Nuts & Bolts: 2013 Hyundai Elantra coupe

October 19, 2012

Bottom line: The new Elantra coupe essentially is a styling exercise, a very good one. But “coupe,” in this case, does not mean exceptionally fast or sporty. You will move just as fast and well as you move in the Elantra sedan — not faster or better.

Ride, acceleration and handling: It gets good marks in all three.

Body style, layout: The Elantra coupe is a front-engine, front-wheel-drive, two-door version of the popular Elantra sedan. It easily is one of the best-designed two-door cars for the money — available in base GS or up-level SE trim.

Engine/transmission: The standard engine is a 1.8-liter, 16-valve, inline four-cylinder model with variable valve lift and timing (148 horsepower, 131 foot-pounds of torque). It is linked to a standard six-speed manual transmission.

Capacities: There are seats for five people. There is enough cargo space to handle five medium overnight bags. The fuel tank holds 13.8 gallons of gasoline. Regular grade is recommended.

Real-world mileage: Driving mostly highway with front-seat passenger only, I averaged 38 miles per gallon.

Safety: Standard equipment includes four-wheel disc brakes (ventilated front/solid rear); four-wheel antilock brake protection; emergency braking assistance; electronic brake-force distribution; electronic stability and traction control; side and head air bags; three-point seat belt for rear-center passenger.

Price: The 2013 Hyundai Elantra coupe starts at $17,455 for the base GS model with a dealer’s invoice price of $16,924. The tested SE coupe with higher content (leather-covered seats, panoramic glass roof, premium sound system) starts at $19,745 with a dealer’s invoice price of $18,923. Add a $775 destination charge.

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