The Elantra family of cars sees its numbers swell to three as Hyundai introduces both the Elantra Coupe and Elantra GT for the 2013 model year.
It’s certainly an exciting time for small car enthusiasts. With the recent launch of stylish and fuel efficient cars like the 2013 Dodge Dart, and with gas prices in endless flux, now is as good a time as any to consider a ride that is more about mileage than muscle.
It appears that Hyundai agrees. The Korean automaker is adding two new models to its already fuel frugal lineup. The sporty Elantra Coupe and the 5-door Elantra GT are the newest members of the growing Elentra family and will help Hyundai compete with the likes of the Mazda 3, Ford Focus, as well as the Civic Coupe and sister company Kia’s Forte Koup. (Trust us, we hate the K just as much as you do.)
We recently had a chance to take both cars for a spin down the California coast, and let’s just say we were left impressed by how hard Hyundai is working to carve out a space for itself in the small car segment.
We’ll begin with the most straightforward of the bunch, the sporty Elantra Coupe. Unlike the Veloster Turbo Hyundai isn’t trying to reinvent the wheel here. Instead, fans of the sharp Elantra sedan will find an almost identical offering in the two-door version.
Sure, you’ll find design cues unique to the Elantra Coupe like 17-inch alloy wheels, blacked out front grille, and dual chrome exhausts tips, but minus those two doors found on the Elantra Sedan, the Coupe remains almost identical. Truth be told, that’s not a bad thing. Overall the Elantra Coupe features just enough design touches to help lend it the sporty credentials we crave.
Coupes have a tendency to catch a bad rap when it comes to interior space (or lack thereof) where getting in and out of the backseat often requires a gymnast’s flexibility. Thankfully the Elantra Coupe does well to bypass this problem. Climbing in and out of the back proved easy enough and once our rumps hit the seat we found an admirable amount of leg and headroom. The Elantra Coupe also boasts 14.8 cb.ft of trunk space, which gives it the edge over both the 2012 Civic Coupe and 2012 Kia Forte Koup.
Things only got better up front. While more evolution than revolution, the Elantra Coupe features a straightforward cabin layout with standard heated front seats, comfortable driving position, and easy access to the car’s suite of controls.
Next up, we have the all-new Elantra GT. Hyundai wants both the Coupe and GT to draw in younger buyers, but while the Coupe may attract free-spirited singles or younger couples, the GT’s added space and utility make it ideal for those with tikes, tots, and other real-life responsibilities to consider.
Design-wise, the GT ventures further from the mold than the Coupe, but not so much that it’s unrecognizable as an Elantra. Chrome accents find there way all across the GT and can be found on the car’s 17-inch alloy wheels, beltline molding, and hexagonal grille. Both the Coupe and GT retain Hyundai’s signature fluidic sculpture character lines throughout, lending a racier edge to the GT’s stylings.