Hyundai Elantra Facelift Review & Test Drive

Hyundai Elantra Test drive

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 Elantra Style

The front apron gets redesigned projector head lights with LED guide light, which flanks the modified chrome-finished radiator grille. The revised body-coloured front bumper features revamped fog lights with black housings along with air intakes. The fog lights are placed towards the deeper end of the bumper. Body-painted outside rear view mirrors come with integrated turn indicator. Apart from the power-adjusting and power-folding functions, the ORVMs are also bestowed with the electrical heating function. R16 alloy wheels are shod to all four silica tyres and are available as a standard fitment across the range. For more info on Elantra visit Aryavarta

Chrome finishing has been done generously on the outside, which includes chrome outside door handles and beltline chrome moulding. Other exterior fitments available on the saloon include a printed glass antenna and an exhaust with chrome finisher. The curvaceous contours of the saloon make it stand apart as far as the designing is concerned, hence making it one of the most visually-appealing premium saloons in D segment. Bestowed with the new generation fluidic design language, Elantra’s silhouette runs smoothly from front to the rear. Rear is equally captivating as the front fascia. At the back, captivating wrap-around tail lights are equipped while slightly changed body-coloured rear bumper features reflectors.

Hyundai Elantra Space

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.Check for HDFC car loan at Fincarz.

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 Performance

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.

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.

Company claims that the 1.6-litre CRDi, VGT diesel power train is very frugal in nature and yields best-in-class ARAI-rated fuel economy of 22.7 km in a litre. The petrol variant, on the other hand, is tuned to deliver slightly less fuel efficiency as compared to the diesel engine, for obvious reasons.

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

Front and rear axles get disc brakes, which work mutually with evidently robust braking equipments, such as anti-lock braking system with electronic brake force distribution. Brake assist is missing from the adept braking system. From the safety brigade, Elantra gets dual front airbags equipped in all variants, while side and curtain airbags are confined to the SX and SX AT trims.

Some of the other safety features present in the SX and SX AT variants include electronic stability control, speed sensing auto door lock, vehicle stability management and automatic headlight control. The only feature available exquisitely in the SX AT trims is hill start control. Preeminent safety equipments proffered as standard among all variants are rear parking sensors, impact sensing door unlock, clutch lock, rear defogger with timer, front height adjustable seatbelts with seatbelt pretensioners and ignition key reminder. The diesel base variant comes bereft of electro chromic mirror bestowed on the rest of the trims.

Hyundai Elantra Cost in Ahmedabad

Hyundai Elantra On-Road Price in Ahmedabad ranges from 15,42,374 to 22,31,958 for variants Elantra 2.0 MPI S and Elantra 1.6 CRDi SX Optional AT respectively. Hyundai Elantra is available in 9 variants and 5 colours. Below are details of Hyundai Elantra variants price in Ahmedabad. Check for Elantra price in Ahmedabad at Autozhop.

Hyundai Elantra Conclusion

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.

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