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2013 Hyundai Elantra

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2013 Hyundai Elantra Review

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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 the Elantra
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.

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.

2013 Hyundai Elantra Details
Interior

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

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 Equipment
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.

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)

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2013 Hyundai Elantra Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.1
Out of 10

Based on 383 Ratings for the 2011 - 2016 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.5/10
    Quality
    8.3/10
  • Reliability
    8.9/10
    Performance
    7.7/10
  • Comfort
    8.4/10
    Styling
    8.7/10

Great little big car - 2011 Elantra Limited

By on Sunday, July 24, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 63,200

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "Styling, price, features, fuel efficiency,reliable"

Cons: "road noise, handling"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

Little big guy

"I'm the second owner of my Elantra Limited which has just over 63k miles. I purchased this car used at roughly 25k miles. Because of my job I needed a car with better gas mileage than the one that I was driving. (which was a Buick Lucerne.. that I loved) I however didn't want to give up the comfort features that the Buick provided. What initially caught my eye was the styling. I love all the swoops here, there, and everywhere on the car. It's a looker. In the time I've been driving this car all the exterior components have held up very well. There are minor scratches from the parking elves but other than that I haven't seen any loose trim or anything. It's all just as it was the day that I bought it. Then I got inside and realized there was more room in there than I originally imagined it would be. I'm a 6'0 tall 200 (ok..207) pound man and I'm more than comfortable. Even coming from the full size Buick that is basically a rolling couch. What I was really surprised by was the amount of space in the rear seats. Having test driven the Buick Verano, Chevy Cruze, Honda Civic, and Toyota Corolla I think this has the most room in the back. It's not BMW 7 series space back there but with very little adjustment to my seat back I can sit behind the driver seat and have MORE than enough leg room. Like my knees don't come close to touching the seat back. I have pretty long legs and I'm not cramped at all. The claims made my Hyundai that it is a mid sized interior, in my opinion, are correct. The seats in the limited are leather but it's not that soft supple leather that I've had in my other cars. Its much firmer. At first that was something that I didn't like that much. When I thought about it later I realized that the seat leather being firmer may make them stand up for a longer period of time. So far that seems to be the case. They look great to this day. Anyway, they are comfortable enough for me. The side bolstering isn't hugging the heck out of you, but they do a good job keeping you in place when cornering. I frequently drive between the bay area and Los Angeles and I have no problem driving that far comfort wise. The features you get for the price is pretty good. Cruise control, bluetooth (with voice controls), heated seats front and back, xm radio, usb port for music, aux port, 2 lighter plugs (one for you and another next to the passenger seat), manual shift option, and a good sound system. (It has bass that you can actually hear). The radio is simple to use and has enough adjustment features to keep most people happy with the sound. It also comes with a CD player with MP3 capabilities. All the lighting that comes from the dash is in a blue color that I find really pleasing to the eye. Everything works like the day I bought it except for the CD player. That stopped working around 10k miles ago.I didn't bother to get it fixed because I rarely if ever used it in the first place. (if you have USB access there is no need for a CD player. Your choice, 700 songs to access or 15.) If I ever want to replace it they have them on Ebay for $50 bucks, but I don't see that happening. As far as reliability is concerned, for the most part all I've had to do is put gas in it and get oil changes. 90% of the work I've had done is because I'm replacing a consumable (brakes, tires, oil changes, etc). There were two things that I had issues with but they were taken care of under warranty. (Thank you 60k mile warranty) The first thing was that every now and then I would go to turn it on and it wouldn't want to turn over on the first try. Then on the second try it would. It was the catalytic converter.. I think. Anyway it was fixed for free so I didn't care. The second thing, and you'll see this issue for this model, it had this clicking noise. The noise would only happen when coming to a stop and when shifting from park to drive, or vice versa. Turns out they knew about it (they had to add a thicker washer to something or other) and they fixed it and I haven't heard it since. It didn't effect driving at all. It was just annoying. The driving experience is fun. Its peppy with enough power to do what you need it to do without straining. You're not winning any drag races but I've never not had the power that I needed when I wanted. The road noise is a bit more than I would like, but this is coming from someone that drove a Buick. Now the handling.. (sigh). It is a well known issue that the back end on the Elantra is.. active. The rear has a bit of a bounce when hitting road imperfections. It can definitely be disconcerting if you haven't experienced it before. You will probably read about it in the other reviews. Don't let their telling you it's the end of the world make you not buy this car. I spent something like $200 for front and rear KYB shocks and struts and the bounce is gone. It's not that serious. I'm not a car fix it guy either. I just went into one of the Elantra forums online and the other drivers had already found a solution to the problem. Most people didn't even get all 4 shocks. Most just did two shocks at a cost of around $70. Either way, the Elantra bounce is a quick fix. Overall I have to admit that it's one of my favorite cars ever. I'm 45 and all I do is look at cars online. I research them, drool over them, and wish for them. I've owned well over 15 vehicles in my life. This is the only one that I've had that I refuse to trade for another one. I usually only keep my cars for a short period of time and then I try something else. It's too much fun to drive for me to let it go. It has a personality. Where else am I going to find a car that is pleasing to look at, doesn't break down, has features coming out of its tailpipe, costs a measly $25 bucks to fill up, and gets me an average of 32-38 mpg w/o being a hybrid of some type? You could do a heck of a lot worse my friends."

Little big guy

Not a safe winter driving car, otherwise nice car

By on Wednesday, July 20, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 48,000

10 6.0
overall rating 6 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
6/10
Value
Not Rated
Reliability
Not Rated
Quality
Not Rated
Performance
Not Rated
Styling
Not Rated
Comfort
Not Rated

Pros: "Roomy, great price, nice looking car."

Cons: "No traction in winter weather"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 5

"I love the look of my car, its roomy and overall its a nice car, unless you have to drive it in winter weather. You mention the word "snow" and it will slide sideways. After 3 winters we are trading it in for something safer."

Reliable

By on Friday, June 24, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 79,014

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
7/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "mechanically reliable"

Cons: "odometer replacing, chipped paint roof rails"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 5

"This is my second Hyundai. Former: 2005 Accent. Had 125K+ miles w/no problems. Someone totaled my car. :( but was awesome despite it being called "the beer can". And I could park it in the smallest spaces. So I bought the Hyundai Elantra Touring as a replacement. Not as happy. Pro: Don't get me wrong, mechanically it is very reliable. I've replaced the tires, brakes and I get it serviced like clockwork. Con: The lemon of an odometer. After my 3rd year, I've had to replace annually it because the heat/sun wipe it out. It's very frustrating because the odometer is not set with the last setting. So when I get oil changes, no one ever adds the sticker mileage in the door with the odometer (even after explaining). And so recommended services are all out of whack. In addition, the roof rack rails are chipping paint. It's cosmetically tacky. But I keep the car, because again the car mechanically reliable."

3 people out of 4 found this review helpful

Solid purchase

By on Sunday, May 29, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 17,500

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
8/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Comfortable drive, style, features"

Cons: "Backseat comfort, interior materials are avg."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"I purchased in May of 2015 and have since taken it to 2 road trips and accumulated 6k miles on it. I can honestly say its a solid purchase. Comfortable, full of features, looks amazing. Its fuel economy is "OK", only because it was rated at 27-37 city/hwy mpg, but I calculated 24-26 overall in mostly city/some highway driving. I love the driver selectable steering, the transmission is okay, you can on some occasions feel the transmission shift harshly, but rarely. Having been on those road trips, I've noticed some things. My passengers and I both agree that the back seats are not comfortable on long road trips, they're leather so I'm not sure this could be said about cloth seats. Our butts and backs were very sore at the 2 hour mark, stretching at each rest stop was a must, but the two front seats were Okay for the road trip. The car has a soft touch dash, and I thought that this material should have been distributed on the top part of the door trims and the lower part of the dash (i.e. above the glove box) as these are areas where people will be touching (I would be fine with a hard plastic dash) Perhaps this material belongs there to provide sound insulation? I am unsure. A/c compressor gave out at 10k miles, but per the dealership this does not happen to most Elantras, mines was one in a couple hundred thousand to have that happen. Towing and service were covered under warranty. Many Cali road trips later and this car remains a solid purchase. It's not that fun on the road like my old college car honda fit, but it sure is a lot more comfortable. Its also full of features and has a large interior volume. As I leave the car I always have to take a second look because of its amazing style both front and back. Will keep for the next couple years."

Second Best Car I've owned

By on Friday, May 27, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 25,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Grerat price"

Cons: "Blessed mine came with a spare tire, some don't."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"The car is awesome, Navigation and DVD with backup Camera, is too cool. Gas mileage is great at 450 mile Range per tank."

Have owned this vehicle since buying new.

By on Tuesday, May 17, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 59,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "fun car to drive and enjoy."

Cons: "Speed tires have a tendancy to make noise."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"New 70,000 Pirelli tires installed About 10,000 miles ago and rotated every 6,000 miles at Discount Tire. Oil Changes as scheduled. Just took it to Florida in March and averaged 39.4 MPG driving and average speed of between 70 and 75 MPH. No accidents or paint problems."

9 people out of 11 found this review helpful

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