Earlier on this year Hyundai released it’s 6th generation Elantra sedan with new looks, new tech, more and Hyundai promising a more refined car over the out going model I was very keen to get behind the wheel when I was given the keys to Elantra Elite recently.
By first impressions I thought the Elantra looks good with Hyundais signature grille, slim headlights, LED DRL’s, sweeping side lines, LED tail lights and attractive alloys the Elantra looks good on the outside even if it was painted in a rather unexciting blue metallic paint, I really liked the look of the boot that has slight up turn at the end which looks me like a built in spoiler.
Steeping inside and i was greeted with a wonderful looking beige interior which actually contrasted really well with outside colour and was good change from the standard black interior you seem to get everywhere.
Slipping behind the wheel and the leather clad front seats were comfortable and easy to adjust even though they weren’t electric, the leather steering wheel was comfortable to hold and has buttons for the audio system, hands free phone and cruise control meaning you don’t have to take your hands off the wheel.
The instrument panel is nicely set out with a lcd screen flanked by a big tacho on the left and speedo on the right and was easy to see in any light.
Having driven the Elantras bigger sibling the Sonata there was a touch of familiarity with dash which was quite well set out, Hyundai have geared the Elantra towards the driver with all the controls easy to reach from the drivers seat.
The centre stack is home to the multimedia system and it’s 7inch touch while the system worked well and was damn easy to connect my phone too.
It comes with apple car play only which was a disappointment to me as I have an android phone which meant I only had the basic features available, (Hyundai will be adding Android auto in the future) which also meant no sat nav as the system uses your phone for that.
The sound from the audio system was decent enough though which made up for not having Android auto, but at least I could listen to my music from my usb stick and it sounded good.
The Elantra is bigger then the previous model so there was ample leg and head room, I have my seat back a bit when driving and i could still sit behind the drivers seat without my knee’s touching the seat back. Being a small car though getting 3 people across the back seat would be a bit of a squeeze.
Boot space is a respectable 458L and it does have a 60/40 split rear seat for those bigger objects.
Under the bonnet the Elantra now features a bigger 2.0L naturally aspirated 4 cylinder engine rated at 112kW and 192Nm, which is a step up from the 1.8L in the previous model.
I found the engine to be rather tractable and does like to rev, but more power and torque wouldn’t go astray, fuel economy was good Hyundai quote 10.1L/100 for urban economy which I found very easy to match on the freeway saw the economy slip down to 7L/100.
Backing the 4 cylinder is 6 speed auto which works extremely well and seems to be matched really well to the 2.0L engine the shifts were smooth and it will hold the gears a little bit on acceleration which was good.
The Elantra has benefited from Hyundai’s local tuning operation which tested 48 separate suspension combinations including 15 front dampers and 34 rear dampers and the result is the Elantra handles rather well indeed, the ride is nice and compliant it absorbs bumps and wallows with easy and was rather comfortable to ride in. i found when pushed hard it lean a bit on the outside front wheel, but the steering was direct well weighted and made it easy to keep on line.
The only thing I wasn’t too crash on was the brakes while they worked well and thanks to Sydney’s many awesome driver’s I did have to test them out, I found they were lacking in feel and the pedal was tad too soft for my liking.
Safety wise the Elantra is fitted with a list of features as long as your arm including 6 airbags, Electronic Stability Control (ESC), Traction Control System (TCS), Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD), Brake Assist System (BAS), Vehicle Stability Management (VSM), Hill-start Assist Control, Automatic dusk-sensing headlights. The Elantra gets points for rear parking sensors and bonus points for having a rear view camera as standard fit.
So after a week I came away rather impressed with Elantra Elite it comes well equip full of safety features, it steers, ride and handles well and it has plenty of space for small car. The multi media system only having apple car play and not android auto as well was a bit of downside and while it also misses out on the heated and ventilated front seats you can get on some i30 models and the it could benefit with more sound proofing as the tyre roar was quite evident specially on the freeway.
Over all the Elantra does put forward a solid case for somebody looking for a new car and really should included on your list if you are looking for small sedan.
Hyundai Elantra Elite
Price: From $26,490
Engine: 2.0L Nu MPi 4 cylinder
Power: 112kW 192Nm
Transmission: 6 speed auto
6 airbags, Automatic dusk-sensing headlights, Front foglights, LED daytime running lights, Rear parking assist system, Rear-view camera, 17-inch alloy wheels with 225/45R17 tyres, LED tail-lights with bulb turn signal & reverse lights, Chrome radiator grille, Electric folding external mirrors.
Leather-appointed interior, Premium gearknob and steering wheel, Dual zone climate control with auto windscreen defog function, Electro-chromatic auto-dimming interior mirror (ECM), One-touch window up/down function on driver’s window, One-touch turn signal operation (3, 5, or 7 flashes), Proximity Smart Key with pushbutton start and Smart Boot function, Rain-sensing wipers, Rear seat cooling vents in centre console, Supervision cluster with colour 3.5-inch TFT LCD display
Illuminated front door handles, Illuminated sunvisors, Cargo net.