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Hyundai introduces another new model to its existing hot-selling Elantra line with the new Elantra coupe in SE trim. My test Elantra coupe was painted to the new ‘Blue Sky’ metallic paint to match the blue sky enjoyment that I found during my seven-day test drive.
This new coupe from Hyundai gives young sporty consumers a great bargain price with lots of go, unique styling, a sporty and comfortable interior with the latest in convenient, infotainment and safety systems. It has it all for a base price of just $20,745.00 for the SE and my test model came with the Technology Package and carpeted floor mats for a total price of just $23,900.00. I’ll get into the standard equipment and options that made my ride even more fun-to-drive later.
The styling of the Elantra coupe follows Hyundai’s dynamic ‘Fluidic Sculpture’ design mantra that imitates the interaction of wind with rigid surfaces to create a look of fluid in motion. Very few cars some costing above $100,000.00 can match the angular and sexy lines of the Elantra coupe. Up front is Hyundai’s signature hexagonal wide mouth front fascia opening surrounded with a chrome strip and jeweled swept-back headlights, foglamps down below and aerodynamic power-remote/heated/repeater side mirrors that give the front a lean, more aggressive look. The silhouette continues the aggressive look with a steeply raked windshield A-pillars and C-pillars, a tapered sloping roof, pull-out door handles, deeply sculpted surfaces and a character line from the end of the flared front fenders all the to the rear lamps. The side extensions give the car a more hunkered down look with the flared fenders stuffed with 17X7 inch unique alloy wheels wrapped with 215/45R17 inch low-profile performance tires. From the rear is a blacked-out rear diffuser valance that contrasts with the dual chrome-tipped exhaust pipes gathered together under the right side of the bumper. The wraparound lamp clusters blend in perfectly and just above is an integral deck lid spoiler to help enhance downforce. These sculpted and sexy surfaces create a very aerodynamic body with a drag coefficient of just 0.28 that results in minimal wind noise entering the cabin and further enhancing fuel economy.
Powering my new Elantra coupe is a PZEV rated 1.8 liter, in-line four-cylinder, all-aluminum, DOHC engine featuring dual continuously variable valve timing (C-VVT) to flatten the torque band. It generates 145 hp at 6,500 rpm and 130 lb.ft. of torque at 4,700 rpm to quickly move the new Elantra coupe because of its low curb weight, only 2,729 pounds. This engine also features a variable induction system, roller swing arm and hydraulic lash adjusters, electronic throttle control and an offset crankshaft.
This engine is mated to Hyundai’s in-house designed and manufactured six-speed manual or its six-speed automatic with SHIFTRONIC manual mode. The automatic is what I had to use and it was smooth, quiet and precise. The SHIFTRONIC manual shift control was fun to use when I wanted to hold each gear to redline for some spirited driving times away from city traffic. It also came with an Eco mode button on the dashboard that remaps the onboard computer to help enhance fuel mileage.
The new Elantra coupe is fun to drive anytime and in any traffic situation. High-strength steel in the car’s structure allows the suspension to work with precision in all driving conditions. The weight-efficient unibody architecture allows the car to achieve an estimated 27 mpg/city and 37 mpg/highway with the automatic. Up front is an independent MacPherson strut setup with coil springs, hydraulic twin-tube gas-charged shocks and an 11mm solid stabilizer bar to help reduce body roll and turn-in response when cornering. The rear features a lightweight torsion beam setup with gas-charged hydraulic monotube shocks and coil springs that enhances steering stability and monotube shocks for a more comfortable ride and tracking control. My SE model’s suspension is ‘sport-tuned’ with the steering knuckle design, torsion beam rigidity and damper tuning all recalibrated for sporty handling and steering responsiveness. The coupe also features a column-mounted motor driven electric rack & pinion steering system that adjusts instantly to changing driving conditions while also improving fuel economy. The system also includes a quick-ration steering rack for crisper feel on turn-in. I was impressed with how well the steering reacted to my inputs, and the great feel for the road.
The new Elantra coupe stops quickly and smoothly with large, four-wheel power-assisted steel disc brakes. Up front are 11 inch vented discs and 10.3 inch solid discs in the rear. Each disc is clamped with single piston calipers. You maintain control of the coupe when doing spirited maneuvers or when driving on slick or wet pavement with standard ABS, EBD and BA. The standard electronic stability and traction control systems keep you safe when entering a curve at higher than posted speed limits.
The interior quite nicely matches the sporty look and performance of the new Elantra SE coupe with plenty of room, comfort, convenience plus the latest infotainment and safety systems. Each door opens wide to reveal a double cockpit arrangement with comfortable and supportive leather trimmed bucket seats that are cut sharply to keep you and your front passenger snug when slicing through curving roads. The small sporty leather-wrapped steering wheel feels perfect in your hands and contains buttons for the Bluetooth, audio system and cruise control. The tilt-telescoping column gave me the perfect reach and angle to feel more comfortable when driving. All touch points are soft and the metallic trim runs from the doors, air-vents, steering wheel spokes and center stack. That center stack features the audio controls up top and the climate controls down below, all easy to reach and use. The gauge cluster is straight-ahead and also easy to see when it’s large speedometer and tachometer. In the center are readouts for fuel on board and engine coolant temperature. The center also features readouts from the trip computer keeping your current on trip mileage, average mpg, average mph and how many miles to empty. The center console features the perfectly placed stick shifter surrounded in black piano veneer plastic and a chrome bezel around the leather-wrapped stick, and a sliding front center armrest with storage box. Getting to the rear seat is easy as Hyundai uses a system to make the seatbacks and seat bottom pull forward by pushing down a lever on the side of each seatback. The rear seat features a pull-down armrest and double cupholder and you can fold the seatback down by tugging out two pulls, one on each side to make even more room for your cargo in the trunk.
Standard equipment not mentioned in the SE trim Elantra coupe includes a grab handle above the passenger door, dual map lights, dual lighted vanity mirrors, power sunroof, electronic climate control system with air filtration, AM-FM-Sirius satellite radio-CD-MP3 audio system with 6-speakers, iPod/USB & auxiliary input jacks, two 12-volt power plugs, power windows/door locks with driver-side express up/down, heated sideview mirrors, remote keyless entry, variable-speed wipers/washers, and thick cut-pile carpeting.
My new Elantra SE coupe came with the optional Technology Package that includes a navigation system with a 7 inch color screen, rearview camera, 360-watt premium audio with a digital external amp, automatic halogen headlamps, proximity key entry with electronic push button start/stop, dual automatic temperature control with clean air ionizer and carpeted floor mats.
Standard safety features include front/side impact/side curtain airbags, five 3-point safety belts with front pretensioners and load limiters, tire pressure monitoring system, daytime running lights, front/rear crumple zones and steel beams in each door.
After a week behind the wheel of the all-new 2013 Hyundai Elantra SE coupe I’m sure that the competition in this growing segment will be looking over their collective shoulders as this new entry from Hyundai will take market share away, just like the Elantra sedan and all-new five-door entry.
Hyundai does it again in great fashion with another winner!
COPYRIGHT: 2013: HARVEY SCHWARTZ
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