Tuesday, February 26, 2013
2013 Hyundai Elantra GT is a Hatchback Redefined
Take a look across the landscape of small hatchback cars today, and you'll be hard-pressed not to say "Wow, these little machines sure have come a long way."
Among those that are likely to catch your eye is the new Hyundai Elantra GT.
For the 2013 model year, this car has been redesigned and given a new moniker, as it was formerly called the Elantra Touring.
The previous version of that car came out in 2011, and while it wasn't bad looking, it certainly didn't reflect the advanced styling that Hyundai has adopted throughout its vehicle lineup in the past few years.
The Elantra GT is spot on.
This model has the "fluidic design" that Hyundai has hung its hat on, and gets a few special touches such as a sultry grille, projector headlights and a sculpted back end.
Sounds sexy, right?
It is, and this and other recent models in the hatchback category have come a long way from the stubby little boxes with abrupt front ends and flat backs that used to characterize the genre.
The Elantra GT is powered by a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 148 horsepower, just like its sedan and coupe siblings.
The transmission is a six-speed, available in manual or automatic.
Gas mileage is rated at 27 mpg city, 39 highway for the manual and 28 and 39 for the automatic.
But in a week of test driving in combined city and highway, our automatic model averaged a disappointing 25 mpg.
The GT offers three driving modes, normal, comfort and sport, with the latter being designed to take advantage of the more rigid suspension and sharper steering included in the model.
Hyundai says the GT's standard features include power windows and locks, iPod/USB connectivity, heated front seats and steering wheel mounted audio and cruise controls. Also standard are Bluetooth connectivity and Hyundai’s Blue Link telematics system, which gives drivers navigational assistance and roadside help, among other features.
Options include a panoramic sunroof, push button start, backup camera and navigation system with a 7-inch screen.
The Elantra GT starts at around $19,000 and ranges to around $25,500.
At that price point, it places itself at the high end of many of its competitor vehicles.
But with Hyundai's popularity (and resale value) rising, there will probably be a fair number of buyers willing to fork over the dough for this ride.