2013 Hyundai Elantra GT
2013 Hyundai Elantra GT
2013 Hyundai Elantra GT
2013 Hyundai Elantra GT. Click image to enlarge

Review and photos by Tom Sedens

I have found that the GT designation is a bit of a broad stroke in the automotive world these days. GT traditionally stands for “gran turismo”, which I believe means something like grand tourer. Which I believe started out as a high-performance luxury touring automobile capable of swallowing long distances with ease and grace.

To say this GT moniker has almost become all-encompassing isn’t an overstatement. Hyundai’s use of it on the Elantra will prove my point.

The Elantra sits in the middle of Hyundai’s car lineup, slotting in between the entry-level Accent and the mid-size Sonata. The Elantra line is then fleshed out further to include the sedan, the coupe and this GT. And by GT, they mean hatchback.

The 1.8L four-cylinder found here is unique to the Elantra. It puts out a relatively decent 148 hp at 6,500 rpm and 131 lb-ft of torque at 4,700 rpm. Nothing exciting – mind you, those horses are asked to schlep only 1,342 kg (2,958 lb) around town. The power is routed to the front wheels via a six-speed automatic transmission.

Fuel economy is one of the selling points for most cars in this class, and the Elantra GT is no exception. It’s rated at 7.6 L/100 km in the city and 5.3 L/100 km on the highway. During my week with it, I took it pretty easy and spent almost all my time in slower city driving. I threw in a couple of sprints down the highway and freeway. I averaged 8.3 L/100 km overall, which is respectable. The fuel tank holds 50 L.

The Elantra GT is a small five-door hatchback. The styling isn’t groundbreaking – it definitely incorporates elements we’ve seen elsewhere, but I think Hyundai did a good job at keeping the lines clean and simple without looking cheap.

The grille has a solid black cross-bar with chrome bars above and black bars below and the way they’ve integrated this into the trapezoidal hex shape is attractive. Your eye won’t rest there for long anyway, because it’ll be drawn to the large swept-back headlight pods with all their interesting elements and shapes, as well as the hint-of-aggression foglights.

The side profile is the cleanest angle. The beltline swoops up toward the rear, and that line is mimicked by a character crease that incorporates the door handles.

The rear fascia adds some euro elements and it’s well done. This trim level has 17-inch rims – they look very nice and are shod with 215/45-sized rubber.

Once I got in, I found headroom acceptable for my five-foot-ten-inch frame, but not much more.

2013 Hyundai Elantra GT2013 Hyundai Elantra GT2013 Hyundai Elantra GT
2013 Hyundai Elantra GT. Click image to enlarge

The materials are quite nice – Hyundai’s combination of mostly soft-touch plastics with a few hard plastics worked well, and includes some nice textures. Even with the splashes of metallicized plastic trim, I found that the overall look comes across as pretty dark – mind you, that’s not uncommon in this class of vehicle. The dash sculpting is kept simple but I liked it that way.

The seats (heated and upholstered in leather) are quite comfortable and even offer a reasonable amount of bolstering. The driver’s side is power adjustable. The steering wheel is great – I loved the small diameter! It has controls for cruise, media, hands-free and phone functions as well as the driver information screen.

Behind the wheel are two large, clear gauges separated by the driver information screen. This offers the full gamut of typical information trip meter and fuel economy information.

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