1. Visual charm, even appeals in motion

Visual charm, even appeals in motion

Hyundai tones down the curves of its swoopy executive sedan and improves its ride quality, throwing competitors a curve

By: | Published: August 29, 2016 6:14 AM
In August 2012, Hyundai introduced the Neo Fluidic Elantra. Based on the company’s Fluidic Sculpture design, it attracted a lot of buyer attention and was marginally more successful—in four years, about 14,000 units were sold. In August 2012, Hyundai introduced the Neo Fluidic Elantra. Based on the company’s Fluidic Sculpture design, it attracted a lot of buyer attention and was marginally more successful—in four years, about 14,000 units were sold.

After establishing a foothold in the Indian market with the entry-level Santro, in 2004 Hyundai entered the executive sedan segment with the Elantra. The car met with moderate success—between 2004 and 2012, the company sold about 8,500 units.

In August 2012, Hyundai introduced the Neo Fluidic Elantra. Based on the company’s Fluidic Sculpture design, it attracted a lot of buyer attention and was marginally more successful—in four years, about 14,000 units were sold.

Last week, Hyundai drove in what is globally called the sixth-generation Elantra. If the previous-generation Elantra was the swoopiest of all company cars, the current model gets a more sophisticated, mature look. It is based on a design language called Fluidic Sculpture 2.0.

The front gets the company’s signature chrome hexagonal grille. The sleek high-intensity discharge (HID) headlamps, together with LED lights, give it a futuristic look. The side profile has a coupe-like silhouette. The rear gets eye-catching split-type LED tail-lamps. The design is very aerodynamic—the drag coefficient of 0.29 is the best in its class.

The new exterior features are: HID headlamps, LED daytime running lights with positioning lamps, projector fog-lamps, split-type LED tail-lamps, shark fin antenna, and a door handle light.

The cabin is very spacious. All buttons and controls are driver-centric. The silver detailing provides a sense of luxury. Features are in abundance—a TFT-LCD screen that offers all the useful information with outstanding visibility, auto cruise control, voice recognition, tilt and telescopic adjustable steering wheel, and ergonomically-designed steering wheel controls for audio, cruise and voice control. Long drives should be effortless in this car.

Features are in abundance—a TFT-LCD screen that offers all the useful information with outstanding visibility, auto cruise control, voice recognition, tilt and telescopic adjustable steering wheel, and ergonomically-designed steering wheel controls for audio, cruise and voice control. Long drives should be effortless in this car.

Hyundai says the car is built on a new platform with 53% Advanced High Strength Steel (AHSS) structure, which leads to a whole new level of ride comfort, smooth and precise handling, improved interior quietness, and enhanced safety.

There are two engine options.

The petrol is the newest member of Hyundai gasoline family, called the Nu 2.0L. At 2000cc, this is the biggest petrol engine in its class. It is very quiet, peppy and delivers power uniformly. The company-claimed fuel-efficiency is 14.62kpl.

The diesel is the proven 1.6L U2 Common Rail Technology motor. While the performance of this 1600cc engine is adequate, it surprises with its low NVH and high fuel-efficiency (the company-claimed figure is 22.54kpl, which is the best in its segment).

Both engines come with manual and automatic gearbox options—six-speed manual and six-speed automatic. There is a drive mode select function too, which gives you an option to choose between Eco Mode for higher fuel-efficiency or Sport Mode for powerful acceleration.

The car surprises you with the segment-unique luxury features it offers. For example, if you stand within 3 feet behind the vehicle with the key in your pocket for more than 3 seconds, the trunk will automatically unlock and pop up.

This especially comes in handy when, say, you want to unload your shopping load into the trunk without having to worry who will open it.

Then the front seats are ventilated—small pinholes blow cool air through the seats. As we experienced, it’s a very comfortable feature for Indian summers. The multimedia system is equipped with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto for seamless integration of app-based navigation, streaming audio, voice-controlled search capabilities and smartphone applications. The sound system is by a company called Arkamys—it delivers sound music experience. Electric sunroof, dual-zone fully automatic temperature control with cluster ioniser and aluminium pedals enhance the car’s luxury quotient.

The multimedia system is equipped with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto for seamless integration of app-based navigation, streaming audio, voice-controlled search capabilities and smartphone applications. The sound system is by a company called Arkamys—it delivers sound music experience. Electric sunroof, dual-zone fully automatic temperature control with cluster ioniser and aluminium pedals enhance the car’s luxury quotient.

The sound system is by a company called Arkamys—it delivers sound music experience. Electric sunroof, dual-zone fully automatic temperature control with cluster ioniser and aluminium pedals enhance the car’s luxury quotient.

For safety, there are six airbags, anti-lock braking system (ABS), reverse parking camera with steering adaptive guidelines, parking sensors, hill start assist control, impact-sensing door unlock, speed-sensing door lock, and more.

All Elantra cars come with a Hyundai Premium Assurance Program. Buyers get a 3-year, unlimited kilometres warranty; free maintenance for 3 years or 30,000 kilometres; a 3-year roadside assistance; 3 times update on Map Care; and 3 times customer-care home visit.

There are 3 variants each in petrol and diesel—S, SX, and SX(O). The petrol is priced from Rs 12.99 lakh to Rs 16.59 lakh for manual, and from Rs 15.89 lakh to Rs 17.99 lakh for automatic.

The diesel is priced from Rs 14.79 lakh to Rs 17.69 lakh for manual, and Rs 19.19 lakh for automatic. Its primary competitors are Toyota Corolla and Skoda Octavia.

Should they be worried? I think yes. Because by toning down the curves of its swoopy executive sedan, giving it better engines, improving its ride quality and pricing it right, Hyundai has thrown competitors a curve.

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