The last few years, the appeal of smaller more economical cars has increased due to their significantly better fuel economy. However, that transition has been made easier thanks to the sophistication, luxury and styling of the recent entries into the compact category.
The 2013 Hyundai Elantra Coupe is a good example of the trend with its 37 mpg highway fuel economy, full featured equipment level and exceptional styling.
The coupe?s dramatic styling makes it a first class head turner. It takes the same dynamic Fluidic Sculpture design principles that were the basis for the Sonata and Elantra sedans and adds the spiciness of a two-door coupe. It?s accented with the large Hyundai trademark hexagonal grille and swept-back headlights. The Coupe styling overflows its $18,390 starting price. The coupe?s interior has the same dash and instrument panel as the sedan with its flowing lines on the dash, door panels and hourglass shaped center stack framed in a brushed aluminum look. The dash and controls have a free-form layout that looks great while providing the driver with easy to find controls. The interior has abundant storage spaces for drinks and personal items, plus it supports the latest technologies like Bluetooth?, auxiliary iPod and USB ports, and speed sensitive volume control on the audio system all as standard equipment. As on the outside, the interior looks much richer than the price would indicate.
Like most coupes, rear seat entry requires a limber body and yoga-like moves, but the Elantra Coupe requires a less sophisticated yoga position than most others. The doors open wide, the front passenger seat slides far forward and once in the rear seat, it has better knee, shoulder and headroom than most. It?s actually designed to hold a real person. Evidently, designers didn?t get the memo that says coupe trunks should be small, because this car not only has a giant 14.8 cubic feet of cargo room, but the 40/60 split rear seatbacks fold to expand the space.
The front-wheel 2013 Elantra Coupe SE is powered by a 148 hp, 1.8-liter DOHC four-cylinder engine with a standard six-speed manual transmission, or optional six-speed automatic with the Shiftronic manual shifting mode and an active ECO system to help the driver maximize fuel economy. The engine has a PZEV (partial zero emissions vehicle) rating which means it meets the rigorous emissions requirements mandated by the State of California.
Coupe acceleration figures were not available, but the sedan makes a 0 to 60 mph in 7.8 seconds using the manual transmission and 8.9 seconds with the automatic. Fuel economy is listed at 28 mpg city, 38 mpg highway with the manual transmission and 32 mpg combined (one mpg less with the automatic). We actually averaged 33.1 driving the automatic transmission during a week of about equally split city/highway driving.
The suspension is a combination of MacPherson struts in the front and a torsion axle in the rear with coil springs. The brakes are four-wheel disk enhanced with the electrical aids like?anti lock?brakes and brake assist.
Like the sedan, which was the “2012 North American Car of the Year? and gets a top Consumer Reports magazine rating, the Hyundai Coupe is one of the best driving cars in the category. The electric steering is right on and the suspension offers an excellent balance between control and ride. We also thought the 2013 Hyundai Elantra Coupe road noise was less than many pricier cars.
The Coupe is available in two trim levels, GS and SE, which are priced at $18,220 and $20,690. The automatic transmission adds $1,000 to either model. The SE trim dresses the 2013 Hyundai Elantra Coupe up with 17-inch alloy wheels, sport-tuned suspension, power sunroof, leather seating and several other cosmetic enhancements. The only option, other than the automatic transmission and colors, is the Technology Package, which adds navigation,?rear view?camera, premium audio, push button start and a few other convenience features for $2,350.
The 2013 Hyundai Elantra Coupe probably won?t be winning races without some modifications, but it wins our vote for styling, features and value. A typical driver that might occasionally take a run through the mountains will be feeling good about the Elantra?s performance and handling, and when it?s parked in the driveway or when it rolls down the street, will be thrilled with about the impression it makes.
For more information about the 2013 Hyundai Elantra Coupe or to find a local dealer go to?https://www.hyundaiusa.com/vehicles/2013/elantra-coupe/