Hyundai, founded in 1967, is the fourth largest auto manufacturer on the planet. The company owns Kia, and its own Elantra model was chosen North American car of the year in 2012. The Elantra is the model of Hyundai I tested this past week and it was the two-door Coupe SE, painted Atlantic blue. It had black leather interior with manually adjustable front buckets and seating for five.
The compact SE Coupe I drove had in it a 1.8 liter, four cylinder, 145 horsepower engine with 130 lb. ft. of torque. It was mated to a six-speed automatic with manual shift mode. It’s a front-drive car and can go zero to 60 in about 8.5 seconds, and top speed is reportedly 121 mph. Fuel economy ratings are 27-city and 37-highway, with my observation coming in at 26 mpg. The SE Coupe has four-wheel disc brakes, sport-tuned suspension, and 17” pretty five-spoke alloy wheels. They are surrounded by Hankook P215/45R17 Optimo mud and snow tires.
Strong points? Well, styling, for one. The four-door version of the Elantra looks OK, and this Coupe looks particularly attractive. Fog lights are up front, lighting is present on the outside mirrors, dual bright finish exhaust tips peek out from under the rear fascia, and a rear spoiler is attached to the trunk. Head- and tail-lights are large and extend onto the sides of the fenders, and the grill is black and bold. I pushed the button on the key fob to open the trunk and was a little startled at the size of it. This car would make a nice hatchback, but nonetheless the trunk space is ample at 14.8 cubic feet. Plus, the back seat folds down in two parts.
Another strong point is the handling and turning radius of the SE. Ride and road noise are acceptable, as well. The Coupe is a little longer than its four-door mate at 178.7”, height is only 56.5”, and weight comes in at 2,816 lbs. Driving this Hyundai was actually a little more pleasurable as the week went on.
Total M.S.R.P. of the SE was $23,965, with options on board including technology package ($2,350), carpeted floor mats ($95), and freight ($775). The technology package included a navigation system with 7” screen, backup camera, proximity keyless entry, pushbutton starter, automatic headlights, and 360 watt premium stereo with satellite radio. Other equipment present included moon roof, power windows (two sides), tilt/telescope, USB/Bluetooth connectivity, cruise control, and leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob.
I’ve tested two Hyundais, and both have been good, with this one getting the most looks out on the street.