Thursday, July 26, 2012

Driven: 2013 Hyundai Elantra GT

By Brandon Turkus
July 19, 2012

—Brooklyn, Michigan

Look, we’ll come right out and say it: we like small wagons and hatchbacks a lot. The formula is so simple: take a popular sedan, expand the trunk vertically, give it some unique styling, and voila, you get a small wagon. Besides maintaining the small-car driving dynamics of the donor car, you get a level of junk hauling that can’t be had outside of a small SUV/CUV.

Hyundai’s Elantra Touring was a prime example of a good small wagon. This European import was based on the Hyundai i30 and managed to combine style and function in a reasonably priced, efficient package. Folding the backseats down gave access to 65.3 cubic feet of space; just short of the cavernous Volkswagen Jetta Sportwagen’s 66.8 cubic feet in a vehicle that was almost three inches shorter overall.

For 2013, though, the Elantra Touring has been replaced by this, the Elantra GT. Right off the bat, though, we were skeptical of this new body style. While the old Touring was a dedicated wagon, the Elantra GT is technically a five-door hatch, and it loses cargo volume accordingly. It’s down from a maximum 65.3 cubic feet to 51 cubic feet, although with the second row up, there’s less of a sacrifice, only 1.3 cubic feet is lost (23 cubic feet versus 24.3 in the old model). Overall interior volume is down from 125.5 to 119 cubic feet.

Consequently, Hyundai’s bogey is no longer the Jetta Sportwagen, but is far more diverse for 2013. Primary competitors are listed as the Mazda3, Ford Focus, Subaru Impreza, Volkswagen Golf, and Toyota Matrix (all in five-door hatch configurations, where applicable). The Elantra GT looks to be a fair match for this competitive set for multiple reasons, not the least of which is age; the Mazda3 and VW Golf aren’t long for this world in their current iterations, and the Toyota Matrix has been a zombie since NUMMI was taken over by Tesla. Only the Focus and Impreza have been updated recently.

Part of our love of affordable long-roofs is the unique style that these cars have over the more traditional sedans they are based on. In the GT’s case, it shares its face with the rest of the Elantra range, but walks a line between the blacked-out grille of the Coupe and the more docile face of the Sedan.

It’s clear from the profile that this is more hatchback than wagon, as the D-pillar slopes rather aggressively, leaving a fairly small window between the rear pillars. This doesn’t really impact visibility all that much, as the view through the two side windows is pretty good. The rear window itself is adequately sized, and we had no real complaints about rear visibility. Out back, a subtle spoiler is present, along with the standard wrap-around taillights. In a cool premium twist, the rear-view camera hides behind the Hyundai logo, popping up when the car is slotted into reverse.
Inside, it’s the same clean, stylish, and well-finished interior that we’ve seen on other Elantra models. Plastics feel no better or worse here than in any other Hyundai. While we understand the reasoning behind all three models boasting identical interiors, one of the highlights of the old Touring was that its interior was different from the sedan, and felt more high-class because of it. On the GT, it loses that specialness, and just feels like any other Elantra.

To be honest, we really aren’t going to say all that much about the Elantra GT’s powertrain, because we give fairly in-depth reviews of it here and here. It’s the same 1.8-liter four-cylinder that’s found in the Coupe and Sedan, delivering 148 horsepower and 131 pound-feet of torque. It also nets 39 miles per gallon on the highway. A six-speed manual is standard, while a six-cog autobox with a manual mode is an optional extra.

The Elantra GT is Hyundai’s first model to sport the brand’s new Driver Selectable Steering Mode system. Basically, this system allows drivers to switch between three different levels (creatively called Comfort, Normal, and Sport) of steering effort. Comfort requires the least effort, while Sport requires the most. The system is operated via a steering-wheel-mounted button, with the instrument cluster display showing which mode the driver is in.

We tested all three modes, and found the results to be negligible. There’s maybe a 15- to 20-percent difference in steering effort between Comfort and Normal, and Normal and Sport. It’s nice, but we feel like it’d make a lot more sense for this system to be on the Veloster Turbo, Genesis Coupe, or even the Elantra Coupe, rather than a five-door hatchback with no sporting pretenses.

In terms of on-road character, the GT is much more like the Sedan than the Coupe. That’s a good thing, as the Coupe’s rougher ride doesn’t do it any favors. Instead, the GT feels smoother over rougher sections of tarmac. Its biggest issue remains the level of vertical motion over undulating pavement, but it manages rougher stuff much better. While the Coupe would sidestep and feel unstable in mid-corner bumps, the GT is more composed. There still isn’t a great deal of feedback on hand here, but it’s about par for the course in this category.

Let’s be honest though, people that buy the Elantra GT are interested in practicality. Those buyers certainly won’t be disappointed. We mentioned the five-door GT boasts 51 cubic feet of space with the back seats folded down, and 23 cubic feet with the second row up. To put that in perspective, the only car in this class that has more space is the Subaru Impreza (but only by one cubic foot of cargo volume). Helping the cargo situation is a clever storage space under the floor of the trunk area that looks big enough to handle items that may slide around too much when left alone.

Backseat space is tolerable, as we were able to stuff Senior Editor John Beltz Snyder behind your six-foot, one-inch author with only a modicum of complaining. Those same backseats cleverly flip forward and fold flat, presenting a nice, wide loading space.

The hatchback has the highest starting price in the Elantra range at $18,395. Unlike the other two body styles, though, the GT is features only one trim level. In place of dedicated trim levels are two packages, the Style Package and the Tech Package. The Style Pack ($2750) includes a sport-tuned suspension, panoramic sunroof, leather seats, and seventeen-inch alloys. The Tech Pack ($2350) features navigation, a rearview camera, automatic headlights, and push-button start. Opting for the six-speed automatic will run another $1000. That makes for a fully loaded model running $25,245, out the door.

The pricing equation works out well for the GT. Its starting price bests everything but the Volkswagen Golf by around $1000. Optioned up, as our tester was and the Elantra GT still makes a fair bit of sense, costing around the same price as a loaded Subaru Impreza or Mazda3, and undercutting a navigation-and-leather-equipped Ford Focus by just over $2000. Even if price isn’t your determining factor, 39 mpg on the freeway and the sheer amount of cargo space make the Elantra GT a fine choice for a small wagon.

2013 Hyundai Elantra GTEngine: Inline-four, 1.8 liters, 16v
Output: 148 hp/131 lb-ft
Weight: 2784 lb
Fuel Economy, City/Hwy: 39/27 mpg
Cargo Volume, 2nd Row Up/Down: 23/51 cu ft
Base Price: $18,395
On Sale: Now

Monday, July 23, 2012

Hyundai Petitions for National Fuel Efficiency Month

by Christina Caldwell 06/14/12
The 2013 Hyundai Elantra gets an estimated 33 miles-per-gallon.
When gas prices yo-yo like they have this year – this week, they’re sharply down – almost everyone has fuel efficiency on their minds. But Hyundai wants Washington to have it in the forefront of theirs this August.
The South Korean car company is encouraging Americans to sign a petition to make August National Fuel Efficiency Month – a move they hope will bring attention to the environmental and economic effects of driving cars that conserve more gas.

Fuel efficiency is about much more than simply driving a fuel economical vehicle, Hyundai points out. Keeping tires properly inflated, keeping up with car maintenance, changing gas pedal-heavy driving habits and more can all contribute to getting more mileage for your fuel buck.
“As America’s most fuel-efficient car company, we want to inspire people and show them how fuel efficiency can help their wallets and the planet at the same time, no matter what kind of car they drive,” says John Krafcik, president and CEO, Hyundai Motor America in a press release. “There’s a day, week or month for just about everything else, so we feel the time is right for a national Fuel Efficiency Month to help shine a spotlight on the ecological and economic benefits here.”
Hyundai is the manufacturer of some of the most fuel efficient cars on the road, including the Accent, M/T Veloster, Sonata Hybrid and Elantra – all of which get more than 40 miles per gallon on the highway. The Sonata makes the U.S. Department of Energy’s number one most fuel efficient vehicle in the “large” category. For a full list of America’s least and most fuel efficient cars by class, visit the DOE’s fuel efficiency page.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Family Fun Photo Contest - Enter to Win!

The Gary Rome Hyundai Family Fun Photo Contest has hit the ground running. We are receiving so many entries; I know it will be a tough task picking the winner in the first round of drawings. If you haven’t yet, it’s time for you to get in on the action.
All you have to do is upload a photo (with a short description) of you and your family with your Hyundai, or other vehicle, on vacation and you will be automatically entered to WIN. The photo with the most shares and likes on Gary Rome Hyundai Facebook site wins. Feel free to scroll through the photo on Facebook and share your favorite. Prizes include:
1.       Six Flags (Family 4 pack)
2.       Bromley Mountain Adventure Park (Family 4 pack)
3.       Red Sox 4 pack to a September game
4.       Plus you get FREE GAS - $140 with each prize
Free fun and free gas.  Who has to buy an app? You know Gary Rome Hyundai will take care of you so you can spend money on life’s demands without trading in your fun. There will be a new winner every Friday in August.

Click HERE to enter.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Family Fun Photo Contest - Enter Now!

Gary Rome Hyundai currently running a great Family Fun Photo Contest that you can’t resist.  You now have a great opportunity to WIN BIG and have fun too.
All you have to do is upload a photo (with a short description) of you and your family with your Hyundai on vacation, and you will be automatically entered to WIN. The photo with the most likes on Gary Rome Hyundai Facebook site wins. Prizes include:

1.       Six Flags (Family 4 pack)
2.       Bromley Mountain Adventure Park (Family 4 pack)
3.       Red Sox 4 pack to a September game
4.       Plus you get FREE GAS - $140  with each prize  

Free fun and free gas.  Who has to buy an app? You know Gary Rome Hyundai will take care of you so you can spend money on life’s demands without trading in your fun. There will be a new winner every Friday in August.

Click HERE to enter.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Hyundai Motor America Reports June And Mid-Year Sales

Beats all-time sales record for the first half of the year, - Best June ever, Equus has best month ever,

By Hyundai Motor America
Hyundai Motor America
Last modified: 2012-07-03T18:11:21Z
Published: Tuesday, Jul. 3, 2012 - 11:11 am
Copyright 2012 . All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

COSTA MESA, Calif., July 3, 2012 -- /PRNewswire/ -- Hyundai Motor America, the most fuel-efficient automaker in the U.S., today announced an all-time June sales record of 63,813 units, up eight percent over last year's all-time June record. Retail-only sales were up nine percent. For the first half of the year, sales are up 10 percent to a record 356,669 units, with retail sales up 13 percent.
"Despite a slight softening in May and June from the surprisingly strong industry retail sales pace for the first four months of the year, the Hyundai brand continues to build retail sales momentum and consistently achieve all-time monthly volume records," said Dave Zuchowski, executive vice president of sales. "We expect continued sales growth during the robust summer selling season, with help from three recent and extremely exciting new additions to our line-up of industry-leading fuel-efficient vehicles:  our all-new Veloster Turbo, the Elantra GT and Elantra Coupe."
The all-new Azera, recently named an IIHS' Top Safety Pick, continued its strong sales pace resulting in a 350 percent gain over last June.  Accent and Sonata saw sales gains of 57 percent and 12 percent respectively, over the same period a year ago.  Elantra sales declined 12 percent purely as a function of very low inventory levels, with just 8,160 Elantra sedans in dealer stock nationally at month-end. Hyundai's family of premium products, Genesis and Equus, continue to deliver outstanding sales results finishing the month up 11 percent. Contrary to industry trends this month, Hyundai fleet sales and mix were once again down from last year, to an 11 percent mix for the month and a nine percent mix year-to-date, among the lowest in the industry.

CARLINE               JUNE/2012          JUNE/2011          CY/2012               CY/2011
ACCENT                5,660                     3,612                     36,470                   24,018
SONATA               20,931                   18,644                   117,412                 115,014
ELANTRA             17,655                   19,992                   97,769                   103,301
SANTA FE            6,703                     7,987                     34,440                   34,821
AZERA                   1,001                     222                         3,166                     1,095
TUCSON               4,231                     4,406                     23,833                   23,537
VERACRUZ          671                         976                         3,783                     4,165
VELOSTER            3,232                     n/a                         18,829                   n/a
GENESIS               3,374                     3,149                     18,982                   15,454
EQUUS                 355                         221                         1,985                     1,392
TOTAL                   63,813                   59,209                   356,669                 322,797


           JUNE CAFE
     2012 CYTD
JUNE Window Label Combined MPG
  2012 CYTD Window         Label Combined MPG

Car            37.8                                     38                                           28.5                                        28.6
Truck        28.8                                     28.9                                        22                                           22
Brand        37                                     37.2                                          28                                           28

40-MPG Sales 24,140 137,922
Mix of Total Sales 38 percent 39 percent
In keeping with its industry-leading fuel efficiency status, Hyundai achieved a corporate average fuel economy level of 37.0 MPG (28.5 MPG label value) in June, while selling 24,140 vehicles (38 percent of total sales) with 40 MPG window label highway fuel economy ratings. 
"June was another month for us to salute the dedicated Hyundai manufacturing teams for their efforts to keep up with consumer demand, and our hard-working dealers for their efforts matching consumers with light on-ground and inbound inventory," said John Krafcik president and CEO of Hyundai Motor America.  "With retail inventories of just 28 days, we're doing our best to meet demand and appreciate the patience of Hyundai shoppers looking to put a new Hyundai in their driveway."
HYUNDAI MOTOR AMERICA Hyundai Motor America, headquartered in Costa Mesa, Calif., is a subsidiary of Hyundai Motor Co. of Korea. Hyundai vehicles are distributed throughout the United States by Hyundai Motor America and are sold and serviced through more than 800 dealerships nationwide. All Hyundai vehicles sold in the U.S. are covered by the program, which includes the 5-year/60,000-mile fully transferable new vehicle warranty, Hyundai's 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty, and five years of complimentary Roadside Assistance.
For more details on Hyundai Assurance, please visit
Journalists are invited to visit our news media website:
SOURCE Hyundai Motor America

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

The 2012 Hyundai Sonata

The 2012 Hyundai Sonata represents the Korean carmaker’s modern approach to the traditional midsize sedan segment.  The exterior of the Hyundai Sonata is long, light and low and carries the fluidic sculpture design language that is now adopted by almost every Hyundai car. Hyundai claims the Sonata to be more spacious than the Toyota Camry, Nissan Altima, Ford Fusion and Chevrolet Malibu.

The Hyundai Sonata gets a Theta II GDI 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine with direct injection. The Sonata is the first midsize sedan to direct injection as standard equipment in a naturally aspirated powertrain. This engine produces 179bhp of maximum power and 228Nm of maximum torque and is mated with a 6-speed automatic transmission with SHIFTRONIC manual control.
Developed over a four-year period, this new six-speed automatic is significantly lighter than the five-speed it replaces. It is also is 1.6 inches shorter and considerably simpler, having 62 fewer parts, which is a key to increased durability, lighter weight and lower cost.

A fully adjustable steering column, power windows and paddle gear shifters are part of standard equipment across the Sonata range. Also standard are front fog lamps, keyless entry and cruise control.

Hyundai offers the Sonata in four different trim levels and the 12 GL, 12A GL, 13 GL come with a single airbag and the first two variants don’t get ABS. The top of the line 14A GLS variant comes with six airbags, ABS and EBD. It also gets a reversing camera and parking sensors along with navigation.

12 GL: AED 59,000
12A GL:
AED 60,900
13 GL:
AED 68,900
14A GLS:
AED 86,900
2.4-litre inline-4
Max power: 179bhp at 6000rpm
Max torque: 228Nm at 4000rpm
6-speed automatic with paddle shifters
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