Hyundai's finally gotten around to producing a coupe version of its popular Hyundai Elantra for the confusing group of buyers who, for unknown reasons, want a bland coupe when a hatchback is obviously superior.
There once was a time when the marketplace was crowded with compact coupes, none of which offered anything remotely close to sporty appeal since the days of the fourth-gen Honda Civic SI in 1999. Ford's moved on to hatchbacks for its compact and Chevy only offers a sedan right now.
This left the market divided between the perpetually blander Civic coupe and the peculiarly attractive Kia Forte Koup, as well as the lonesome Scion tC.
Hyundai's latest coupe shares the same 1.8-liter Nu four-banger with its sedan cousin, putting out an identical 148-hp and 131 lb-ft of torque, which is better than the Civic Coupe but inferior to the 156-hp base Koup and not even close to the optional 173-hp 2.4-liter Koup SX. The Scion tC remains the horsepower king with 180 of them.
So what's the argument for the Elantra coupe? It'll get a disputed 40 mpg highway, come with a great warranty, nice interior, and probably be extremely competitive on cost. The promise of a cheap, reliable car that potentially gets 40 mpg on the highway will appeal to parents buying their kids a first car and couples who have checks from insurance agencies and want to replace whatever they were driving before.
If you have your heart set on an Elantra, this is one of those times where the sedan is clearly the better choice. Or, you know, just buy the 2013 Elantra GT and be done with it. Or, if you don't need all the space, get the Hyundai Veloster.
Damn, when did Hyundai become Ragu?