2013 Hyundai Elantra GT A great road warrior>

After more than 1000 miles in a week, I’m taken with the 2013 Hyundai Elantra GT. This is the hatch version of Hyundai’s mid-size front-wheel-drive lineup – there’s also a sedan and a coupe – and to my mind it’s the most cohesive looking of the three.

It’s been a hot summer in California, making a Monaco white Elantra GT with beige leather interior just the ticket for comfort for our road trip. On first approach, I note the balance of the car, with minimal overhang at each end of the chassis. I like the aggressive snout with its flat black grille, the swoopy bodylines that accent a nice J-Lo butt. With the Kumho P215/45R rubber mounted on flat/polished five-spoke 17-inch alloy rims, the looks are cohesive and handsome.
Running gear on this car is quite good: Hyundai fits its 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine with 148 horsepower at 6500 rpm and 131 lb-ft of torque at 4700; redline is 6750 and this car performs best when twisted to its max. It’s driven through a delightful six-speed manual transmission with a light feel to both the left pedal and shifter. The combo easily makes any driver feel more competent. With all-independent suspension that’s tuned for sport, and motor-driven power steering that gets heavier with speed, it all works great. Turning circle is a dynamic 34.78 feet curb to curb.
Let’s talk about the brakes. Coming home from Sonoma Raceway on a busy Sunday afternoon, suddenly traffic stopped in front of me. I went to a low gear as I put on the brakes, then slammed them to the floor and we stopped within inches of being just another Sunday statistic. The ABS pumped a couple of times and we hit nothing. Heart went back into body.
Using regular unleaded, our average over the week was right around 33-34 mpg from the smallish 13.2-gallon tank, with speeds usually 7-8 mph over the speed limit on the highways. The Elantra GT is rated at 26/37/30 by the EPA. I use the excellent cruise control, activated on the right side of the steering wheel. The left side of the leather-trimmed steering wheel has audio and phone (tried to sync but it never would) while the lower right is for the very informative and easily usable trip computer.
The 2013 Elantra GT has a list price of $19,170 including freight. Hyundai plugged every bell and whistle on this hot hatch and I wouldn’t have it any other way. The Style package included those cool wheels and tires, along with sport suspension, an amazing panorama sunroof that occupies almost the entire roof and has a cover that can be released without opening the roof, signals in the mirrors, the leather seating, steering wheel and shift knob and full power for the driver (including one-touch window), along with aluminum rubber-tipped pedals.
Hyundai also included its Tech package of navigation system with rearview camera, automatic headlights, dual temperature control, proximity key and pushbutton start. There were also carpeted floor mats and, by the time the tally was completed, the 2013 Hyundai Elantra GT still came in under $25 large at $24,365.

This is a great vehicle for a road trip with good space in front, in the rear seat and a super 23 cubic feet of storage under the hatch with all seats in place. This increases to 51 cubes with rear seats folded (there’s a 60/40 fold), but no way were we going to expose camera and computer gear to the rest of the world. My sole cargo problem was a tough reach for a shorty and a lack of grippy pulls to return the hatch to closure.
The seats are extremely comfortable for long drives and being able to adjust lumbar settings on the fly certainly helps. The navigation system is excellent and gives proper directions, the audio system works well with its six speakers, two FM bands, single AM and three XM bands. A pair of 12-volt plugs lie at the base of the central stack, along with an auxiliary plug and a USB. I liked the dual climate settings and the rear camera has great resolution.
The only real quibble I had with this car was on the Grapevile pass between Los Angeles and the rest of the world. The 2013 Hyundai Elantra GT just doesn’t like going up steep hills and must be shifted down to get anywhere. Aside from that, it’s a great road warrior that handles well, turns and stops well and gets very good mileage at other-worldly speeds. It likes to be driven hard and I’m always glad to comply.

Written by Anne Proffit test driven by both Anne and Christina Selter