148 HP / 131 LB-FT
51 CU-FT (max)
27 City / 39 HWY
$21,920 (as tested)
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.
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.