PITTSBURGH (NewsRadio 1020 KDKA) — This week’s Drivetime Road Test has us cruising in Hyundai’s newest Elantra, the GT. Now this all-new for 2013 edition of Hyundai’s compact car is not to be confused with other Elantra’s in the line up. The sharply chiseled GT borrows from  Hyundai’s previously seen on the European continent, looking much more a cousin to the Ford Focus than any other of the Hyundai’s you might be familiar with.

While from the front the GT has the  pleasing Hyundai grille and headlamp treatment although with a bit more blackout than its non-initialed cousins, walk around the side of the car and the Elantra takes off in a whole different direction…flowing aggressive lines emanating back from muscular front wheel wells give the GT an athletic stance. The rear doors give good in and out to the back seat and the hatchback opens its mouth wide for a pretty large cargo area with a nice flat floor. Front seats are supportive and comfortable and come with heat. A nice touch.

Elantra GT Interior. Photo courtesy HMA

Elantra GT Interior. Photo courtesy HMA

Slide in behind the wheel and you notice the dash layout is simpler compared with other Hyundai’s with more straight lines than the sweeping curves seen in other models. Materials were nice and soft to the touch and fit and finish was superb. The Blue Link voice recognition/concierge system works well with my I phone 5. The navigation system responded well to voice commands and was quite clear. Another cool Hyundai feature is the panoramic sunroof that virtually replaces the roof with retractable glass. It almost has a convertible feel to it.

Photo Courtesy HMA

Photo Courtesy HMA

Under the hood the Elantra GT shares its engine with the rest of the line using the 148 horsepower 1.8 litre 4 banger. The version I drove had the 6 speed manual which was quite fun to drive also making the Elantra GT very responsive, 0 to 60 in the 9.5 second  neighborhood.  The shifter felt solid and the transmission easy to shift with minimal throw. A kind of a nod to a sports car I thought.

Handling was better than average…while not feeling like a race car the Elantra GT was a well behaved car.  Hyundai has used high strength steel to stiffen the chassis while tuning the suspension for a better ride. It all works out very nicely as the Elantra felt solid and well balanced. Hyundai had come up with adjustable steering to fit sport, comfort or normal modes and I liked all three.  The Driver Selectable Steering Mode let you make the adjustment with a touch of a button on the steering wheel.  You want a more heavy sport car feel hit the sport mode…Your kid is driving around town, lighten the load with comfort. I liked it. With the bigger tires included in the sport package the GT had some of the best road manners in its class.

The Elantra GT with the Style and Tech packages that I drove had a sticker price of  $24,470.  Mileage figures, revised by the manufacturer in the wake of the mileage figure scandal are now listed as 27/37 mpg or 30 mpg combined with the manual. In two weeks of driving in a number of settings including a long road trip and bad weather I averaged just over 29 mpg combined. The Elantra GT gets an overall 5 Star crash test rating from the Federal Government.

It looks as if Hyundai has hit the nail on the head with the Elantra GT.  A good handling  hatchback that has a lot of room on the inside and a lot of style on the outside. Throw in the cargo space and gas mileage and there is a whole lot to like about Hyundai’s newest Elantra.

For more information: https://www.hyundaiusa.com/vehicles/2013/elantra-gt/

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Reviews, news about cars and the people who drive them, interviews and tips on how to get more out of your driving experience all on Drivetime with Vinnie Richichi and Rob Pratte Saturday mornings 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. on Newsradio 1020 KDKA. Also listen to Vinnie on The Vinnie and Cook Show Monday-Friday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sportsradio 93-7 The Fan.

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