A few years ago, I have had the chance to sample the low-spec 1.6-litre Elantra in the pass before, and sadly the car did not leave a good impression on me. The steering was heavy and the car was lacking in tech gadgets, the 1.6-litre engine had been asthmatic and makes the entire car very uncomfortable both to drive and to be a passenger in. But having been blown away by the Sonata in that same year, I knew that Hyundai could do better, so I settled myself down to wait for the next generation of the Elantra.
And it was definitely worth the wait! I was barely out of the parking lot when the difference between the old and the new couldn’t wait to make itself known. Let me start off with the most noticeable difference, and that is the steering. The new Elantra has a steering that could rival the likes of Honda, it’s so light that it felt like I could steer it with one finger! While it might be light, the car was in no danger of feeling numb, then again, though very much heavier, the previous Elantra was never in danger of feeling numb.
The Elantra is also very much more powerful than the previous version. The previous low spec Elantra had a 1.6-litre NA engine to power the very heavy body, power was limited and the car had just made a lot of noise without producing much kick at all. But the current base variants has a 2.0-litre Nu MPI four-cylinder engine that we are no strangers to. It packs 150bhp and 192Nm of torque at 4000rpm and trust me when I say you will feel every horse that you call up out of the stable.
Step on the throttle and the car would regally float forward like a swan gliding through a quiet lake. It has massive amounts of talent when it comes to tackling the corners and it irons out potholes like it wasn’t wearing 17-inch shoes. Hyundai has adjusted the suspensions just right making the car a comfortable highway cruiser but still corners like a sports car.
If there is anything to complain about the Elantra’s engine it would be the very high revs at every press of the throttle. NVH levels are rather high because of the noise the engine makes whenever I throttled the car for more power or even when I had settled into a nice cruise. It was as if the car was taking a lot of effort to get up to speed when that really is not the case.
When it comes to looks, the Elantra seem to be channelling the old Hyundai Avante albeit a more stylish version of it. From the front, the car has a sharp bullet like appearance that probably contributed to the slippery-ness through the wind. It’s got sharp shoulder-lines and a grille to match the new design language. Very stylish daytime running lights comes as standard for the 2.0 Dynamic variant you see here while you get fog lamps for the Executive variants instead.
The rear end of the Elantra is a style statement, a samurai comes to mind whenever you are faced with the rear end of the car what with the sharp edges and the brake lights that stretches all the way into the sides. There is no other way to describe the Elantra’s look but that it flows like good Feng Shui.
Open the door and you will be welcomed into a stylish yet very comfortable interior. The dashboard is a stylish user-friendly instrument that channels some German flair. The good news is that it doesn’t require you to study an entire handbook to understand what everything indicates and all the important symbols are clustered together so even the most particular person will find nothing to complain about
Even in the mid-spec Dynamic version, you get Alcantara wrapped seats. I especially like the red stitching that ran along the seats and the steering wheel, the highlights give the otherwise black interior a modern touch. I give the interior an A+ for comfort, with the help of the MacPherson Struts at the front and Torsion Beams at the back adjusted just right, the Elantra makes you feel like you don’t want to leave the comforts of the car after the journey is over.
In terms of tech, the new Elantra is a great leap from the previous generation. Both 2.0-litre variants come with a seven-inch touchscreen LCD screen and you can connect both Androids and Apple devices to the Elantra’s system. What I liked most about the car is the way the boot opens, instead of waving a leg under the boot, you just have to wave your hand over the logo for it to open!
With the sixth generation, the Elantra has improved by leaps and bounds. Though there are still a few things to complain about, the Elantra is setting its statement that it will not be left behind in the C-segment competition. With the six-speed conventional gearbox in the Elantra, it has already made it all the way to the top of my list!