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2013 Hyundai Elantra KBB Expert Review

The Fair Market Range for this car in your area is $17,181 - $17,676.

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What Others Paid
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MSRP $18,760

Fair Purchase Price $17,429
Fair Market Range ($17,181 - $17,676)

Invoice $18,155
"What Others Paid" is based on the last 90 days within the U.S.

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Consumer Rating 8.0 / 10
10/8.0

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KBB Expert Review

KBB Editors' Overview

By KBB.com Editors - Updated Date: 7/5/2012


Just two model years after a complete redesign, the Hyundai Elantra continues to impress with its styling, fuel efficiency and bang for the buck. No longer just a scrappy rival biting at the feet of the Toyota Corolla, Honda Civic and Ford Focus, the Elantra has won favor with consumers and critics alike, the latter naming it the 2012 North American Car of the Year. With every sedan model rated at 38 mpg/highway and Hyundai's leading 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty, the Elantra has a lot going for it. For 2013 the Elantra still offers just one engine choice, but its lineup expands with the addition of a Coupe and the GT 5-door hatchback.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you want a good-looking, fuel-sipping compact car that offers a lot of features for the money, the 2013 Elantra deserves a high spot on your consideration list. Add in the fact that its interior technically garners midsize-car status and its powertrain is backed by a 10-year/100,000-mile warranty, and the Elantra looks even sweeter.

You May Not Like This Car If...

Sharp handling, powerful acceleration and a plush ride are not characteristics found in the Hyundai Elantra. For a sportier ride, check out the Mazda3 or Ford Focus. For a compact that leans more on the comfort side, consider the Chevy Cruze.

What's New for 2013

In addition to the sedan, the 2013 Elantra is now available as a 2-door Coupe and 5-door hatchback called the GT that replaces the wagon-like Elantra Touring. All are front-wheel drive and offer 5-passenger seating. The Elantra GT is the first Hyundai to feature a driver-selectable steering mode that can make the steering response feel firmer or softer with the touch of a button.

Driving It Driving Impressions

The 2013 Hyundai Elantra competently straddles the middle ground between frisky, fun-to-drive compacts like the Mazda3 and Ford Focus and the more comfort-oriented Chevy Cruze. Bland it is not, though. Hyundai's in-house transmissions – a 6-speed automatic or 6-speed manual – both work well to wring the most out of the Elantra's 148-horsepower engine while also getting the most out of the regular unleaded gasoline it uses. Steering could use some fine-tuning in the Coupe and sedan versions for better feel, but the GT hatchback benefits greatly from Hyundai's first application of a 3-mode driver-selectable steering adjustment. GT models also feature a sport-tuned suspension that makes the car surprisingly fun to drive on twisty roads. In everyday driving the cabin is well-insulated from wind and road noise, and the front seats are comfortable for this class of car.

Favorite Features

DRIVER SELECTABLE STEERING MODE
This ingenious technology enables drivers to firm up or soften the steering feel with the touch of a button. Available only on the 2013 Elantra GT for now, we wouldn't be surprised to see this nifty feature on more Hyundais in the future.

HEATED REAR SEATS
Not that long ago, just having heated front seats in a compact sedan was laudable. Coupe and GT versions of the 2013 Elantra now get those standard, while sedans can be optioned with heated rear seats, a first in this segment.

Vehicle Details Interior  Dashboard, center console, gear shifter view photo

The 2013 Hyundai Elantra's cabin is laid out well and easy to use. Technically, the Elantra's interior is roomy enough to be classified as a midsize car by the EPA. The cabin is comfortable and features some soft-touch materials, but also uses some rather low-end plastics on the doors and switches. The optional navigation package gives the Elantra a more upscale feel, but other aspects, such as the clock and climate display, appear somewhat dated. The front seats are well-bolstered. Rear legroom is adequate in the sedan and Coupe, and generous in the GT. Trunk space is laudable, and the folding rear seats in the sedan and Coupe are convenient when hauling bigger items. The GT, meanwhile, features rear seats that fold flat and is a smart pick for those who regularly haul extra gear but don't want an SUV.

Exterior   photo

Hyundai calls it "Fluidic Sculpture." We just call it good-looking. The Elantra continues to evolve Hyundai's design theme that is meant to evoke "fluid in motion." For the sheet metal that means lots of curves, a prominent beltline along the sides and headlights that appear as if they are being drawn back into the hood. It all works without feeling gaudy. Aside from having only two doors, Coupe versions are distinguished by a large, trapezoidal mouth and twin tailpipes in the rear. The GT hatchback receives a similar treatment up front and a sloping roof that looks much more fashionable than the model it replaces, the rather bloated Elantra Touring.

Notable Standard Equipment

Hyundai has raised the price on the 2013 Elantra sedan by over $1,300 compared to the 2012 model, but in doing so has expanded the car's standard features. Even base, manual-transmission GLS models now come with once-optional air conditioning, 16-inch wheels, cruise control and telescoping steering wheel. Elantras also come with remote keyless entry, 4-wheel disc brakes, Bluetooth wireless connectivity and a 172-watt 6-speaker AM/FM/CD/satellite radio with USB/iPod inputs. Coupe and GT models feature heated front seats and GT models come standard with a glove compartment that can be chilled. Coupe and sedan models have six airbags, while Elantra GT versions add a seventh for the driver's knees.

Notable Optional Equipment

Upgrading an Elantra sedan to the Limited trim model adds a power sunroof, leather seating and heated front and rear seats. In Coupe form, the upscale SE model adds a power sunroof, sport-tuned suspension and leather. A $2,000-plus Tech Package includes a 7-inch screen, navigation and 360-watt audio system. To get the Tech Package on the GT requires the $2,750 Style Package that includes a panoramic sunroof and leather seating.

Under the Hood

All versions of the 2013 Hyundai Elantra are powered by a 1.8-liter 4-cylinder engine that makes 148 horsepower and 131 lb-ft of torque. The engine gives the Elantra average acceleration and decent passing power. Transmission choices are a good-feeling 6-speed manual or a very smooth 6-speed automatic that is eager to shift and feels well-matched to the engine. Automatic-transmission versions of the 2013 Elantra come with Hyundai's manual-shifting mode, called Shiftronic, which lets drivers toggle through the gears if desired. The engine returns exceptional fuel economy, reaching 38 mpg in all sedan versions and that figure or just slightly less in Coupe and GT variants.

Elantra sedan
1.8-liter inline-4
148 horsepower @ 6,500 rpm
131 lb-ft of torque @ 4,700 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 28/38 mpg

Elantra Coupe
1.8-liter inline-4
148 horsepower @ 6,500 rpm
131 lb-ft of torque @ 4,700 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 28/38 mpg (manual), 27/37 (automatic)

Elantra GT
1.8-liter inline-4
148 horsepower @ 6,500 rpm
131 lb-ft of torque @ 4,700 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 26/37 mpg (manual), 27/37 (automatic)

Pricing Notes

The 2013 Hyundai Elantra sedan has a starting Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) just under $17,500. The 2013 Elantra Coupe starts at just over $18,000, while the GT hatchback is just over $19,000. Adding an automatic transmission to any version costs an extra $1,000, and fully-optioned models of the Elantra can reach around $25,000. At these prices, the Elantra is comparable to other notable compact sedans in this segment, such as the Toyota Corolla, Honda Civic, Nissan Sentra, Chevy Cruze and Ford Focus. The Elantra sedan's starting price is higher than that of a Mazda3, Dodge Dart and Kia Forte. Be sure to check the Fair Purchase Price to see what others are actually paying for the 2013 Hyundai Elantra in your area. The Hyundai's resale value is a strong point and we expect the 2013 Elantra to hold its value exceptionally well over a 5-year period.

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