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Business

December 8, 2012

Hyundai Elantra Coupe opens doors to style

(Continued)

But remember, while two-door versions give you less physical car, they’re designed to provide more sporting style than their comparable sedan partners. At Salem Ford Hyundai in Salem, N.H., Hyundai sales manager Mike Palmer sees the approach working with the Elantra Coupe. The two-door variant is only about 6 months old. Hyundai launched the coupe last spring, joining the long-established Elantra Sedan.

“It has tapped into the younger crowd,” Palmer said. “Young women especially love the two-door coupe.”

The higher price doesn’t deter shoppers drawn to its racier attitude. In fact, Palmer explained that full-dress models with extras like two-tone leather upholstery sell readily at Salem Ford Hyundai, even though their list prices can run more than $3,000 above a standard Elantra Coupe.

It’s true that more drivers still choose the four-door model. Palmer estimates that the dealership sells about three sedans for each two-door Elantra it moves. But many of those Elantra Coupe buyers represent new business for Hyundai, because they never would have purchased an Elantra Sedan. They would have bought a sleek two-door from another company.

“This gives Hyundai something to compete against cars like the Honda Civic Coupe,” Palmer said. “It’s something new. It gives people options. And everyone knows we love options.”

But what do you give up when you drive a two-door variant? Even if you’re 26, unmarried, and you solo commute 90 percent of the time, how big a burden could the loss of two doors create, especially in special circumstances?

To see, I placed a Hyundai Elantra Coupe in such a circumstance. My wife Donna and I loaded one for a three-day, suicide road trip, when you spend nearly as much time driving as you do at your destination. We packed in two fluffy sleeping bags, a big cooler weighted with food, two travel bags, a tote with a gift we’d deliver, laptop, Market Basket paper grocery bag with more food, another Market Basket bag filled with who knows what, and some tools. That all fit handily into the trunk with room to spare.

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