Hyundai Elantra Overview
The Hyundai Elantra has been one of the best selling cars globally having sold more than 11.5 million units. Hyundai had launched the fifth generation Elantra in 2012 and it was, at one point, the best-seller in the segment. The D-segment has shrunk as the craze for SUVs has caught up in recent times. Inspite of this, Hyundai has launched the sixth generation model in India and the Koreans aim to lead the D-segment again. Hyundai claims that this is the best Elantra they have ever made. We were in Chennai to sample this latest sedan from Hyundai.
Hyundai first launched the Elantra in India in its third generation, which was the 2000 model. The fourth generation wasn’t introduced to the Indian market but the Elantra made a comeback to the Indian soil in its fifth generation, which was the 2010 model. Now the sixth generation is here with some promising aspects to kill the D-segment sedan space.
Hyundai Elantra Exteriors
This is the first Hyundai in a long time that isn’t a massive visual departure from, but rather an evolution of, its predecessor. The cab-forward shape and coupé-like curved roofline may be similar to the previous car’s, but everything else is all new – this is Fluidic Sculpture 2.0, Hyundai’s newest design language. Gone are the pointy edges that perhaps looked a bit too radical for this class, and in their place have come far more European styling cues. At the front, the wide hexagonal chrome grille bears more than a passing resemblance to what you’ll find on a modern Audi and there’s even a hint of Jaguar’s ‘J-Blade’ signature in the LED running lamps. The boomerang-shaped slits that house the small fog lamps on the extremities of the bumper are more than meets the eye, because they are actually functional, Hyundai says, channelling air efficiently to reduce turbulence inside the wheel arch and thereby improve fuel economy, aid stability and lower wind noise.
Over on the sides, the wheel arches (especially at the front) aren’t as pronounced as before, and, overall, the car doesn’t look as tall as before, which is a definite improvement. The biggest visual departure, however, is at the rear, where the rather bulky tail has been made a lot more elegant. The smaller, slimmer tail-lamps with their distinct LED signatures give a much better sense of width, as do the wide LED strips on the bumper. So while the flowing shape and aggressive nose are still attention-grabbing, the toned-down rear looks a lot more mature than before.
Where the third-generation Elantra (the first one to come to India back in 2004) was quite special for its expensive independent rear suspension, this sixth-generation car (as well as its predecessor) uses a more conventional and cost-effective non-independent, torsion-beam rear suspension. The front wheels, of course, use independent, MacPherson struts. The chassis now uses more high-strength steel than before – 53 percent versus 21 percent – resulting in a 30 percent increase in stiffness, which should dramatically help ride and handling.
Hyundai Elantra Interiors
While the exterior bears a slight resemblance to its predecessor, the interiors are worlds apart. We loved the old car’s daring approach to dashboard design, what with the vertical AC vents, hourglass-shaped control panel and surfeit of angles. This new one is far more conventional looking and altogether more ‘horizontal’ in its layout. It’s a very European approach to dash design, which seems to be the theme with this car, and the result is that everything is where you expect it to be. The big 8.0-inch touchscreen sits at the top of the central stack, followed by the AC vents and then the AC controls. The dials are classic Hyundai – white-backlit, easy to read, with a detail-rich screen between them. The biggest point of note is the cabin quality. Thus far, all Hyundais have used materials that are a notch above other Asian car brands, but there’s been a more or less uniform level across all the brand’s models, perhaps with the exception of the Santa Fe. This is the first Hyundai that feels a distinct step above all of them in the way it’s put together, and is closer than ever now to its European rivals in terms of fit and finish. There are a few low-rent bits – the fuel filler and boot-release levers in the driver’s footwell come to mind – but that’s about it. Other than that, we just wish there was a bit of chrome or wood trim in here to liven things up from the dull black and grey shades that permeate the interior.
In an executive sedan, all the seats are equally important, because these cars tend to be both owner and chauffeur driven. At the front, you get suitably large chairs with a good amount of support for your back and thighs. On top-spec cars, the driver’s seat is powered and, on the automatics, cooled too, but there’s no memory function, sadly. The cushioning is a bit on the soft side, so while it’s great on short drives, it could cause you a slight backache over a long stint at the wheel. Still, despite the tall instrument binnacle and sharply raked A-pillars, visibility from the driver’s seat is very good.
The back seat is quite similar to the previous car’s in that it is placed low and the roofline is low too, so you will have to duck a bit when you get in. Once you’re in place though, you’ll have little reason to complain. Headroom is surprisingly good despite that roof, there’s more than enough kneeroom, thanks to an H-point that’s sited pretty deep, and thigh support is about two inches away from being perfect. Here too, the central cushioning is perhaps a touch too soft for longer distances, but for short stints, it’s nice and comfortable. Hyundai has also provided three individual head restraints back here, and of course there are a pair of rear AC vents (they don’t take up too much space either).
With even premium hatchbacks (Hyundai’s own i20 is a prime example) now packing luxury-car levels of equipment, you get the feeling that Hyundai is starting to run out of ideas for its more expensive models, especially when costs have to be kept in check. There’s the very gimmicky automatic boot release (which rarely works), automatic headlamps (but not wipers), rear-parking sensors (but not front), projector headlamps and cooled seats, which are all very neat. Other staples like push-button start, dual-zone climate control, leather upholstery, a rear-view camera and a very impressive touchscreen (read about it in the special box) are all welcome, but it’s not segment-transcending stuff, as used to be the case with every new Hyundai. Another unusual thing is that all top-spec SX(O) cars are not created equal, as the automatics get a bit more equipment than the manuals. Cooled front seats, a sunroof, six airbags (the others get just two) and speed-sensitive door locks are only available on the two-pedal cars.
Hyundai Elantra Transmission
The Elantra is available in both petrol and diesel engine options. Hyundai is using a new 2.0-litre petrol engine which punches out 151 HP & 192 Nm. This engine comes mated with both manual and automatic transmissions. We got a chance to drive the petrol automatic variant at the media test drive. This new motor feels quite peppy and has a strong mid & top end. The 6-speed automatic gearbox mated to the petrol engine is the second generation autobox and is more refined now. However, being a single clutch transmission, there is some amount of lag, you feel it more once you completely floor the pedal to the metal. This engine delivers an ARAI certified fuel economy of 14.59 km/l and 14.62 km/l with both the manual and auto gearboxes respectively. For more information on Hyundai Elantra visit Icps2016
The diesel is the same tried and tested 1.6-litre U2 CRDI engine which has been refined as per Hyundai claims. It still delivers the same 127 HP of power and 260 Nm of twisting force. Power delivery is linear and power feels quite adequate. Mated to this oil burner is a 6-speed automatic and manual transmission which has been carried forward from the previous generation model. Hyundai claims that the diesel Elantra is the most fuel efficient sedan in its segment delivering 22.54 km/l as per ARAI standards. Hyundai has worked to improve NVH levels too. There is barely any wind or tyre noise heard inside the cabin. Even the engine bay is well insulated.
Hyundai Elantra Driving
Here’s the really impressive thing about the new Elantra. It no longer feels softly sprung, a trait we have long associated with Hyundais. True, things have been on the mend over the years, but this feels like a significant step forward. The springs aren’t outright firm by class standards, but they’re firmer than any Hyundai before, which is something you’ll feel as soon as you hit a speed breaker a little too hard. The rebound can be felt with a solid thwack permeating the cabin. Hyundai tends to go a size up on the competition when it comes to its alloy wheels on top-spec cars, but not this time. 16 inches is the segment norm and Hyundai has stuck to it. They’re shod with thick, 60-profile Hankook Kinergy Eco tyres, which seem to be the magic ingredient in this ride-quality recipe. They do well to compensate for the stiffer suspension, soaking up the initial harshness of most bumps really nicely.
Then the firmer suspension steps in to make sure that body control is kept in check on an undulating surface. Considering how bad the old car was, you’ll be impressed to find that this one hardly bounces or floats at all at high speeds. It stays flat and tied down, and back seat passengers will be especially thankful for this. It really feels a whole lot more grown up and, dare we say it, European. As mentioned earlier, it’s only when you hit a bump or speed breaker really hard that you’ll catch the suspension off-guard. This added firmness, however, has not completely eliminated body roll, and you’ll still feel a bit of it when you corner the Elantra hard.
What you won’t feel much of when you corner hard is what the front wheels are up to, as the steering is still far too numb. Again, there is a marginal improvement from the previous car, but that seems more to do with added weight than outright feel. You will get a better sense of security at high speeds, or when you accidentally drop one of the front wheels into a pothole – the steering doesn’t go limp in your hands, nor do you feel any steering shock. All things considered, you still won’t want to drive the Elantra hard, but you will be thankful for the lightness of the steering when you’re parking or making a three-point turn.
Hyundai Elantra Safety
The new Hyundai Elantra is loaded with safety equipment having dual front airbags and ABS as standard on all variants along with 6 airbags, ABS, ESC, Vehicle Stability Management and Hill-Start Assist Control standard on the range topping variant. The new gen Elantra has been awarded the top safety pick from IIHS having green signals for all aspects. Hyundai is well known for its after sales service and with the launch of the new Elantra, the Korean carmaker announced new Hyundai Premium Assurance Program offering 3 years unlimited kms warranty for all the customers of the new Elantra. It also comes with free maintenance for 3 yrs/30,000 kms, 3 yrs roadside assistance, 3 times update on ‘Map Care’ and 3 times Customer ‘Home Visit’. On top of that, Hyundai loyal customers will get additional 4th year extended warranty.
Hyundai Elantra Cost in Hyderabad
Hyundai Elantra On Road Price is 16,50,935/- and Ex-showroom Price is 13,71,400/- in Hyderabad. Hyundai Elantra comes in 5 colours, namely Sleek Silver,Phantom Black,Marina Blue,Red Passion,Polar White. Hyundai Elantra comes with FWD with 1999 CC Displacement and 4 Cylinders with Maximum Power 150 bhp@6200 rpm and Peak Torque 192 Nm@4000 rpm DRIVE TRAIN FWD and reaches 100 KMPH at N/A . Hyundai Elantra comes with Manual Transmission with FWD .Check for Elantra price in Hyderabad at Tryaldrive.
Hyundai Elantra Final Thought
The new Hyundai Elantra hasn’t rewritten the rule book for executive sedans; in fact, its formula has stayed unchanged – striking looks, lots of equipment, value for money and capable, refined engines. But it’s also improved dramatically in most areas and also gained a couple of new skills along the way. Dynamically, it’s a quantum leap over its predecessor and a new benchmark for Hyundai in India, with a ride quality that can, at last, rival what its European rivals offer; shame the handling hasn’t quite caught up yet, but it too has improved. On the equipment front, yes, it isn’t the revolution its predecessor was, but you can’t say it leaves you wanting either. The feature-rich touchscreen, in particular, is just superb. It’s got a pair of very different, albeit both capable in their own right, engine options each with an auto or a manual, so there should be something for everyone. Space and comfort are generous, the striking looks will still be a big draw, but what really makes it worth it is the price, which is still a notch below cars from Europe. It just goes to show, it’s possible to have an attractive proposition in the executive sedan segment yet.