2013 Hyundai Elantra GT: Family Checklist

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After my weeklong test drive of Hyundai's brand-new 2013 Elantra GT hatchback, my school-age kids were complaining about the backseat legroom and wishing I had a "different kind of job."

Whenever my family of four was in the compact Elantra GT for long stretches of time or lots of errand running, it felt smaller and smaller as time passed. While I liked the passenger room, my 8- and 10-year-old kids weren't sold on it. I had to keep moving the front passenger seat forward whenever my husband wasn't in it to make sure my son had enough legroom in the rear seat.

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I was comfortable in the driver's seat. It was bolstered just enough to hold me in place without feeling constrained. The interior looks good with lots of upscale touches such as contrast stitching in the leather seats. The center stack's faux metal trim is convincing; it's paired with piano-black plastic accents, which could lead to a plastic overdose. It didn't bother me during my test drive, though.

2013 Hyundai Elantra GT: Car Seat Check

The center stack's buttons and knobs were clearly labeled and fairly easy to use. However, the plentiful steering-wheel controls took some getting used to. I had to look down to figure out which button I needed to push. I was happy to have Bluetooth phone connectivity with voice recognition in the Elantra GT, and even happier I found the system pretty simple to operate. I also liked the instrument cluster's cat-eye bezels, which made them look sophisticated.

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My test car's 148-horsepower, 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine was paired with the optional six-speed automatic. During my weeklong test drive, I kept wishing it had the standard six-speed manual because I wanted just a little more responsiveness from the engine. The automatic transmission has a manual shift mode, which helped in this case. The plus side of the automatic transmission is the Elantra GT gets an EPA-estimated 27/37 mpg city/highway.

During my test drive, I kept thinking that the Elantra GT would be a great car for a teen or first-time driver. It's fast but not too fast, and it handled higher-speed turns easily.

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The backseat has two cupholders in the fold-down armrest and a bottleholder in each door. It also has my favorite — netted seatback pockets in both seatbacks — it's great for collecting kids' books or other assorted items. The optional panoramic moonroof really makes the backseat feel open.

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When it came to the Latch system, the Elantra GT failed. The two sets of lower Latch anchors are easy to see in the seat bight, but the cushions are so stiff that I had a hard time using them. I was concerned that my rear-facing infant-safety seat's hooklike Latch connectors would rip the leather seats. That's never been a concern with other test cars.

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The Elantra GT's cargo area passed the hockey-bag test, and it fit my daughter's lacrosse stick too.

I enjoyed the Elantra GT and was dazzled by all the features wrapped up in a $23,015 vehicle. Now if I could just get those kids to stop growing.

Related
2013 Hyundai Elantra GT Review
2013 Hyundai Elantra GT: Car Seat Check
More Family News

Comments 

Mike S. @ctmeche

It looks like the GT has 1.5" more rear legroom than the Elantra sedan does, and more rear headroom, too. The GT has more cargo volume than the sedan's trunk, even with the seats up, yet it is 9" shorter overall than the sedan.

It seems like most carmakers have conceded the 5-door hatch, but not a proper wagon. (Including the Focus, which used to offer both).

Really, there isn't much reason to buy a sedan at all - the hatch is far more versatile, and the only significant downside is styling. It's just a shame people just keep buying the sedan form factor without doing more comparisons.

Atum

My dad test drove a 2013 GT back in July, just days after they came out. The car looked just like yours, but with black leather seats and no nav. I was okay in the back, and I was 5'11" at the time, while my dad is 6'4". Dang, that car had good acceleration.


Another question: are your kids car enthusiasts, as in they know a lot about cars? That would be awesome if they were.

Joe Repko

I now have a little over 5200 miles on my 2013 Elantra GT. I'm disappointed in the gas mileage. I'm only getting about 22 city and 32 highway.

Derrick G

"Really, there isn't much reason to buy a sedan at all"

No, there is and Joe hit it: sedans get better mileage purely due to aerodynamics and there's no way around it. Hatchbacks might be more versatile, but unless you need the extra room in the back often, the gas penalty isn't worth it for many folks.

Atum, my kids are more into cars than the typical 8 and 10 year olds, for sure. They always surprise me with what they pick up from the tests and how much they've learned.

doug

Bought my GT June 7th... Two days ago. Already put 420 miles on it averaging 36 mpg... 60% hiway. It's the base model with auto tranny. Very satisfied so far. I'm thinking the folks who complain about the mpg have lead feet.
Ive also found the rear seat leg room to be very reasonable for adults on short trips. Not sure why pre-teens would gripe about unless theyre used to being chaufered in a Town Car.

kc

We have had the Elantra GT (automatic) for 6 months now.
Very poor MPG. Getting around 18 mpg in the city and 35 highway.
18MPG : (
I don't see why the reviewer didn't talk about the poor fuel economy.

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