2013 Hyundai Elantra GT

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Key Specs
Our Take
Road Test
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Key Specs

of the 2013 Hyundai Elantra GT. Base trim shown.

  • Body Type:
  • Combined MPG:
    31 Combined MPG
  • Engine:
    148-hp, 1.8-liter I-4 (regular gas)
  • Drivetrain:
    Front-wheel Drive
  • Transmission:
    6-speed manual w/OD
  • View more specs

Our Take

From the Cars.com Vehicle Test Team

The Good

  • Sportier ride than sedan
  • Gas mileage doesn't come at the expense of drivability
  • Roomy cabin, especially in front
  • Interior quality
  • Stylish design

The Bad

  • Limited backseat headroom for adults
  • Noisy backup camera
  • Power steering modes feel artificial
  • No a la carte options, just two packages

Notable Features of the 2013 Hyundai Elantra GT

  • New hatchback for 2013
  • Replaces Elantra Touring
  • Many standard features, including heated front seats
  • Six-speed manual or automatic
  • 37 mpg on the highway

2013 Hyundai Elantra GT Road Test

Joe Bruzek

Editor's note: Estimated mileage ratings have been lowered to reflect a November 2012 EPA audit of this car's stated mileage.

The 2013 Elantra GT hatchback is a new addition to Hyundai's growing arsenal of Elantra models, including an Elantra Coupe that's also new for 2013 and a hot-selling sedan that was redesigned for the 2011 model year. Compare Elantra body styles here. The GT is a stylish replacement for the Elantra Touring, which looked like a mutated wagon/hatchback version of the previous-generation Elantra sedan.

The 2013 Hyundai Elantra GT doesn't settle for being just a utilitarian hatchback version of the sedan; it's a more premium experience with a few tricks up its sleeve.

The GT takes a sport-minded approach compared with the comfort-oriented Hyundai Elantra sedan, so replacing the name "Touring" with "GT" is a good call. The name "Touring" implies laid-back driving through the countryside, while "GT" sounds more "go go go." Both the outgoing Touring and the GT are an evolution of the Hyundai i30 hatchback sold overseas, which accounts for the numerous variations between the sedan and coupe.

Not All Elantras Are Created Equal
The GT is a unique experience. While the Elantra sedan and coupe have similar interior appointments and styling, the GT's enhanced style and pleasant materials give the hatchback a more premium feel than its counterparts.

The sedan is nice enough, but the GT uses less painted plastic around the center console and adds additional textu...

Editor's note: Estimated mileage ratings have been lowered to reflect a November 2012 EPA audit of this car's stated mileage.

The 2013 Elantra GT hatchback is a new addition to Hyundai's growing arsenal of Elantra models, including an Elantra Coupe that's also new for 2013 and a hot-selling sedan that was redesigned for the 2011 model year. Compare Elantra body styles here. The GT is a stylish replacement for the Elantra Touring, which looked like a mutated wagon/hatchback version of the previous-generation Elantra sedan.

The 2013 Hyundai Elantra GT doesn't settle for being just a utilitarian hatchback version of the sedan; it's a more premium experience with a few tricks up its sleeve.

The GT takes a sport-minded approach compared with the comfort-oriented Hyundai Elantra sedan, so replacing the name "Touring" with "GT" is a good call. The name "Touring" implies laid-back driving through the countryside, while "GT" sounds more "go go go." Both the outgoing Touring and the GT are an evolution of the Hyundai i30 hatchback sold overseas, which accounts for the numerous variations between the sedan and coupe.

Not All Elantras Are Created Equal
The GT is a unique experience. While the Elantra sedan and coupe have similar interior appointments and styling, the GT's enhanced style and pleasant materials give the hatchback a more premium feel than its counterparts.

The sedan is nice enough, but the GT uses less painted plastic around the center console and adds additional textured materials on the lower dashboard to create a unified look. The gear selector on automatic-transmission cars has a stitched boot surrounding the base instead of an ugly exposed stalk like the sedan has. Those little features pop, separating the GT from other Elantras. Other editors were also impressed, pointing out the superior quality of the optional leather seats and the more expensive-looking door panels.

You'll find features on the GT that are absent from the sedan and coupe, like the optional panoramic roof and flip-out backup camera, which I'll touch on later.

Hatchbackability & Interior
Compared with the fugly Elantra Touring, this new, stylish hatchback pays a price in maximum cargo volume, which is down to 51 cubic feet from the Touring's 65.3 cubic feet. To give perspective, the Elantra sedan's total trunk volume is 14.8 cubic feet. Even so, the GT's cargo room is large compared with other compact hatchbacks, like the Ford Focus, Mazda3 and Subaru Impreza. The Impreza is closest to the Elantra GT, with 52 cubic feet of space. (See the models compared.)

One of the Elantra GT's tricks to maximizing cargo room is the backseat's design. The bottom cushions flip up and forward, allowing the folded backrests to provide an almost flat load floor. A true flat load floor is rare when backseats are folded because the seat's bottom cushions prevent the backs from resting flat. The GT's load floor is "almost" flat because, while the small section of the 60/40-split backrest lays flat, the larger portion is slightly inclined.

Though many automakers have moved away from this multistage seat-folding scheme, it's beneficial for carrying level-sensitive items, like plants, as well as creating the most space from the floor to the ceiling. You can also leave the bottom cushions in place and make do with the ramp-like angle if your cargo is long but not too tall.

In the 23 cubic feet of space behind the raised rear seats, we fit two adult-sized golf bags flat on the floor.

Despite the loss in cargo room compared with the Elantra Touring, the Elantra GT's passenger space compares favorably with other hatchbacks in its class. The GT takes a 1.6-inch hit in legroom up front versus the roomy Elantra sedan, but I never felt uncomfortable in the driver's seat, and I'm a slender 6 feet tall.

I had more trouble fitting in the backseat, where the top of my head grazed the ceiling. I might have found a little more clearance without the optional panoramic roof. A Hyundai representative tells us there's about an inch (0.9 inches) more rear headroom in models without the panoramic roof, though I haven't sat in one yet. Otherwise, the rear is a comfortable experience. If I were an inch shorter I'd have nothing but nice things to say about it.

Gadgets & Gizmos
It's no secret Hyundai packs a wallop of features in its cars for bargain prices. The GT is no exception: It not only includes a raft of standard features at its reasonable $19,170 base price (including a $775 destination charge) but it also offers optional features that are rare among economy hatchbacks. Notable standard equipment includes heated cloth front seats, a USB input, satellite radio, Bluetooth, BlueLink telematics system, a tilt and telescoping steering wheel and more (see the full list).

There aren't many features in sub-$25,000 cars that elicit ooooh and ahhhh responses, but the Elantra GT's optional backup camera did exactly that. It's incorporated into the rear Hyundai "H" badge, which flips up to expose the camera when the car is in Reverse.

It's a slick feature, but every editor who drove the car noted the loud, mechanical sound the camera made when it opened and closed; I thought I had run over something when I put the car back in Drive to haul off. The backup camera is part of a Technology Package ($2,350) that includes navigation and smart key entry — but it also requires a $2,750 Style Package as a prerequisite.

The Style Package equips the GT with a panoramic moonroof, leather seats, 17-inch wheels, a sport suspension and more. Though not foreign to cars priced below $25,000, the panoramic roof is a notable feature that's typically relegated to more expensive cars. With a power-retractable shade to shield the entire roof from the sun, the feature doesn't feel like a budget add-on. I'm a fan of large glass roofs because of the open-air feeling of sunlight illuminating the entire interior. In the Hyundai Elantra GT, the roof's front segment slides back like a traditional sunroof.

A feature we haven't seen in this vehicle class is the multiple-mode power-steering assist, called Driver Selectable Steering Mode, which is standard. A button on the steering wheel selects modes that vary how much force it takes the driver to turn the steering wheel. (Sports cars often have heavier steering wheels for precision driving.) In the GT, the different modes feel artificial; I preferred to use Comfort mode, which is the easiest to turn. Sport mode didn't make the experience any more precise or sports-car-like.

Under the Hood
The GT's differentiation from the sedan continues in the driving experience. It's fun to take on on-ramps with some speed. The GT is tuned for sportier driving, with a stiffer suspension than the comfort-oriented sedan. Our tester had the optional sport suspension, with calibrations tailored to the lower-profile 17-inch tires that made the car's handling crisp and balanced. Both the sports suspension and the wheels are part of the $2,750 Style Package.

The Elantra GT is modestly powered, using the same 148-horsepower, 1.8-liter four-cylinder from the Elantra sedan and coupe. Being a few ponies down compared with the Mazda3 and Focus doesn't cost the GT in acceleration because it's more svelte, at around 2,700 pounds. The EPA rates fuel economy of the Elantra GT with a six-speed automatic transmission at 27/37 mpg city/highway, and the six-speed manual Elantra at 26/37 mpg.

While the Elantra GT adds some extra fun to the Elantra lineup, overall it's still not as tossable or composed as the Mazda3 or Ford Focus, which are stunners in this segment, sporting less body roll and additional road-holding ability.

Safety
The Elantra GT earned a best five-star overall rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The Elantra GT has not been crash-tested by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Being a different body style, the hatchback doesn't share test results with IIHS testing of the sedan.

Standard safety equipment on the Elantra GT includes frontal airbags, side-impact airbags for front occupants, a driver's knee airbag, side curtain airbags for the front and rear, an electronic stability system and antilock brakes. For additional safety equipment information, see here.

To see how well child seats fit in the Elantra GT, see the Car Seat Check.

Elantra GT in the Market
The hatchback comes at a price premium compared with the sedan, which is typical for hatchback versions of compact cars. Checking in at $25,365 with options and destination charge, our fully loaded GT cost about $2,000 more than a fully loaded Elantra sedan.

Despite the added cost, the GT's hatchback usability — combined with a more premium interior, a sporty driving experience and trick features — means the extra dough is easy to part with.

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Latest 2013 Elantra GT Stories

Consumer Reviews

Exterior Styling
(4.7)
Performance
(4.2)
Interior Design
(4.6)
Comfort
(4.6)
Reliability
(4.6)
Value For The Money
(4.6)

What Drivers Are Saying

(2.0)

Good MPG, but that?s it

by Big B from Dallas, TX on September 20, 2018

This car was not what I expected. My drive is about an hour one way and I have long stretches of open road. The car was very unstable in wind. I felt like I was consistently battling to keep the car ... Read full review

(3.0)

Good car to get the job done. Not an ideal family

by n3vadan775 from Reno, NV on July 13, 2018

Not an ideal family car. Too small for a family, but it?s a gas saver which is a positive. Like the color and the speed. Read full review

Safety & Recalls

Recalls

The 2013 Hyundai Elantra GT currently has 0 recalls

NHTSA Crash and Rollover Test Ratings

Based on 2013 Hyundai Elantra GT Base

NHTSA rates vehicles using a star rating system from 1-5 stars, with 5 being the highest.

Overall
5 Star
Overall Front
4 Star
Overall Side
5 Star
Overall Rollover Rating
4 Star
Driver's
5 Star
Passenger's
4 Star
Side Barrier
5 Star
Side Barrier Rating Driver
4 Star
Side Barrier Rating Passenger Rear Seat
5 Star
Side Pole
5 Star
Side Pole Barrier combined (Front)
4 Star
Side Pole Barrier combined (Rear)
5 Star
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is part of the U.S. Department of Transportation. NHTSA provides vehicle safety information such as front- and side-crash ratings and rollover ratings. Vehicles are rated using a star rating system from 1-5 stars, with 5 being the highest.

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Cars.com Car Seat Check

Certified child passenger safety technicians conduct hands-on tests of a car’s Latch system and check the vehicle’s ability to accommodate different types of car seats. The Elantra GT received the following grades on a scale of A-F.*
* This score may not apply to all trims, especially for vehicles with multiple body styles that affect the space and design of the seating.

Warranty FAQs

What is a Bumper-to-Bumper warranty?

Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance like fluid top offs and oil changes, but a few brands have separate free-maintenance provisions, and those that do offer them is slowly rising. Bumper-to-bumper warranties typically expire faster than powertrain warranties.

What is a Powertrain warranty?

Don't be misled a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty doesn't promise a decade of free repairs for your car. It typically covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like the driveshaft and constant velocity joints. Some automakers also bundle seat belts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don't cover regular maintenance like engine tuneups and tire rotations.

What is included in Roadside Assistance?

Some automakers include roadside assistance with their bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranties, while others have separate policies. These programs cover anything from flat-tire changes and locksmith services to jump-starts and towing. Few reimburse incidental costs like motel rooms (if you have to wait for repairs).

What other services could be included in a warranty?

Some automakers include free scheduled maintenance for items such as oil changes, air filters and tire rotations. Some include consumables including brake pads and windshield wipers; others do not. They are typically for the first couple of years of ownership of a new car.

What does CPO mean?

A certified pre-owned or CPO car has been inspected to meet minimum quality standards and typically includes some type of warranty. While dealers and third parties certify cars, the gold standard is an automaker-certified vehicle that provides a factory-backed warranty, often extending the original coverage. Vehicles must be in excellent condition and have low miles and wear to be certified, which is why off-lease vehicles feed many CPO programs.

See also the latest CPO incentives by automaker