The Elantra Coupe is the two-door version of Hyundai's strong-selling Elantra Sedan. It is intended to deliver the same safety and fuel economy found in the four-door, but in a sportier package aimed at youthful buyers seeking a more thrilling and stylish ride.
Stylistically, the Coupe shares much with its sedan sibling, with the most obvious changes including a gracefully sloping roofline, side windows that sit flat rather than sweeping up and a more distinct lower character line (part of the car's "fluidic sculpture" surface detailing) that flows into the rear fender flare. More subtle alterations can be found in the newly triangular foglamps in addition to the lip spoiler and black plastic lower bumper around back.
The two cars are identical in wheelbase, width and height, although the Coupe is actually about a half-inch longer than the four-door. As a result, the Coupe boasts a fairly spacious interior for its segment, complete with a larger trunk (14.8 cubic-feet) than any of its rivals.
As with all Elantra models, the Coupe is motivated by a 2.0-liter inline-four with 148 horsepower and 131 lb-ft of torque. Power is sent to the front wheels through either a six-speed manual transmission or a six-speed automatic. Stick with the stick and the Coupe can hit 38 mpg on the highway and 28 in the city; opt for the automatic and fuel economy drops to 27 city and 37 highway mpg.
The coupe's interior is essentially identical to that of the sedan, meaning it features easy-to-decipher controls housed in a flowing dashboard that continues the exterior styling theme. One change is additional seat bolstering intended to keep all occupants firmly planted during more spirited driving, while another intriguing difference is the use of cloth-like pillar trim made of fibrous tissue and volcanic rock.
Standard and Optional Features
The Elantra Coupe is available in GS and SE trim levels.
Standard features on the GS include heated front seats, Bluetooth, cruise control, a 172-watt AM/FM/Satellite Radio/CD/MP3 audio system with six-speakers and iPod/USB/auxiliary input jacks, fog lights, power heated exterior mirrors and 16-inch alloy wheels in addition to expected (but not always included) features like A/C and power windows and locks.
The sportier, up-level SE trim brings leather upholstery, a sunroof, aluminum pedals, a sport-tuned suspension, a unique grille and rear spoiler, side mirrors with integrated turn signals and 17-inch alloy wheels.
The Technology package, available exclusively on auto-equipped SE models, includes a navigation system, 360-watt premium audio system, dual-zone automatic temperature control, automatic headlights, and a proximity key with push-button start.
An XM Satellite Radio interface is also integrated into the navigation unit and features channel logos, real-time NavTraffic and XM Data services, such as XM NavWeather, XM Stock Ticker and XM Sports Ticker. The nav system also integrates a class-exclusive rear-view camera. For a custom touch users can upload personal pictures from a USB device and display them on the system's home screen.
All Elantra Coupe models come standard with dual front, front side and side curtain airbags in addition to traction and stability control systems, electronic brake-force distribution and brake assist.
Compact two-door competitors to the Elantra Coupe include the conservative Honda Civic Coupe, the handsome Kia Forte Koup and the reliable Scion tC. Those willing to settle for a hatchback can also consider Hyundai's own truly funky Veloster, the more expensive but fine-handling MINI Cooper or the hybrid Honda CR-Z.