After returning the Honda Brio, we got upgraded to the Hyundai Elantra. This is the petrol and manual version of the Elantra. We missed out on the automatic of the Brio, but the luxury frills that this sedan offered us, made us forget about it. Like most of the Hyundai cars, the Elantra comes loaded with several features that are first-in segment. We share our first report on the Hyundai Elantra.
Report I- Features:
Elantra was the first Hyundai vehicle to get the fluidic design and it was then carried forward to other vehicles. The Elantra looks stylish and is also one of the best looking vehicles in its segment. On the inside too, the Elantra comes loaded with several features. Seat air-conditioning, reverse parking camera, electrically folding mirrors, climate control, Bluetooth connectivity, steering mounted audio controls and even audio controls for the rear passenger.
The space in the Elantra is decent and even the features list is long. However, ingress and egress in the Elantra is a bit difficult at the rear, as the vehicle is a bit too low. The driver’s seat is electrically adjustable and even the seats are large enough. The boot is large enough to carry luggage for four people for a weekend trip.
The music system is decent, however we would have expected a better quality audio output as the European competition offers better systems. The Bluetooth also has music streaming, however one has to skip songs by using the mobile device, and you can’t change from the controls on the instrument panel.
This is one feature that we sorely miss, as even hatchback have the option to stream music and changing track from the steering wheel controls. We wish this Korean sedan came with an integrated touchscreen infotainment system, as that is the direction in which the world is heading into.
Report 2- Powertrain:
The petrol version of the Elantra is powered by a 1.8-litre engine, which produces 147bhp of power at 6500rpm and 177Nm of peak torque at 4700rpm. This has variable valves, and hence we can see the VTVT badging on the petrol Elantra. This not only helps to enhance the performance, but at the same time even improve the fuel efficiency of the mill. This petrol engine has fairly low levels of noise, vibration and harshness.
The SX model comes with push start and stop button option. Crank start the engine, and you won’t realise it has sprung to life unless you see the gauges. The power delivery is linear but it does struggle when pulled in a higher gear. You will have to downshift to make those quick overtaking manoeuvres in city or on the highway. One has to rev the engine hard to get the best power, and as this is a naturally aspirated engine it doesn’t have any turbo lag too.
Rev the engine, and it screams as it inches closer to redline. The best performance is achieved when the engine is driven between 3000-6000rpm. Even though the maximum power comes at 6500rpm, but post 6000rpm its more of increase in the engine speed and lesser power is extracted. The fuel efficiency that we have obtained with only city driving is about 9.5km/l.
The six-speed transmission is slick and the shifts are positive. The throws are short and the knob is small too for easy shifts. The gear slots are too closely placed, due to which it takes sometime to get used to the box especially while downshifting. We haven’t faced any issues with vehicle so far, and we shall keep you posted in our upcoming reports.
Report 3: - By Sundeep Krishna
Hyundai has always been one car manufacturer which has never been afraid of unleashing unconventional looking cars in the market and has also succeeded to selling such cars in large numbers. Its first product for the Indian market was Santro. Hyundai Santro was a variant of Hyundai Atos. Atos was designed for the European market and Santro was a visually toned down version specifically for Indian market. Despite being visually toned down, in compared to the reigning deities of the era - read Maruti Esteem and Maruti Zen and to a lesser extent Daewoo Matiz, Hyundai Santro still looked pretty unconventional, if not outright outrageous. All credit to Hyundai and the discerning Indian car buyer that Hyundai Santro struck a cord and became a runaway success. It was the first car to dent the market share of the then invincible Maruti-Suzuki combine. Arguably, Santro’s success was the precursor to the introduction of the original Tall Boy – Wagon R – by Maruti-Suzuki. Despite the huge success that it was, it is very difficult to describe Santro as anything coming close to be called beautiful or stylish. But how the times have changed – Hyundai’s present day cars are nothing if not beautiful and stylish. The fluidic design mantra has meant the cars sporting the Hyundai tag are the best looking cars in their class.
Hyundai Elantra was one of the first cars to get the fluidic treatment and it shows. Gone are the days when the previous generation Elantra, which was a good car in its own right was dumped by the market in favour of Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla due to its dodgy looks. The present generation Hyundai Elantra is a looker – period. No other car in its class in India comes anywhere close to it in terms of design and styling.
And make no mistake, Hyundai Elantra is not all show business, it is a serious performer too. Driving the Elantra around Mumbai during the raging rain-filled monsoon period has made it clear that this is one car which is well designed to provide comfort, confidence and élan in equal measures. Large wheel base (2700mm) provides for very good interior space and upmarket features endow the Elantra with several convenience and comfort features. ESP (Electronic Stability Programme), ABS / EBD inspire confidence while negotiating the rain-soaked roads.
The newly opened Eastern Freeway provides an opportunity to use the Cruise Control and it has been a revelation. This car equipped with a 1.8-litre VTVT Engine easily delivers around 11km to a litre of petrol while being used as a commuter between Navi-Mumbai and south Mumbai. This is a pretty respectable figure considering the size of the car, traffic and the state of roads during monsoon months. Moreover, during this season even Navi-Mumbai is seeing relentless traffic congestion due to ongoing road expansion project which has created lots of impediments.
Hyundai Elantra has adequate ground clearance – its underbelly wasn’t hit even once, despite being driven on atrocious surface during Mumbai monsoon when roads get transformed into minefields.
Current version of Hyundai Elantra was introduced in India almost a year ago but it still manages to turn heads due to the futuristic styling that fluidic design philosophy of Hyundai.
Electric steering assistance is well modulated and weighs up in a linear fashion as the speed goes up. 1.8-litre engine is refined and whisper silent when driven with a light right foot. VTVT feature allows it to transform into racing mode when the revs begin to rise - not only power delivery spikes up resulting in fast progress, the engine note also changes to provide the necessary aural feedback to the involved driver. Long wheelbase has contributed to its surefooted handling and close-ratio quick-shifting six speed manual transmission plays a major role in ensuring that the engine is always in the meat of power-band to match the driver’s enthusiasm.
Hyundai Elantra looks to be a very good option in its segment. A feature rich stylish car which matches its good looks with ample go.
FINAL REPORT - By Sundeep Krishna
After having driven the Hyundai Elantra for more than a month we had to finally say goodbye to it. The fluidic design philosophy of Hyundai has endowed this car with a rock-star personality among its peers. An elegant visage flowing into sculpted sides and ending with a flourish in a beautifully carved rear has ensured that Hyundai Elantra remains a head-turner. Most importantly, the robust build quality of Hyundai Elantra makes it come across as a handsome car with toned muscles under the elegant and flawless skin.
And let me hasten to add that Hyundai Elantra isn't only about design and styling, it is a consistent performer - a winning combination of elegance, style, ride-quality, space, comfort, performance and efficiency. Used primarily as an intercity commuter doing about 80 km daily, between Navi-Mumbai and South Mumbai, it returned a fuel efficiency figure of about 11.5. And this was despite suffering monsoon ravaged roads and traffic congestion in Navi-Mumbai. Perhaps the newly opened Eastern Freeway did play a role in improving the fuel efficiency figures but it was also due the inherently efficient power train comprising of a modern 1.8 litre VTVT gasoline engine mated to a close ratio six speed slick shifting transmission. As the Freeway allowed the use of cruise control so that would have also contributed to the efficiency figure.
Updated version of Elantra may enter the Indian market by next year and it could be a good idea to add some more features to the existing package - an integrated Sat-Nav, rain sensing automatic wipers and electrically operated boot / fuel flap would certainly do justice to this excellent sedan.
Hyundai had been assembling / manufacturing cars since the late 1960s and produced its first branded car "Pony" in 1975 with which it entered the export market. Partnered by Kia motors, which Hyundai had taken over during the financial crisis of 1997-98, Hyundai was basically known for churning out affordable and functional cars. In terms of quality perceptions, it is a fact that in developed markets it virtually languished at the bottom of the heap. But now that is history; evidently along the way there was a profound change in Hyundai’s priorities and now it is no longer a carmaker identified exclusively with cheap a and affordable tag. Hyundai has certainly covered a huge distance and come a long way
Hyundai Elantra is an eloquent statement from the Korean carmaker that it can holds its own not only in terms of affordability and efficiency sweepstakes but has now gathered the wherewithal to compete with any other global carmaker on all other quality parameters as well as aesthetics. To sum up, Hyundai Elantra is certainly an upmarket option in its class and is poised to compete with its brethren from the Japanese and German stables on equal terms.