Test Drive: 2013 Hyundai Elantra Coupe SE car test drives reviews hyundai
2013 Hyundai Elantra Coupe SE. Click image to enlarge

First Drive: 2013 Hyundai Elantra coupe

Manufacturer’s web site
Hyundai Canada

Review and photos by Greg Wilson

Photo Gallery:
2013 Hyundai Elantra coupe

The new two-door Hyundai Elantra Coupe is the third body style offered under the Elantra banner, joining the Elantra four-door sedan and Elantra GT (four-door hatchback). The Coupe is targeted at “youthful, sporty buyers willing to forgo four-door versatility for coupe design appeal,” according to a Hyundai news blurb. The Coupe’s sculpted bodywork is similar to the Elantra four-door sedan’s but seems a better fit for the coupe: its sweeping wedge-shaped profile, large grille, prominent fender bulges and sculpted sides are more in tune with a fun-loving, youth-oriented sporty coupe than a practical, four-door sedan. That might give the Elantra Coupe an edge in the compact sporty coupe market where its three main competitors, the Honda Civic Coupe, Scion tC, and Kia Forte Koup, have decidedly less adventurous styling, in my opinion.

The 2013 Elantra Coupe also features a unique grille with a chrome perimeter (in SE Coupes, the middle section of the front bumper is painted glossy black); a rear lip spoiler (SE models only), a black diffuser at the base of the rear bumper, and twin chrome tailpipe extensions.

Test Drive: 2013 Hyundai Elantra Coupe SE car test drives reviews hyundai
2013 Hyundai Elantra Coupe SE. Click image to enlarge

Mechanically, the Elantra Coupe is the same as the Elantra Sedan and GT: under its short, sloping hood is a 148-hp 1.8L DOHC 16-valve four-cylinder engine mated to a standard six-speed manual transmission in the base GLS ($19,949) or optional six-speed automatic with manual shift mode ($21,149). Standard stuff in the base GLS model includes 16-inch alloys, fog lights, air conditioning, sunroof, satellite radio, USB and auxiliary input jacks, Bluetooth hands-free phone, cloth seats, heated front seats, and height-adjustable driver’s seat.

The top-of-the-line Elantra Coupe SE ($25,199) (like today’s test car) comes with a standard 6-speed automatic “Shiftronic” transmission, and adds leather upholstery and leatherette door inserts, 17-inch polished alloys with black inserts, rear lip spoiler, seven-inch touchscreen, navigation system, back-up camera, power windows with pinch protection, automatic climate control, and aluminum pedals. With a Freight charge of $1,495 and A/C tax of $100, our SE Coupe test car came to $26,794.

Hyundai doesn’t yet offer a performance version of the Elantra Coupe to rival the Civic Si Coupe, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see one next year. It is a mystery though, why a manual transmission is not offered in the Elantra Coupe SE trim level. Surely some buyers want a navigation system with their stick!

Test Drive: 2013 Hyundai Elantra Coupe SE car test drives reviews hyundai
2013 Hyundai Elantra Coupe SE. Click image to enlarge

Like the 140-hp 1.8L Civic Coupe and the base 156-hp 2.0L Kia Forte Koup EX, the 148-hp 1.8L Hyundai Elantra Coupe is designed more for fuel economy than performance, whereas the 173-hp 2.4L Kia Forte Koup SX and the 180-hp 2.5L Scion tC coupe put a greater emphasis on performance. That’s reflected in Canadian fuel economy ratings where the Civic Coupe five-speed automatic is rated the most fuel efficient with 7.2 L/100 km city and 5.0 L/100 km highway, followed closely by the Elantra Coupe six-speed auto with 7.6 city/5.3 highway, the Kia Forte Koup EX 2.0 six-speed auto with 8.0 city/5.7 highway, the Scion tC six-speed auto with 8.9 city/6.3 highway, and the Kia Forte Koup SX 2.4 six-speed auto with 9.0 city/6.4 highway. These Natural Resources Canada ratings are good for comparison purposes, but they don’t reflect real-world fuel consumption; a more realistic rating for the Elantra Coupe comes from the American EPA, which rates the manual model at 8.4 city/6.4 highway, and the automatic at 8.7 city/6.4 highway.

About Greg Wilson

Greg Wilson is a Vancouver-based automotive journalist and contributor to Autos.ca. He is a member of the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC).