May 2, 2013

Review: 2013 Hyundai Elantra GT, Hyundai i30

The popular Hyundai i30 hatchback, introduced in the US as the Elantra GT, has won several Car of the Year awards. These include such citations as "Best Family Hatch (2009, New Zealand) and "Best Family Car" (2012, Scotland).

That people everywhere look for slightly different things in a family car is apparent from a small survey of TV commercials. It also shows the various ways people try to wrap their tongues around the brand name. I don't have TV (much less Korean TV), but all of these ads can be found on demand at YouTube.

The UK "Live Brilliant" commercial touts the i30 as a car in which a family can have loads of fun: this ad is all about family, showing three children on the back seat. The back seats are sculpted but not very deeply, which makes it easier to arrange even three child seats. There is certainly room for a cello in the back, and the second row folds down to make a nice flat-bottom cargo space large enough to accomodates a child's bike or materials for your DIY projects.

The US Elantra GT commercial is firstly about the fun of driving it: its user-selectable steering allows dad to switch to "sport" mode when he's driving the car by himself (the other two modes are called "Normal" and "Comfort, because you can't very well call them "Boring" and "Sleepy"). Only at the end of the ad do we realise, by the child-safety rear camera come out of the logo, and the bike come out of the hatch, that the man behind the wheel is a dad.

The Korean ad is actually a series of ads, each featuring just one of the "Never-ending Ideas" engineered into the i30, such as that rear-view camera or the FlexSteer feature. Or the finger brake: that's the electronic parking brake that takes away the satisfaction of feeling and hearing the hand brake ratchet into place. Enjoy the suave Korean voice-over.

In Australia, the i30 is presented as a surprise package: the Korean car with the European "look" - whatever that might mean. This is the place that awarded the i30 the "Best Mid-Size Car Under $28,000" award. Mark that category: in Australia this car is considered Mid-Size (in the US the same car gets the claustrophobia-inducing "compact" designation, which I suspect makes it less popular than it could have been); it's one example of the power of names.

One of the Autralian ads featuring a scruffily adorable dog also introduces the turbodiesel version of the i30, as being "superbly efficient". The 1.6L turbodiesel engine is certainly efficient (47mpg in real life) if you compare it to the only other Australian option, the 1.8L gasoline engine (30mpg) that is the only option in the US.

"Superbly Efficient"

It seems that American Hyundai customers aren't given much choice at all when it comes to the i30: in the table below, we're squeezed into the small orange box, where you can find the largest engine with the lowest mpg. That sounds far removed from the "eco-efficient" proclaimed on the US splash page for the Elantra GT.

Time to talk to your friendly Hyundai dealer to get that changed.

Europeans have enjoyed the benefits of efficient diesel for quite a bit longer; in fact, in the UK you have choice of six diesel configurations, all more fuel efficient than the three gasoline configurations.

In the table below, the mpg numbers quoted by the manufacturer show by whose test they were obtained, e.g. "EU" for the European test cycle, "KR" for the Korean test and "EPA" for the US EPA test cycle; the latter is the only one that's very close to the actual mileage from real-life driving. European and Asian test cycles tend to vastly overstate the mpg.


Hyundai i30 engines

1.4 CRDi -- 89HP Man 57 (EU)
45 actual
1.6 CRDi -- 109HP Man
Blue Drive
64 (EU)
46 actual
1.6 CRDi -- 109HP Auto 43 (EU) X      
1.6 CRDi -- 126HP Man 57 (EU) X   X  
1.6 CRDi -- 126HP Man
Blue Drive
62 (EU)
47 actual
1.6 CRDi -- 126HP Auto 43 (EU) X   X  
1.6 GDi -- 138HP 32 (KR)   X    
1.4L -- 99HP Man 39 (EU) X      
1.6L -- 119HP Man 37 (EU) X X    
1.6L -- 119HP Auto 35 (EU) X X    
1.8L -- 148HP Man
30 (EPA)     X X
1.8L -- 148HP Auto 30 (EPA)     X X


It's a little difficult to compare the pricing in the UK and the US (see table below), but my estimate would be that the 1.6L Blue Drive diesel (110PS) would be comparable in price to the 1.8L gasoline version - for that same price, the diesel does have 50% better fuel economy.

Think about it: a Diesel Elantra GT would be very friendly to a family budget, in these times of rising fuel prices. Surely that's the least you can expect from a family car.


Hyundai Elantra GT, i30

Elantra GT i30
Type Classic
Year 2013 2013
Emissions rating ULEV EURO5
MSRP $ 18,545 £ 16,895
CelloMom Rating
Fuel Economy:
City/Hwy quoted 26 / 37 mpg 57 / 67 mpg
Avg. quoted 30 mpg 64 mpg
Avg. actual 30 mpg 46 mpg
Carbon emissions, quoted 97 g/km
Engine 1.8L DOCH
1.6 CRDi 110PS
Blue Drive
Power 148 HP @6500rpm 109 HP
Torque 131 lbs-ft
@ 4700 rpm
192 lbs-ft
@ 1900-2750 rpm
Transmission 6-spd Manual Manual
Fuel Regular unleaded Diesel
Length, mm(in) 169.3 in 4300 mm
Width, mm(in) 70.1 in 1780 mm
Height, mm(in) 57.9 in 1465 mm
Weight, kg(lbs) 2745 lbs 1360 kg
Trunk volume, liters(cuft) 23 / 51 cuft 378 / 1326 L
Turning radius, m(ft) 5.3 m
Top speed, kph(mph) 115 mph



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1 comment:

  1. I am very fond of cars and love to keep update about each and every car in the world. Thanks for sharing about this great hyundai elantra.


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