The Garage is no stranger to the current Hyundai Elantra. After a week at the wheel of the then-new 2011 Elantra sedan, we walked away convinced the Elantra was a winner, and more than able to stand up to the best cars in its class. In an attempt to further the Elantra’s appeal, for 2013 Hyundai has added the Elantra Coupe. For years, Honda has owned the compact, economy coupe market with the Civic, almost exclusively. Hyundai wants to crash that party.
It helps the sedan was a handsome looking car on its own-lopping off two doors only adds to the style and appeal of the Elantra. Finished in Black Noir Pearl with fetching 17″ alloys, the Elantra Coupe looks like it costs quite a bit more than its sticker price. For a car with such swoopy lines and surface changes, I did wish for more luster to the car’s black paint, something worth paying extra for. If you’re going to flaunt your curves Hyundai, you better have the paint quality to back it up.
Inside, the Coupe is more or less identical to the sedan, but the seats sit a tad lower for a sportier feel. Our feature-laden test car was perfectly comfortable and easy to use. The Elantra Coupe was my ride for the 2012 International Motoring Press Association’s annual Test Days event, set in the gorgeous Catskill Mountains in New York state. Despite a late start and in heavy rain, the Elantra proved to be a reliable companion on my trip from Connecticut to New York. Supportive seats, intuitive navigation and infotainment controls and a roomy interior made a long drive in less than ideal conditions bearable.
Buyers wanting a sporty ride to go along with the Elantra Coupe’s sporty looks, however, may walk away disappointed. The sole engine offered is the familiar 1.8L four cylinder, rated at 148hp. Buyers can choose between a six-speed manual or automatic. Our test car was equipped with the automatic. While the car is hardly what I would call quick, the Elantra gets off the line easily, with little drama, and even in uphill passing in the higher elevations of New York, the Elantra had adequate passing power. In sum, the Elantra Coupe was an easy car to live with for a long stint on the interstate, offering a good balance of power, ride comfort and fuel efficiency.
The Hyundai Elantra Coupe is offered in two trim levels-our test car was the top-spec SE. In typical Hyundai fashion, the car is well-equipped, with standard features like 17″ alloy wheels, heated seats, Bluetooth, power moonroof, sport tuned suspension, leather interior and aluminum pedals. Our test car included the optional Technology Package, adding auto headlights, two-zone auto climate control, keyless entry/start, navigation, rearview camera and premium/satellite audio. Including destination charges, the tab comes to a very respectable $23,965USD.
For style, comfort, features and efficiency, the Elantra Coupe has reset the benchmark the Honda Civic Coupe has held for so long. The Elantra Coupe proves you do not have to surrender practicality for fashion. Yet, the enthusiast in me craves a turbocharged Elantra Coupe….Hyundai, are you listening?