The Hyundai Motor Group is bringing out new models faster than we can keep up with them. Hyundai is one of the fastest growing automakers on the planet, and the new 2013 Elantra Coupe is a new addition to the stable this year. The 2013 Elantra Coupe two-door and 2013 Elantra GT five-door hatchback join the Elantra sedan four-door. This week we’ll be testing the front-wheel-drive Elantra Coupe SE model with the six-speed automatic transmission. The new Coupe has unique styling cues and is positioned as a sporty alternative to the popular sedan.
Sporty yet practical
The Elantra Coupe is fun and sporty yet it’s practical enough to be a daily driver. The new Coupe has differences in dimensions and styling from the sedan and it also gets tuned suspension components for a stiffer ride. The first thing we noticed about the Elantra Coupe is the sleek, wedge shape design. The Coupe is not a compact car, but a mid-size coupe with long doors that can be a problem in the parking lot. We found out the hard way after pulling in next to a car in a tight spot. The sporty coupe also gets and integrated spoiler, wraparound taillights and dual chrome exhaust tips that help set it apart from the tamer sedan.
The Coupe gets a tuned suspension
There are more differences underneath that contribute to the coupes sporty handling. Hyundai engineers gave the new coupe a V-beam rear suspension, instead of the torsion beam found on the sedan. This helps give the two-door a firmer ride that helps reduce body roll in the corners. The Elantra Coupe also comes with larger 17-inch wheels that contribute to the sportier treatment and feel on the road.
The ride in the coupe is much firmer than the sedan and for those looking for a luxury ride may be disappointed. The coupe is built for performance and fun on the road. Although it’s not a powerhouse, the coupe has enough pep for driving enthusiasts. For those looking for more power, there is the Genesis Coupe or the Veloster Turbo. But the Elantra Coupe has a sporty feel and won’t eat you alive at the gas pump. The EPA estimated fuel mileage is 27/37 city/highway with the automatic transmission which is good for a sports car. The manual transmission gets a one mile bump.
The 1.8-liter engine with 6-spd automatic is a good match
The Elantra Coupe is powered by a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine rated at 145 horsepower and 130 lb ft of torque. It comes mated to either a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission. It comes with a front-wheel-drive configuration and is relatively light at around 2,700 pounds. On the road, we noticed some road noise that is fairly typical in the compact car segment. The four-cylinder engine had plenty of power going up I-70 at altitude and for passing. This testers six-speed automatic with Shiftronic was smooth and had seamless shifts throughout the power range.
Ample head and legroom up front
The only issue we found with the Elantra Coupe was the lack of space in the back seat. The coupe does suffer from a lack of rear headroom due to the steeper rake of their roofline. The backseat will be more comfortable for smaller children and can be used to carry cargo. Average size adults will feel the tops of their heads rubbing against the volcanic-infused headliner. But up front, the driver and passenger have plenty of room and there is ample head and legroom. The interior is well-appointed and even though plastic is used on most surfaces, it is attractive and well-executed.
Plenty of standard interior features
The 2013 Elantra Coupe comes standard with many features like a six-way manual driver’s seat, manually operated air conditioning, cruise control, tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, six-speaker audio system with CD player, satellite radio capability and iPod/USB port; 60/40-split folding rear seat, power windows, locks and heated mirrors, tilt steering wheel, keyless entry, and anti-theft system.
This Elantra Coupe SE tester ($20,745) came with leather upholstery, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, a one-touch-up driver’s window, aluminum pedals, sport-tuned suspension, power sunroof, a hood insulator, side mirrors with integrated turn signals, a rear spoiler and 17-inch alloy wheels.
This SE also came equipped with the Technology Package ($23,095) which includes the automatic transmission, dual automatic climate control, navigation with 7-inch screen, upgraded 360-watt audio system, rearview camera and automatic headlights.
Overall, the new 2013 Hyundai Elantra Coupe SE is among the best in the compact coupe class. It features a stylish exterior design, plenty of standard interior features and gets excellent fuel economy. The addition of a sporty coupe makes the Elantra lineup even more desirable.