For the 2013 model year, Hyundai expands on its Elantra lineup with a GT hatchback model alongside of a new Coupe to build upon the Elantra sedans astounding recognition in holding the 2012 North American Car of the Year crown. The all new 2013 Elantra GT hatchback steps up the compact car game to give consumers the most bang for their buck in a versatile, sporty and economical package.
Picture of 2013 Hyundai Elantra GT Hatchback Review & Test Drive [source:AutomotiveAddicts.com]
The new 2013 Hyundai Elantra GT makes use of the additional hatchback and cargo space without diminishing the rewarded styling attributes and economical drivetrain of the Elantra sedan. The new Elantra GT, adding even more entertainment value to the equation, utilizes the same 1.8 liter 148 horsepower and 131 ft lbs. of torque 4 cylinder engine. Enthusiasts will be pleased to know that the Elantra GT comes standard with a 6 speed manual transmission, but can be optioned with a quick shifting 6 speed automatic.
Driving characteristics of the Elantra GT are surprisingly nimble for a vehicle having a conservative horsepower figure on paper. The sporty handling characteristics of my loaded up Elantra GT with the Style and Tech packages, are somewhat evocative of much more powerful hatchbacks targeting a large enthusiast base. In a way, the new Elantra GT hatchback drives and handles like it could easily adapt to a much more powerful drivetrain without breaking a sweat. Though, you will suffer the wrath of Mr. Understeer should you find yourself crossing that fine line of being an outright hoon with the Elantra GT hatchback.
Sharing virtually the same engine and transmission as the Elantra sedan and coupe, with the same gear ratios, the 2013 Elantra GT has a sportier attitude and feels more agile when pushed near its lateral limits. I wouldnt go as far as to say the Elantra GT is a pocket rocket or in anyway poised for an autocross competition, but it has certainly added some virtual enthusiasm to the Elantra line.
Hyundais choice for using the same powertrain throughout the Elantra line of new vehicles becomes crystal clear in knowing that you get a respectable amount of power output yet you can consistently get well over 30 mpg around town. During my time in the new 2013 Hyundai Elantra GT hatchback I saw a steady 36 mpg on the highway and about 27 mpg in town. The EPA estimates for the new Elantra GT are 26 mpg city and 37 mpg highway.
Surprisingly enough, being that the Elantra Sedan has a spacious interior almost reaching that of a mid sized sedan, the Elantra GT scales things down a bit on the outside with a shortened wheelbase and over all vehicle length. Visually, the Elantra GT does not appear to be much smaller than the Elantra sedan, but has, in fact, about 9 inches less in vehicle length and two inches shorter wheelbase. Those dimensions stand without compromising much seating area, too.
Front heated seats, heated mirrors, a/c cooling in the glove box, fog lights, USB connectivity, aux input, 16 inch aluminum wheels, driver selectable steering modes (comfort, normal, sport) and Hyundais Blue Link telematics are just some of the highlighted standard features included on the new Elantra GT. Further setting the new Elantra GT apart from its mainstream competition is up to 51 cubic feet of available cargo space when the rear seats are folded down.
Seats in the new Elantra GT hatchback are comparable to the Elantra sedan providing just enough bolstering to keep you planted and comfortable enough for long hauls.
Interior space is not diminished despite shorter exterior dimensions in the Elantra GT when compared to the sedan. Moreover, ride quality is still good considering the use of new sachs dampers. Adding a performance oriented Style package takes the suspension to a new level with increased spring rates giving the Elantra GT a sporty ride coupled with larger 17 inch wheels. My 2013 Hyundai Elantra GT test vehicle came equipped with the Style package and Tech package adding leather seats, leather wrapped steering wheel, double panel sunroof, power drivers seat, aluminum pedals, auto up down drivers window control, navigation system, rearview camera (hidden behind a motorized Hyundai logo on the rear hatch), auto headlights, auto climate control and keyless/proximity key with push button start.
Versatility is an expected uncompromised trait of the traditional hatchback and the new Elantra GT does not disappoint in this aspect. Interior seating area in the Elantra GT hatchback is about the same as the sedan with the major interior volume difference being in the cargo space. The Elantra GT comes with 60/40 split rear seatbacks to fold down for the need to expand on cargo room in the rear. The Elantra GT, with a slightly smaller wheelbase and length dimensions, manages to serve up more cargo area than its competition. There is even a separate, but shallow, storage bin under the cargo area floor.
Hyundai continues to impress not just with a nameplate that has received new found recognition in America, but with new extensions of current products that tend to exceed expectations. The all new 2013 Hyundai Elantra GT hatchback is no exception to exceeding my expectations in an affordable 5 door hatchback considering it blends well into the DNA of light hearted enthusiasts. The new 2013 Hyundai Elantra GT hatchback, with a starting price of $18,395 for a 6 speed manual equipped vehicle, is an eagerly awaiting prize for consumers seeking exceptional style, sportiness and value wrapped up in a versatile and well equipped package.