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William Maley

2013 Hyundai Elantra GT

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William Maley

Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com

July 16, 2013

Can there be strength in numbers?

In the compact car class, no one can really agree on that. All agree that having a sedan is very important. From there it gets somewhat unclear. Some manufacturers stick with just a sedan; others go with either a hatchback or a coupe. Hyundai is one the few automakers who offers all three with their Elantra lineup. You have the Elantra sedan, coupe, and GT (hatchback). The GT is the company's latest attempt at compact hatchback and Hyundai says it provides versatility and 'European' driving dynamics. The question is the Elantra the added strength or the weak link in the Elantra family?

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The Elantra GT is definitely the sportier and possibly sexier looking out of the Elantra lineup. Part of this comes from the GT being about nine inches shorter and riding on a shorter wheelbase than the Elantra sedan and coupe. The other part comes from European influences throughout the design. This is thanks to the kissing cousin of the Elantra GT, the i30. Both models share an upright front end with a hexagonal grille, sharp creases and sculpting along the side, and a sloping rear hatch.

Inside, the Elantra GT doesn't share the sexy looks as the exterior. Instead, Hyundai goes with a conservative look with black and silver dash pieces, curves, and blue backlighting. It’s a look that works, but I kept thinking it could use pizzazz. What doesn't need to change is build quality as my tester was top notch.

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Space is a mixed bag for the Elantra GT. The back seat provides good legroom, but is a bit short on head room thanks the sloping roofline and a panoramic sunroof. The Elantra GT does claw back some points in terms of cargo space. With the back seats up, the Elantra GT gets 23 cubic feet of space. Fold the seats down and you get a massive 51 cubic feet of space, making it the best in class.

Hyundai still knows how to do the value argument very well and it shows on the Elantra GT. All models come equipped with air conditioning, Bluetooth, six-speaker audio system, heated front seats, keyless entry, and Hyundai's BlueLink telematics system. This Elantra GT also came equipped with the Style package (seventeen-inch alloy wheels, leather seats, and panoramic sunroof) and Tech Package (navigation, dual-zone climate control, and push-button start). As tested price? $25,365. For that price, the Elantra GT makes many of its competitors red in the face.

You'll only find one engine in the Elantra GT and that would be a 1.8L GDI four-cylinder with 148 horsepower and 131 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed manual or six-speed automatic are your choices for the transmission. The 1.8L is a very spritely engine. Thanks to a curb weight of around 2959 lbs, the Elantra GT moves like no other. The same cannot be said for the six-speed automatic transmission. Hyundai seemed put a big emphasis on fuel efficiency with this transmission and it shows with somewhat sluggish gear changes and a tall first gear. Those looking for a bit more excitement should look into the six-speed manual.

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Fuel economy for the Elantra GT is rated at 27 City/37 Highway/30 Combined. During my week, I saw an average of around 28 MPG in mixed conditions.

Hyundai has been getting its share of complaints about how their sporty vehicles don't feel as sporty as they should. With the Elantra GT, Hyundai seems to be turning that around. If you order your Elantra GT with the Style Package, you get a sport-tuned suspension which makes it very enjoyable on your favorite road. However, Hyundai made sure the sport-tuned suspension didn't knock out fillings when its driven day to day. The suspension is able to cope with imperfections very well.

Steering is a bit of a mess. Standard on the Elantra GT is Hyundai's Flex Steer which varies the weight of the steering via three settings: Comfort, Normal, and Sport. In theory, the system should provide the right weighting for the occasion. In reality, it’s a much different story. The problem is that Comfort is way too light and Sport is verging on an exercise regime. I found myself leaving the system in Normal as it provided the best balance of the two. I think Hyundai is getting there, but taking a glance at that Mazda3's steering might help out.

The 2013 Elantra GT leaves a big mark on the compact car marketplace. Sleek styling, a nice ride balance between sport and comfort, loads of cargo, and list of features that embarrasses many rivals. The downsides are only a few; the Flex Steer steering system that presents more problems than solutions, a somewhat sluggish automatic, and tight headroom in the back.

Hyundai is a believer that strength does come in numbers in the compact class. The Elantra GT solidifies it.

gallery_10485_671_483225.jpg

Disclaimer: Hyundai Provided the Elantra GT, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas

Year - 2013

Make – Hyundai

Model – Elantra GT

Trim – N/A

Engine – 1.8L DOHC D-CVVT Inline-Four

Driveline – Front-Wheel Drive, Six-Speed Automatic Transmission

Horsepower @ RPM – 148 @ 6,500 RPM

Torque @ RPM – 131 @ 4,700 RPM

Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 27/37/30

Curb Weight – 2,959 lbs

Location of Manufacture – Ulsan, Korea

Base Price - $19,395.00

As Tested Price - $25,365.00* (Includes $775.00 destination charge)

Options:

Style Package - $2,750.00

Tech Package - $2,350.00

Carpeted Floor Mats - $95.00

William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.


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Nice review, how is the seat support for what should be a sport or semi performance model?

My two issues with this car is the big black mouth on the front that mimics Mazda's poor style of a grill and the tight engine bay.

For a GT car, this car should be a performance fun package but also leave a bit of room for 3rd party tuning and based on the picture supplied it looks real tight so that 3rd party companies might not bother building a turbo kit or other performance mods for the car.

Over all I would say Hyundia will have a success on their hands again with this new model. I just wish they would get an engine that had some Torque as all the horsepower in the world is useless unless you have the motivation to move the 3000lb mass and that comes from Torque.

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Nice review, how is the seat support for what should be a sport or semi performance model?

Its pretty good. The seat held me in when I pushed it pretty good.

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The interface of their nav/infotainment system looks like it has really small buttons. How responsive was it and did they lock it down during driving so you could not interface with it?

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The interface of their nav/infotainment system looks like it has really small buttons. How responsive was it and did they lock it down during driving so you could not interface with it?

The buttons are actually not that small.. only in the picture. The system was very responsive (actually one the fastest systems I have used). They do lock down the imputing of an address, but everything else is ok.

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So many cars today look like slight variations on the same theme inside...similar center stacks, vents in the same place, 2 round guages... boring and predictable. Without the 'H' on the wheel I'd have no idea who made it...

Edited by Cubical-aka-Moltar

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my favorite elantra. but it is not low and sleek like a mazda3. thing is, this is really more of a vibe / matrix / jetta wagon thing more than anything. So it kind of tries to look sporty but its so tall it doesn't go all the way.

And in that regard it makes it good, but you notice then the dash and interior aren't all that sleek like you see in the regular elantra or a competitor like say a Cruze or Focus interior. It's more of a plain utility vehicle interior.

This version doesn't have as much trunk / boot as the last one but it is still nice and large.

This is another vehicle I thought of that may make more sense to buy than that Fiat 500L i tested and wrote about.

Bottom line is this is a nice choice fucntionally but it lacks some sizzle that compels you to buy and its performance is not off the charts either.

One niche this does fill. An econocar that fatties like me and large people can fit into. Or like my BIL who is 6'4 bought one of the original Focus...few econocars can fit large and tall people.

Edited by regfootball

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      176 / 163
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      By optimizing the placement of the high-voltage hybrid battery, Hyundai engineers were able to increase trunk capacity by 2.5 cubic feet, compared with the 2019 Sonata Hybrid. This placement also helps create best-in-class front headroom and legroom.
      Convenience Technology
      The 2020 Sonata Hybrid features a number of advanced comfort and convenience features including an electric parking brake, Hands-free Smart Trunk, Qi high-speed wireless smartphone charging pad with cooling fan, standard Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto®, Text-to-Speech via Bluetooth®, heated and ventilated front seats and split-folding rear seats.   
      The top-of-the-line audio and navigation display is a wide, high-definition, customizable, 10.25-inch touchscreen monitor with split screens and natural language, and cloud-based speech recognition powered by Blue Link, while the cluster supervision display is a full 12.3 inches. The navigation system includes a bird’s-eye view in navigation maps, and drivers get HD Radio traffic flow and incident data without ever paying for a subscription. Dual Bluetooth support is also available, so two devices can be paired at the same time—one for phone calls and one for streaming audio. The navigation system also comes with three years of Blue Link Multimedia/Map updates. Hyundai’s eight-inch display audio user interface, equipped with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, is standard on the 2020 Sonata Hybrid. An optional Bose® audio system also delivers an exceptional experience to customers.
      SmartSense Safety Technologies
      Sonata features Hyundai’s latest SmartSense advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS). A series of sensors and systems, often restricted to luxury cars, combine to potentially warn the driver and may take action in the event of a safety incident. Meanwhile, other ADAS systems can help the driver perform certain tasks using the car’s 3 radar sensors, 12 ultrasonic sensors and 5 cameras. These features include:
      Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist (standard) Blind Spot Collision-Avoidance Assist (standard) Rear Cross-Traffic Collision-Avoidance Assist (standard) Lane Keeping Assist (standard) Advanced Smart Cruise Control with Stop and Go (standard) Highway Driving Assist (optional)
      View full article
    • By William Maley
      The next step in Hyundai's Sonata offensive launched today at the Chicago Auto Show. The 2020 Sonata Hybrid features a 2.0L four-cylinder paired with an electric motor to produce a combined 192 horsepower. This is paired with a six-speed automatic which comes with new shift programming to improve the speed and smoothness of gear changes. Hyundai touts the Sonata Hybrid will return 50 City/54 Highway/52 Combined, but that is for the efficiency Blue model. Other models will return 45/51/47 on the EPA cycle.
      One interesting feature for the Sonata Hybrid is an optional solar panel roof that can extend the electric driving range by up to two miles (provided the panel is exposed to sunlight for six hours). The panel can also keep the various batteries around the vehicle charged.
      No word on pricing, but the 2020 Sonata Hybrid goes on sale later this spring.
      Source: Hyundai
      Press Release is on Page 2


      New 2020 Segment-Busting Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Makes North American Debut at Chicago Auto Show
      2020 Sonata Hybrid Highlights
      Best-in-class highway fuel economy on Blue trim level
      Class-leading combined fuel economy on Blue trim level
      EPA estimated 52 mpg combined fuel economy rating and 686 miles of driving range on Blue trim level
      Solar Roof System can increase driving range – think of it as up to 700 “free” miles per year
      Hyundai Digital Key technology (optional)
      The top front-seat leg and headroom in the segment
      Unique eco-friendly design cues improve aerodynamics
      Active Shift Control technology makes shifts 30% faster and smoother
      CHICAGO, Feb. 6, 2020 – Today at the Chicago Auto Show, Hyundai introduced its new 2020 Sonata Hybrid, boasting 686 miles of driving range and an EPA estimated 52 mpg combined fuel economy rating on the Blue trim. This is the first time the Sonata Hybrid has been shown in North America. The 2020 Sonata Hybrid is also equipped with the world’s first Active Shift Control (ASC)  technology and a Solar Roof System (SRS), which increase driving range. The new Sonata Hybrid goes on sale this spring and is built in Asan, Korea. 
      Overview
      The 2020 Sonata Hybrid’s exclusive styling has a slippery 0.24 drag coefficient, thanks to a unique cross-hole grille with active air flaps, a rear spoiler and aerodynamic alloy wheels. Hyundai Motor’s Solar Roof System makes its debut on the Sonata Hybrid. This system recharges the hybrid battery while preventing unnecessary battery discharge when the car is off. SRS can increase the driving range by a couple of miles after 6 hours of charging. Engineers also applied Active Shift Control technology to control the electric motor, aligning it with the rotational speeds of the engine and transmission, reducing gear-shifting times by 30%. This synchronization not only improves the Sonata Hybrid’s acceleration and fuel economy but also improves the durability of the transmission by minimizing friction during shifts.
      The Sonata Hybrid is equipped with a Smartstream G2.0 GDi HEV engine and a 6-speed hybrid automatic transmission. The engine’s power output is 150 horsepower and 139 lb.-ft. of torque. The car’s electric motor delivers power output of 39 kW (51 HP) and maximum torque of 151 lb.-ft. of torque. Combined system power output is 192 horsepower and EPA estimated fuel economy numbers are 50 city, 54 highway and 52 combined for the Blue trim.
      Mechanical Specifications
      2020 Sonata
      Hybrid
      2020 Camry
      Hybrid
      2020 Accord Hybrid
      Gasoline Engine
      Size
      2.0L I4 GDI
      2.5L I4 GDI
      2.0L I4 GDI
      HP/Torque (lb.-ft.)
      150 / 139
      176 / 163
      143 / 129
      Electric
      Motor
      kW (HP)
      39 kW
      (51 HP)
      88 kW
      (118 HP)
      135 kW
      (181 HP)
      Voltage
      270V
      259V
      N/A
      Net Horsepower
      192 HP
      208 HP
      212 HP
      Fuel Economy
      (city/hwy./comb.)
      EPA estimates
      50/54/52 – Blue       
      45/51/47 – SEL, Limited
      51/53/52 – LE        
      44/47/46 – SE, XLE
      48/47/48 – Hybrid

       
      Solar Roof System
      Hyundai Sonata Hybrid’s solar-panel roof directly charges the 12-volt and hybrid batteries and outputs 205 watts of electricity. This system has several benefits:
      Mileage increases by about 2 miles per day Helps prevent battery discharge from infotainment or HVAC systems when the car is off Unique design cue Active Shift Control Technology
      ASC technology optimizes transmission efficiency by monitoring gear shifts 500 times per second and precisely adjusting the transmission rotation speed for faster shift times. ASC applies new control logic software to the Hybrid Control Unit (HCU), which aligns the electric motor with the rotational speeds of the engine and transmission to reduce gear shifts by 30%. The technology also delivers smoother gear changes and quicker shift times.
      “The development of the world’s first ASC technology is a remarkable innovation that incorporates precise motor control to an automatic transmission,” said KyoungJoon Chang, Vice President and Head of Powertrain Control System Group of Hyundai Motor Group. “It will not only save fuel but also provide a more fun driving experience for our customers.”
      Independently Developed Control Logic Software Applied to the Electric Motor
      Conventional hybrid vehicles do not have torque converters to improve fuel economy because torque converters lose energy while transferring power to the drive wheels. Although fuel efficient, such a system also requires longer shift times to ensure smoother gear changes.
      ASC technology allows the hybrid’s electric motor to also take control of gear shifts by applying new software logic to the Hybrid Control Unit (HCU) to mitigate issues with slower shift time. The HCU monitors the rotational speed of transmission with a sensor installed inside the electric motor at 500 times per second to synchronize the rotational speed with that of the gasoline engine.
      The synchronization reduces shift time by 30% from 500 ms to 350 ms. This improves not only the hybrid vehicles’ acceleration performance and fuel economy but also the durability of the transmission, by minimizing friction during gear shifts.
      Aerodynamics
      The Sonata Hybrid slips through air with 0.24 drag coefficient. The low drag coefficient is accomplished by managing airflow over and under the body. Up front, the Sonata Hybrid has active air flaps behind the grille, which close when less engine cooling is needed. A redesigned rear spoiler further improves airflow. To reduce drag under the body Hyundai engineers added several elements:
      Bumper lip Front- and rear-wheel deflectors Undercovers in the front and back of the engine bay Center floor undercover Rear undercover Digital Key
      Continuing to promote the latest advances in technology, the new Sonata Hybrid offers an optional smartphone-based Hyundai Digital Key. Digital Key uses a dedicated mobile app, Near Field Communication (NFC), and Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) technology to allow a new Sonata to be unlocked, started and driven without a physical key, via a smartphone. Sonata’s Digital Key also allows secure sharing of virtual keys with family and friends.  
      Sonata owners can tailor the different vehicle functions available to each shared virtual key, and can make the key available for only a defined amount of time. The vehicle owner can preset the duration of vehicle use or limit the use to only certain features when loaning the vehicle, and can also revoke keys remotely. For additional convenience, such as using a valet service or visiting a Hyundai dealer, Hyundai Digital Key also works with an NFC card, which will be provided with each vehicle. Each Sonata still comes with traditional keys. Hyundai Digital Key is compatible only with phones using the Android operating system. 
      Hyundai Digital Key utilizes NFC technology, which exhibits a high level of security. The NFC wireless data communication takes place only when the device and the reader are placed several centimeters apart.
      Optimized Hybrid Battery Placement
      By optimizing the placement of the high-voltage hybrid battery, Hyundai engineers were able to increase trunk capacity by 2.5 cubic feet, compared with the 2019 Sonata Hybrid. This placement also helps create best-in-class front headroom and legroom.
      Convenience Technology
      The 2020 Sonata Hybrid features a number of advanced comfort and convenience features including an electric parking brake, Hands-free Smart Trunk, Qi high-speed wireless smartphone charging pad with cooling fan, standard Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto®, Text-to-Speech via Bluetooth®, heated and ventilated front seats and split-folding rear seats.   
      The top-of-the-line audio and navigation display is a wide, high-definition, customizable, 10.25-inch touchscreen monitor with split screens and natural language, and cloud-based speech recognition powered by Blue Link, while the cluster supervision display is a full 12.3 inches. The navigation system includes a bird’s-eye view in navigation maps, and drivers get HD Radio traffic flow and incident data without ever paying for a subscription. Dual Bluetooth support is also available, so two devices can be paired at the same time—one for phone calls and one for streaming audio. The navigation system also comes with three years of Blue Link Multimedia/Map updates. Hyundai’s eight-inch display audio user interface, equipped with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, is standard on the 2020 Sonata Hybrid. An optional Bose® audio system also delivers an exceptional experience to customers.
      SmartSense Safety Technologies
      Sonata features Hyundai’s latest SmartSense advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS). A series of sensors and systems, often restricted to luxury cars, combine to potentially warn the driver and may take action in the event of a safety incident. Meanwhile, other ADAS systems can help the driver perform certain tasks using the car’s 3 radar sensors, 12 ultrasonic sensors and 5 cameras. These features include:
      Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist (standard) Blind Spot Collision-Avoidance Assist (standard) Rear Cross-Traffic Collision-Avoidance Assist (standard) Lane Keeping Assist (standard) Advanced Smart Cruise Control with Stop and Go (standard) Highway Driving Assist (optional)
    • By William Maley
      I’ve driven my fair share of Challengers on both extremes - from the standard V6 to the high-performance SRT and Hellcat models. But I never had any time behind the wheel of the R/T with its 5.7 V8. That changed in the summer when a bright orange Charger R/T Shaker was dropped off for a week. This allowed me to ask a question that has been sitting in my head for some time: Is the R/T the best bang for your buck in the Challenger family?
      The Shaker sets itself apart from other Challenger models with the use of a ‘Shaker’ scoop that prominently pops up from the hood. There is also a blackout treatment on several trim pieces and wheels that make it look even more imposing on the road. Along with the scoop, the Shaker package does add a new cold-air intake seated right in front of the driver’s side corner. This addition should boost the output of the 5.7L HEMI V8 (372 horsepower and 400 pound-feet of torque when paired with the eight-speed automatic. But FCA’s spec sheet doesn’t say anything about the Shaker Package adding more oomph or not. When you first start up the R/T Shaker, it makes presence known with a deep and loud exhaust note. I had to do a double-take the first time as I was wondering if I was given either an R/T Scat Pack or a Hellcat by mistake. While it may lack the high power numbers of the 6.4 and supercharged 6.2 V8s, the 5.7 is no slouch. 60 mph comes in at just over five seconds and power is seemingly available at any speed. My tester came with the optional Performance Handling Group that adds upgraded springs, sway bars, and a set of Bilstein shocks. This does improve the handling by a fair amount with less body roll. But it doesn’t feel nimble due to a curb weight of around 4,158 pounds. The steering has a quick response, but there is a noticeable lack of road feedback. If you want your muscle car to have some handling, consider the Camaro or Mustang. Nothing new to report on the Challenger’s interior. It still has the angled center stack, retro-inspired gauges, and easy to use UConnect infotainment system. The seats are where the Challenger loses some points as it feels like you’re sitting on top of cinderblocks. The Shaker package is surprisingly good value, adding $2,500 to the base price of the R/T which begins at $34,295. But you’ll need to be careful on the option sheet, or you’ll end up with something quite expensive. My tester came with an as-tested price of $46,555, which is $300 more than an R/T Scat Pack Widebody with the 6.4 HEMI V8.  The Dodge Challenger is getting up there in age and sadly cannot compete with the likes of the Camaro and Mustang in terms of handling. But Dodge is still able to offer a lot of performance in the form of the R/T. With a potent V8 engine, old school styling, and different packages like the Shaker to make your Challenger stand out, the R/T is possibly the best value and well-rounded model in the lineup. Disclaimer: Dodge Provided the Challenger, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2019
      Make: Dodge
      Model: Challenger
      Trim: R/T
      Engine: 5.7 HEMI VVT V8 Engine
      Driveline: Eight-Speed Automatic, Rear-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 372 @ 5,200
      Torque @ RPM: 400 @ 4,400
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 16/25/19
      Curb Weight: 4,158 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Brampton, Ontario
      Base Price: $34,295
      As Tested Price: $46,555 (Includes $1,495.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      "Shaker" Package - $2,500.00
      TorqueFlite Eight-Speed Automatic Transmission - $1,595.00
      Performance Handling Group - $1,495.00
      Driver Convenience Group - $1,295.00
      Power Sunroof - $1,295.00
      UConnect 4C Nav with 8.4-inch Display - $1,095.00
      Alpine Sound Group with Subwoofer - $995.00
      Shakedown Graphics - $495.00

      View full article
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