Elantra GT takes aim at Civic
Ever since the latest Hyundai Elantra arrived, it has been a hot seller; in fact it took a run at the long-standing sales champ, the Honda Civic for top selling car in Canada. Hyundai Canada executives claim they could have sold more Elantras had they received more to sell.
The Elantra sedan is such a hit, it won both the Canadian and North American car of the year awards last year. To help propel the Elantra brand, Hyundai has introduced the 2013 Elantra GT, a hatchback model ready to take on the Mazda3, Ford Focus, Toyota Matrix and even VW Golf. This Elantra GT replaces the Elantra Touring, which was more of a station wagon, and is based on the Hyundai i30 model that is sold in other markets, especially Europe. In fact, this car was designed in Europe and it would look perfectly happy on the roads of France or Italy.
This stylish hatchback has a similar front design to the sedan; the sweeping side profile that provokes a sense of motion. The side windows narrow as the flowing body line arches up, but the rear windows are still large enough that kids can see out. The back hatch cargo area isnít huge but this design is attractive to a lot of young people who might want an Elantra but donít like the idea of driving the more conservative sedan. Basically, this GT model is trying to appeal to a younger, more active buyer who can use the hatch for an active lifestyle. The Elantra GT isnít the value leader the sedan is. It starts at $19,149 and runs up to $26,349. The test car, seen here is the SE with auto for $24,349. Compared to other hatch designs like the Mazda3 and Ford Focus this Elantra GT is more expensive.
As mentioned, this GT is based on the European i30, so the dash is slightly different from the sedan. The sedan has a covered storage area under the radio and heat controls, where this GT has a large open area for storage. The back seat and interior room is on par with many in this class, so space isnít a standout feature. What is a standout are standard features, include air conditioning, power windows and doors, USB and auxiliary jacks, Bluetooth, tilt and telescopic steering, height adjustable drivers seat and heated front seats. The huge, and optional, moon roof covers the front and rear seats and has a power cover. The Ford Focus and Mazda3 hatchbacks might have lower starting prices, but the Elantra GT comes with standard Bluetooth and heated seats, with the others these features are optional.