I’ve been impressed with the recent design and style changes across all Hyundai cars over the years. My perceptions have changed considerably since riding in my friend’s Hyundai Sonata back in my university days in the mid-1990’s. Hyundai cars have changed considerably since then and I like what see.
Last month, I was able to give the 2013 Elantra GT SE a quick spin over a weekend to see why it was selected as the AJAC Best New Small Car (over $21k). AJAC is the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada and to have received that designation already says quite a bit for the small 5-door hatchback.
All Elantra GT models comes with a 1.8-litre, four-cylinder engine providing 148 horsepower and 131 ft.-lb. of torque and offered as a 6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic transmission. Over a weekend of what I would describe as normal driving habits, I was able to get about 9.9L/100kms. The published EnerGuide fuel efficiency report is listed at 7.3L/100kms (city) and 5.0L/100kms (highway).
The Elantra GT SE also features Hyundai’s new Driver Selectable Steering Mode (DSSM). The system features three distinct modes: Comfort, Normal and Sport. In Sport mode, you can feel the heavier steering wheel through turns and bends along the road. In Comfort mode, the steering wheel feels loose and nimble and suited for long drives along most of Manitoba’s flat and straight highways. Different driving conditions would easily warrant using the different driving modes.
Hyundai is packing in all the features with the GT SE Tech Auto package. Noteable features include cooled glove box, 8-way power driver’s seat, 17” aluminum alloy wheels, front fog lights, mirror mounted turn signals and a secret rear view camera.
The secret rear view camera flips open from the Hyundai emblem on the back of the vehicle when the car is in reverse gear. It’s a great little feature and keeps the rear view camera clean and there’s no need to jump out of your car to clean the camera lens.
The Elantra GT is available in three trim levels: the base model GL ($19,149), GLS ($21,349) and the SE ($24,349) and comes with two transmission options: 6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic with Shiftronic control. Sadly, there were no paddle shifters on the GT SE road tester model which came with the Tech package and listed at $26,349 in Volcanic Red.
The Elantra GT is in against some stiff competition in a very crowded compact car marketplace. Other vehicles in the segment include Subaru Impreza, Honda Civic, Toyota Matrix, Kia Forte, Mazda 3, Ford Focus, VW Bug and Chevrolet Sonic.
The 2013 Elantra GT SE with the tech package was provided by Birchwood Hyundai on McPhillips.
Photo by Ron Cantiveros | Filipino Journal