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Replacing the dull-looking Elantra Touring for 2013 is an all new five-door Hyundai, which along with sporty Euro-hatch looks gets a marketing-friendly “Elantra GT” name.
The GT is powered by the same 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine found in the other Elantras, though it fails to make Hyundai’s hallowed 40-mpg mark. Instead, estimated fuel mileage is 28/39 city/highway, or 32 mpg average – still a solid number.
It also misses out on standard heated seats, which suggests that the company really is courting younger buyers when you realize the new coupe version gets that feature across the board. Despite that, there is some catchy standard equipment like a chilled glove box and three 12-volt outlets to keep the kids happy on long trips.
The competition ultimately becomes the defining factor for practical cars, and this is where Hyundai often shines. The Elantra offers significantly more passenger and cargo capacity than those it stacks up next to like the Volkswagen Golf, Mazda 3 and Toyota Matrix. Space behind the rear seat is a substantial 23 cu-ft, with a total of 51 cu-ft when you fold the seats flat. Those numbers are essentially on par with the new Subaru Impreza hatch, although if you don’t need all-wheel drive and do want a few extra miles per gallon, the front-drive Elantra stands out.
Safety ratings are obviously unavailable for the 2013 model, but if it’s anything like the predecessor, which the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave four of five stars, it will be a reasonably safe ride. So far it seems like Hyundai is doing a good job of offering the stuff that sells cars to customers in their segment. You won’t be riding in the lap of luxury, but the savings can buy quite a few steak dinners.
GALLERY: 2013 Hyundai Elantra GT
GALLERY: 2013 Hyundai Elantra GT Reveal
Watch video of the Elantra GT below: