elantra coupe, on the petite heels of last year's sedan, performs as expected, no more and no less. The sedan that drew gasps from journalists in Detroit when it was unexpectedly named North American Car of the Year is sassily styled, packed with features and happily average in terms of dynamic performance. Yet that Elantra's thorough competitiveness, in a class that had transformed itself in record time -- the Chevy Cruze, Ford Focus, Mazda3, Kia Forte, and Subaru Impreza were also all-new or revamped -- was a big deal for a South Korean maker whose previous compacts had barely dented the critical or sales charts.
And that somewhat patronizing take aside, it's clear that cars like the Hyundai are night-and-day better than they were even a decade ago: Back when parents could still feel a bit queasy over putting sorority-bound offspring into a small and seemingly easy-to-crumple box.
Moms and dads, whose names and good credit will often back this Hyundai's monthly payments, can not only rest easy with this coupe, but they won't mind driving it themselves.
Driven east from La Jolla, California's Torrey Pines Lodge to the dry peak of Mt. Palomar, the Elantra coupe stated its claims in looks, comfort, efficiency and value.
In this class, the bottom line is often the bottom line, so let's get to it: The Elantra coupe starts at $18,220 for a basic GS model with a six-speed manual transmission. The high-volume Coupe SE with a six-speed automatic will set you back $21,520. Adding the $2,350 Technology Package, with its impressive 7-inch touch-screen navigation system, back-up camera, premium audio, dual-zone climate control and keyless pushbutton start, kicks the price to $23,870.
Hyundai's now-familiar Fluidic Sculpture, the tastefully wavy surfaces that wash over Sonata, Elantra and Azera models, also adorn this wedgy coupe -- including looping wheel arches that recall the Nissan Leaf. Flipping the usual script, though, the Elantra sedan actually seems more dramatic and different than this two-door.
Dimensions are nearly a wash between the pair, with the coupe just 0.4 inches longer than the sedan, and riding the same wheelbase. (The new five-door hatchback GT version, which rounds out the Elantra lineup, is nine inches shorter than the sedan and drops two inches in wheelbase).
Yet inside, the Hyundai's passenger and cargo space not only top its compact rivals, but also best the midsize-based Honda Accord and Nissan Altima coupes. That includes a surprising 14.8 cubic feet of trunk space, compared to the Altima's meager 8.2 cubes and the Accord's 11.9.
Like its sibling, the coupe is pulled by a 1.8-liter, 148-hp four-cylinder with all the latest stuff: direct injection, dual continuously variable valve timing, an offset crankshaft, even a maintenance-free timing chain rather than a vulnerable belt.
That engine pairs the highest specific output in its class, with 82.2 horsepower per liter, with the best fuel economy, at 29/40 mpg with the six-speed manual transmission; or 28/39 mpg with six automated speeds.
The 148 horsepower and 131 pound-feet of torque beat the Civic's respective 140 and 128, but fall shy of the 156 horses and 144 pound-feet of the Kia Forte Koup and its larger 2.0-liter four.
Unlike the cost-cutting, rear-drummed Civic coupe, the Elantra puts disc brakes at all four wheels, shod with 16-inch or optional 17-inch alloys.
Weighing as little as 2,729 pounds, the automatic Elantra can hum to 60 mph in roughly 7 seconds flat -- despite the boggy throttle and transmission management that's becoming an annoying hallmark of this mileage-obsessed class.
The coupe's interior offers a mild nod to its more freewheeling position in the lineup, with a bit more seat bolstering, available alloy pedals, and standard heated front seats. But with the sedan already boasting one of the most sophisticated, feature-packed interiors in the class, the coupe is fine as is.
That includes the handsome, intuitive center stack, with its horseshoe-shaped control layout, optional navigation system and a fan knob whose knurled-metal ring recalls none other than Bentley.
The SE's cabin also nails the standard-feature list, with a sport-tuned suspension, leather seats and trim, a sunroof, the 17-inch alloys, aluminum pedals, rear spoiler, Bluetooth, iPod and USB hookups, tilt-and-telescoping steering, a free 90-day satellite radio trial and more.
Rear seats offer just enough head, knee and hip room for two fully formed adults, though the high, hard center perch is best left unoccupied.
On a dry desert run that skirted the Mexican border -- crawling with literally dozens of Border Patrol agents in S.U.V.'s -- the Elantra's operating word was "pleasant." As in, pleasantly comfortable, frugal, quiet and compliant.
Note that the word "sporty" didn't appear in that sentence. Hyundai would disagree, but the Forte Koup, from its corporate cousin, has a splash of cornering attitude and buzzy urge that the Elantra can't match.
The Hyundai's manual transmission has a sticky, chunky-gated feel that's a ways off the smooth standard of Honda or Mazda sticks. The six-speed automatic's lever can be shifted manually in its Sportronic mode, imparting a bit more driver involvement. Though as in other Elantra models, the automatic shifts well before the 6,500 redline in either manual or automatic mode, which a company engineer said is done for smoothness and durability's sake.
The coupe's non-independent, solid-axle rear does add Hyundai's new "V-Beam" suspension, which integrates the stabilizer bar within the torsion beam. This two-door also gets mildly revised suspension tuning, and shares an upgraded steering knuckle with the 2013 sedan.
While the Elantra's five-door GT version adds a gimmicky Sport button that adjusts (unconvincingly) the level of power-steering assist, I actually found the coupe's steering to be the most natural of the Elantra triplets.
As mentioned, makers of ultra-affordable coupes play up sport and adventure; how else are they to make a case versus a sedan? But that message is usually carried more via body style. The firm, fresh-faced drivers you'll see in the Elantra Coupe will appear sporty and free, but that's because they're on the way to see Kanye, not to some crushing after-work affair.
For enthusiasts who demand more additions, beyond the subtraction of two doors, Hyundai executives essentially promised a Turbo or other performance edition of this high-value coupe.

2013 Hyundai Elantra Coupe

On sale: July 2012
Base price: $18,220
Engine: 1.8-liter DOHC I-4; 148 hp @ 6500 rpm, 131 lb-ft @ 4700 rpm
Drive: Front-wheel
Transmission: 6-speed automatic, 6-speed manual
L x W x H: 178.7 x 69.9 x 56.5 in
Legroom, F/R: 43.6/ 33.3 in
Headroom, F/R: 39.8/ 37.1 in
Cargo capacity: 14.8 cu ft
Curb weight: 2687-2877 lbs
EPA Rating (city/highway): 29/40 (automatic), 28/39 (manual)
2013 Hyundai Elantra
2013 Hyundai Elantra

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.


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.


Front, side, and side curtain air bags are standard on all Elantras, as are ABS, traction and stability control, and tire-pressure monitors.

You'll like:

  • Distinctive styling
  • Tons of features
  • New coupe and hatchback body styles

You won't like:

  • Noisy ride quality
  • Far from thrilling

Key Competitors For The 2013 Hyundai Elantra

  • Chevrolet Cruze
  • Ford Focus
  • Honda Civic
  • Mazda 3
2014 Hyunda Avante In Motion
Just because a car is sold throughout the world, it doesn't mean it's offered the same way in every country. An example of this is the 2014 Hyundai Avante, which is essentially the Korean version of the U.S.-spec Elantra. And among the features that will be offered on the Avante -- one that isn't yet confirmed for the 'States -- is a self-parking feature.
2013 Hyundai Elantra GT Front Right Side View
Someone once very astutely remarked to me that "Hyundai is very good at putting shiny things right in front of the customer in the showroom." The new Elantra GT may embody this more than any Hyundai right now. At $22,000 this Elantra GT came with such high-end goodies as heated leather seats, a panoramic glass moonroof, and sleek European-feeling design inside and out. The interior feels especially premium with its piano black trim, cool blue lighting, and dampened buttons.

2013 Hyundai Elantra GT

2013 Hyundai Elantra Right Front
Honda, Hyundai is knocking at your door. March 2013 sales saw a few major changes in the compact segment, with the Hyundai Elantra moving up to third place, right behind the Toyota Corolla and Honda Civic.
2013 Hyundai Sonata Left Side View
In the course of years or even quarters, the fortunes of an automaker can rise and fall relative to the industry overall. Despite record-setting sales in the U.S. and other markets, Hyundai and Kia profits fell short of analysts' expectations for the fourth quarter of 2012, according to reports from Bloomberg and Reuters. Fourth-quarter profits of $1.8 billion were 5.5 lower than the same period last year. Among the major factors affecting profits are the growing strength of the South Korean Won, which makes exports more expensive.
2013 Hyundai I30 Wagon Hotel Hyundai Rear Three Quarter
Imagine your favorite hotel room--what does it have? A nice kitchenette, maybe, or a full-sized shower with beautiful tile? Hyundai's new hotel room has none of those things: it's a specially equipped i30 Wagon, dubbed "the world's first five-star hotel room on wheels."

Change Vehicle

Research Now

Used 2013 Hyundai Elantra Values / Pricing

Suggested Retail Price

Free Price Quote

Compare dealer clearance prices and save.
Select this Vehicle

Compare The 2013 Hyundai Elantra

Click Circles to Compare

Your Selected Vehicle's Ranking

2013 Hyundai Elantra
2013 Hyundai Elantra
GLS FWD 4-Dr Sedan I4
28 MPG City | 38 MPG Hwy
Top Ranking Vehicles - MPG
2013 Dodge Dart
Aero FWD 4-Dr Sedan I4
28 MPG City | 41 MPG Hwy
2013 Honda Civic
HF FWD 4-Dr Sedan I4
29 MPG City | 41 MPG Hwy
2013 Hyundai Elantra
2013 Hyundai Elantra
GLS FWD 4-Dr Sedan I4
Top Ranking Vehicles - Price
2013 Hyundai Elantra
2013 Hyundai Elantra
GLS FWD 4-Dr Sedan I4
Top Ranking Vehicles - Horsepower

2013 Hyundai Elantra Specifications

Quick Glance:
1.8L I4Engine
Fuel economy City:
28 MPG
Fuel economy Highway:
38 MPG
148 hp @ 6500rpm
131 ft lb of torque @ 4700rpm
  • Air Conditioning
  • Power Windows
  • Power Locks
  • Power Seats (optional)
  • Steering Wheel Tilt
  • Cruise Control
  • Sunroof (optional)
  • ABS
  • Stabilizer Front
  • Stabilizer Rear (optional)
  • Electronic Traction Control
  • Electronic Stability Control
  • Locking Differential (optional)
  • Limited Slip Differential (optional)
  • Airbag Driver
  • Airbag Passenger
  • Airbag Side Front
  • Airbag Side Rear (optional)
  • Radio
  • CD Player
  • CD Changer (optional)
  • DVD (optional)
  • Navigation (optional)
60,000 miles / 60 months
100,000 miles / 120 months
Unlimited miles / 84 months
Unlimited miles / 60 months
Recall Date
Hyundai Motor Company is recalling certain model year 2011-2013 Elantra vehicles manufactured from November 12, 2010, through March 5, 2013. A support bracket attached to the headliner may become displaced during a side curtain airbag deployment.
If the headliner support bracket makes contact with an occupant during a crash, it may cause a laceration injury.
Hyundai will notify owners, and dealers will apply adhesive strips to the headliner, free of charge. The safety recall began during April 2013. Owners may contact Hyundai at 1-800-633-5151. Hyundai's recall campaign number is 109.
Potential Units Affected
Hyundai Motor Company

Recall Date
Hyundai Motor Company is recalling certain model year 2011-2013 Elantra vehicles manufactured from November 12, 2010, through March 5, 2013. A support bracket attached to the headliner may become displaced during a side curtain airbag deployment.
If the headliner support bracket makes contact with an occupant during a crash, it may cause a laceration injury.
Hyundai will notify owners, and dealers will apply adhesive strips to the headliner, free of charge. The safety recall began during April 2013. Owners may contact Hyundai at 1-800-633-5151. Hyundai's recall campaign number is 109.
Potential Units Affected
Hyundai Motor Company

IIHS Front Small Overlap
NHTSA Rating Front Driver
NHTSA Rating Front Passenger
NHTSA Rating Front Side
NHTSA Rating Rear Side
NHTSA Rating Overall
NHTSA Rating Rollover
IIHS Front Moderate Overlap
IIHS Overall Side Crash
IIHS Best Pick
IIHS Rear Crash
IIHS Roof Strength

Find Used Hyundai Elantras For Sale

Search through millions of listings in the Automobile Magazine classifieds