Hyundai’s executive saloon Elantra is indubitably one of the most modish-looking premium saloons in its segment. The latest version of the saloon houses few styling upgrades on the outside while prominent tweaks have been made inside the cabin. Nothing changes on the mechanical front. That said, the saloon continues to get power from the same set of engines. Available in petrol as well as diesel guises, the Elantra range includes three petrol and four diesel variants along with two automatic options proffered, one each in petrol and diesel engines. The entry level base variant is available only with the diesel engine option. This trim is bereft of various equipment available in the variants positioned above it.
EXTERIOR AND DESIGN
Hyundai has taken the overtly curvaceous shape of the previous Elantra and sharpened things considerably. For starters, the grille is now a single, hexagonal, chromed unit. The headlamps lose the body hugging curvature from before and now pack LED DRLs flanked by HID projector lamps. The Indian-spec Hyundai Elantra doesn’t get the LED foglamps that the North American model does. In its place is a projector fog lamp within the same boomerang-shaped housing.
The side profile looks similar to the outgoing car but the roofline at the rear is even more coupe-like and ends directly in the boot section which packs an integrated spoiler. Hyundai have adopted a similar boot opening technique seen in the new Skoda Superb. With the key in your pocket, wave your foot under the boot once. Announcing that the car has sensed this movement, the indicators will blink four times after which the boot opens. It’s a nice option when you have both hands full and need to open the boot. Tyre size is the same 205/60 R16 but they are now low rolling resistance Hankook Kinergy rubber wrapped on tastier looking wheels. This new Hyundai Elantra is slightly longer than the outgoing car at 4,570mm, 5mm more in width (1,800mm) and lower in height (1,470mm) by 5mm. The ground clearance too is lower by 2mm at 165mm.
INTERIOR AND COMFORT
The interiors also have the fluidic theme. The dashboard has soft touch materials and the dual-tone trim adds to the premium feel. Quality of materials is good and the interiors are better than many cars in the segment. Attention to detail is good, and the theme caries on undisturbed. Hyundai has ensured that the seats are comfortable and there is sufficient space in both the rows. The seats are large making it comfortable for long trips. The rear seats for the first time are hard and have comfortable seating position. This makes it a good option to consider.
The equipment list is large too. It has keyless entry and start/stop button, a dual zone climate control system, a cooled glovebox, electrically adjustable, heated and foldable ORVMs, Bluetooth audio with navigation, audio controls on the steering and also on the rear armrest for rear passengers. The Elantra will be equipped with Apple Car Play on an eight-inch touchscreen system. The Hyundai Elantra 2016 also comes loaded with six airbags and also has ABS with EBD, ESP, speed-sensing door lock, central locking and an engine immobilizer as well.
ENGINE AND PERFORMANCE
The Hyundai 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.
RIDE AND HANDLING
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.
The Elantra’s safety systems also get an upgrade. Structural improvements have been made to help reinforce several key areas. The connection between the dash and the cowl have been reinforced, the front end now features a straightened load path to the A-pillar, the B-pillar area has been strengthened with hot-stamped steel, and the side impact beams have been improved.Of course, staying out of an accent is better than just surviving one. The Elantra now has a full suite of electronic aids, including Lane Keep Assist, Blind Spot Detection, Rear Cross-Traffic Alert, and Lane Change Assist. As with most cars these days, electronic stability control, vehicle stability management, traction control, ABS, and a tire pressure monitor system all come standard.But not only does the Elantra come with those safety features, this entry-level compact sedan now offers adaptive cruise control, or as Hyundai calls it, Smart Cruise Control. The HID headlights are also active, following the steering wheel inputs to illuminate into turns.
The Hyundai Elantra has further improved its value for money proposition, has better quality interiors, added a few more features to its exhaustive list and is now also offered with a new and larger petrol engine. It might not be as engaging to drive as its European counterparts but that’s not been this segment’s forte anyway. So if you’re looking for a large comfortable sedan, with widespread service network and low running costs you might consider dropping by a Hyundai showroom close to your home.
Hyundai Elantra Ex Showroom Price in Bangalore ranges from 12,97,452/- (Elantra 2.0 MPI S) to 19,36,907/- (Elantra 1.6 CRDi SX Optional AT).Hyundai Elantra has 9 Variants of Petrol are available in India. Hyundai Elantra comes in 5 colours, namely Sleek Silver,Phantom Black,Marina Blue,Red Passion,Polar White.