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      Hyundai Elantra first drive review

      Santosh Nair

      Santosh Nair


       Hyundai introduced the sixth generation all new Elantra that made its international debut last year, to our Indian market last week. When compared to the outgoing car, this saloon is now longer by 20mm, wider by 25mm and taller by 5mm. In addition to getting more features, this edition of the Elantra also comes with a new petrol engine.


       Hyundai added that the new car features a reduction in the gaps between panels, has thicker glass panes, makes lesser blower noise, emits lower levels of NVH, has stronger engine mounts, and also has 40 times more structural adhesives incorporated to reduce wind flow. The topping on the cake is that Hyundai has also armed the new Elantra with ‘Hyundai Premium Assurance’, which is a three years warranty with a comprehensive package.
       We gauged the all-new Elantra’s behaviour on our drive from Chennai to Pondicherry and here’s the gist.

      Appearance Exterior

       Most of the attraction comes from the prominent front end which has a pair of sleek headlamps that meet up at the hexagonal grille with chrome finishes. It imparts a premium feel. Now, in a bid to increase fuel efficiency, air slats above the fog lights direct air into the wheel wells to minimize air twisting around the wheel section. In the process, this car boasts of an air drag coefficient of just 0.29 Cd. In profile, the new Elantra still retains cues from the earlier car, but a sharp eye can spot the stretched measurements and the pronounced creases.


       A shark fin antenna can be seen on the curved roofline which aggressively slants at the C-pillar on to the compact boot section. The highlight here is the conspicuous set of long LED tail lamps which glow up with a snazzy multi-dimensional look. If the previous Elantra was more about flowing lines, the new iteration is all about a sharper and more aggressive design stance, especially around the hexagonal nose.

      Appearance Interior

       Hyundai’s new Elantra comes with a dual layered soft touch dashboard which uses a thick silver accent to separate the top dash from the bottom. An 8.0" HD touch screen navigation system that doubles up as an infotainment system, buttons for its features, and the air vents can be seen on the top half. Below the silver accent lie the air-con buttons with a small display, the start-stop button, and the buttons to the cars functions around the gear shifter in the auto version.


       An integrated 3.5” TFT LCD and clean looking dials within the instrument cluster depicts all the driving information to the driver. Whether it is the music controls or the hands-free phone call, everything is just a tap away thanks to the controls on the multi-functional steering wheel. While there’s just adequate space for your knick-knacks and cups in the centre console, the door pads (soft touch elbow section) can also accommodate your extra stuff along with a one litre bottle. As much as the ventilated front seats offer great contours and a good amount of back and thigh support, they also lend a prominent degree of lateral support.

       At the rear, though there’s adequate comfort for three abreast, headroom for six foot passengers will be a tight affair. Despite the superior comfort offered by the backrest and cushioning, the lack of under thigh support should take a hit on passengers, especially on longer journeys. That said, the grey interiors do tend to make the overall ambience a bit gloomy after a bit of cabin time. Hyundai has thoughtfully added a hidden storage compartment under the floor console, and has also allowed access to the 458-litre boot from the rear seat. A smart tailgate system automatically opens the boot within three seconds when standing in its proximity.
       Features that make it to the all-new Elantra are dual zone climate control, reverse camera, electrically adjustable ventilated driver’s seat, leather upholstery, steering controls and cruise control. There’s also electric IRVM, 8.0-inch touch screen infotainment system with android auto and Apple car play, and a cooled glovebox. Additionally, one also gets dual front airbags, side and curtain airbags, ABS with EBD, vehicle stability programme, hill start assist, HID lamps, LED DRLs and LED tail lamps.

      Performance Drive


      Powering the new Hyundai Elantra is a ‘Nu’ 2.0-litre MPi petrol engine and a ‘U2’ 1.6-litre CRDi diesel mill. The petrol motor is capable of producing a maximum power of 152bhp and 196Nm of torque while a six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic gearbox takes care of transmission duties. We got behind the wheel of the petrol automatic, and simply put, this is clearly the enthusiast’s choice. It feels supremely refined, sounds sporty when revved hard and the transmission shifts quickly. There's ample performance on tap from the word ‘go’, even in Eco mode! Post 3000rpm there's a strong surge, and then there’s a high at 5000rpm after which it tapers off at 6250rpm before hitting the 6500rpm rev limit. While Eco and normal mode quickly upshift and settle down to 1700rpm when one gets off the pedal, sport mode holds on to a lower gear and anticipates throttle input to unwrap the horsepower. Even if you were off the throttle and gently touched the accelerator pedal, the transmission downshifts and instantly responds. Eventually we began to prefer the eco mode for regular driving purposes as it simultaneously satisfied our appetite for performance.


       The diesel Elantra gets the ‘U2’ 1.6-litre CRDi diesel engine that produces 128bhp and 265Nm of torque and comes with the option of a six-speed manual gearbox or a six-speed torque converter automatic. Though this is the engine that was on the previous car, it is now tuned to offer better performance across the rev range. We drove the automatic version that comes with drive select mode which lets the driver choose between normal, eco and sport modes. Eco is the ideal choice if you plan to extract the best efficiency out of this motor. It picks up speed in a very linear and unhurried manner, all the way up to the 4250rpm limit. When you ease off the accelerator pedal, the revs will drop to around 2000rpm because the gears upshift quickly to save fuel. Despite the normal mode sporting similar characteristics as the eco mode, it does feel more eager in its overall response through the range. The Sport mode, like the name suggests, allows for the gears to be held on all the way to the rev limit to extract the maximum out of this engine. Get off the throttle and a lower gear is engaged keeping the revs high enough for instant performance. That said, the transmission tends to upshift slower than the downshifts.
       The revised damper settings with the hydraulic rebound stopper and the suspension setup lends the Elantra with a seemingly flat ride. It soaks up most undulations and only the sharper ones filter into the cabin. Though it tips slightly towards the stiffer setup overall, it rides well and makes the longer journeys pleasurable too. The steering is a huge improvement over the older car and points the car to the intended direction with reasonable precision. Since it is light and quick off the centre too, driving this saloon becomes an easy affair. We noticed that the brakes were progressive, and even though it could’ve had some more bite, the pedal feedback is accurate.

      Tech Specs

      Make Hyundai
      Model Elantra
      Fuel Petrol Diesel
      Variant SX (O) A/T SX (O) A/T
      Engine Capacity 1999 1582
      Max. Power (bhp@rpm) 152 @ 6200 128 @ 4000
      Max. torque (Nm@rpm) 196 @ 4000 265 @ 1900-2750
      Gears  six-speed automatic six-speed automatic
      Length mm 4570
      Width mm 1800
      Height mm 1465
      Wheelbase mm 2700
      Fuel Capacity (in litres) 50
      Tyre size 205 / 60 R16


      Six airbags Yes
      ABS with EBD Yes
      Electronic stability control Yes
      Hill Start Assist Control Yes
      Rear parking sensors Yes
      Projector headlamps Yes
      Electric sunroof Yes
      Dual zone auto air-con Yes
      Five inch touch audio system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto Yes

      Competition All Specs

      Specifications Hyundai
      Variant SX (O) A/T SX (O) A/T Style Plus A/T Style Plus A/T
      Fuel Petrol Diesel Petrol Diesel
      Engine Capacity 1999 1582 1798 1968
      Max. Power 
      152 @ 6200 128 @ 4000 177 @ 4500 141 @ 4000
      Max. torque 
      196 @ 4000 265 @ 1900-2750 250 @ 1250 320 @ 1750
      Gears  six-speed automatic six-speed automatic seven-speed automatic six-speed automatic
      Length mm 4570 4659
      Width mm 1800 1814
      Height mm 1465 1476
      Wheelbase mm 2700 2688
      Fuel Capacity 
      (in litres)
      50 50
      Tyre size 205 / 60 R16 205 / 55 R16


      Inspite of our nation’s preference for SUVs, Hyundai made a bold move to introduce the all-new Elantra to the Indian market,considering it isn’t a volume generating segment currently. While the petrol variants of the Elantra range from Rs 12.99 lakh to Rs 17.99 lakh, the diesel versions cost between Rs 14.79 lakh and Rs 19.19 lakh (ex-showroom New Delhi). It slots into a segment that is populated by the likes of the Volkswagen Jetta, Skoda Octavia, Chevrolet Cruze and the Toyota Corolla. With a clear demarcation existing between those who’d prefer German build quality over maybe something like bullet-proof reliability, where does the Elantra fit in? Well, this Hyundai plays a vital role in bringing a bit of both ends of that spectrum in a well packaged product. With the kind of buying assurance that’s being provided by Hyundai for Elantra buyers, it looks like the ownership experience should be a breeze. 


      Photo Courtesy By : Kapil Angane
      Hyundai Elantra
      HyundaiElantra ₹ 15.90 Lakh OnwardsCheck On Road Price
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