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2013 Hyundai Elantra GT Overview
As a replacement for the boxy, unpopular Touring model, Hyundai introduces the 2013 Elantra GT as a strong new entry in the small hatch segment. It benefits not only from being 150 pounds lighter than its closest competitor, but with 51 cubic feet of cargo space, also one of the roomiest in its class.
Under the hood, the GT relies on the same 1.8-liter 4-cylinder engine as the Elantra sedan, making 148 hp and 131 lb-ft of torque—about middle of the pack for its class. The car is front-wheel drive, and a 6-speed manual transmission is standard, with automatic optional. But Hyundai is promising a sportier suspension than the sedan's. The Fluidic Sculpture design gives it a windswept look, but it's not wholly remarkable from other cars in its class. From the rear, the hatch seems to be smiling at the cars it just passed.
It’s the little standard features that give you the bang for your buck—a cooled glove compartment and under-floor storage compartment. It also comes standard with a USB/iPod audio port and a 6-speaker sound system. The 60/40 split rear seat is a good idea, but early reports say it's unnecessarily heavy and cumbersome. The rear hatch opens a bit higher—good for taller folks but maybe awkward for those more vertically challenged.
In addition to your traditional airbag faire, the GT includes a driver’s knee airbag, usually reserved for pricier automobiles. Other standard safety features include antilock brakes, electronic stability control and an antitheft system.
With the GT Hyundai introduces its first-ever driver-selectable power steering mode system. Comfort, Normal, and Sport buttons are easily accessible on the dash to adjust the ride as one sees fit. A Style package will be available, which promises to tweak the suspension even more and add 17-inch wheels. (16-inchers will be standard.) A host of Premium features will include Bluetooth, leather seating surfaces and powered/heated front seats, a panoramic sunroof and keyless operation. A navigation system with hidden backup camera will also be optional.
And the good news is not only its competitive sticker price, but also in the savings it will offer at the pump. Hyundai estimates 28 mpg city/39 highway—1 mpg less than the sedan.
The 2012 Elantra was named North American Car of the Year, so it makes sense that Hyundai would take its best elements as the framework for the GT. With its leading edge in cargo/passenger space and performance enhancements, it’s sure to be a contender in the midsize hatch market.
by Stephen Moramarco
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