There are certain things that make the new Hyundai Elantra—the company’s flagship sedan—unique. For example, you can control some of its features using an app on a smartphone—such as switch on the AC from a remote location, or lock/unlock the car sitting in another part of the world. This is courtesy the Hyundai BlueLink connected car technology that was seen in the Venue compact SUV earlier this year. But beyond this ‘connected car’ technology, how good is the Elantra as a premium sedan?
First, the design: According to the latest JD Power study, Indian buyers place more emphasis on vehicle styling, both exterior and interior, when deciding on a model, rather than functionality. Here, the Elantra stands out. It has a new front grille, redesigned headlamps and tail-lamps, coupe roofline, and a new bumper. Even though it does appear that its design has been inspired by certain Audi and Lexus cars, the Elantra looks sporty and grand.
The big changes are inside the cabin. It gets first-in-segment features such as wireless phone charger and front ventilated seats. The quality of the material used and that of the fabric is befitting a premium sedan, and touches such as carbon-fibre finish above the instrument panel make the cabin look plush. Other new features include the eight-speaker music system by Infinity, front parking sensors, and tyre pressure monitoring system. But like all premium sedans, the Elantra is low, and so getting in and out of the car can be a task, especially for the elderly. Once you get in, however, the seats are supremely comfortable and supportive. The cabin space is also very good (but for the rear seat headroom that is not the best in class).
As of now, the Elantra is available only in petrol—the 2.0-litre BS6 engine mated to either a six-speed MT or a six-speed AT gearbox. The claimed fuel-efficiency is 14.6kpl. The engine generates peak power of 150bhp and peak torque of 192Nm. While the figures are impressive, the engine doesn’t appear tuned for sporty performance. The good thing is the power delivery of this engine is linear, and acceleration from any speed to any speed is smooth. The engine also feels very refined, and in city driving conditions, at lower RPM, absolutely no engine sound enters the cabin. The suspension is good and absorbs most bumps on the road. The steering feedback is also accurate. The new Elantra is priced from Rs 15.89 lakh to Rs 20.39 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi), which makes it more affordable than both the Honda Civic as well as the Skoda Octavia. However, while the Civic does appear as more futuristic in design, the Octavia is definitely a better driver’s car.
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