2013 Hyundai Elantra Coupe to Hit Honda Where it Hurts: 2012 Chicago Auto Show

2013 Hyundai Elantra Coupe to Hit Honda Where it Hurts: 2012 Chicago Auto Show

Set to be unveiled later today at the Chicago Auto Show, Hyundai is expanding its Elantra lineup with a two-door coupe.

De-dooring the Elantra is part of the company’s strategy to pull younger buyers in who they say are willing to sacrifice practicality for coupe appeal. It’s also a product targeted squarely at the Honda Civic Coupe, which has retained its dominance in the category despite rivals like the Kia Forte Koup and Scion tC.

The coupe is pretty-much the same as the sedan, featuring standard Hyundai sensibilities like heated seats, Bluetooth, iPod connectivity and more.

In keeping with the push toward a younger crowd, the Coupe gets a few sport-inspired touches, though people purchasing these cars are anything but track junkies. The same 1.8-liter 148-hp four delivers power to the front wheels with Hyundai’s homemade six-speed manual or automatic.

The Coupe won’t however, join the rest of the 40-mpg club in Hyundai’s lineup, missing the bar slightly with a 39 mpg highway rating. Still, a 33 mpg average isn’t half bad and driving enthusiasts can get there with an entertaining 6-speed stick.


Consumers can choose from two trim levels, the base GS or premium SE. Both come with generous standard equipment, but the nicer accouterments like leather seats remain reserved for SE buyers. The wheels also get an inch bigger for the SE, growing from 16 to 17 inches.  Finally, an optional technology package is again withheld from the lower-end model but includes a 7-inch infotainment system, rear-view camera, an upgraded stereo and other cool stuff like proximity key entry, push-button start and more.

The sportier SE model gets a stiffer suspension that Hyundai says is designed for the car’s lower-profile tires. Despite getting the coupe treatment, the EPA classifies this as a mid-size car, which is interesting because it competes directly with compacts like the Honda Civic coupe and Kia Forte Koup which are both badged as compacts. Hyundai says it will deliver the best of both worlds (two door sex appeal and rear passenger roominess).

Regardless of the extra bulk, the car still manages to wiggle in between the Honda and Kia’s power to weight ratios, meaning customers can walk *erm drive away without feeling much buyer’s remorse.

GALLERY: 2013 Hyundai Elantra Coupe


GALLERY: 2013 Hyundai Elantra Coupe Reveal


For more on the 2012 Chicago Auto Show, see our complete coverage here.

Watch video of the Elantra Coupe below:

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  • Drew

    “can walk *erm drive away” Huh?

  • Dave

    / fail.

    Civic SI sports 200 horses. Elantra coupe 148! move along

  • Chris

    it wasn’t meant to compete against the civic si. it states the civic coupe in the article which is only 140 hp. and the civic si has 201 hp, not 200. so get your facts straight before you say anything negative.

  • Reyes

    I agree the veloster turbo will compete with civic si

  • David ST

    If Honda is good then why is there warranty so lame. The Civic Si is a nice car but maybe won’t last as long.

  • hb

    im pretty sure this hyundai will sell but to really oust the honda civic they need a performanc model like th si even though most people dont get the si it shine to the lower models. I am not a honda guy but nothing can rev like a vtec

  • hb

    oyee to david st honda doesnt have to do that because people already believe in honda’s. Hyundai makes a very good car I drive a tiburon I love it. But hyundai still may a have stigma linering from the early days so that warranty is just a way to give the customer assurance to make th purchase.

  • Rich

    Sounds like all the negativity is coming from Honda fan boys. The REAL winner here is the consumer, whom of which now have ANOTHER player to choose from in this competitive segment.

    Hyundai has proven themselves in the automotive market place in all major aspects of vehicle dynamics (price/style/reliability/performance/value).

    This car features A LOT of premium items that aren’t typically found in this budget segment (heated seats standard? How cool is that?). Has anyone seen the interior for a Scion TC lately? Barren as desert IMO. Civic Coupe’s look good, but Hyundai’s E-Coupe (for me at least) evokes more emotion and looks to be driven hard.

    The Veloster turbo may c*ck block the E-Coupe from ever receiving a 200+bhp drivetrain, which is a shame as it would DIRECTLY compete against the likes of the Civic Si coupe, but we shall see. I think strong sales could entice Hyundai to consider it. Then again, the line-up seems a bit crowded in this compact segment as is (Elantra, Elantra GT, Elantra Coupe, Veloster, Veloster Turbo). But hey, it’s great to have choices.