By on February 8, 2012

Ah, the unbearable lightness of being Hyundai! The Elantra GT has arrived, looking quite sleek, quite desirable, and clocking in at 2,784 pounds. That’s 151 pounds lighter than the next-best player in the segment — Mazda’s similarly Tyson-faced Mazda3 — and
well ahead of the Focus and Golf. The point was driven home by a little show-and-tell, as seen above, to which the Chicago media reacted with thunderous applause. Hear me now, believe me later, and remember it when you are shopping for your next car: The Elantra GT is the lightest car in its class.

The Elantra Coupe? Well…

Buried in the middle of the press materials is the slightly annoying truth: the Elantra Coupe, at 2,687 pounds, is non-trivially heavier than the new Civic Coupe, which weighs 2,594. Against that disadvantage, the Elantra offers fourteen cubic feet of additional interior space, eight more horsepower, six-speed transmissions to play the Civic’s five-speeders, a better EPA fuel economy (which is currently estimated at the magic and controversial 40mpg highway) and standard electronic nannies.

Still, if you need the lightest coupe in the segment, the Elantra ain’t it. One wonders how much a Civic five-door would weigh.

In his opening speech, Hyundai’s CEO, John Krafcik, hinted at something that we were able to confirm: both the GT and Coupe will be assembled exclusively in Korea.

Photography courtesy of Julie Hyde

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28 Comments on “Hyundai Elantra Coupe and GT: The Lightest Cars In The Class, Except When They Aren’t...”


  • avatar
    MrWhopee

    How can the GT, a hatchback, be lighter than the coupe? It has 3 additional doors, including a big one in the back, with big rear glass area, while the coupe has only two doors and conventional trunk?

    • 0 avatar
      Wacko

      Elantra Coupe, at 2,687 pounds
      Elantra GT 2,784 pounds

      In my book the coupe is 97 pounds less than the GT

      He is saying that the coupe is more heavy than the civic coupe, not the elantra GT

      • 0 avatar
        MrWhopee

        Ah, that makes sense then. The Elantra GT is the lightest in its class, while the Coupe has a lighter competitor in its class. All is right in the world again! :)

  • avatar
    dmw

    I’m all for adding lightness, and believe the auto obesity epidemic must be brought under control. But at ths segment, small cars where automakers are making very high mpg claims, however dubious, I’m concerned that these cars are making their numbers by cross-drilling and thinning components to the point where David Blaine could bend them with only his mind, and replaceing other bits styrofoam.

    • 0 avatar
      icemilkcoffee

      Except that is not true. Crash standards are getting tighter all the time, and car bodies are hugely stiffer and stronger than before.

      The tiniest car on the market now is safer than a typical muscle car from the 60’s.

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      They’re mostly claiming highway figures, and drag and gearing make up the difference more than weight.

      Weight affects city mileage, which no one but Toyota seems to quote. Ever.

      • 0 avatar
        gslippy

        Weight can strongly affect highway mileage, as I found when towing cross-country last year, while my vehicle’s cross-section was only minimally changed by the towed box. Adding 3000 lbs of people and towed stuff to my minvan’s 4200 curb weight dropped the highway mileage in half.

        I don’t know what you mean by nobody quoting city mileage. As a commuter, that’s the one I care about most, but it’s readily available for any car. You just don’t see it much in today’s ads, which seem to focus on the top number.

  • avatar
    drylbrg

    It isn’t. The GT is 2,784 while the coupe is 2,687. The difference is that the Civic coupe is lighter yet.

  • avatar
    talkstoanimals

    Where else and from whom else would you get a Milan Kundera and a Hans and Franz reference in the same article concerning a car? Classic.

    These are both handsome cars to be sure, but what’s the point of either if Kia is supposed to be the more “youth oriented” brand in the Hyundia/Kia portfolio? Don’t get me wrong, I’m a fan of more choice, especially when the product looks this good. But I wonder if we might be seeing the beginning signs of brand creep out of the Rising Giant…

  • avatar
    Advance_92

    I think it’s par for the course for anyone around the 40 year mark these days.

    While I don’t like a lot of the styling of Hyundais these days I like the coupe taking the rear side windows so far back to create a slender C pillar. It looks much better than a lot of other small coupe styles like the tC and Kia Forte.

  • avatar
    segfault

    Honda obtains the lowest weight in the class by omitting sound deadening from their cars.

  • avatar
    TokyoPlumber

    So a Hyundai Elantra GT piloted by Juliette Binoche is a case of Becherovka lighter than a driverless Mazda 3 Sport? Impressive. However, the Elantra GT is probably at least 700 pounds heavier than Daniel Day-Lewis and Lena Olin in a Škoda 100.

  • avatar
    tankinbeans

    Aren’t the Elantra GT and Elantra Coupe nominally designated as midsize by EPA? I think I read that in one of the other Elantra pieces today. Does this make a difference for the lightest in class indication?

  • avatar
    philadlj

    “One wonders how much a Civic five-door would weigh”

    Bring back the Civic Shuttle!

  • avatar
    kevnsd

    Kudos to Hyundai for its ongoing efforts to innovate and build good cars. But when I look at these pictures one word comes to mind… ugly. I’ll take an extra couple hundred pounds of port to get a car that looks good and is reasonably quiet.

    Final thought… I’m not yet convinced that the current crop of Hyundai will look or hold up any better 5, 7 10 and 15 years from now then the cars they built years ago. Old Toyotas hang in there mechanically and don’t insult aesthetically, MB’s to my eyes look better over time but it takes a good wallet to keep them healthy, Lexus/Infinity/Acura can look dated but hang in mechanically and American pick ups from every manufacturer just don’t seem to die and will continue to look like pick up trucks for at least the next century if not beyond.

    • 0 avatar
      Squirrel19

      How looks and style go, it’s hard to say. As for long term mechanicals, probably as well as most. Most every car company is bringing a ton of tech out rapidly (touch screen, electric assist packages, etc). How those age will be hard to say. My 2000 Camry has no electrical issues, while my GF’s 2005 Impala has a finichy radio and generally shi**y electronics. In ’07 my friend’s ’03 Elantra worked like champ ~80,000 miles. We must wait and see. Just because it’s Korean doesn’t mean it’s bad, just look at Samsung.

    • 0 avatar
      gslippy

      My 01 Elantra has 170k on the original engine and automatic transmission. I’d suggest that it was the value and durability of those cars which led to Hyundai’s sales success today.

      Hyundai/Kia is printing money while offering the leading 10/100 warranty for quite a while now. If their cars were so bad, they’d be losing money and/or reputation.

      My Scion xB1 has been extremely, but you have to ask if paying the Toyota/Honda price premium is worth getting only half the warranty.

    • 0 avatar
      rockit

      I agree kevnsd, well said.

      Regarding glisppy’s post, I know many people that have Hyundai’s from 2000-2005 and they have not been that great for reliability. True while they are not like Hyundai from the late 80’s and early 90’s but they generally more fragile than Japanese and domestics offerings from the same time period. (Problems have included broken timing chains, suspension issues, A/C malfunctions, leaks, electronics, interior speaks and rattles, all from cars with generally low miles)

  • avatar
    jonny b

    I’ll stick with my Elantra Touring.

  • avatar
    red stick

    Me too. Can’t tell much about interior space, particularly in the back seat, but cargo capacity appears to have taken a significant hit.

  • avatar
    gslippy

    I’m all about lightweight cars, but splitting hairs over a hundred pounds is a waste of time. Weight matters, but 4% doesn’t – that’s the weight of a small tank of gas.

  • avatar
    Zoom

    The GT doesn’t include the spare tire.

  • avatar
    otaku

    I’ve always preferred lightweight cars. For the most part they tend to offer better fuel economy and are usually more fun to toss around in the turns. Pretty sure my ’08 Focus Coupe is right around the same 2600-2700 pound range of these Honda/Hyundai coupes. However, while I haven’t sat in the current Honda Civic coupe, if it’s proportions are similar to my friend’s 2009 model, I think it would probably feel a bit too small and uncomfortable for me. I would be willing to look past the extra 100 lb weight penalty for the additional passenger/cargo space and overall comfort.

  • avatar

    Would Hyundai consider offering either the 204hp 1.6T or the 274hp 2.0T in either the Coupe or the Hatch? I think those combinations would be winners in the performance compact category!

    “How hard could it be?”

    Hyundai, are you listening?

    Tony D
    New Edge Performance & LSSpeedShop.com

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