Small cars are big business in today’s automotive marketplace.
Hyundai is among the leaders in the compact car segment, bringing a new twist to its popular Elantra model with the addition of Elantra GT to the automaker’s 2013 portfolio.
A new tw-door Hyundai Elantra Coupe also joins the Elantra GT we tested.
The Korean-built Elantra GT is a four-door hatchback version of the Hyundai Elantra sedan with a 2-inch shorter wheelbase and 9-inch shorter footprint overall.
“Elantra GT’s hatchback is a stylish replacement for a station wagon,” says Daisy Garcia, Internet sales manager for Webb Hyundai in Highland. “Its safety rating and fuel-efficiency appeal to buyers with young families as well as the older audience who like the feel and versatility of a wagon.”
The front drive 2013 Hyundai Elantra GT earns the government’s top 5-Star safety rating in overall vehicle score based on combined frontal, side and rollover crash protection.
Elantra GT’s 37 miles per gallon highway fuel economy is delivered by a gas-stingy, 1.8-liter, four-cylinder engine paired to a six-speed automatic transmission that builds 148 horsepower.
GT’s small engine will not pin riders to their seat, but it does nail impressive mileage of 27 mpg around town.
A six-speed manual gearbox also is available for 26 mpg/city and 37 mpg/hwy.
The 2013 Hyundai Elantra GT comes in one trim level yet is generously equipped with such standard features as heated front seats, keyless entry, Bluetooth connectivity, iPod/USB and auxiliary input jacks.
Other no-cost niceties include air-conditioning, fog lights, tilt/telescopic steering wheel, power windows/door locks, heated outside mirrors and 60/40 split-folding rear seat.
A Style Package ($2,750) adds 17-inch wheels, a sport suspension, panoramic sunroof, leather upholstery, power driver’s seat, aluminum pedals, leather wrapped steering wheel and leather shift knob.
Buyers can opt for a $2,350 Tech Package that adds automatic headlights, dual automatic climate control, proximity key entry with push button start and navigation system with rearview camera.
Elantra GT engineers have cleverly concealed the rearview camera lens behind the Hyundai badge on the rear hatch lid to mask it from view.
When the car’s gear selector is placed into reverse, the badge electronically lifts up to expose the lens and the resulting rearward view. Returning the selector to park or drive automatically retracts the badge to a flush position.
The Elantra GT’s rear hatch opens to a whopping 51 cubic feet of cargo space with the back seats folded down. When occupied, 23 cubic feet remains behind the second row.
Elantra GT’s five-occupant cabin also exposes greater rear seat head and legroom than its sedan sibling.
Hyundai has done a nice job isolating road and engine noise from entering the GT passenger compartment for a quiet ride while at speed.
The 2013 Hyundai Elantra GT offers European inspired design and versatility for a base price that starts at $19,395. Add $775 for freight.