2013 Hyundai Elantra Coupe Missed The 40 MPG Mark: 2012 Chicago Auto Show

Derek Kreindler
by Derek Kreindler

With 39 mpg highway and 33 mpg combined, the 2013 Hyundai Elantra coupe may not get the same gas mileage as its sedan brother, but it injects a new entrant into a very slim field of compact, affordable two-door cars.

Classified as a mid-size car (as opposed to the compact Honda Civic and Kia Forte two-doors), the familiar 148 horsepower 4-cylinder engine and 6-speed transmissions are available, along with Bluetooth and an iPod dock. Two trim levels, the GS and SE are available, but only leather and 17 inch wheels can be had on the SE. A technology package adds a 7 inch screen, a back-up camera, push-to-start and a better stereo. The SE also gets an upgraded suspension which should hopefully liven up the Elantra’s mundane driving dynamics.

Derek Kreindler
Derek Kreindler

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  • Ciriya.com Ciriya.com on Feb 08, 2012

    Looks like Hyundai's equivalent of the second grn Ford Focus coupe: a clone of the sedan with two less doors. Thanks for nothing H.

    • See 4 previous
    • Otaku Otaku on Feb 08, 2012

      @ Car Spy Tweets: As far as I'm concerned, the people at Hyundai should count themselves lucky if their new coupe turns out to be as fine an effort as the recently discontinued Ford Focus. From where I stand, they already have one strike against them for passing on an independent rear suspension. As the proud owner of a second gen Ford Focus, I can testify as to how good a vehicle it is. Smooth, solid, quiet, refined, comfortable, with a better than average ride/handling tradeoff for its size, and, due to its relatively low weight, a responsive powertrain that still delivers class competitive fuel economy (just ask Baruth, if you don't believe me). Back in 2009, my friend and I were each in the market for a front-wheel drive, fuel efficient two-door. He test drove just about everything in the segment and, because he had a much higher budget to work with, decided to go with a brand new '09 Honda Civic LX Coupe. I had about half as much money in my bank account, so I found a deal on a slightly used 2008 Ford Focus SE Coupe. Since then, he's had to take his car back to the dealership a few times to deal with mechanical issues, various rattles/vibrations from the interior that can't be tracked down, and at least one recall. The smallish seats are starting to give him back pain and he's growing impatient with the rough ride, especially now that the roads around here are full of potholes during the winter. Meanwhile, other than requiring new brake pads and the occasional oil change, my Focus has been bulletproof and everytime we go somewhere in my car, my friend always comments that it feels like a Caddy compared to his Civic. Before buying my Focus, I was actually looking at both the Honda Accord and Civic coupes. The Accord was ridiculously expensive and a little bigger/heavier than what I needed, while the Civic (also overpriced IMO for what you get) was a little too small and the seats were mounted so low it felt like you were driving with your ass on the ground. Size/comfortwise, the Focus did a nice job of splitting the difference for a heck of a lot less coin. Bottom line, not everyone needs a hatchback, wagon or sedan and believe it or not, some coupe buyers aren't necessarily in the market for a 4,000 lb, 15 mpg Camaro. My first car was an '86 Thunderbird Turbo Coupe (still one of my favorite cars of all time) and I've been purely a coupe guy ever since. In a few years I'll probably be looking to trade into something newer and at that time I will only consider a two-door model. Maybe this Hyundai will fit the bill, maybe not (might take quite a while to get used to that front end), but at least Hyundai is still allowing their customers some semblance of choice. So do the rest of us a favor and please drop the 'tude...

  • Obruni Obruni on Feb 08, 2012

    this so much better looking than the Forte Coupe is the 28/39 fuel economy available in standard form, or does one need to buy some bullshit "economy" pack like on the Forte to get there?

  • Jpolicke Jpolicke on Feb 08, 2012

    Not at all bad looking. I think I'd still rather have the Forte Koup with the 173hp 2.4 although the fuel economy of the Elantra is tempting.

    • Otaku Otaku on Feb 08, 2012

      I wouldn't mind seeing this model offered with either the Kia Soul's 164 hp 2.0L I4 or the Sonata's DI 200 hp 2.4L. Maybe as an optional engine choice or part of some kind of sport package.

  • Word is bond Word is bond on Feb 08, 2012

    How does this happen? Shouldn't the coupe be lighter and therefore get better mileage? I'm slightly perturbed.

    • Quentin Quentin on Feb 08, 2012

      Weight simply isn't much of a player on the EPA's highway fuel economy test, especially when you are talking about a couple hundred pounds. Aerodynamic drag is the big player here, rather than rolling resistance. Chances are the aero drag is lower on the longer sedan and that makes the difference. The reason that automakers generally don't care about weight creep is because it doesn't hurt crash tests (helps, in fact), it doesn't hurt the ride (again, the cars generally feel more planted), and it only marginally hurts fuel economy. The Cruze is a pig, but the gas mileage numbers are competitive, the ride is good, and the crash tests are good. Spending another hypothetical $10/unit on weight reduction that won't make the EPA highway numbers, which is all people tend to look at anyway, look any better and the ride won't be as good doesn't make financial sense. That is $1.5M/year* for something that doesn't make the car more marketable. * I'm saying that maybe it cost an extra $10/unit in R&D and materials to get a Cruze down to 2800lbs instead of 3000lbs. At 150k units a year, that is a lot of coin.