2013 Hyundai Elantra GT Review
Truth be told, we’ve usually had a soft spot for the Hyundai Elantra Touring. Instead of becoming just an additional compact hatchback, the Touring was a bona fide little wagon – the kind of factor generally reserved for the European marketplace. It was a less-expensive option towards the Volkswagen Jetta Sportwagen with an impressive warranty, although its milquetoast demeanor and somewhat odd styling by no means truly produced it a hit using the masses.
These days, also-ran status is completely unacceptable for Hyundai, particularly with something within the Elantra family members. Following all, the compact sedan was named the 2012 North American Vehicle from the Year and has been promoting like hotcakes ever because it launched. So when we got word that a successor towards the Elantra Touring could be on deck, out interest was indeed piqued.
Nicely, right here it’s – the 2013 Elantra GT. And whilst it is wholly various than the Elantra Touring that came prior to it, Hyundai hopes that its new GT will appeal towards the purchasing public inside a significantly bigger way, even besting stiff competitors from the likes of class-favorites like the Ford Concentrate and Mazda3.
This new five-door definitely features a lot riding on its (hatch)back. But does it deliver? We hit the roads outdoors of San Diego to locate out.
In every equity, we kind of realized in advance what are the Hyundai Elantra GT might offer. The amazing Touring was according to the European industry market i30, and also the smooth fresh model came out in the Frankfurt Motor Show this last September. Surprise, surprise – it is almost precisely a similar because the North American specifications Elantra GT that had taken the stage in the Chicago Auto Show earlier this year. As well as from the 1st time we lay eyes into it, we discovered it to become an appealing, well-rounded small factor – maybe much better great looking than the currently svelte Elantra sedan.
The GT is just a little various than the i30, although it functions some a little modified headlamps and various wheel and tire choices. But due to its slightly various platform, the Elantra GT features a couple of dimensional differences in comparison to its sedan brethren – and we are not just speaking concerning the addition of that handy hatch. It is a complete nine inches shorter in length versus the sedan (169.three total) and rides on a two-inch shorter wheelbase (104.3). It is also ever-so-slightly wider and taller in height. All of those modifications add as much as a curb weight that is about 100 pounds heavier than the sedan, however the GT nonetheless manages to become the lightest compact vehicle in its class. The base vehicle is really a complete 151 pounds much less than the spritely Mazda3.
If you are a fan of Hyundai’s Fluidic Sculpture style language, you will truly like the Elantra GT. You will find lots of fairly issues going on right here, components just like swooping character line and the obvious front wheel arches that goes up the side and drops off following the curve from the taillamps, all of which give the GT a fresh, contemporary look with hind quarters which are decidedly European in look. Squint and you may believe you are driving behind some kind of Seat five-door. Regular rolling stock are some rather generic 16-inch alloy wheels, but an appealing set of chrome-accented 17s – as noticed on our test vehicle – may be had as component from the Style Package, wrapped in P215/45-series tires.
Moving inside, the GT’s interior features a noticeably various appear to that from the Elantra sedan, and whilst the dashboard, instrument panel and center stack are clean and well-organized, they do not appear very as contemporary in comparison to what is discovered within the sedan (or new-for-2013 Elantra Coupe). Nonetheless, the supplies utilized all through the cabin are top quality and general fit-and-finish is great, and also the primary connection points in between driver and vehicle – the steering wheel, shift knob, and so on. – are wrapped in leather and really feel great towards the touch. With regards to the compact class, Hyundai is indeed top the pack with its interiors.
Moreover, the Elantra GT provides a complete 96 cubic feet of interior space – greater than something else within the segment. It does not really feel as cramped or claustrophobic as, say, a five-door Concentrate, and also the nicely bolstered seats are comfy and supportive. Rear seat space is sufficient, and taller passengers didn’t need to squeeze in to the back bench. However the genuine win right here will be the 51 cubic feet of cargo space accessible using the seats folded. That is not almost as capacious because the 65.three cubic feet provided within the outgoing Elantra Touring, but we’d gladly sacrifice the additional space for the sleeker general packaging. Even so, 51 cubic feet is absolutely nothing to sneeze at – that is roomier than each the Concentrate and Mazda3.
We had high hopes when we initial met the Elantra GT within the parking large amount of the Pauma Valley Nation Club about 55 miles northwest of San Diego. Following all, within the item presentation earlier that morning, we had been told concerning the sport-tuned suspension setup and enhanced steering really feel. Ten minutes later, we discovered ourselves blasting up the beautiful roads of Palomar Mountain, the kind of roads exactly where you are exiting 1 turn and setting up for an additional simultaneously. You truly dream about becoming in some thing like a Mazda MX-5 Miata right here. And on an uphill ascent like this, a car’s engine, transmission and steering truly get a workout.
The GT utilizes exactly the same 1.8-liter inline four-cylinder engine because the Elantra sedan, great for 148 horsepower at 6,500 RPM and 131 pound-feet of torque at four,700 RPM. These are perfectly sufficient numbers for the two,919-pound six-speed manual-equipped hatch. Actually, the Elantra GT has the very best power-to-weight ratio of any five-door within the compact class.
But here’s the factor: None of that truly assists when the engine cannot get its energy towards the wheels. Going uphill like this, the 1.8 feels completely gutless beneath 4,000 RPM, and also the ratios for second and third gears are not well-matched. You will be pushing 6,000 RPM in second, shift into third, and you are back beneath 4,000, totally out from the powerband.
Fortunately, the six-speed manual transmission is well-sorted along with a friendly companion for plenty of shifting action, having a great quantity of feedback built in to the clutch along with a throttle that hasn’t been tuned to deliver all of its energy at initial tip-in. We have driven some really horrible guide setups coming from Korea, Inc. prior to (Kia Forte, anybody?), so this much more interesting setup is really a welcome alter of pace. If manuals are your factor, you will be pleased to understand which you can nonetheless spec the stick in even the highest of Elantra GT trims.
Energy problems aside, a drive like this permitted us to truly test the complete capabilities from the steering and suspension – two large wins for the Elantra GT. For the 1st time ever, Hyundai has employed a driver-selectable steering method, with Comfort, Regular and Sport modes on provide. Obviously, we have tried wishy-washy variations of systems such as this in cars just like the 2013 Lexus ES, however right here within the Hyundai, you will find noticeable differences in between the action from the various modes – “Sport” does not just mean that a false sense of weight/feel was added towards the steering work.
This really is the kind of steering really feel we wish had been regular across the Elantra board: great on-center really feel with a lot of feedback, although a slightly faster steering ratio could be welcome. Nonetheless, to get a business not recognized for fantastic steering really feel – particularly when adding electrically assisted setups – this can be a large step forward.
When asked, Hyundai officials told us that the selectable steering would only be provided on the Elantra GT for now, merely so the automaker can gauge consumer reaction. According to our expertise, we definitely hope it spreads all through the lineup.
The suspension sensed amazingly well-sorted right here, as well. Obviously, there is a slight bit of physique roll throughout limited cornering and also the front-wheel-drive setup incorporates secure, but predictable understeer when truly pushing, but all-in, it is precisely what we expected. Hyundai lets us know that this i30′s MacPherson front and rear torsion-beam suspension was tuned particularly dedicated for US (American) markets (read: softened), but even so, it is perfectly capable of handling a bout of spirited driving whilst remaining comfy and solid on highways and city streets.
A fast mountain climb is not the very best method to judge the Elantra GT’s dynamics. Following heading out on the road, we had been facing less-engaging roads, the kind of items that many drivers will expertise day in and day out. Right here, the Elantra’s powertrain worries were not almost as noticeable. Certain, it nonetheless feels sluggish whilst revving low inside a gear, but there is enough get-up-and-go from the line and also the engine soundtrack does not sound wheezy and strained. And as significantly as we appreciate the Sport steering mode, it is truly good to become in a position to click it into Comfort and lighten the steering rack for parking area maneuvers.
We should keep in mind, as well, that the GT’s engine and transmission are tuned to provide great fuel economic climate above all. With either the six-speed manual or automatic transmissions, the five-door will accomplish 39 miles per gallon on the highway. Extremely great stuff there, although within the city cycle, you will only be hitting 27 or 28 mpg, based on your transmission option.
There have already been rumors of Hyundai providing a version of its 1.6-liter turbocharged inline 4 within the Elantra GT, and we’ll be crossing our fingers and toes that this comes to fruition. Even having a bit of detuning, some much more low-end thrust and much better gearing would effortlessly make this hatchback among the best-driving vehicles in its class
The 2013 Elantra GT is creating its method to Hyundai showrooms as you read this, priced from $18,395, not such as $775 for destination. The six-speed automatic will set you back an extra $1,000, and you will find only two choices accessible – a style pack that consists of leather seating surfaces, 17-inch alloy wheels, a panoramic sunroof along with a handful of other goodies ($2,750), along with a navigation pack that adds, nicely, sat-nav, together with a backup camera, automatic headlamps and automatic climate manage ($2,350). Verify each box and you will be spending $25,270 out-the-door.
Hyundai only expects the GT to account for perhaps 20 percent of Elantra sales, but from exactly where we sit, it stands to acquire much more traction. The American marketplace is warming as much as hatchbacks now greater than ever, and because this eye-catching new 5-door currently has the Elantra’s powerful credentials riding together with it, it is a far much better providing than the Touring it replaces. The Elantra sedan certainly place the whole compact class on notice, and using the addition of this much more functional GT, Hyundai is additional cementing its location as a class leader.