2013 Hyundai Elantra Coupe Extended Review

Taking a longer look at the two-door Elantra.

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February 25, 2013

2013 Hyundai Elantra Coupe Extended Review

Unlike with previous Hyundais, there's some steering feel, but it's rubbery.

Introduction
In the case of the Hyundai Elantra coupe, less might be more. Or so Hyundai hopes.

The sedan version of the Elantra compact is already a good-looking car, but that hasn't stopped Hyundai from trying to get even sportier with the look by slicing off two doors. Otherwise, Hyundai hasn't tweaked the Elantra formula too much.

The coupe and sedan make up two-thirds of the Elantra lineup, there's also a GT hatchback. Clearly Hyundai is trying to cover all the bases.

For a more lighthearted take, check out our video review of the Hyundai Elantra Coupe, featuring Sarah.

2013 Hyundai Elantra On the Road Hyundai hasn't always been known for great steering feel, and when we first tested the Elantra coupe, we gave the company high marks for improvement, with the caveat that there was still a long way to go. After spending more time in the car, we stand by that assessment. Unlike previous Hyundais, there's some steering feel, but it's rubbery (especially just off-center) and it still needs more accuracy--a lot more. Too many minor corrections are needed while cornering, which sucks the fun out of the experience. The car itself carves the corners accurately, but the tactile response from the steering just detracts too much.

The ride was generally comfortable, but rough pavement intruded more than we'd like. The Elantra provided a typical compact-car experience--it's more than livable, if not quite upscale.

Acceleration from the 148-horsepower 1.8-liter four-cylinder was punchy enough to get the Elantra up to speed, but a little more oomph would've been appreciated.
2013 Hyundai Elantra Interior Swoopy design cues aren't confined to the exterior of the Elantra coupe--practically every surface in the Elantra's cabin is curvy. Straight lines have been banished

Controls were easy to reach and use, even if the dashboard layout looked unconventional at first blush, thanks to all those curves. Headroom and legroom upfront were adequate.
2013 Hyundai Elantra Exterior We've always liked the Elantra's flowing lines, and the look works better sans the extra two doors. Sure, the Elantra is a head-turner as a sedan, but based on how it looks as a coupe, it's as if the car was meant to be a two-door all along.
2013 Hyundai Elantra Final Thoughts Hyundai's first two-door Elantra has a lot going for it, but to us, it feels incomplete. Our tester was an SE, which is the sporty trim, and while the car held its own on the road, it felt a little lacking. A bit more power, a touch more steering wheel, some tweaks to the ride--all of that would go a long way.

There are compact coupes out there that are generally fun to drive, like the Honda Civic Si. And there are those with sporty pretensions that look the part but don't deliver, like the Scion tC. The Elantra coupe sits somewhere in the middle--it's not a dull ride, but it needs tweaking in order to ultimately satisfy.

In this case, fewer doors don't add up to more fun, no matter how much we wish that was the case.
2013 Hyundai Elantra Specs, Features, Prices Engine: 1.8-liter four-cylinder

Transmission: Six-speed automatic

Drive Wheels: Front-wheel-drive

Fuel Economy: 27 mpg city/37 mpg highway

Base Price: $20,745

As-Tested Price: $23,965 (includes $775 destination fee)

Available Features: Technology Package (navigation system, rearview camera, premium stereo, automatic headlamps, keyless entry and starting, dual-zone climate control), carpeted floor mats, sunroof, fog lamps, rear spoiler, air conditioning, Bluetooth, satellite radio, USB port, auxiliary port, tilt/telescope steering wheel, heated front seats.

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