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Aaron Gold

Revisiting the 2013 Hyundai Elantra GT

By February 15, 2013

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2013 Hyundai Elantra GTOne of the few downsides of this job -- and there aren't many -- is that I spend a lot of time second-guessing myself. I'll pass a less-than-positive judgement on a car, then spend the next four weeks wondering if my review was as fair as it should have been. One advantage of the Web over print is that if I decide I was wrong, I can change it.

One of the cars that's been bothering me is the Hyundai Elantra GT, the new-for-2013 hatchback edition of Hyundai's compact Elantra. The Elantra GT is actually Hyundai's European-market i30, and it has a styling and size edge over the Elantra sedan -- but the one thing that really put me off about the car was the suspension tuning.

I love Hyundai, but the suspension and steering systems on their front-wheel-drive cars have a ways to go. Five years ago, when Hyundai was best known for bargain cars, I didn't care much -- but now that they are going mainstream, I'm giving them more careful scrutiny. Still, ever since I wrote that review -- which, by the way, was conducted at a press preview -- I've been asking myself if a less-than-optimal suspension setup should really have that much of an adverse affect on the car. So I'm spending the next week with an Elantra GT as my daily driver. We'll see if my opinion changes after seven days, more freeway time, and (of course) a run on the About.com Top Secret Curvy Test Road. (And if I was wrong, I'll be the first to admit it -- and change my review.)

Incidentally, I drove the Elantra Coupe at the same press preview, and I liked it quite a bit better; I thought it was an excellent execution of what a compact coupe ought to be. That said, I complained about the Coupe's suspension setup as well... -- Aaron Gold

Photo Aaron Gold

February 15, 2013 at 12:00 pm
(1) Hawaiian Don says:

All in all, the Coupe is a very attractive package. Great looks, MPG’s, interior and warranty. However, if the handling is sketchy…Not!
The #1 reason I drive a Golf is the handling. Everything else is secondary to that.

February 17, 2013 at 8:31 pm
(2) esb says:

Let me suggest that you get your hands on a 201 hp 1.6L manual 2014 Kia Forte 5 and compare it to the Hyundai Elantra GT.

Everything wrong with the GT has been fixed and more in the new Forte 5, power, handling, interior materials and the (yes there is a God) banishing of the repulsive reflective chrome “accents” in the cabin.

My cousin does investment banking services for Hyundai/Kia and had an opportunity to drive one of the new Forte 5s configured as above and so did I and let me say that comparing the new Forte 5 to the Elantra GT is like comparing Hyperion to a Satyr.

Watch your back BMW because something is coming right at you at half the price.

February 17, 2013 at 11:25 pm
(3) Zdravko - Toronto says:

I can’t wait for the new Forte to arrive, for two major reasons – nice engines (the 2.0 178 hp and the 1.6 turbo – assuming from the Veloster) and a COOLED DRIVER SEAT. I can’t believe they are putting this in a compact – one of the best features ever implemented in cars. The big question is – should the GTI be scared?

February 18, 2013 at 2:44 am
(4) Hawaiian Don says:

Actually Zdravko, I have my eye on the A or B Class M-B. The B Class is already for sale in B.C. and the A Class is not far behind. The BMW X1 is also here selling for circa 30k. I find it hard to get pumped about a Kia.

February 18, 2013 at 3:18 am
(5) Zdravko - Toronto says:

I agree these are all nice cars (you should also add the CLA to the list), however, the Mercedes models start at 30k in Ontario and the X1 starts at 37k. The Kia should be no more than 17k starting price, and that is a big difference.

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