2013 Hyundai Elantra Coupe - FROM $17,445
Thanks to head-turning styling, a fuel-efficient engine, a long list of standard safety features and upscale options, the 2013 Hyundai Elantra is a top pick for a small coupe.
What's New for 2013
The 2013 Hyundai Elantra Coupe is a new addition to the Elantra lineup.
Hyundai's current Elantra shook up the compact-car establishment back in 2010. Its dramatic design made its typically conservative rivals look like yesterday's news. So it only makes sense that a two-door coupe should become part of a lineup that made its reputation on out-styling the competition.
The 2013 Hyundai Elantra Coupe is totally about the looks, really, because it's otherwise identical to the Elantra sedan. The1.8-liter four-cylinder engine is plenty smooth, fuel economy is exceptional and the Elantra coupe, though not overtly sporty in its handling, offers a comfortable ride to go along with an unexpectedly spacious and well-built interior.
Other than having two doors instead of four, the Elantra coupe's appearance varies only slightly from the sedan's, with changes made to the bumpers, grille, wheels and trim accents. Also like the sedan, the Elantra coupe comes with an impressive array of standard features. Even the base model comes with foglights, alloy wheels, heated front seats, Bluetooth and an iPod interface.
All of this similarity does have one downside: If you're hoping for extra performance to go along with that sporty styling, the Elantra coupe will probably leave you feeling a little flat. Competitors like the Kia Forte Koup, Scion tC and Volkswagen Beetle aren't exactly sports cars either, but they do at least provide quicker acceleration thanks to their more powerful engines. But overall we find the well-rounded 2013 Hyundai Elantra Coupe to be quite compelling.
Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options
The 2013 Hyundai Elantra compact coupe comes in two trim levels: GS and SE. The GS comes standard with 16-inch alloy wheels, foglights, heated mirrors, full power accessories, a tilt-and telescoping steering wheel, cruise control, air-conditioning, a height-adjustable driver seat, heated front seats, Bluetooth and a six-speaker sound system with a CD player, satellite radio and a USB/iPod interface. The move up to the SE brings a sunroof, 17-inch wheels, a rear spoiler, a sport-tuned suspension, leather upholstery, leather-wrapped steering wheel/shift knob and aluminum pedals.
Available at the SE trim level is an optional Technology package that includes automatic headlights, keyless ignition/entry, dual-zone automatic climate control, a navigation system, a rearview camera and a premium sound system.
Powertrains and Performance
The 2013 Elantra Coupe comes with a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine that develops 148 horsepower and 131 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed manual transmission is standard, while an optional six-speed automatic transmission is optional.
Fuel economy is impressive. With the automatic, the Elantra coupe earns an EPA-estimated 28 mpg city/39 mpg highway and 32 mpg combined. Those numbers increase to 29/40/33 with the manual.
The 2013 Hyundai Elantra Coupe's list of standard safety features includes traction and stability control, antilock disc brakes, active front head restraints, front seat side-impact airbags and side curtain airbags.
Interior Design and Special Features
Coupes typically require some functional sacrifices in return for their extra style compared to sedans, but the Elantra coupe is an exceptionally spacious car. It has noticeably more room inside than its closest competitor, the Honda Civic coupe -- or most other affordable coupes, for that matter.
The Elantra coupe driver will find two primary gauges, a speedometer and tachometer, recessed far back in the instrument cluster, yet still easy to read at a glance. The center stack is not overly complicated either, and the climate controls are simply marked and easy to adjust. Most of the cabin's plastics are of average quality.
With that kind of space, the Elantra coupe avoids the pinched and claustrophobic feel of many two-door cars. There is ample legroom for front occupants, while the rear seats also present an impressive amount of stretch-out room. For a coupe, rear headroom is impressive. Trunk space is likewise, measuring a healthy 14.8 cubic feet.
Although the 2013 Hyundai Elantra Coupe is mostly like the sedan minus a couple of doors, there are some perceptible differences. For one, the more supportive seats are placed lower for a sportier feel, but seeing out might be more of a problem for shorter drivers. Another issue: Opening and closing the long doors might be a hassle in tight parking situations.
Underway, the Elantra's manual transmission has a light, agreeable clutch and an equally low-stress shift action; both can be worked with little effort. The automatic transmission usually shifts unnoticeably, but there are times when it can be balky about downshifting in order to maximize fuel economy.
Coupes are usually the "sporty" alternative to four-door sedans, but the Elantra coupe handles pretty much just like the Elantra sedan, which is to say it's unremarkable. The overall balance of handling and ride quality is still quite good, though.