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First Drive: 2013 Hyundai Elantra GT

A European spin on a popular Korean compact.

by on Aug.08, 2012

The 2013 Hyundai Elantra GT.

After scoring a hit with its latest compact sedan, the Elantra, Hyundai is aiming to broaden the nameplate’s appeal with two spin-offs, the Elantra Turbo and the even sportier Elantra GT.

The maker has good reason to want to expand the line-up, considering Elantra’s success in the U.S. market.  The base car won the coveted North American Car of the Year award, last January, and Hyundai has ever since been struggling to meet demand. If anything, the 2013 Hyundai Elantra GT could put the model in even shorter supply.

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The GT is more than just a tarted-up version of the current Hyundai Elantra sedan. It features a distinctive hatchback body originally developed for Europe, where it is sold as the i30.  The version we’ll get here is largely the same motorists can buy in London or Berlin – though Hyundai has softened the suspension a bit for American tastes.


First Look: 2011 Hyundai Elantra

Pushing into hybrid territory.

by on Nov.17, 2010

Hyundai hits 40 ... mpg, that is, with the 2011 Elantra sedan.

The mileage numbers for the new 2011 Hyundai Elantra might get some folks checking the fine print to see if they refer to a hybrid model.  But no, the all-new model, which debuts at the Los Angeles Auto Show this week, really is rated at 40 miles per gallon on the highway and a respectable 29 mpg around town.

And that doesn’t just refer to a special edition model of the Korean carmaker’s new compact sedan.  That covers all versions, unlike the Chevrolet Cruze, which breaks that significant mileage milestone – hitting 42 mpg — only with its Eco edition.

But mileage isn’t the only thing Hyundai hopes the 2011 Elantra will have going for it.  Traditionally a conservative compact that aimed to sell on price, the new model gets a decidedly more modern and stylish exterior design, using Hyundai’s new Fluidic Sculpture form language, that might be thought of as a Baby Sonata.  And that’s not a bad thing considering the strong consumer response to the latest version of that midsize offering.

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As with the bigger Sonata, the 2011 Elantra will be offered only with a four-cylinder engine, in this case a 1.8-liter package that’s mated to a six-speed automatic.  It turns out 148 horsepower and 131 lb-ft of torque.