Last post on Apr 26, 2013 at 10:37 AM
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Hyundai Elantra, Hatchback
#70 of 94 Re: 2 Test Drives [sb222]
Jul 09, 2012 (2:41 pm)
I got to drive the base GT with automatic today. It was an ABSOLUTELY HORRIBLE car! I can't see how ANYONE in his RIGHT MIND would buy one!!!
OK, have all the prospective GT buyers left now??? Good... I don't want lots of other people driving up demand, and prices, for this great little car!
There's lots to like about this car. First, the interior quality is at or near best in class. Lots of padded surfaces (including door tops, a rarity nowadays), nice-looking plastic bits, smooth switchgear... it looks a class above its price point and puts cars like the Focus, Mazda3, and Impreza to shame.
The driving position was comfortable, with a meaty plastic wheel (leather with packages) and grippy fabric (leather with packages). I felt at ease in the driver's seat, but I'd like to see two improvements: 1) a height adjuster that doesn't tilt the seat bottom forward as it rises (my 2004 GT has two height adjusters), and 2) an adjustable lumbar support (which my 2004 GT has). The telescopic steering column made up for the lack of adjustment on the seat height, although it forced me to move the seat back more and set it lower than I'd prefer--which compromises rear seat leg and foot room behind the driver.
I tried out the adjustable steering and it works as advertised: firms up the feel going from Comfort to Normal to Sport. I tried Comfort briefly, thought "why would anyone want this?", switched to Normal which felt... normal, then to Sport for most of the drive. I'd probably leave it in Sport all the time unless I knew I'd be doing a lot of parallel parking that day. Had a nice heft to it, and the car tracked straight and true on the road w/o the need for constant attention/correction. Not as much "feel" as say the Mazda3 or Golf, but I doubt 99% of owners will notice. Turning circle (tested in the dealer's lot) seems nice and tight.
Ride was actually smoother and quieter than I expected. It had the 16" wheels, and probably provide a cushier ride than the optional 17" wheels and tires. I like that for where I do almost all my driving, in the frost-heaved roads of Minnesnowta. I thought my 2010 Sentra has a smooth and quiet ride for a small car--the GT was quite a notch up from that car. Ride compliance and noise over bumps and tar strips was good for a car of this size and price, I think.
I took a few sharp corners to test the handling, and there was a little lean but the car felt well planted. Again, 99% of owners will probably find the handling to their liking. The optioned-up GT with bigger rubber and adjustable suspension will probably be crisper in the turns. Not a big deal for me, in the flat Midwest.
The car really shines aft of the B pillar. The rear seat has ample thigh support, good headroom (I'm 5'9-1/2"), and adequate leg room for my "sit-behind-me" test. As noted above, I had to move the driver's seat back and down more than I'd prefer to get comfy. The main problem there is it makes toe space marginal under the driver's seat. But it has more room in back than the Focus or Mazda3, about the same as the Impreza (which has the same toe-space problem) and Golf.
The cargo area is nicely designed. First, the rear seat bottoms fold forward to create a perfectly flat load floor--really rare in this class, as usually either the seat backs aren't flat, or there's a step-up between the trunk and rear seat backs. Under the trunk floor there's a small storage compartment on each side, and a large divided compartment in the middle. And, under that, is... (drum roll)... a spare tire! Hyundai must have listened to complaints about no spare on the 2011-12 Elantras.
I reset the mpg meter before my test drive and got 25 mpg for the short (10 miles?) trip. Most of that was in-town driving, in rush hour and construction, several long stops/waits, and only a 2-mile freeway segment (1 mile each way with turn-around). And max AC on. Two people in the car. So not too bad given conditions. I had the instantaneous mpg readout (a bar graph vs. numbers, yuck) visible during the test drive and noticed it was often in the 40-50 mpg range when cruising on a city road or highway (it pegs at 50). My highway speeds were 55-65. Not a good mpg test, but gives me some idea what the car can do.
Power-wise, I thought the car had ample oomph from start, with only light pressure on the gas. But I have a light foot, with gas prices as they are. Going up grades weren't a problem, and I suspect the car downshifted to get up them but the automatic is pretty unobtrusive. I didn't try the manumatic feature.
So a lot to like in this car, with only a few little things I'd like to change (height adjuster, add lumbar adjuster, use numbers for instantaneous mpg readout, make auto-up driver's window standard), but I think the biggest problem with this car is, Hyundai needs to make more of them. The sales rep said they were getting only 5 of them, that was more than any other area dealer, and he thought that was for the YEAR! I suspect he's mistaken about that last part, at least I hope so or it will be hard to find one of these little numbers if I decide to get one when it's New Car time.
#71 of 94 First Impressions- Owner 1 Week
Jul 10, 2012 (4:35 pm)
I purchased a new GT with Style Pkg 1 week ago in No CA for $500 under MSRP (most wanted sticker or 2k above and there is practically no availability!). Very good experience with Petaluma Hyundai. I had been cross shopping the Veloster with Style, Mazda 3 Hatch Grand Touring and Ford Focus SEL. Never had a Ford before but too many unresolved issues with their dual clutch. (Need an auto or similar for driving in San Fran Bay Area traffic). Same dual clutch issues with Veloster and wanted a more useable back seat. Wanted to like the Mazda (test drove it 5 times!) but could not embrace the style inside and out plus the new Skyactiv engine and tranny are very new and warranty much shorter than Hyundai. Got the Elantra GT and seats are great, car has more legroom in back than my Lexus IS 250, handles quite well on twisty hill back road, and power is adequate on hills and freeway and shifts are generally smooth unless really pushing it. Ride is quiet on the highway. Fit and finish in and out beats the others. A/C is strong enough in 85 degrees with sunroof glass exposed (love the sunroof- makes the care feel very open and roomy). Plus, I do think it looks better than most of the cars (and certainly the hatchbacks) out there. Hoping my love affair with it continues.
#72 of 94 Re: First Impressions- Owner 1 Week [ajfinoak]
Jul 10, 2012 (7:25 pm)
Bet if you had mentioned the warranty as a sticking point they'd have thrown an extended warranty in. And the thing handles so sweet it makes up some for the interior (at least for 2013 Mazda is putting in a USB port...). Plus, unlike certain other cars, the Mazda3 actually does get 40 MPG in real life, not just with the EPA.
That 12:1 compression ratio is enough to give someone a little pause, of course, but it runs so nice, the powertrain difference between the Elantra and the Mazda3 is night and day. Much like the interior design vice versa in fact...except for the design of the slapshifter, which only Mazda, BMW, and Dodge get right. Seriously, who thought pushing the shifter AWAY from the driver for manual shift mode was the right way to go?
#73 of 94 Re: First Impressions- Owner 1 Week [bpizzuti]
Jul 11, 2012 (7:19 am)
It was a pretty close contest narrowed down to the Mazda and the Elantra GT. Dealer told me that Mazda was adding the USB Port and some other goodies to the '13 model but that price was going up about $700 which brings the MSRP close to 25K. The Mazda did handle great but low end torque was slow starting out and the engine seemed to lug a bit from 1st into 2nd and you had to really push the accelerator down a ways to get a downshift which then had the engine rev way up. I would bet the manual is sweet without those issues. Plus 2 of the Mazdas I test drove had some vibration in the steering wheel at idle in "D". Coming from mostly 6 cylinder cars for the past 20 years, 4 cylinder engine vibration when present drives me a little crazy. RE; Gas mileage- I can't comment yet on mine (only have 225 miles) but a friend of mine with the same power train (2012 Elantra) just got 46 mpg on a road trip from Ft Lauderdale to Key West with A/C running (of course, FL is flat unlike where I live in No CA).
#74 of 94 Re: First Impressions- Owner 1 Week [ajfinoak]
Jul 11, 2012 (7:58 am)
Plus 2 of the Mazdas I test drove had some vibration in the steering wheel at idle in "D".
You realize that's a good thing, right? Means there's actual road feel, what you're feeling is the difference in vibration between the chassis and the wheels.
#76 of 94 Re: First Impressions- Owner 1 Week [bpizzuti]
Jul 11, 2012 (4:42 pm)
Actually, I don't consider vibration at idle in D while standing still to be a good thing in any car. When moving, perhaps.
#77 of 94 2013 Hyundai Elantra GT Purchase Cost
Jul 22, 2012 (9:40 am)
I am interested in buying a 2013 Elantra GT with A/Trans. , no style or tech. package, and mud flaps, carpeted floor mats, and cargo net.
Can anyone share what they paid for this vehicle or at least give me a idea how much under MSRP would be a great deal ?
Thank you in advance !
#78 of 94 Re: 2013 Hyundai Elantra GT Purchase Cost [elantraguy]
Jul 22, 2012 (11:23 am)
There is only about $1,000.00 difference between the dealers invoice and the M.S.R.P. window sticker price of the GTs.I paid $450 over invoice at my Florida dealership in Delray.My vehicle was equipped with the style package,mud flaps,floor mats, & "first aid kit-$25".Then factor in dealers fees,taxes,tag,title,ect and there you go.Just under $25,000,out the door.The decision is yours to make!You won't be disappointed.
#79 of 94 Re: 2013 Hyundai Elantra GT Purchase Cost [elantraguy]
Jul 22, 2012 (12:27 pm)
I bought essentially the same car a few days ago (2013 GT base with wheel locks and mats, MSRP $23,315). Including all fees except TTL, I managed about $800 under MSRP which I recall was about $100 under invoice. (These cars have tiny margins, so I guess the dealer makes most of his money on the holdback and the upsell on accessories, warranties, etc.) I didn't have to try terribly hard for this and probably could have done a little better but the dealer was very straightforward in negotiations and I didn't attempt to push them to the absolute limit.
Of course, deals vary by local market, but I would think anything around invoice would be doing fine.