Comparison Review: 2013 Elantra GT vs. 2011 Elantra Touring

Posted on 15. Aug, 2012 by in Auto News

New exterior

Last year I recommended the Hyundai Elantra Touring for those who "want a simply designed car that's easy to see in the world, capable to drive toting a pile of stuff, solidly built, and fun." A replacement was on the horizon, and I wondered if it would keep the aliens less and less strength. Well, the 2013 Elantra GT here now, and it works well enough to rank above other new compact Hyundai. But what his predecessor?

Old foreign

The Elantra Touring styling was "subtle" and "clean" if we are charitable, "plain" and "generic" if we are not. Neither set of terms for the new Elantra GT, the latest Hyundai design language (XL hexagonal radiator grille, headlights that stretch much of the way, aggressively raked A-pillars, body wave sides) fits into a compact package hatch. Far more people will find the new car, and many will find it attractive (at least from the side). But fans of the old cars might think it an exaggeration.

New interior

The interior of the Elantra GT is more stylized than the Elantra Touring, with a "piano black" bezel on the center console and much more Acura-like silver plastic elsewhere, but it is more reserved than the Elantra sedan. The controls are not as close to the hand or as simple as that operate in the Touring, but that's partly because the 2013 car has far more infotainment features, including the new Hyundai "Blue Link" telematics system.

Old interior

The view from the front of the still comfortable driver's seat, all but guaranteed to change dramatically with the redesign has. The old car relatively upright windshield, compact instrument panel and large side windows are gone, gone, gone. The Elantra GT dashboard does not appear as deep as it is. Harrison Ford does not look like he just cracked 70th The view to the rear? Well, if you spring for the top option package you can find hides a rearview camera niftily under the emblem on the tailgate get. Not that this is worse than the current class standard. But I recommended the Elantra Touring specifically because it is not au courant. Instead, it was a throwback to the days of seeing a slightly compact hatches, were made and optically not have a lot of car between driver and road.

As the Elantra Touring, the Elantra GT is heavily based on the European market i30. The i30 is available in two lengths, a hatch and an estate (the Queen's English for "car") offered. Last time, we have the property. This time, there is not enough of you an Elantra Touring (yes, it's your fault) purchased, we get the hatch. Combined legroom shrinks by about three inches and cargo volume is 65 to 51 cubic feet. The rear seat is spacious enough and the basis of a healthy rel from the soil, more comfortable than most, but adults not to stretch more space. The freight volume is competitive with other hatches but no longer rivals. Of compact crossovers

The Elantra Touring's 138-hp 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine won no straight line contests, but paired with a five-speed manual is supplied sufficient midrange grunt in day-to-day driving seem peppy. Despite ten peak performance with moving 200 fewer pounds (2,745 vs. 2,937) calculated feels the Elantra GT port-injected 1.8 downright cowardly. At one point my passenger turned to me and asked, "Have you any idea, I have planted my right foot on the floor in the last 5 seconds?" No, no, I did not. The manual shift lever engages a cog, and the automatic takes two, so that both have six now. But at least in the case of the stick the benefits fully benefit fuel consumption (from 23/31 to a much more competitive 27/39). Between the engine, the conditions and the elimination of the ET B & M Short Throw Shifter delivered, there is little grief, but also not much fun to have your own rowing gears in the Elantra GT.

Hyundai USA CEO John Krafcik promises we will be happy with a future engine upgrade. He provided some clues: no turbo and not 2.4. My money is on the 165-hp 2.0-liter four currently offered in the Tucson and Kia Soul. Hardly a lusty engine, but far better than the 1.8 that will not provide not remotely on the promise of "GT" appellation.

The Elantra sedan goes so busy and handles vague so that I can not fathom what Hyundai's chassis engineers were trying to optimize. The Elantra Touring Euro-tuned suspension provided much more athletic handling and ride together. Add firmly and well weighted (if less than quick) to maintain steering to the mix and the car. The Elantra GT delivered Sachs dampers are also better off than the standard Hyundai, and in purely technical terms, the new car probably handles better (although the Touring rear independent suspension has been replaced with a torsion bar). But the GT delivers the steering less a connection despite the new ability to vary the amount of support. The firmer "sport" setting does not feel solid … until you try the other two.

Hyundais are not really cheap, but they are still priced below the competition. The Elantra GT starts at $ 19,170. Add $ 2,750 for a Style package, the 17-inch wheels, a large panoramic sunroof, 10-way driver's seat (not available in a Genesis Coupe) includes heated and perforated leather. Add $ 2,350 includes a tech package that nav, reversing camera, and automatic climate control. The Elantra Touring for $ 1,650 less than a 2013 Style Pack listed. But for the new car, the additional functions (infotech, large sunroof, driver's seat) adapt with True Delta car price comparison tool and the result is a nearly $ 400 benefit. Similarly equipped Ford Focus SE, and lists for about $ 1,300 more than the Elantra GT with Style Package. Ask doubled for the remaining feature differences, and the Hyundai Advantage. A Mazda3 Grand Touring costs about $ 2,000 more than the Hyundai.

The Elantra GT is far more stylish than the Elantra Touring, and includes many additional features. But while there's more show there is less traveling. The suspension is well sorted, but the steering circuit and feel less direct and the driving position is less confidence-inspiring. Rear seat legroom and cargo space are both less generous. In sum, the new car will look better and better equipped, but less fun (apart from its superior fuel efficiency) less practical. I'd rather look at the new car, but I would rather take the old one.

But again, not many people bought the Elantra Touring, so Hyundai offset the amount. Therefore, the new car appeals to a potentially much larger group of buyers, but is much more direct competition for them. The Elantra GT is not as good as the Ford Focus drive, much less the aesthetically-challenged Mazda3, but it's close enough that a GT-worthy engine would significantly reduce the gap. Until then, it has most things pretty well and you get a lot of style and material for the price.

Hyundai provided the cars, fuel, insurance and two meals.

Michael Karesh operates, an online source for car reliability information.