Not all consumers looking for an economy car need or want four doors. Instead, they might prefer the sportier look of a two-door coupe to complement the low entry cost and high fuel economy expected from a compact. For them, the Hyundai Elantra coupe stands as a smart choice.
Based on the latest, highly regarded generation of the sedan, the Elantra coupe boasts qualities very similar to its four-door relative, meaning you get a smooth ride, solid build quality and a generous list of standard convenience and safety features. There's also considerably more room in the backseat than you'd expect from a compact coupe.
Current Hyundai Elantra Coupe
The Hyundai Elantra Coupe is a compact coupe based on the Elantra sedan. It comes in one well-equipped trim level with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine good for 173 horsepower and 154 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed automatic transmission is standard.
Standard feature highlights include 17-inch alloy wheels, foglights, full power accessories, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, air-conditioning, heated front seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity and a six-speaker sound system with a USB/iPod interface. The optional Technology package adds a sunroof, automatic headlights, LED taillights, keyless ignition and entry, leather upholstery, a larger 7-inch touchscreen, a rearview camera, navigation, Blue Link telematics and an upgraded audio system.
As with the sedan, the Hyundai Elantra coupe is an exceptionally spacious small car. It has noticeably more room inside than most other affordable coupes. As such, the Elantra coupe avoids the pinched and claustrophobic feel of many two-door cars. There is also a generously sized trunk, whose 14.8-cubic-foot capacity beats that of some midsize sedans. Gauges and controls are easily read and used, and although the materials quality is just average, there's some flair to the cabin's styling.
On the road, the Elantra coupe makes for an entertaining drive. The acceleration is notably stronger than earlier models and makes this one of the quicker cars in this segment. The six-speed automatic provides impressively smooth, if somewhat slow gearchanges. Steering response and cornering are both crisp, further increasing the fun factor. The one notable dynamic downside is a much firmer ride compared to most sedan models. It's not exactly stiff-legged, but it can get rather busy on broken pavement.
Used Hyundai Elantra Coupe Models
The Hyundai Elantra Coupe was introduced for 2013 and was initially available in two trim levels: GS and SE. Standard equipment was essentially the same as the single trim level that arrived for '14, while added perks of the SE included a sunroof, 17-inch wheels, a rear spoiler, a sport-tuned suspension and leather upholstery.
These first-year Elantra coupes had different powertrains. They were powered by a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine with 148 hp and 131 lb-ft of torque (California emissions versions had 145 hp and 130 lb-ft). They could be had with either a six-speed manual transmission or a six-speed automatic.
In reviews, we found the handling dynamics of this first-year Elantra Coupe to be similar to its contemporary sedan, which is to say competent if not particularly involving. Its manual gearbox had a light, precise action and an easy-to-use clutch, while the automatic was smooth but occasionally reluctant to downshift so as to maximize fuel economy. Still, even though this Elantra coupe lacks the latest version's sport-tuned suspension and steering, its agreeable balance of ride and handling qualities should suit most folks shopping this segment.