Car Review: 2013 Hyundai Elantra Coupe SE PZEV

The ante keeps getting higher in the C Segment of cars, and the new 2013 Hyundai Elantra Coupe SE PZEV has made a grand entrance. This two-door coupe model of the Elantra sedan is attracting even more buyers to the Elantra lineup, further expanding its appeal to savvy consumers. It offers many of the same attributes that made the sedan version a sales success, while broadening its market reach to youthful, sporty buyers willing to forgo four-door versatility for coupe design appeal. The 2013 Elantra Coupe marks the continuing evolution of Hyundai’s “Fluidic Sculpture” design theme with sporty design language, while assuming a compact coupe segment leadership position with an eco-efficient powertrain, generous convenience features, exceptional roominess and abundant safety features.


When we drove the 2013 Elantra Sedan Hatchback GT, we were impressed with the design and architecture, so we had high hopes for the 2013 Hyundai Elantra Coupe SE PZEV. From the side, Elantra Coupe conveys a wedge-like sport coupe silhouette with deeply sculpted surfaces. Sporty, five-spoke 17-inch alloy wheels with dark spoke inserts add a dynamic presence, while fast A- and C-pillar angles frame a sharply tapered greenhouse, further accentuating the wedge profile. Just below the belt line, a prominent character line carries from the door through to the rear deck. Wheel arch creases give a subtle flared appearance around front and rear wheels for a wide and aggressive presence. Further, a beveled rocker panel rounds out the lean and muscular effect.

Elantra Coupe takes Hyundai’s dynamic “Fluidic Sculpture” design principles to the next level. Fluidic Sculpture design language replicates the interaction of wind with rigid surfaces to create a perception of fluid in motion. Hyundai’s signature hexagonal front fascia opening and jeweled swept-back headlights give the Elantra Coupe a lean, aggressive demeanor. Fog lights and available side mirror repeater lamps complement the view from the front. From the rear, a blacked-out rear diffuser valance contrasts with dual chrome-tipped exhaust tips, and the SE model deck lid incorporates a lip spoiler design element.

These sculpted surfaces serve to create a highly aerodynamic body. The drag coefficient for the Elantra Coupe is an exceptionally low 0.28 Cd, resulting in minimal cabin noise intrusion and optimal fuel economy. Elantra Coupe was designed in the U.S.A. at Hyundai’s North American Design Center in Irvine, Calif. And we must say they did a great job!


The interior of the 2013 Hyundai Elantra Coupe SE PZEV is years beyond the price point of this car and is nothing short of amazing! Inside the Elantra Coupe, you’ll find Hyundai’s expertise in interior packaging, lighting, leading-edge design and craftsmanship. This approach is visible in gauge clarity and the tilt and telescopic steering wheel. Seat construction uses lightweight materials and environmentally-friendly foam for further benefits to fuel efficiency. The Elantra Coupe’s seat design also provides deeper side bolsters compared with the Elantra sedan for sportier driving. Heated seats are standard equipment on all Elantra Coupes, while the SE model offers sporty aluminum pedals.

The Elantra Coupe offers two interior color choices (gray and black) available with either the GS or SE trim. All Elantra Coupes have cloth-like pillar trims made of fibrous tissue and volcanic rock for a premium look, feel and minimal environmental impact. The Elantra Coupe will offer seven exterior colors, three of which are unique from Elantra sedan color choices: Monaco White, Black Noir Pearl and Volcanic Red. The gray leather seating was upscale and was as comfortable as cars twice the price.

The Elantra Coupe is available with two audio systems. Standard is a 172-watt AM/FM/Satellite Radio/CD/MP3 audio system with six-speakers and iPod/USB/auxiliary input jacks. A 360-watt system with external amplifier is optional with the SE Technology package. The sound system plays compact discs, accesses digital music files via Bluetooth streaming audio, or allows drivers and passengers to access their personal listening devices through the iPod/USB/auxiliary inputs. Bluetooth audio wirelessly streams music from select mobile phones to the head unit. The 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.

You really have to see the interior for yourself to appreciate just how far the Elantra Coupe cabin has taken C segment interiors!


There is a “PZEV” at the end of the car description, and there’s a very good reason for that. Thanks to advanced clean engine technology, most Elantra Coupes sold in California, Oregon and several Northeast states are certified as Partial Zero Emission Vehicles (PZEV) by the EPA. The PZEV Elantra Coupe is as clean as many hybrid electric vehicles, without the extra technological complexity and cost. The PZEV Elantra Coupe helps Hyundai meet and exceed its environmental requirements. Outside of these “green” states, the Elantra Coupe is available as an Ultra Low Emission Vehicle (ULEV). Under the hood, the Elantra Coupe is powered by the same 1.8-liter Nu four-cylinder engine with 148 horsepower (estimated) and 131 lb-ft of torque (estimated) found in the Elantra sedan (145 horsepower and 130 lb-ft of torque for Elantra Coupe PZEV). This high power-density 4-cylinder puts out a full six percent more horsepower than the Civic Coupe 1.8-liter. Fuel efficiency on our test model 2013 Hyundai Elantra Coupe SE PZEV was strong with 27mpg in the city and a whopping 37mpg highway driving.

Another technology Hyundai engineers have incorporated into the Elantra Coupe is an electronic throttle control. Electronic throttle control replaces the conventional cable and mechanical linkage with instantaneous computerized control. This system accurately controls air intake and engine torque, improving drivability, response and fuel economy. The six-speed automatic is 11 pounds lighter than Hyundai’s global five-speed. It is considerably simpler, having 62 fewer parts, for greater durability, lighter weight and lower cost. It also features an ultra-flat torque converter that shortens the unit’s overall length by 0.43 inches, while being 2.6 pounds lighter.

To further improve fuel economy, Elantra Coupe applies double-pipe plumbing technology to the internal heat exchanger. Double-pipe plumbing improves cabin cooling efficiency, minimizing compressor size and reducing fuel consumption. In addition, an externally-controlled variable compressor is used to improve fuel efficiency when compared with an internal variable compressor. This car also handles superbly absorbing bumps in the road and hugging corners as well as many sports cars.


The Elantra models being released from the folks at Hyundai continue to impress, and for a price of $21,615 as tested, competitors have to be looking over their shoulders. When you consider the styling, quality and interior of the 2013 Hyundai Elantra Coupe SE, it makes you wonder how Hyundai can deliver this vehicle at such a modest price. This is a winner for Hyundai and we look forward to seeing if Hyundai can keep the hits coming!