• Five-door hatchback includes generous standard equipment
  • Both manual and automatic versions are rated at 39 mpg highway
  • GT is sportier than the sedan but pricier, too

Hyundai has announced pricing for the 2013 Elantra GT, a five-door hatchback variant of the popular compact model. It joins the Elantra sedan and coupe while the Elantra Touring, a wagon, will no longer be offered in the U.S. for the 2013 model year. Arriving at Hyundai dealers later this month, the Elantra GT will carry a starting price of $18,395 and will be available in a single trim level with two available option packages.

The 2013 Elantra GT is powered by the same 148-horsepower, 1.8-liter 4-cylinder engine as the Elantra sedan and coupe models. It's available with either a manual or automatic transmission, both six-speed units. With either gearbox, the Elantra GT is rated at an EPA-estimated 39 mpg highway. The automatic-transmission Elantra GTs are priced $1,000 higher than those with the manual transmission for a starting MSRP of $19,395. The manual gearbox Elantra GT is rated at 27 mpg city and 31 mpg highway, while the automatic gets 28/32 mpg.

Although two option packages are available, the base model comes well equipped with 16-inch alloy wheels, foglamps, six-speaker audio with USB and iPod inputs, Bluetooth, keyless entry, cruise control, heated front seats and a tilting and telescoping steering wheel with audio controls. A 60/40 split folding rear seat provides versatile cargo space, and the Elantra GT offers more interior volume than competitors like the Mazda3 and Ford Focus.

Hyundai engineered the Elantra GT to be a bit sportier than its sedan counterpart. While the sedan's suspension is tuned for comfort, the GT has stiffer springs and Hyundai's all-new driver-selectable steering mode, which offers Comfort, Normal and Sport settings that offer varying degrees of power assistance and on-center behavior.

The $2,750 Style package provides an even sportier suspension plus a host of comfort and convenience upgrades including a panoramic sunroof, a power driver's seat with lumbar support, leather seats and a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob. Also included with the Style package are 17-inch alloy wheels, aluminum pedals and side mirrors with integrated turn signals.

A Technology package can be added on top of the Style package for more upscale equipment like a navigation system, a rear-view camera, automatic headlights and dual-zone temperature control. It adds $2,350 to the bottom line.

The Elantra GT is a pricier than the Elantra sedan, but pricing is still competitive with that of other automakers' five-door hatchbacks. And with generous standard equipment and Hyundai's 10-year/100,000-mile warranty, the Elantra is worth a test drive for shoppers seeking both the economy of a compact and the versatility of a hatchback.

What it means to you: The five-door hatchback version of Hyundai's popular Elantra is sportier than its sedan counterpart and offers greater versatility, but it's pricier, too.

author photo

Nick Palermo is an automotive writer and lifelong car nut. He follows new and late-model used vehicles for AutoTrader.com, writes about vintage cars for Hemmings Classic Wheels and blogs on all things automotive at LivingVroom. He lives in Atlanta with his wife and twins.

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