Why would I buy it?
- Long list of features
- Comfortable cabin
Why would I avoid it?
- Not dynamically sorted
- Rear headroom, ingress
Engine and Performance
Powering the Elantra we have for this review is a 2.0-litre petrol motor with 152bhp/192Nm of torque that’s mated to a six-speed automatic gearbox transmitting its power onto the road. Firstly, we have to admit that this Hyundai sedan has always maintained a cubic-capacity advantage over its 1.8-litre rivals. This additional 200cc sure makes itself visible. For one, the response from this mill is sharp. Yet, the interesting bit is that the power delivery is infinitely linear. This conduct simply has one’s senses begging for a spectacle involving a hasty spike in acceleration be it anywhere in the power band.
And if this composed demeanour is displayed in sporty driving situations, you can imagine how relaxed normal driving can turn out to be. The Elantra feels ultra-refined with almost zero NVH, while still offering enough oomph for most driving situations. Another incentive that enhances the drivability of this sedan, especially to those who prefer them, are preset driving modes that range from the boosting fuel efficiency type to the dope performance variety; it’s all there for the taking. As for frugality, Hyundai maintains that owners will get around 14.6kmpl, be it the manual or the auto gearbox version.
Ride Quality and Handling
A few minutes of driving is all that’s required for one to grasp that Hyundai has essentially tuned its Elantra’s ride and handling for comfort. We noticed that the suspension setup absorbs most bumps exceptionally well, while also clearing even the biggest of speed breakers with four occupants on board; which says a lot for a sedan. Having said that, the absorbent nature of the Elantra also means that the handling isn’t great. There’s body-roll aplenty, and adding to the woes is the muted steering. Be that as it may, as a family car, the Elantra ticks all the boxes.
Comfort, Convenience, and Features
Over the last couple of years, Hyundai has stuffed a few tricks up its sleeve when it comes to styling. And this one is no different. When compared to the outgoing Elantra model, this one dons more vibrant shades within the cabin, benefits from a restyled steering wheel, and also gets a clean but sporty instrumentation cluster that shows off some carbon fibre graphics. Talking about the seats, the ones in the front are large, comfortable, and quite supportive too.
And yes, these have my favourite cooling function along with electric adjustments to attain that perfect driving posture. As for the rear bench though, the ingress can get tricky due to the sloping roof which can especially spell trouble for the elderly. The good part is that once you’re seated, there’s modest space for three, plenty of leg-, foot- and head-room, along with an appropriately angled backrest. The only catch here is that the headroom can be restrictive for tall passengers.
Hyundai has become synonymous with offering bucket loads of features. Here, the Elantra comes with nice additions such as the Blue Link system that not only allows for remote engine start but also to fiddle around with the AC controls. Then, there’s an eight-speaker music system, tyre pressure monitoring, wireless charging, and then some more.
In terms of safety features, the Elantra gets six airbags as standard, ABS with EBD, impact sensing door unlock, front and rear parking sensors with rear camera and electronic stability control. It’s also equipped with vehicle stability management, hill-start assist, auto headlamps, ISOFIX mounts, height-adjustable front seat-belts, and disc brakes on all four wheels.
The Hyundai Elantra is a very sharp looking Korean with lots of angular elements both on its nose and tail section. They are visible on the lamps, grille, and surrounding sheets of metal. Alternatively, the hood has a nice set of delicate creases which adds some uncanny spice to the rest of the drama. In profile, the coupe stance plus the striking 16-inch alloys give the Elantra its much-needed appeal too. A handsome Hyundai the Elantra is!
With the Hyundai Elantra going up against the likes of the Skoda Octavia, it’s glaringly obvious that it can’t compete with the dynamics of the latter. However, with an affordable price tag that ranges from Rs 21.12 lakh to Rs 23.74 lakh (petrol models, OTR Mumbai), a comfortable cabin that’s loaded with features along with a great service network to fall back on, it is sure as hell value for money which seems enough reason to plonk for one.
Pictures by Kapil Angane and Kaustubh Gandhi