Recently we completed a full week of spirited test drives in and around Austin, Texas with the new 2013 Hyundai Elantra GT.
In quick summary, this all-new 2013 Hyundai Elantra GT five-door hatchback is an exceptional performer for the price point. It delivers good performance and excellent economy in a very stylish package.
For the test drives, Hyundai provided us a handsome 2013 Elantra GT five-door hatchback in Monaco White with a Beige on Beige interior.
The 2013 Elantra GT we tested was equipped with the 1.8-liter 4-cylinder engine mated to the 6-speed automatic transmission with Shiftronic (manual control) and a base price of $19,395.
The 2013 Elantra GT is also available with the same engine mated to a 6-speed manual transmission at a base price of $18,545.
Our test vehicle came exceptionally well equipped for that base price and was further enhanced with the Style Package for $2,750, the Tech Package for $2,350 and carpeted floor mats for $95.
With delivery, our test 2013 Hyundai Elantra GT five-door hatchback priced at $25,365.
This 2013 Elantra GT came equipped with the standard 1.8-liter 4-cylinder engine producing 148 horsepower with 131 ft.-lbs of torque delivered to the optional 17-inch wheels at a lightest-in-class 2,784 pounds for this five-door hatchback.
With the Shiftronic manual control equipped automatic transmission, this Elantra GT was a spirited drive. It was not high performance but was very pleasantly adequate for this vehicle especially when considering the exceptional fuel economy it delivers at 27/37 mpg city/highway.
Stepping back and looking at the outside of this Elantra, which is all new for 2013, the handsome exterior shows well what Hyundai calls its "Fluidic Sculpture" design elements that are not only appealing, but also delivers aver very low coefficient of drag numbers (.30) for its segment.
Taking the cue from its sleek profile and low height, all exterior elements from mirrors to body panel elements are streamlined to complement both the look and performance.
Standard features start with an innovative Driver Selectable Steering (DSS) mode which enables the driver to adjust the steering responsiveness to their driving preferences and road conditions as they wish. The modes are Comfort, Normal and Sport.
We preferred the Sport as it best complemented the use of the Shifttronic feature of the transmission (which we preferred to the pure automatic) that provided the elements of the spirited performance we expected from this Elantra GT and its sport tuned suspension.
Other standard features included tinted solar glass, front fog lights, daytime running lights, body color bumpers with chrome grille accents, air conditioning with cabin air filter, remote keyless entry, power windows and locks, heated mirrors, trip computer, external temperature display, tilt and telescopic steering wheel with cruise and audio controls, driver's seat height adjustment, heated front seats, sliding center armrest, 60/40 folding rear seats, rear seat center armrest with cup holders and rear window wiper and spoiler.
One of the clever and functional features standard on the interior is the cooled glove box that will hold and keep cool four or five bottles of water or other beverages.
The audio and infotainment system standard on the Elantra is a 172-watt AM/FM/SiriusXM/CD/MP3 audio unit with six speakers and iPod/USB and MP3 connectivity. It includes integration with the navigation system that enables linkage with real time Nav Traffic and data services.
Also included is the Hyundai Blue Link which provides a range of connectivity features including Bluetooth hands-free capability and smart phone technology application access.
The Style Package included on our test Elantra included the upgrade to the 17-inch alloy wheels, sport tuned suspension optimized for the lower profile 17-inch tires, one-touch panoramic roof, side mirror turn indicators, leather seating surfaces, leather wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, power driver's sat with power lumbar support, rear cargo area hidden storage compartment and aluminum sport pedals.
The Tech Package added the Navigation system and 7-inch screen with integrated rear-view camera , upgraded audio unit from 172 to 180-watts, automatic headlights, dual automatic temperature control with a unique automatic window defogging sensor system and push button start.
One of the clever features of this Elantra was the placement of the rear-view camera beneath the Hyundai flying H badge on the trunk lid so that it only appears when in use.
The 2013 Hyundai Elantra GT is a very comfortable car to drive. Many vehicles in this segment with similar dimensions, do not allow sufficient cabin or cockpit space for more mature persons. We had no issues with the Elantra in the front seat and cockpit especially with seat backs, knee and leg room. We did find the back seat spaces to be a not as generous - which we had expected.
Overall, the 2013 Hyundai Elantra GT five-door hatchback is a consumer good choice in its segment.