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Hyundai Elantra Coupe, 2013: Strong new contender in crowded segment

As North American Car of the Year in 2012, the Hyundai Elantra one year later remains largely the same vehicle. It’s value priced and while not outstanding in any single category, its very good status is so many categories vaults it to the top of the sedan segment.

The Elantra Coupe joined its much older relative (the Elantra is now in its fifth generation) for 2013. It’s largely the same as the Elantra sedan with two exceptions. It has two doors and it has some minor exterior trim tweaks.

The Weekly Driver Test Drive

The Elantra Coupe is comfortable, which can’t be said for many coupes that showcase performance and treat other areas as after thoughts. My two-door test Elantra featured a 1.8-liter, 145-horsepower, four-cylinder engine with a six-speed automatic transmission (It’s also available with a six-speed manual.)

The drive was smooth, but sometimes sluggish in mountain driving conditions, particularly on steep inclines or when quick acceleration was needed on freeway ramps.Hyundai in recent years has gained considerable attention as a value carmaker, and in some instances offering surprising luxury for the surprising price. The Elantra Coupe, like the sedan, offers a lot of the former, and some of the latter — but only if the buyer purchases options.

As a value vehicle, there’s a lot of standard equipment. Even the base model comes with foglights, alloy wheels, heated front seats, Bluetooth and an iPod interface.

The suggested retail price of the Elantra Coupe SE (PZEV) is just under $21,000, but my test vehicle included a Technology Package ($2,350.00). I recommend it for buyers who want the niceties of a vehicle in a price range higher than the Elantra but offered as a fair price.

The Technology Package featured: a navigation system (7-inch) screen, rearview camera, a 360 watt, premium audio system, automatic headland, proximity key entry and with electronic push button start and a dual automatic temperature control.

The navigation system and rearview camera worked particularly well. Setting the directions on navigation system was intuitive and the clarity of the rearview camera was clear.Additionally, via other standard assessments, the Elantra Coupe held its own. The steering was precise, braking solid and overall quality impressive for the price.

Likes:

Exterior styling . . . European sports car look.

Spacious and well-built interior.

Exterior color: Atlantic Blue. It’s arguably to most distinctive metallic blue in the auto industry.

Very large trunk space for a coupe.

Dislikes:

Middle-of-the-pack performance. The Coupe’s sporty appearance doesn’t transfer to sporty acceleration.

Facts & Figures: 2013 Hyundai Elantra Coupe

Acceleration: 0-60 mph (not available).
Airbags (6).
Fuel economy: 32 mpg (city), 39 mpg (highway), 32 (combined) with automatic transmission.
Government Safety Ratings: NTHSA, Not rated.
Horsepower: 145.
Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price: $20,745.00.
Manufacturer’s Web site: www.hyundaiusa.com.
Price as tested: $23,965.00.
Warranty: Bumper to bumper, 5 years/60,000 miles; Power train, 10 years/100,000; Corrosion: 7 years/unlimited miles; Roadside Assistance, 5 years/unlimited miles.

What Others Say:

“Hyundai’s Elantra sedan follows the lead of the larger Sonata with attractive styling and good fuel economy. While it might not stand out in any one area, this compact car does most everything well. That makes for a compelling package in this highly competitive class.” — Consumer Guide.

“Thanks to head-turning styling, a fuel-efficient engine, a long list of standard safety features and upscale options, the 2013 Hyundai Elantra stands as a top pick for a compact sedan.” — Edmunds.

“You won’t mistake the Elantra for a Volkswagen GTI or a BMW 3-series from behind the wheel, but as a practical commuter, there’s not much to complain about. And that’s what this type of car is about – comfortable, economical, and practical.” — Automobile Magazine.

The Weekly Driver’s Final Words:

“Like its sibling, the Elantra hatchback, the Elantra Coupe could use a little more power. But with its stylish exterior, well-appointed interior, driving comfort, good overall visibility, superior gas mileage and indusrtry-best warranty, it would be difficult to find a better value in a coupe.”

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