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The award-winning Hyundai Elantra lineup brings a new member to the fold: the all-new 2013 GT. It joins the ranks of a sedan and coupe to make it an even more versatile group of vehicles. Whether you need a little more trunk space, a hatchback configuration or just like its looks, this GT has all of the above.

Design

The front-wheel-drive five-door continues to use Hyundai’s “Fluidic Sculpture” design language on both the inside and out. What does that mean? The Korean carmaker describes it as: “the interplay of wind with rigid surfaces to create the illusion of constant motion.”

Its exterior is characterized by long flowing lines that wrap around the bumper and give it the appearance of movement.

Matched with a set of sleek headlights, chrome accents and 17-inch alloy wheels, the Elantra GT is easy on the eyes and modern-looking.

Moving inside, I quite like the GT’s interior. The various tones and textures mingle well with each other, and layering of the materials gives the dash quite a lot of depth. Those shapes and dimensions then carry on into the doors, giving the cabin a well-rounded and harmonious look.

Blue backlighting gives an upscale look to the instrumentation, while the panoramic sunroof sheds a lot of light onto a cleanly-executed cabin.

Leather seating surfaces along with leatherette door inserts, plus a leather-wrapped steering wheel all come standard on the SE model.

Performance

Regardless of Elantra GT trim you choose, whether it is the base GL, GLS or SE, they all come with the same proficient 1.8L, four-cylinder engine with Dual Continuously Variable Valve Timing (D-CVVT) with 148 horsepower and 131 foot-pounds of torque. The D-CVVT features mean you’re getting both optimum power and efficiency out of the power plant.

The standard transmission on the GL and GLS is a six-speed manual with the available option for a six-speed automatic.

Moving up the trim levels, the SE and SE with the Tech Package can only be paired with the automatic. However, for those who like to be the shifter of their own gears, even without a third pedal, there’s a manual mode in which you can do so.

Having had the opportunity to try both transmissions out, either one is a winner. My personal preference is a manual, but braving the nasty rush hour traffic is always less work with an automatic.

Driving/Utility

With room for five inside and the ability to load 23 cubic feet worth of goods into the trunk, the GT SE is quite the functional vehicle.

On the road, it feels solid and stable in both the city and on the highway. It’s not necessarily as fun or as sporty to drive as its coupe sibling, but still has a little bit of sass under the hood. Besides, this vehicle is built for function and executes that task well.

I did find that the steering was on the stiff side, which meant it took a little more effort when turning or parallel parking. It wasn’t necessarily uncomfortable for me, just something I would have to get used to.

As for visibility, it’s quite good. Blind spots are reduced thanks to slim B and C pillars, and with an angled rear windshield, it’s not too bad out the rear, either.

Among its standard features are heated front seats, cruise control, a cooled glove box, keyless entry, four-wheel disc brakes with ABS and EBD, dual heated power exterior mirrors, a trip computer and Bluetooth. A panoramic sunroof, a deluxe sliding centre armrest, front windshield wiper de-icers, mirror-mounted turn signals and power windows also come as equipped amenities on the SE trim.

Should you wish to opt for the navigation system with a seven-inch touch screen and a proximity entry system with push-button start, you’ll have to upgrade to the Technology Package for an additional $2,000.

With the six-speed automatic transmission, estimated fuel economy results are 7.6L/100km in the city and 5.3L/100km on the highway with a combined 6.6L/100km.

THE SPECS

Seats: Five

Engine: 1.8L, four-cylinder

Power: 148 horsepower, 131 foot-pounds of torque

Transmission: six-speed automatic

Price: base/as tested: $24,349/$24,349 (excluding destination)

Fuel economy: 7.6 litres per 100 kilometres (city), 5.3 L/100 km (hwy.)

Cargo capacity: 23 cubic feet

Pros: nice shape, generous cargo capacity, generous standard features

Cons: stiff steering feel



Read more: http://www.montrealgazette.com/cars/Elantra+generous+with+space+features/7673440/story.html#ixzz2Elrjz0Mp
 
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