The Elantra Coupe’s cabin is very nicely finished, particularly in the top SE trim, and dare I say, much nicer than the Civic and tC (although we are reliably informed that the 2013 Civic Coupe’s interior will be upgraded).

2013 Hyundai Elantra Coupe SE
2013 Hyundai Elantra Coupe SE
2013 Hyundai Elantra Coupe SE
2013 Hyundai Elantra Coupe SE
2013 Hyundai Elantra Coupe SE. Click image to enlarge

All 2013 Elantra Coupes have standard heated front seats, even the cloth seats. Base GLS models get a standard leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, AM/FM/CD/MP3/XM satellite audio system with six speakers, USB and auxiliary ports for music players, Bluetooth wireless hands-free cell phone hookup, tilt/telescopic steering wheel with audio and telephone controls, air conditioning, power glass sunroof with sliding sunshade, power windows and locks, cruise control, trip computer with average fuel economy, centre armrest with storage, and heated side mirrors. The SE adds leather seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, push-button ignition start and keyless entry, seven-inch touchscreen and navigation system, rear-view camera, auto-dimming rear-view mirror, and turn indicators in the mirrors.

The cabin’s curvy instrument panel uses an attractive mix of black plastics, glossy piano-black trim, chrome, silver and titanium-look accents, and bright illuminated gauges—it all seems a notch above this class of car. I particularly liked the easy-to-read illuminated tachometer and speedometer, sliding centre padded armrest with storage bin, the covered storage box at the base of the centre stack with hidden USB, aux, and 12-volt power outlets, and the big metal dead pedal for resting my left foot. On the negative side, I found the silver buttons around the touchscreen and climate control hard to read at times, the touchscreen is not shielded from the sun’s glare, and there are really just too many curves in that dashboard design.

The centre screen shows navigation, audio, and telephone functions, but not climate. Certain functions can be voice-activated, but not all. For example, you can say a command to turn on the radio, choose the media type, or seek up or down the station dial, but you can’t change channels by naming them, or increase the volume. Those things can be done using buttons on the dash or steering wheel. You can also input some navigation voice commands, such as your destination, by voice commands, and operate the Bluetooth telephone system using voice commands.

Like the Kia Forte Koup, the Hyundai Elantra Coupe comes with a standard 5-year/100,000 km warranty that covers the entire car. That’s better than the Scion tC and Honda Civic Coupe which offer a 3-year/60,000 km warranties on the whole car and a 5-year/100,000 km warranties on the powertrain.

The 2013 Hyundai Elantra Coupe SE is priced about the same as the comparably equipped Civic Coupe EX-L ($24,890) and Forte Koup SX ($25,995) but costs about $3,800 more than the Scion tC ($21,990), but the tC doesn’t include leather, heated seats, dual zone automatic climate control, or navigation.

Expressively styled, comparatively roomy, and fuel-efficient, the 2013 Hyundai Elantra Coupe is likely to alter the balance of power in the compact sporty coupe class, as the Elantra sedan did in the compact sedan segment.

Pricing: 2013 Hyundai Elantra Coupe SE auto
Base price (SE): $25,199
Options: None
Freight and PDI: $ 1,495
a/c tax: $100
Price as tested: $26,794

Honda Civic Coupe
Kia Forte Koup
Scion tC

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