2016 Hyundai Elantra Road Test Review
The Elantra is to Hyundai what the Civic is to Honda, and the Octavia is to Skoda. This makes the Elantra a very important car model for the Korean car giant, not only for India, but also across its markets worldwide. Globally, the Elantra has been around since 1990. As per Hyundai it has sold more than 11.5 million units of the car since its first generation. India has seen the Elantra since 2004, when it was in its 3rd generation. It was replaced by the all new 5th generation fluidic version in 2010. While it has always been a steady seller in its segment, it is also regarded as the best feature-loaded and trendiest amongst its rivals. Hyundai has launched the all new 6th generation Elantra in India recently. We were invited to Chennai to try our hands on this premium sedan. Read our detailed and comprehensive road test review right here, where we try to find out if this is the best Elantra ever.
Food for Thought:
The Elantra is also sold as the Avante and as the i35 in some other markets. The 1st generation Elantra (1990) was powered by a 1.6-litre Mitsubishi-designed engine. In China, Hyundai calls it the Elantra Lingdong and the Lantra in Australia. In 2012, the Fluidic Elantra won the North American Car of the year and also the South African Car of the year. In 2016, the all new Elantra won the prestigious IF Design Award from Germany too.
The Fluidic Elantra that this one replaces, was a car that already looked designed for the future. As per Hyundai, this Fluidic Sculpture 2.0 takes the already trendy design language even further. The overall design now looks sharper with more flowing crisp body lines all across the exteriors. In terms of dimensions, the car stands at 4,570mm in length, has a width of 1,800mm, overall height of 1,465mm and has a wheelbase of 2,700mm.
The face gets a striking hexagonal grille. This grille comes with very premium-looking chrome surrounds and the five horizontal slats get glossy black finish along with chrome linings highlighting the face. These automatic light-sensing headlights get a neat-looking flushed design and come with HID and also get a trendy looking `C` shaped daytime running LED strip on them. The low slung front bumpers come with a boomerang-shaped glossy black insert on both corners that houses tiny round projector fog lamps. These may look small in size, but their beam has an excellent reach.
The black inserts on the front bumpers have air intakes tucked into them that help in a smoother airflow around the tyres and as a result minimize turbulence and wind resistance, indirectly helping in overall fuel economy. The bonnet sweeps back with soft flowing body lines that mate with the A pillars. The sides are equally impressive too. This profile gets its visual appeal with the rather unique gun metal colour 5-spoke alloys mounted on Hankook Kinergy Eco tubeless tyres with 205/60 R16 92H spec.
Then there is the sharp waistline that flows back from the front fender towards the tail and another neat body line that’s placed just above the running board. The window frames get the blacked out effect and the chrome garnish around them help in highlighting the lines. The sloping roofline gives the Elantra’s side profile a more coupe-like stance. Door handles get keyless entry buttons and come in chrome finish, along with pocket lights hidden in them that glow when you lock or unlock the car for a few seconds.
Wing mirrors get an all new design and come in body colored housing with LED turn lights placed on them. Wing mirrors have sensors in them. When you walk near the car to unlock it, this sensor detects the key remote in your pocket and unfolds the mirrors…kind of a welcome gesture. The roof gets an electrically adjustable sun/moon roof along with body-coloured shark fin antenna.
The rear profile gets a set of trendy-looking LED tail lights. This sharp and slim styled tail lights has 3 squarish LED glowing, along with turn and reverse glow. The rear bumper gets a set of reflector strips placed on the either sides and a unpainted lower section. The boot lid extends itself out so that it becomes its integrated spoiler. There are sensors in the tail gate too, that sense the key remote in its proximity and opens on its own after 3 seconds which can help in loading things without actually opening the lid with your hands. The overall design of the all new Elantra is extremely trendy. The car now looks much more confident, mature and premium.
The all new Elantra comes with an all black interior theme. The dashboard is driver-centric and Hyundai says it is cockpit-inspired. The black dashboard gets its upper section made of a soft rubbery material that looks and feels premium to touch. There are metal inserts running around the AC vents and other parts of the cabin including the door pads etc., giving the cabin a rich feel.
The instrument cluster comes with the latest version of the Supervision Cluster with two round dials and a large 3.5 inch TFT screen in the middle that acts as the multi function display. This cluster is very well laid out and the digits are extremely easy on the eyes. The steering wheel gets a three-spoke design and comes with manual adjust for height and reach. The leather-wrapped steering gets a nice, thick insert of silver and all the multi control buttons for multimedia, telephony and cruise control are laid on it.
The center dash gets a 8-inch HD color touch screen display unit. This unit has a very good and easy user interface. This display unit acts as the interface for all the media controls and also doubles up as the navigation display screen and reverse camera display. You also get Apple CarPlay and Android Auto Connectivity and Hyundai Sync app in this unit. The unique feature on this media interface is the inclusion of the Hindi language option in the language list.
The Elantra SX option that we drove came loaded with the Arkamys Sound system. This sound system has 6 speakers that play out some nice audio quality sound. Just below this is the dual zone climate control unit which again is very well laid out and extremely easy to operate. The center console comes with the short throw gear shifter that gets some silver metal finish surrounds where you have the controls placed for the ventilated seats and the drive modes.
The seats get all black leather upholstery. Front seats come with a cooled ventilation feature on them, which is a big boon while driving on hot days. The driver’s seat gets full electric adjust for height, reach, angle, backrest incline etc. while the front passenger seat comes with manual adjust. The front seats offer excellent support and offer good comfort. The rear seats get 3 manually adjustable headrests. There’s a foldable center armrest, along with an opening to access the boot area from behind the center armrest.
The rear seats offer good under thigh support and back support. There is excellent shoulder room, leg room and head room for the rear passengers. There are a lot of storage places spread all across the cabin area. You get a cooled glove box, bottle holders in door pads, map pockets behind the front seats and a closable storage place under the driver’s armrest. There is also an additional USB port placed inside this storage box. The Elantra comes with a boot storage capacity of 458 litres.
Engine – Transmissions – Drive:
The all new Elantra comes in Petrol and Diesel engine option and has two transmission options. The Petrol engine is the one to watch out for. This is a all new 2.0-litre Petrol engine. Hyundai calls it the Nu series engine. This 1999cc 4-cylinder 16-valve DOHC Dual VTVT engine has best in class 152 PS of power at 6,200 RPM and makes 196 Nm of torque. Mated to this is an all new 6-speed automatic transmission.
The Diesel engine is the same 1.6-litre U2 unit that makes 128 PS at 4,000 RPM and belts out 265 Nm of torque between the 1,900-2,750 RPM. This is the same engine that powered the outgoing Elantra, but we are told that the engine has been retuned to match and mate the all new car. There are 6-speed Manual and 6-speed Automatic transmission options on this engine.
We drove the Petrol Automatic first. Start the engine using the start/stop button and you instantly notice the high refinement of this large capacity petrol engine. The engine revs quickly, the torque convertor shifts gear nicely. We say nicely, because the gear shifts are quicker than the older automatic transmission on the Elantra, but not as quick as the DSGs. The performance is good and the speed is built up quickly and in a refined style.
If you find this not very well to your taste, then you have the option of shifting to the Sport mode. This is when the engine revs faster and you can feel the instant change in the way the power is delivered. For getting more control, you can shift to the tip-tronic (manual) shift mode which lets you control the up/down shifting of the gears. You can leave the Eco mode for your driver to use as its not so very engaging as the Sport mode is. Hyundai claims a fuel economy of 14.62kmpl on this petrol variant.
The drive feel is very positive and the steering gets a lively feedback to it as compared to the earlier Hyundai cars. Hyundai has used hydraulic rebound stoppers in the rear suspension that goes a long way in improving the rear seat comfort levels on the drive. The ride and handling has got a lot better and the car now feels extremely lively when put into corners and at high speeds.
Hyundai has worked a lot on the in-cabin NVH levels by using thicker glass, enhanced body rigidity, gap reduction around the key aerodynamic areas. By using advanced high strength steel (AHSS), the car has been made stronger, rigid making it safer, durable and also helping in lowering the NVH and improving ride quality. There is no tyre noise or noise from the engine compartment coming into the cabin area. As a result you get some premium class drive and comfort.
The diesel manual that we drove as mentioned, comes powered by the same 1.6-litre Diesel engine as its predecessor. The drive quality has improved a lot on this one as a result of all the new technology used under its skin. The diesel motor has tons of torque and feels a lot powerful than its capacity. We will be driving this version for a longer period soon to get you a detailed road test. Let us not forget to mention the excellent and confidence-boosting braking ability on both the petrol and diesel new Elantras.
On the safety front, the new Elantra comes loaded with driver and passenger airbags, side curtain airbags, ABS with EBD, Electronic stability control (ESC), Vehicle Stability Management (VSM), Hill start assist (we love this feature especially on automatics) etc.
The Hyundai Elantra is offered with a first of its kind Hyundai Premium Assurance Package. Apart from the standard warranty of 3 years and unlimited mileage, this package offers a 30,000 kms free maintenance pack for the same period which also includes consumables. Some of the other features of this pack are 3 years of complementary Road Side Assistance, 3 times Map Care Update and a first in class 3 times Home Visit on the 15th day, after 6 months and 18 months.
The Elantra was a very strong product and with this new version Hyundai has managed to make it even stronger. The current shift as per study is towards petrol cars and the 2.0-litre petrol engine becomes the largest capacity in the segment. Feature-loaded as with all Hyundais, the new Elantra take the legacy a lot further. Icing on the cake remains the clever pricing that starts at Rs. 12.99 lakhs for the base petrol and goes up to Rs. 17.99 lakhs for the petrol automatic. The diesel range starts at Rs. 14.75 lakhs and goes up to Rs. 19.19 lakhs for the top of the line diesel auto. These prices, though introductory, are very attractive and a lot lesser than the rivals in the segment, making this a very buyable model currently in the segment.
2016 Hyundai Elantra Photo Gallery:
Pics by Ritesh Madhok