2013 Hyundai Elantra Coupe | road test

Posted on May 14, 2013 by

Quick Review

GoodGood spacious interiors, attractive ticket price, smart looks
BadBadsporty to look but not to drive, uncomfortable seats
SpecsSpecs1.8L, 4 Cylinder, 148hp, 131 lb-ft, FWD, 6 Speed Automatic
PricePriceAED 55,900 (Base) AED 66,900 (Full Options)
RatingEditors Rating Two Star

The cheerful from Korea

In the past, affordable, reliable and budget transportation was always associated with the Japanese car brands. With the prices of Japanese cars climbing steadily over the years, they can no longer be considered a ‘budget’ buy. The Korean car makers have nicely slotted themselves here and offer some smart cars these days.  Offering less costing alternatives with a similar package and often plenty more kit than the Japs.

Not the best but they've definitely come a long way in terms of design

has definitely come a long way in terms of design

Hyundai cars have got smarter by the day over past few years. The 2013 Coupe now sports the family face. It isn’t the best looking car out there but is much smarter than the sweepy, curvy, odd looking Hyundai Coupe cars from the past. Our test car was the full option 2013 Coupe GLS. Is the car worth its Coupe badge? AutoMiddleEast.com team drove it in and around Dubai to find an answer.

Top of the line GLS variant comes with a 1.8L CVVT Engine

Top of the line GLS variant comes with a 1.8L CVVT Engine

The 2013 Hyundai Elantra coupe comes with a 1.8 Litre, 4 cylinder engine capable of 148 hp and 131 lb-ft of torque. These numbers don’t seem like much, but in a car this small and light, they translate into plenty of acceleration. Around town and on the highway a downshift or 2nd gear in the manual mode is all that it takes to accelerate out of a sticky situation. However, you do have to push it for it to get anywhere and the engine noise isn’t the most pleasant when the RPM’s start picking up. Turn up the volume on the stereo to drown out that noise and you will be fine.

Twin exhaust: Sporty. SUV like ground clearance: Not so sporty

Twin exhaust: Sporty.  SUV like ground clearance: Not so sporty

The 2013 Hyundai Elantra Coupe was not designed to be an all out sports car. Instead it merely gives the potential Elantra buyer an option of a sporty looking car with 2 less doors for someone that doesn’t need the extra interior space. Keeping this in mind, the handling is definitely above average. Typical understeer is evident only when really pushed. For all practical purposes most drivers won’t even notice it.

However, it isn’t all sunshine and ice cream in the comfort department. Thanks to the setup, a lot of the road imperfections are translated through the chassis resulting in a bit of a jittery ride. Short hauls are alright but spend a little time on the highway and the uncomfortable ride can get to you. The faux leather seats feel rubbery but more importantly lack any sort of lumbar support.

The 2013 Hyundai Elantra Coupe is definitely not for drivers with a weak back. The bumpy ride coupled with the lack of lumbar support means a regular membership at the Chiropractor might be required. The steering wheel is chunky and feels weighted although it can get a bit twitchy on the highways. At lower speeds the steering is extremely light making it a breeze to manoeuvre in parking lots.

Feel and finish is as you would expect of cheap and cheerful

Feel and finish is as you would expect of a non premium coupe

For some reason, interior layout in general and controls switches in particular did not feel in the right positions and far from intuitive, making it a little odd to access. This is clearly demonstrated with the air conditioning vents that are positioned to be aimed at your groin without an option to completely shut it. Definitely not a lot of thought gone in there. While it may look neatly blended into the flowing lines of the dashboard, I’m not sure if I can live with a cool air blast, constantly, in that part of the body.

AC Vents could have definitely found a better location

AC Vents could have definitely found a better location

In terms of practicality, Hyundai have seemed to have hit the sweet spot with the 2013 Hyundai Elantra Coupe. Being an Elantra there is plenty of interior space for the driver and the passenger. The 2 less doors merely add to the sporty feel but take away very little in terms of usability. It is still possible to seat 2 average sized passengers in the rear. Getting in and out requires advanced gymnast skills but once you are seated it is far from uncomfortable. Boot space is plenty to accommodate your weekly grocery runs and might even be able to swallow up supplies from the occasional visit to your local Ace hardware store.

The 17" wheels don't help with ride comfort

The 17″ wheels don’t help with ride comfort

Where the 2013 Hyundai Elantra coupe really shines are the options. The fully loaded version comes with Keyless go, leather, sunroof, climate control, steering wheel controls, bluetooth connectivity, AUX and iPod inputs and even has a camera integrated into the auto dimming rear view mirror! All of this comes at a price. And the price you pay is not money but quality. The overall feel of the cabin is plasticky and sub par. General feel and finish of the controls on the inside isn’t great and all that blue lighting on the interior doesn’t exactly spell class. However, the potential buyer of this car is going to be looking at value for money and the coupe makes sure that box is ticked.

Nothing pretentious about the cheap and cheerful Korean

Nothing pretentious about the  cheerful Korean

So this then is a sort of cheerful coupe that AED 66,900 (starts at AED 55,900 for the 1.6L engine) can buy you in today’s market. Yes, it feels a bit plasticky and sub par on the inside and there is no refinement in the drive, the ride comfort or the switchgear. But, at no point does it pretend to be something it isn’t and if you are on a budget looking for a coupe, it is going to be very hard to disregard this little Korean guy.

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