Hyundai Elantra Review
The 2013 Hyundai Elantra ranks 9 out of 43 Affordable Small Cars. This ranking is based on our analysis of 48 published reviews and test drives of the Hyundai Elantra, and our analysis of reliability and safety data.
Reviewers likes the 2013 Hyundai Elantra’s spacious cabin and ample cargo space. The Elantra also outshines its rivals with a list of interior features that wouldn’t be out of place on a more expensive car.
For the 2013 model year, coupe and GT hatchback models join the Hyundai Elantra sedan, and all body styles have a four-cylinder engine and standard six-speed manual transmission. A six-speed automatic is optional. Most members of the automotive press say that the engine strains under hard acceleration, but agree that overall, the Elantra benefits from accurate steering, smooth transmissions and a comfortable ride. With either transmission, the Elantra has good EPA-estimated fuel economy ratings of 28/38 mpg city/highway. Test drivers agree that the Elantra GT and coupe are sportier than the base sedan, but several also mention that car shoppers who want more refined handling and a smoother engine should consider competitors like the Ford Focus and Mazda3, which are reviewers' go-to sporty small cars.
Like many affordable small cars, the Hyundai Elantra is made with hard plastics, but when reviewers consider its price point, most don’t pan the Elantra for cheap construction. The Elantra’s features list is typical for the class, and includes standard amenities like satellite radio and a USB port, as well as an optional navigation system with a rearview camera. Reviewers give mixed opinions on the interior controls’ ease of use, and one reviewer is particularly annoyed with the touch-screen navigation system, which fades out in the sun. All 2013 Elantra models have good front and rear cabin space. Test drivers even say the coupe’s second-row seats fit adults, though the sedan and GT’s rear rows are more comfortable. Both the coupe and sedan have class-competitive cargo space, and the GT offers greater utility.
- "In the Elantra GT, Hyundai combined function with style and adorned it with better driving dynamics than the coupe. For those reasons, we prefer the GT. If it doesn't look young enough, we'll wear a Tapout hat or take up kayaking." -- Edmunds
- "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 (sedan, 2012)
- "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 (sedan, 2011)
Other Cars to Consider
Budget-minded consumers who value performance should consider the Mazda3, which is available as a sedan and a hatchback. Reviewers say the Mazda3 is definitely the better pick for shoppers craving an agile small car with good engine power and high fuel economy ratings. Reviewers think the Mazda3’s second-row seats are cramped for adults, and the Mazda3 sedan has less cargo space than the Elantra sedan, but if you value engaging performance, auto critics agree the Mazda3 is a smart pick.
If you like the Elantra but want all-wheel drive, check out the Subaru Impreza. Though the Impreza’s fuel economy ratings are less than the Elantra’s, they’re still very impressive, especially when you consider that all-wheel drive is standard. Available as a sedan and hatchback, reviewers say the Impreza has comfortable rear seats, just like the Elantra.
Details: 2013 Hyundai Elantra
For 2013, the most notable change to the Hyundai Elantra is the addition of the coupe and GT hatchback body styles. The base Hyundai Elantra sedan gains standard air conditioning, a telescopic steering wheel, cruise control and 16-inch wheels. There are also more features available on higher trims for 2013, such as a power driver’s seat with lumbar support and dual-zone automatic climate control. This overview captures the evolution of the Hyundai Elantra model line since its introduction, and as a result, it includes research and reviews from the 2011 to 2013 model years.
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