Hyundai Elantra 1.8 petrol quick review: Svelte Sophistication

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Added in: Hyundai

Hyundai elantra Fluidic India review (44)

Images: Harsh Vyas

It’s been some time since the new Hyundai Elantra was launched in the Indian market. While we missed out on the review of this important car during its launch, we realized that no time is late enough to review the saloon which has quickly assumed an important position in its increasingly important segment in the Indian car market. Since quite a lot has been written about the new Elantra, we would like to keep this review short, crisp and very to-the-point to serve as a quick reference for those considering this beautiful sedan. Let’s get going.

Design and appearance

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In its newest avatar, the Elantra has carried forward the Fluidic Sculpture design philosophy of Hyundai, which has elevated the Korean carmaker above the ordinary in the mainstream car market. The Elantra is one of the better exponents of fluidic sculpture, and one of the most beautiful looking cars around. The naturally flowing surfaces and lines, along with its balanced proportions lend the Elantra a sophisticated look.

The new Elantra carries a mix of assertiveness, athleticism and elegance with its chiseled, wide yet flowing design. The elongated, swept back headlamps, the pronounced creases on the bonnet, and the wide front bumper exude graceful, yet lean, sporty character. The beautifully designed elongated and curvy rear combination lamps carry the fluidic theme backwards.

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An upswept shoulder line, with two strong creases rising upwards towards the rear lend the Elantra a dynamic profile. This is helped further by the dropping roofline and a well integrated profile section of the wide tail-lamp. The handsome 15 inchfive spoke alloys adds further allure to the side view of the car. Too add the proverbial icing on the cake, the ORVMs have been given a sculpted shape, and are fitted with LED blinkers for that added appeal.

The big rear bumper and a pair of artistically designed rear combination lamps lend the Elantra a posterior befitting its charming front. This new sub D segment car, without a doubt is the best looking car not just in its own class, but across segments.

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Engine and gearbox

Under the hood, the Petrol Elantra has a 1.8-liter Nu four-cylinder engine with peak power output of 147 Bhp @ 6,500 rpm and 177 Nm of peak torque @ 4,700 rpm. The new engine has been developed from the scratch and boasts about 35kg of savings in weight and 18-percent improvement in highway fuel economy as compared to its 2.0 liter predecessor in the international market. To achieve this, the modern engine employs an aluminum block and head, Dual Continuously Variable Valve Timing (D-CVVT) tech, Electronic throttle control and an offset crankshaft

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Fairly smooth and linear in operation, the engine suits the luxurious, elegant character of the beautiful Elantra. The low rpm response is good, allowing for good in-city driveability. There is ample torque in lower portion of the rev range to keep you ambling around through the city without trouble.

As relaxed and refined on the highway as in the city, the engine revels in highway mile munching with the rev needle hovering between the 3 to 4k rpm mark. The noise from the engine gets a little more pronounced beyond the 4000 rpm mark, but it doesn’t resist being taken all the way to the redline. That said the Elantra isn’t meant to be high revving performance sedan with the engine’s focus on a strong and smooth low to mid range punch without any sporty pretensions.

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Our test car came equipped with a six-speed manual transmission. Developed from the scratch, just like the engine the new transmission has been newly designed to further optimize engine performance and efficiency. Shift action is sufficiently smooth and the ratios are well spread to all allow for a hassle free drive through the city and a relaxed cruise on the highway. The sixth gear is an overdrive, requiring you to stay above 80kmph and enhancing fuel efficiency by a fair margin if used properly.

Cabin Comfort and features

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Inside the cabin, the Elantra features a dual-tone trim with mostly soft touch materials. The waterfall design center console houses a digital clock, integrated stereo and A/C controls. The chunky, reach and rake adjustable steering wheel has mounted controls for quite a few functions. While this spells convenience once you get used to them, there are a tad too many of them there. New drivers may press the ones on the rim inadvertently the first few times. The comfortable front seats are 10 way electrically adjustable for the driver. The front passenger gets only manual adjustments though.

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The back bench is quite comfortable too with above average head, leg and shoulder room on offer. The cushioning, support and recline angle of the backseat is quite good too. The pronounced seat recesses on the car mean that the central portion is relatively raised and the car would be comfortable only for two passengers in the backseat for longer drives. Moreover, the rear A/C vent somehow obstructs the knees of the central passenger. The rear armrest has a set of audio controls along with a tray to store objects – unique and luxurious touch.

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Like all Hyundai cars, the Elantra scores highly in terms of features. You get a multi information display for the driver along with a great looking instrument cluster. You get two zone climate-control for the front seats along with ventilated seats which a great feature to have in this segment of cars, especially for a hot country like India. Other features like push button start, a smart programmable key, Aux and USB compatible audio, a dead pedal for the driver’s comfort and plenty of storage space further enhance the comfort quotient. There is also an adjustable central front armrest which has a capacious cavity beneath.

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The Elantra scores highly in terms of safety too. With 6 airbags on offer along with ABS, EBD and EPS, the Elantra is loaded with safety equipment. A big boot with enough space to pack in the luggage of a family of four for a fortnight completes the package ticking almost all the boxes on the wishlist of a buyer in the segment..

Ride & Handling

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As mentioned earlier, the Elantra’s focus is more on comfort and convenience than outright performance. The suspension has been tuned to lug the occupants around in great comfort, insulating them from the adversities of the outside world. The Elantra does a good job of the task assigned and comes across as one of the most comfortable cars in the segment.

With a McPherson strut front and a coupled torsion beam rear suspension, the Elantra impresses with its absorbent ride quality. With minimal road noise intrusion within the cabin, and a wide variety of bumps taken into stride without a whimper at slow to medium speeds, the Elantra has a comfortable drive as one of its USPs.

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On the highway, at speed, the Elantra feels poised and rides flat without the nervousness exhibited by the smaller Verna. Although not as supremely planted as some other German engineered cars, the road behavior of the Elantra is impressive, and a great step forward for Hyundai. It isn’t an enthusiast’s car though, and does show some reluctance in being chucked about forcefully around corners with a fair bit of roll.

With ESP hard at work and disc brakes on all four wheels, the Elantra shows great character in extreme situations such as harsh braking and sudden direction changes though. Braking is sharp enough and tires are surprisingly grippy.

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Staying true to its positioning, the Elantra favours a comfortable ride above everything else while also delivering a very well rounded handling package which is sure-footed and reassuring at all times if not overly exhilarating.

Overall

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The Elantra, in its new avatar offers an extremely well rounded package. Stunning looks, liberal cabin space and features, great build quality, comfortable suspension which is sufficiently reassuring at speed tpp, a choice of automatic and manual transmission – the Elantra has all the key areas covered. It’s also laden with safety features. All those qualities make the Elantra an extremely desirable package for the customer buying into its segment. No wonder, the big Hyundai car is the leader in its class, and gets big thumbs up from Motoroids for buyers looking for a comfortable, well-designed and feature rich sedan in the segment.

Price as Tested: Rs 14.1 lakh ex-showroom

Next Page for illustrated features and Tech Specs>>>

Features illustrated with images

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Driver side door panel controls comprise of electric ORVM fold, electric ORVM adjustment, door lock / unlock and power window buttons. Driver side window is one-touch auto

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Traction Control off and Headlight adjustment buttons

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Instrument cluster looks classy with a digital display flanked by analogue speedo and tacho. Under the digital display you have the tell tale lights cluster

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The center console for audio has too many buttons for our liking, but is rather easy to get used to.

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Four spoke multi function steering wheel is nice to hold, and feels light for easy city maneuverability

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Central armrest on the backseat comprises separate audio control buttons for the back benchers. There is also a neat storage space under the armrest.

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No dearth of leg and head room in the Elantra’s back seat. Seats are extremely comfortable too with great under thigh support. Central seat position is elevated though, which means a third passenger will be comfortable only for short journeys.

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Front door panel is finished beautifully. Quality abounds within the Elantra’s cabin. There is ample storage space for bottles too.

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More storage space under the front central armrest and with two cup holders ahead of it.

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Glove compartment is chilled. You can control the air flow with that knob.

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Smart key and Push Button Start / Stop make life simpler.

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Too many buttons on the steering wheel for our liking. Takes a little getting used to.

Tech Specs

Engine & Transmission

Engine Type4 cyl, 16 Valves, DOHC with Dual VTVT
Displacement1797 cc
Fuel TypePetrol
Max Power147 bhp @ 6500 RPM
Max Torque177 Nm @ 4700 RPM
Valve/Cylinder (Configuration)4, DOHC
Cylinders4, Inline
Transmission TypeManual
No of gears6 Gears
DrivetrainFWD

Suspensions, Brakes, Steering & Tyres

Suspension FrontMc Pherson Strut Type with Coil Spring
Suspension RearCoupled Torsion Beam Axle
Front Brake TypeDisc
Rear Brake TypeDisc
Steering TypeTilt and Telescopic Power Steering
Front Tyres205 / 60 R16
Rear Tyres205 / 60 R16

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