Friday, October 19, 2012

New Elantra GT a fuelish, fun ride from Hyundai

Mark Glover’s AutoGlo reviews also can be seen on the business page of The Sacramento Bee’s website – via the “GALLERY: Reviews of new cars” link at

Sacramento, California – I’m not usually a guy who goes gaga over small cars, but this new-for-2013 Elantra GT made me sit up and take notice.

With a Black Noir Pearl paint scheme and sharp Batmobile-style sculpting around the edges, this $19,000-and-change, five-door hatch looked the part of the pocket rocket.  And sure, mine was dressed up to a nearly obscene level with more than $5,000 in extras.

Can my attention be bought?  Early evidence indicates yes, as I really liked the optional sport-tuned suspension, 17-inch alloy wheels, navigation system, leather appointments and panoramic sunroof.

Controlling things from the cockpit kept me busy, but everything was within easy reach and did not take a doctorate degree in engineering to operate.

On the roll, the Elantra GT was significantly nimble on city street slaloms, and the steering was firm enough to make me feel like I was not overdriving the car.  Nice touch there.

Alas, with 148 horses coming from the 1.8-liter, four-cylinder engine, I found myself wanting more in the power department.  I really had to mash the accelerator to get the desired oomph on freeways, and while the car coasted along effortlessly in the 60- to 65 miles per hour range, I was shy about making quick lane changes as it took time to get an extra safety cushion in tight traffic.

I made a cargo run out of necessity and was surprised how much stuff the tester took in once the seats were folded.  It handled about 40 percent more than I would have guessed.  That will save you a few errands.

Gas mileage: Very nice at 28 miles per gallon in the city and a whopping 39 mpg on the open road.

Hyundai touts the Elantra GT as a competitor against the Ford Focus, Mazda3 and Volkswagen Golf, and I can’t argue with that.  I’d say each model has its advantages.  For performance, I’d probably opt for the Mazda3.  But I might lean toward the Elantra as a reliable choice for a family member or close friend.

My Elantra experience was rounded off by a lengthy list of standard safety, comfort and convenience features.

All in all, it’s hard not to like this new Elantra GT.  Who am I kidding?  I liked it just fine.

If you’re searching for practical-size, affordable, gas-sipping transportation with modern perks, put this one on your test-drive list.

No comments:

Post a Comment